About St Martin

St Martin/ St Maarten refer to a Caribbean island which is shared by the Dutch and the French. St Martin/ St Maarten are actually the smallest to be divided into two (2) nations a separation which originally took place in 1648 by the Treaty of Concordia. The French side is the largest portion of the island which occupies 60% of the thirty seven (37) square miles island and the Dutch occupies the remaining 40%. The border on the island is marked by a monument and there is no actual border control which makes it easy to travel around the island.

St Martin is the correct spelling for the French side of the island where the official language spoken is French. English is spoken by most residents of the island. The currency is the Euro Dollar but like on the Dutch side the United States (USD) is accepted everywhere. The capital city of the French side is Marigot which is the commercial center of this side of the island. Life on the French side of St Martin is laid back and the architecture, cuisine and lifestyle is similar to that found on Creole Caribbean lifestyle.

The French side is known for its designer French boutiques, great cafes, fresh French breads, croissants and French cooking. Accommodations on the French side St Martin tend to be more luxurious and elegant as is the fashion found on this side of the island. The French side is known for nude beaches where visitors get the chance to go topless. It is important to note that whist all beaches on the French side are public beaches not all are topless beaches. Topless bathing is limited to a few beaches. The French are very lively people and to experience the ultimate French village life one must go to the village of Grand Case where food and party are standard along the streets.

The Dutch side of Sint Maarten is known as a cultural melting port as there are persons from all nations reside on this part of the island. Dutch side has a larger population than the French. Dutch is the official langue but English is the preferred language of residence, the Dutch Guilder is the official currency but the US Dollar seems to be the currency of choice.

The Dutch side of St Maarten is known as the entertainment center and busy commercial center of the island. The Dutch capital of Philipsburg is a shopper’s delight. Shops line the streets of the capital of the Dutch side where many duty free and designer shops as well as bargain shops can be found. The Dutch side has its fair share of beaches which attract people who come to to play and party. Many fine restaurants including serving up different cuisines can be found; popular restaurants serve up Thai, Caribbean, American, Italian and French cuisine as well as a number of fast food franchises can be found on the Dutch side. What makes the Dutch side extremely popular is its casinos and night club where party people come out to play. Dutch side casinos and nightclubs are opened everyday and closed in the early morning hours.

The island of St Martin/St Maarten is a popular tourist destination. The island is very much dependent on tourism and has a very stable economy. St Martin/ St Maarten is known as one of the Caribbean islands which provide the best accommodations for visitors.

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