Tips for Tourists
October 4, 2011

Island Facts

Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin Island Facts

Geography

The island, at 87 km2, is the smallest land mass in the World to be shared between two countries, Saint Martin which is under the sovereignty of France, and Sint Maarten, formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles, is now a Country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The island’s capitals are Philipsburg (Dutch side) and Marigot (French side).

The island is lies east of Puerto Rico and a few miles south of Anguilla. Its highest hilltop is Pic Paradis at 424m, an ideal hiking adventure and look out for travelers, easily accessible from the French side of the island.

Temperature

The average yearly air temperature is 27°C tempered by the steady and cooling trade winds. The lowest temperatures occur between November and February.

Population

There are several nationalities residing on Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin, among which include, Dutch, French, British, Other European, African, and East Indian. The official estimate of the population of Dutch Sint Maarten as of January 2010 was 37,429 for a population density of 1,100 inhabitants per km², while at the January 2007 French census, the population on the French part of the island was 35,925.

Currency

Saint Martin uses the euro as its currency, while Sint Maarten uses the Netherlands Antillean guilder, pegged at 1.79 per United States dollar. As a consequence of the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, the Netherlands Antillean guilder will cease to be legal tender and be replaced by the Caribbean guilder in 2012. Almost every store on the island also accepts the United States dollar.

All the banks post the present exchange rate. ATM’s are available at most of the local banks as well, so it is possible to withdraw money directly. All major credit and debit cards are all accepted.

Electricity

The Dutch side uses 120 volts/60 cycle system just like the US and the receptacles are the same. The French side uses 220 volts/60 cycles European system and the plugs are two cylinders, not like the flat prongs in the US. Converters or adapters for US electrical cords are required.

Entry Requirements

A valid passport and return or onward ticket is required for all visitors. Please note however that as mandated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, all US travellers must provide a passport to enter or re-enter the US from both leisure vacation and business travel.

Time Zone

Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin are in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone. Four hours behind GMT.

Water

It is safe to drink the water here.

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