The powdery white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters of St. Martin will place you right in the middle of a real-life postcard.
This island in the Caribbean gives you more than just a beautiful beach experience—it offers culture, unique wildlife, exceptional views, and a rich history.
Quaint beginnings with the Arawak Indians settling here from South America to fish, hunt, and farm, became tumultuous when a new tribe arrived on the scene.
In the 14th century, the cannibalistic and violent Carib Indians came ashore, shifting the peaceful life of the Arawak people.
In 1630, the Dutch and French came here to establish small settlements, prompting the Spanish to drive them away from their small paradise.
It worked for a while, that is until the French and Dutch united to fight the Spanish together, resulting in their victory.
In 1648, the French and Dutch decided to split the island, and though both countries have attempted to take name to the whole island, the borders remain to this day.
Depending on what you are looking for in an exotic getaway will decide which side of the island you visit, but at only about 37 square miles in its entirety, experiencing both sides is definitely recommended.
The French side brings an air of class with its high-end cuisine, stylish shopping, and a society that has maintained its culture. The official language is still French, so if you forgot your French 101 from college, communicating may be more difficult.
However, heading over to the Dutch side, you will notice an environment that caters more towards the American tourist with fast-food restaurants and souvenir shops.
Practically everyone here speaks English—so there will be no confusion when trying to rent that kayak or pay with US currency (the French side only takes euros).
Beautiful beaches are scattered all around the island and all offer breathtaking views, white sands, and clear waters.
Orient Bay is a favorite among many visitors, however the area suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Irma and is currently still under major repair.
However, many of the resorts that have been rebuilt and restored are now even better than before.
Check out Simpson Bay and Mayo Bay on the Dutch side for a glimpse of two of the most coveted destinations by tourists.
Cupecoy Beach is a unique area surrounded by limestone cliffs, giving the environment a colorful flair with the tiny island of Saba off in the distance. Be aware, however, that Cupecoy Bay Beach is considered an LGBT-friendly beach. And in addition to the alternative relationships you will see, clothing is optional as well.
Every water sport imaginable is available at St. Martin and at an affordable cost. Check out companies like Soualiga Destinations Boat Tours and Captain Alan’s Boat Charters for great service and tours.
Try a new water sport like sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, or diving, because you won’t experience better anywhere else.
You can even charter your own boat. This will cost you a bit, but you only get to be captain of your own boat in exotic waters once, right?
Take a break from the water and explore the wooded areas of this island or hike to Pic du Paradis for a view you have to see to believe.
Looking for an adrenaline rush? Loterie Farms offers a zip line that takes you high above its forest. They also offer an awesome obstacle course for children called Ti-Tarzan, however it is currently also under repair from hurricane damage.
Spend your evening on the more secluded beach of Mullet Bay, sipping mojitos while you watch the sunset.
Mullet Bay also has some of the best waves for surfing, so whether you’re a veteran or a novice, you’ll love the chance to surf at an uncrowded beach.
One of the more family-friendly beaches is Friar’s Bay or Anse des Peres with more people in their bathing suits and gentler waves for the children.
And don’t forget to shop while you’re on the island and take advantage of the duty-free status.
Front Street in Philipsburg on the Dutch side is where you’ll find the best deals, but it’s a tourist favorite too, so crowds will be abundant.
And should you have any dough left over, check out the elaborate casinos on the island and try your hand at Lady Luck.
Whether you are planning a trip as a family, a romantic getaway, or solo excursion, St. Martin will surely live up to the expectations.
Please tell us if you have a favorite spot at St. Martin or if you are planning to visit any of these places soon!