Philipsburg, St Martin Port
Philipsburg, St Martin Port
Blessed by the breezes of the trade winds, and just three hours from New York City, St Maarten is a Caribbean getaway with a difference. Resting at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island has a dazzling year round temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. You might be tempted to think this makes it just another commercial hotspot in the mainstream Caribbean rigmarole, but never fear.
The size of St Maarten is so intimate that you’re likely to see 747s flying impossibly close to the ground as they get close to the island’s crystal waters. It’s no wonder, as St Maarten sits on the smallest landmass in the world to be shared by two nations. Saint-Martin, to the north, is officially a French province, creating an island embodying an unusual, yet enchanting blend of cultures.
Sightseeing in St Maarten
Seeing jets from all over the world winging their way into the Princess Juliana International Airport and experiencing the sweeping grandeur of languid blue surf are just a taste of what Maho Beach has to offer. The thrill of jet liners gliding into St Maarten just over your head never gets old, but it’s the waters just off the white sands that will have you returning time and time again. Wonderfully pristine, a favourite of the locals, and even a great nightspot, this is a beachfront for the ages.
Sint Maarten Museum
Small in size, but big in intrigue, it’s easy to lose an entire day in the Sint Maarten Museum. Everything you might need to know about the island’s history in this colonial house in Philipsburg, including the complex history of the French and Dutch treaty. Highlights include pottery crafted by the first settlers upon the island, as well as items from a frigate which sank just off the coast in 1801.
Saint Maarten Park
Unbelievable it might be, but St Maarten is actually home to the Caribbean’s largest zoo and as to be expected from a region so colourful and unique, the wildlife tends to follow suit. The bright shades of toucans and parakeets can be seen amongst the branches of the trees, while rare species such as the Red-footed Tortoise, the Anguila Bank Amieva and the Green Iguana have their own specially made habitats within the zoo grounds. Make sure to visit the bat house and the huge domed aviary for a breath-taking view of the rarest creatures in the whole of the Caribbean.
Shopping in St Maarten
A stroll up and down Front Street in Philipsburg reveals a shopping paradise, where competitive prices combine with true luxury. Elegant fashion, unique antiques and the freshest produce are all on offer amongst the range of boutiques.
Eating out in St Maarten
Bliss is a great place to dine out for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not least because of the modern French cuisine which is an enduring staple of its menu. The daytime menu has light options such as duck confit baguettes, while evening meals consist of delicious specialities such as Dorado filet.