Island Destinations

The island’s two for one-Saint Maarten / St Martin


A single trip, two destinies, one Dutch and the other French, with much in common: Film beaches, the best cuisine and relaxed society, free from some of the problems of the region. Unlike some other Caribbean islands, Saint Martin proposes leaving the hotel, while exploring other of its spectacular beaches it is not a trick. No Photoshop or misleading perspective. Photos or videos you have probably seen huge planes flying just a few meters above Maho Beach in St. Maarten, are authentic and also very realistic. And do not record a strange phenomenon, isolated, but rather a scene repeated many times a day.


In this Caribbean island with dual nationality (expand), the international airport next to the busy Maho Beach and Sunset, a bar that has become big business thanks to the daily spectacle that everyone wants to photograph (advertised schedules flight on a surf-board). The planes pass over the sand bar just before landing. To lie tail off the sea and turbines seem to blow all the sand from the beach. In fact, when it is the turn of the giants of Air France and KLM, the curious should be stronger fence that separates the beach airport and are waving like flags in the wind. There are dozens of videos on YouTube that situation; for the destination, it is a spontaneous and invaluable viral advertising campaign.


Nor does more retouching missing when it comes to the color of the sea on postcards of Saint Martin-Saint Maarten. The Caribbean really looks best colors and clear and the sand is fine around this island of 87 square kilometers. A small French island but certainly complex, since its restricted territory is divided politically and socially in two parts, in the North, and the Dutch, in the South.


French and Dutch living here since the seventeenth century, mostly without conflict. Each sector has its capital, its government, its official language, currency, color patent cars and even his type of power, plus a cultural heritage and a distinct identity. Small town, big confusion Do you live on the French side or the Dutch? Where were you born? What part you work? Where is your partner? What language is spoken at home ?, are recurrent and quite curious questions when considering the narrow dimensions of the island and its population of about 30,000 inhabitants on the French side and just over 40,000 in Dutch.



The island’s two for one-Saint Maarten / St Martin


But what for the local daily life must present more of a challenge for the tourist is a bargain: the same passage (via Panama, the best option from Argentina), who visits Saint Martin-Saint Maarten has two destinations discover, each with its urban centers, beaches, hotels poles, its attractions. “I like it that way. Because of this situation I think we are more open and polyglot … Here everybody speaks two or three languages at least,” says Marla Chemont, office Tourism Saint Maarten (yes, each sector has its own office).


Although the largest sector is French, the photogenic airport is in Dutch, like the cruise port and the largest shopping center, Philipsburg. From Maho and the airport, about twenty minutes to Philipsburg, travel is an introduction to the mountainous geography of the island green, very different from the flat, dry Aruba, to mention another Dutch colony in the Caribbean. Getting around Saint Maarten (or Saint Martin) is important because every moment can reveal spectacular views, cliffs, Caribbean houses hanging from the slopes, beaches, movie and other islands on the horizon, as Saba and Anguilla.


This ability to rotate smoothly around the island is not something to be taken for granted in the Caribbean. In some islands, the thought of walking beyond the barbed wire was preventively hotels discouraged. Here, on the contrary. Saint Maarten is not for those seeking only closed resorts, apart from the world and guarded by guards and barriers, but constantly asks her out, to live the island, with its various nooks and nuances and languages. Grace is not removed within a week all-inclusive but circular, try other public beaches, eat at different restaurants. Extravagant it seems at this stage of tourism business, when even some natural things sound awkward.
The island’s two for one-Saint Maarten / St Martin


In the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, for instance, right next to the airport, just walk out the front door to go a little street with shops, bars, restaurants, casino and lively and renowned Cheri’s CafĂ©. Also walkable without harassment from vendors or anything worse, the streets of Philipsburg, where are pictures of William and Maxima in the windows of jewelry for both cruisers and pharmacies and home appliances stores. They say the couple especially likes Saint Maarten. There were as recently as last November, official visit. But they also recognize that the Dutch side is not as Dutch as their neighbors themselves are Francophiles.


There is, for example, Dutch houses as seen in the harbor of the island of Curacao. The waterfront of Philipsburg, however, offers a string of tempting restaurants of what might be called fast food Caribbean, ranging from spicy Jamaican jerk chicken quesadillas and the Caesar salad with exotic juices (for an Argentine) and Presidente beer .