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St Martin or St Maarten: Which is better?

green coconut palm tree, nature, landscape, beach, tropical, sea,
Saint martin and St. Maarten is one Caribbean island that share a border, each offering its own unique experience. If you’re looking for the ultimate beach destination with plenty of food, drink, and nightlife options, both St Martin and St Maarten fit the bill. In this blog post, we’ll compare these two destinations to help you decide which one is better suited for your next vacation.

Overview of St Martin and St Maarten

St Martin and St Maarten are two halves of the same island, each with its unique charm. The island is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a top beach destination in the Caribbean. Whether you want to surf, swim, or just relax on the sand, there’s a perfect beach waiting for you.

Geographically located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, this tiny island has an interesting history and vibrant culture influenced by Dutch, French, and African traditions. You can explore museums dedicated to local art or visit historical landmarks that tell tales about colonialism. Plan your trip now to experience all that St Martin/St Maarten has to offer!

Geography and Location

Marigot st maarten history

St Martin, the ultimate beach destination, is an island located in the Caribbean Sea. The island is divided into two parts: the French side and the Dutch side.

Both sides have beautiful beaches such as Orient Beach on the French side and Mullet Bay Beach on the Dutch side.

Aside from its picturesque beaches, St Maarten boasts numerous attractions that cater to varied interests, such as Maho Beach, which offers a unique view of planes taking off and landing at Princess Juliana International Airport. It’s important to note that while both sides offer different experiences due to their cultural influences, they are easily accessible by car or taxi, making it convenient for travelers who want to explore both areas during their trip.

History and Culture

The colonial history of St Martin/St Maarten is as rich and diverse as its culture. The island was once a battleground for European powers who fought over its strategic location in the Caribbean Sea. Today, visitors can still see remnants of this history through the architecture and landmarks scattered throughout the island.

In addition to its fascinating history, St Martin/St Maarten is also known for its delicious cuisine and local dishes. Some must-try dishes include conch fritters, Johnny cakes, salt fish, and rice and peas. For those looking to explore more of the island’s cultural offerings, there are several art galleries, museums, and cultural events that showcase the talent of local artists.

Whether you prefer lounging on pristine beaches or diving into a vibrant cultural scene, St Martin/St Maarten has something for everyone. So why wait? Book your vacation package today!


St Martin and St Maarten boast some of the most beautiful Caribbean beaches, making it hard to choose between them. On the French side of the island, Orient Beach is a popular spot for water sports like windsurfing and paddleboarding. While on the Dutch side, Maho Beach offers stunning views of airplanes landing at Princess Juliana International Airport. No matter which beach you choose, crystal-clear waters and white sand are guaranteed.

Aside from basking under palm trees or swimming in turquoise waters, visitors can also explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving around shipwrecks off the coast of Great Bay Beach on St Maarten’s southern shore. For those seeking adventure on land, Mullet Bay Beach offers horseback riding along its picturesque shores. With a range of options available, both sides of this island paradise offer unforgettable experiences for travelers seeking sun-soaked fun on their next vacation.

Top Beaches on St Martin

If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere and an array of water sports activities, Orient Bay is the place to be. As one of the most popular beaches on St Martin, it is always buzzing with excitement and energy. You can join in on jet skiing or parasailing adventures or simply relax under an umbrella with a cold drink in hand.

For an unforgettable experience, head over to Maho Beach, known for its proximity to the airport. Here, visitors can watch planes take off and land right above their heads as they soak up the sun on the sandy beach. It’s a truly unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

If seclusion and privacy are what you seek, Friar’s Bay is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle. This serene beach boasts crystal-clear waters, ideal for swimming or snorkeling, while the lush greenery provides ample shade during hot summer days.

The best beaches in St Maarten and St Martin

Top Beaches on St Maarten

  • Mullet Bay Beach: A picture-perfect beach with crystal-clear waters and soft white sand.
  • Great Bay Beach: Offers stunning views of the cruise ships docked nearby, located in Philipsburg.
  • Simpson Bay Beach: Ideal for swimming or lounging under an umbrella while enjoying delightful ocean views.

St Maarten is a premier destination for those seeking idyllic beaches. Among the many options available, Mullet Bay Beach stands out as one of the most picturesque destinations on this beautiful island. Here, you can enjoy crystal-clear water and powdery white sand that will make your time spent here memorable. If you’re looking for a more urbanized location, head to Great Bay Beach in Philipsburg, where you’ll be surrounded by other tourists and locals alike. Alternatively, if peaceful relaxation is what you seek, then Simpson Bay should definitely be on your list!

Beach Activities

Looking for some fun in the sun? St Martin and St Maarten offer a plethora of beach activities to keep visitors entertained throughout their stay. Whether you prefer adrenaline-pumping water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, and paddleboarding, or would rather kick back with a refreshing drink at one of the many beach bars dotting both islands’ coastlines, there’s something for everyone.

For those who want to explore underwater marvels, snorkeling and diving are must-try experiences on either island. The turquoise blue waters surrounding both islands boast vibrant coral reefs teeming with diverse fish species waiting to be discovered. So grab your gear and get ready for an unforgettable adventure under the sea!

Food and Drink

Local Delicacies

Indulge in the unique and flavorful cuisine of St Martin during your beach vacation. From succulent seafood dishes like crayfish stew to savory rice and peas, the island’s cuisine reflects a fusion of French, African, and Caribbean flavors. Here are some local delicacies you should try:

  1. Lobster Thermidor: This exquisite dish features succulent lobster meat cooked in a creamy, cheese-infused sauce and topped with breadcrumbs. It’s a true delight for seafood lovers.
  2. Accras: These are flavorful and crispy fritters made from salted codfish, mixed with herbs, spices, and flour. Accras are often served as a popular appetizer or snack.
  3. Johnny Cakes: These are fluffy and slightly sweet fried bread rolls, similar to biscuits. They are a staple in St Martin’s cuisine and can be enjoyed on their own or paired with savory dishes.
  4. Callaloo: This hearty and nutritious dish is made from leafy greens, such as taro or amaranth leaves, cooked with coconut milk, onions, garlic, and spices. It’s often served as a side dish or as a main course with rice and beans.
  5. Conch: Conch is a type of sea snail commonly found in the Caribbean. It can be prepared in various ways, such as in salads, fritters, or stews. The meat is tender and has a unique flavor.
  6. Guavaberry Liqueur: This local specialty is made from the guavaberry fruit, which is native to the Caribbean. The fruit is steeped in rum or brandy and sweetened with sugar, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic liqueur.

best foods in st maarten

Beachside Dining

In addition to savoring the local delicacies, you can enjoy beachside dining at various restaurants and beach bars scattered along the shores of Saint martin and St. Maarten. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Le Sand: Located on Grand Case Beach in St Martin, Le Sand offers a relaxed beachfront dining experience. You can enjoy fresh seafood, Caribbean-inspired dishes, and refreshing cocktails while gazing at the beautiful ocean views.
  2. Sunset Beach Bar: Situated on Maho Beach in St Maarten, Sunset Beach Bar is famous for its close proximity to the airport runway. You can grab a bite to eat, sip on a tropical drink, and watch the planes land and take off just a few feet away.
  3. Karakter: This beachfront restaurant on Simpson Bay Beach in St Maarten offers a laid-back atmosphere and a diverse menu featuring international and Caribbean cuisine. Enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the breathtaking views of the turquoise waters.
  4. Rainbow Café: Located on the sandy shores of Grand Case Beach in St Martin, Rainbow Café is known for its delicious French and Creole dishes. You can dine on the open-air terrace and enjoy the gentle ocean breeze.

These are just a few options, and there are many more beachside dining establishments to explore during your visit to St Martin and St Maarten. Whether you prefer fine dining or casual beach bars, you’ll find a variety of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds.


St Martin and St Maarten offer a beach lover’s paradise with their stunning coastlines, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant beach culture. From the lively atmosphere of Orient Bay to the unique experience of Maho Beach, there are beaches to suit every preference. You can engage in thrilling water sports, explore underwater wonders, or simply relax and soak up the sun.

The local cuisine adds another layer of enjoyment to your beach vacation, with a fusion of flavors and dishes that reflect the island’s cultural heritage. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in fresh seafood, unique delicacies, and beachside dining experiences.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or culinary delights, St Martin and St Maarten have it all

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