St. Maarten (St. Martin) Facts

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St. Maarten (St. Martin)

Mullet Bay - St. Maarten

St. Maarten (St. Martin)

St. Maarten/St. Martin is the smallest island in the world ever to have been split into two different nations. For almost 350 years, the French and Dutch have shared this island in a spirit of harmony. Within its 36 square miles of paradise you will find a diversity of culture, nature, popular Caribbean daytime activities and an exciting nightlife to cap off your day and add adventure to your honeymoon.

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Highlights
St. Maarten:
  • Carnival — both sides of the island celebrate Carnival, however the Dutch version is the longer of the two, lasting 17 days with the main parade coinciding with the birthday of her majesty Queen Beatrix
  • Fort Amsterdam — the remains of Fort Amsterdam date back more than 300 years and sit upon the foundation of an earlier Spanish fort

St. Martin:

  • The Marigot Market — an open-air market set up at the base of Fort St.Louis and the wharves below. Takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Butter Fly Farm — walk amongst the rare and exotic butterflies
  • Grand Case — Home to some of the island's best restaurants, this little fishing village is famous not only for its fine foods but also for its distinctive style of architecture.
Geography/Environment
Generally hilly, with volcanic interiors. Similar to other islands in the area. The island is in the Caribbean Sea, 150 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. It covers 37 square miles, with Dutch St. Maartin on the south spanning 16 square miles and French St. Martin on the north covering 21. The island is the smallest landmass to be shared by two seperate governments. Capitals-Philipsburg of St. Maartin and Marigot of St. Martin.
Activities
Parasailing, Laser Sailing, Jet Skis, Kayaking, Windsurfing, Fishing, Boat Trips, Snorkeling, Diving, Hobie-cat Sailing, Kite-Boarding, Skydiving, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Running, Tennis, Golf, Bowling, and Boating. The islands 12 casinos are all on the Dutch side and offer gaming in the European mode.
Climate and Weather
Sunny and warm year-round, with some cooling from trade winds. Average temperature during the winter season is 80ºF and a few degrees warmer anymore humid in the summer. Occasional showers in late summer and early fall, with average annual rainfall of 45 inches.

Other Important Information
Destination Wedding Information
St. Maarten:
Administrative Fee: U.S. $300
The fees are the easy part. The most difficult island in the Caribbean on which to get married (of the islands that allow non-resident marriages). If your heart is set on it, visit the St. Maarten tourist office website for details.

St. Martin:
Because the bride and groom must be residents on the island for at least six months, most destination weddings take place on the Dutch side.