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St. Maarten

This Caribbean island has two names because it is two separate countries. St. Maarten is Dutch and St. Martin is French so you will experience two different cultures in a island that is not as big as one city in the US. Two different currencies are used ? the guilder and the Euro, but US currency is widely accepted. There is a sign that tells you when you are entering a different country on the island. The hotel taxes are also different depending on where you stay.

Most visitors depend on taxis, but they do not have meters, so you will have to negotiate a price before you start your travels. This island is really popular and is very crowded. With the wealth of accommodations, you can choose from the very expensive to the budget depending on how much money you want to spend.

There are 37 beautiful beaches, but if you are on a secluded beach you have to be on the lookout for thieves. Wherever you choose to stay, you will always be close to the beach and you can even use the changing facilities at the more exclusive resorts for a fee. The Cupecoy Bay Beach is the most popular location with its caves and rock formations. There are no restaurants here though, but vendors do sell food and drink.

Mullet Bay is shaded with palm trees and the weekdays are the best for uncrowded conditions. Maho Bay Beach is near the airport and can be noisy at times, but is still very popular because of the ideal swimming conditions. These are just two of the many destinations you can choose for your holiday. 


On the Dutch side of the island, you can engage in deep-sea fishing with expeditions priced at $500 for a half day. The golf course at Mullet Bay is in a state of disrepair, but you can still have an enjoyable game here on this 18-hole course.

Scuba diving on the island is exceptional. Whatever you choose in diving ? cave diving, wreck diving or night diving ? you will find it here. The hotels can make the arrangements for you and you can even take a full PADI diving course if you wish.
Snorkelling in the calm waters with shallow reefs is incomparable to anywhere else in the Caribbean and waterskiing and parasailing are also available.?

If you prefer more land-based activities, then there are also opportunities for horseback riding and tennis.

Accommodations and Dining

Even though St. Maarten/St. Martin is a popular destination for the rich and famous, there are bargains here in the way of accommodations. For example, you can stay at Mary?s Boon Beach Plantation on the Dutch side or Hotel St. Tropex des Caraibes on the French side for very reasonable prices. Of course, there are many luxury resorts to choose from offering all-inclusive vacations.
Dining also has various price ranges depending on whether you want to dress up or go as you are. Choose from French, American, International and Caribbean food. You will be delighted with the flavor of meat or fish wherever you choose to dine.

Shopping and Nightlife

This is shopper?s heaven with the plethora of shopping malls and stores. You will find everything from a needle to an anchor and everything in between. Choose from moderately priced stores to exclusive designers. One thing is for sure- you won?t go home empty-handed.

This is a party island and no matter where you go the nightlife will keep you hopping until dawn. Dance with Lady Luck at the casino at the Pelican Bay Resort or Casino Royale, where you?ll come out a winner with the spectacular scenery and entertainment. Other nightspots include Indiana Beach Restaurant and Bar, Le Bar de la Mer, Calmos Café and Kon Tiki.





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