About St. Martin/St. Marteen

IslandSt Martin is an island in the northeast section of the Caribbean, approximately 186 miles east of Puerto Rico, 20 miles north of St Barts, and 5 miles south of its nearest neighbor, Anguilla.  The island is divided between France and the Netherlands and is the smallest inhabited sea island divided between two nations. The French side is 20 square miles in size, while the Dutch side is 13 square miles. It is bordered on the East by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Caribbean Sea.

Population of the island is approximately 85,000 inhabitants.  The main towns are Philipsburg (Dutch side) and Marigot (French side).  Philipsburg is lined with duty-free shops selling luxury watches, cameras, and other high end goods.  Marigot is not quite the same size as its Dutch counterpart but has a rich cache of high end duty-free shops and international brands.

The French side is known for it’s beautiful beaches, clothing stores, shopping, and rich French and Caribbean cuisine.  The official language is French, but English is commonly spoken.  White stucco houses adorned with flowerpots and red-tile roofs cling to sapphire coves and Gauloises hanging in the air.  The Dutch side is known for it’s festive nightlife, casinos, and jewelry stores.  The official language is Dutch and English.  This all adds up to a tale of two nations that offer the best of both worlds...activity and leisure.

Shopping offers duty-free goods in numerous boutiques.  The official currency on the French side is the euro and the Dutch side the guilder.  Although every stores on the island also accepts the United States dollar.

The easiest way to get cash is from an ATM.  Banks affiliated with Cirrus and Plus ATM networks are located on St. Martin.  Keep in mind that ATMs give you a choice of dollars Euros or Guilders.  Credit cards are widely accepted at businesses.

Island

Airports: Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) is served by Air Caraibes, Air France, American Airlines, Air Transat, BWIA, Continental, Corsair, Delta, Dutch Caribbean, Jet Blue, KLM, Liat, United Airline, US Airways….  There is also a small airport on the French side of the island at Grand Case, L’Esperance Airport for small jet and propeller planes serving neighboring Caribbean islands.

Flying times :

Miami -- 2 1/2 hr.
Caracas -- 1 1/2 hr.
Dallas -- 4 1/2 hr.
Montreal -- 5 hr.
New York -- 3 1/2 hr.
Paris--8 hr.

Ferry Transportation to Neighboring Islands: Anguilla, St Barths & Saba Documents required : Passport

Weather:  The weather can best be described as inter-tropical with the average daytime temperature at 81degrees F.  During the winter month the North Atlantic depressions may cause the temperatures to drop with a variation of about 7 degrees.

Electricity: On the French side is 220 volts 60 cycles, but all our properties have also 110 volts for our guests convenience.  The Dutch side is 127/120 volts 50 cycles and adapters are not needed for American appliances.

Time:  Atlantic Standard, year-round (one hour ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time.  When Daylight Savings is in effect in the US, Atlantic Standard is the same time as Eastern Daylight.

Driving is on the right hand side of the road

Phone Systems:  French side from overseas, dial 011-590-590 plus the six-digit number.   If you’re dialing a French side cell phone, it’s 011-590-690.   Dutch side land phone numbers from the US , dial 011-599 plus the seven digit number.
 

Island


Beaches:
There are about 35 beaches that encircle the island including the French and the Dutch sides, each one different with it’s own personality.  The full menu of choices for activities include surfing, scuba diving, wake-boarding, windsurfing, sunbathing, eating in a variety of trendy or traditional restaurants.

Beaches surrounding our properties :

Long Bay

Long Bay, also spelled Longue Bay, Long Beach, or Baie Longue in French, is an extension of Cupecoy situated in the southern part of French Terres Basses/The Lowlands. As the name implies it is the longest stretch of white sand beach on the island. It is also one of the most quiet, intimate beaches, and the best for sun-worshippers. With its stunning turquoise waters and plenty of privacy, the natural charm of this secluded beach will amaze you. Long Bay is also great for snorkeling, although you won’t find too much coral. Exercise care however, as the sometimes intense surf can make this rugged beauty only for hearty ones. 

Remember that you will have to bring your own supplies to Long Bay beach. There are no water sport activities, no vendors, no amenities, so you can enjoy the privacy and beauty of the bay to the full extent.

Plum Bay

Secluded Plum Bay, or Baie aux Prunes in French, is just beside Long Bay and well known to surfers. The beach is very little visited, although beautiful and without a doubt one of the most peaceful and romantic beaches on the island. The Lowlands is the access road to the beach.  Plum Bay is as peaceful as it gets, but bring your own supplies as there are no amenities. The views of waters are beautiful, and makes it one of the best romantic sunset spots. 

Baie Rouge

Baie Rouge (also spelled Bay Rouge) or Rouge Bay is one of the most fabulous, intimate and quiet beaches. A perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon on this secluded beach of French St. Martin. Baie Rouge is often described as "picturesque".
The access to the beach is easy, and there is even a kind of parking at the Eastern end where the entrance winds down the hill. You can have some BBQ chicken and other BBQ food, along with refreshing cold drinks at the local shacks at the entrance.
They also rent lounge chairs and snorkeling gear. When you swim or snorkel out to the East following the shore line you will find a cave through which you can snorkel, and just next to it a very private, small and intimate strip of beach. Or, if you are up for a swim or a walk along the beach, have a look into the Devil's Hole, which is a steep hole in the middle of the cliffs flooded by water.

Cupecoy

Cupecoy Beach is a small beach located at the Southwest corner of St Maarten. It is lined with beautiful rock formations and caves .  
Access to the beach is easy. There is a public parking lot on the shore side of the road, after Ocean Club, with sets of stairs down to the beach at the end of the parking .
The 10-20 feet high, golden sandstone cliff serves as the backdrop for Cupecoy beach. This rich coral sand carpet is very popular, and if you’d like to find a cave for yourself only, you have to get there early.
There are no restaurants or bars on Cupecoy Beach, but you may see a local guy come by from time to time with a cooler trying to sell you fresh soda or beer. Beach chairs, umbrellas and BBQ are also available. And bars, cafés and resorts of the Cupecoy area are not too far away...
As Cupecoy beach faces Southwest, there a splendid views of the sunset and the surf.

Petite Plage - Grand Case

Located in front of our two gorgeous beachfront properties Petite Plage 4  & Petite Plage 5 , Petit Plage is a white sandy beach with quite calm waters . The beach is ideal for swimming and has some nice snorkeling spots as well . It offers also a wonderful view of neighboring Anguilla and Créole Rock. 
Few steps away from the villas, the Sunset restaurant, with waiter service on the beach is built onto a cliff and looks out onto the golden sands.
Less than ½ mile away, the Grand Case Boulevard and the beach are lined with restaurants that built up the image of "The Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean".

Points of Interest :

Fort St. Louis
Overlooking Marigot Bay on the leeward side of the island sits the imposing figure of Fort St. Louis, the largest historical monument in St Martin. Named for the famous crusading king of France, it was originally built in 1767 to protect the settlement at Marigot from foreign invaders. The plans were sent over directly from Versailles at the order of the ill-fated French king, Louis XVI. Following the events of 1789, the fort was temporarily occupied by the Dutch to prevent the further spread of revolutionary democracy which had reached the island from Guadeloupe. Now, it no longer serves its former purpose, but the steep climb up to the summit provides a panoramic view of the island and the sea surrounding it, and the effort is well rewarded. The area is open 24/7 and there are signs explaining historical events.

The Marigot Market
On Wednesdays and Saturdays mornings, an open-air market is set up along the wharves on the Boulevard de France, offering a colorful array of homegrown produce, tropical fruits and spices, and freshly caught fish. It is a perfect opportunity for mingling, people watching, and just sampling the food. Across from the market are the "Lolo's", featuring arts, crafts and local restaurants.

Marigot
The capital city of Marigot is perhaps the most French in spirit of all the cities in the Caribbean. Colonial houses stand beside smart cafés and bistros, pastry shops and luxury boutiques, and in many ways it looks just like any of the French market towns you might expect to find on the Continent. A shopping center newly built at the foot of Fort St. Louis, with luxurious boutiques. At the southern end of town down by the harbor is the Marina Port la Royale, elegant stores with the latest in European designer fashions and fine jewelry, all free of tax. The entire city is only four streets wide, so it is very easy to get around.

Grand Case
The sweeping curve of the beach at Grand Case near the northern tip of the island shelters a little fishing village that is famous not only for its fine foods but also for its distinctive style of architecture. Elaborate carvings and fretwork, in what is called a gingerbread style, adorn the fronts of the small wooden houses painted in pastel colors, and the effect is truly charming. Some of the island's best restaurants also happen to be located in this area, including local dishes at barbecue stands called Lolo's and souvenir shops. Do not miss the Tuesday night festivities during high season on the Boulevard de Grand-Case.

Colombier
Halfway between Marigot and Grand Case lies the picturesque setting of Colombier, a sumptuous green valley lush with tropical vegetation and sinking gently between rolling green hills. It is one of the most beautiful and most peaceful spots in St. Martin, perfect for private walks and quiet relaxation.

Paradise Peak
Rising from the center of St. Martin at a height of 1,400 feet stands Pic Paradis, the highest point on the whole island. Climbing to the top, where there are two observation decks, provides a spectacular view of the scenery and the tropical forest below. You can also try the FLYZONE at the Loterie Farm .

Mount Concordia
Atop this mountain, located right on the border between St. Martin and St. Maarten, the original treaty dividing the island in two was signed by the French and Dutch. There are also the ruins of the old sugar plantation "La Sucrerie".

Terres Basses
The French word for Lowlands, are located at the westernmost end of the island beyond the Simpson Bay Lagoon. They are home to some of the most exclusive villas on the island and feature two of St. Martin's prettiest beaches at Plum Bay, Baie Rouge and Baie Longue, the location of the 5-star La Samanna Hotel.

Saint Martin Villa Rentals

St Martin villa rentals are some of the finest Villa rentals available in the Caribbean, offering a unique Villa experience unparalleled on neighboring islands. This stylish French Island paradise isn't known just for its exclusive selection of St. Martin villas: A diverse culture - the island is French on one side and Dutch on the other. Carimo is the premiere Real Estate Company on the island of St Martin. In their quest for superior service, Carimo offers Luxury villas as well as affordable villas in St Martin. Looking for an alternative to a Hotel try Carimo for the name in luxury and service. For adventuresome guests of St. Martin villa rentals, the island is also home to a wide variety of activities like scuba diving, deep-sea fishing and windsurfing.