Destination: St Maarten 2022

Island Information

Conditions are often favorable for some enthusiastic sailing

ISLAND essentials

Essential Statistics One of the smallest landmasses divided between two nations, the island consists of St Maarten, a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the French Overseas Collectivity of St Martin. Where am I? Located at 18°02’N, 63°07’W in the northeastern Lesser Antilles, the island is approximately 150 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. The potentially boisterous Atlantic is on the windward side and the characteristically tranquil Caribbean Sea is on the leeward side. Currency The official currency of Dutch St Maarten is the Netherlands Antilles Guilder, while the official currency of French St Martin is the Euro. However, both sides happily accept US Dollars. The Guilder is pinned to the US Dollar and the exchange rate is between 1.78 and 1.80. The Euro/

ST MAARTEN

ST MARTIN

Capital:

Philipsburg, alias ‘Town’

Capital:

Marigot

Electricity: 110 Volts

Electricity: 220 Volts

Airport:

Princess Juliana International

Airport:

L’Espérance - Grand Case

Topography The total size of the island is 37 square miles. Just over half of the island is French and tends to be greener and more forested than the drier St Maarten side. The Simpson Bay Lagoon is the largest in the Caribbean and has two lifting bridges, one on each side, to allow maritime traffic to pass. The causeway spanning the lagoon has a swing bridge at its center. At 1,392ft, Pic Paradis is the highest point of the island. There is very little fresh water on the island, but various guts and ravines may flood when it rains.

Dollar exchange rate fluctuates so check it before shopping or dining out on the French side. ATMs dispense Guilders and Dollars on the Dutch side and Euros on the French side. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, but check other cards before using them. Some of the smaller restaurants do not accept credit cards. Language Although Dutch and French are the official languages on the respective sides, English is widely spoken. However, being such a cosmopolitan island, many other languages can be heard as well, besides the local Creole and Papiamento.

26 | destination St Maarten 2022

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