Kingdom of the Netherlands. Granted autonomy from the former Netherlands Antilles in 2010.
Head of state:
King Willem-Alexander since 2013, represented locally by Governor Eugene Holiday since 2010.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Theo Heyliger since 2014.
110 volts AC, 60Hz. (Note that St Martin, the French side of the island, uses 220 volts). American-style plugs with two flat pins (and sometimes a third grounding pin) are used.
Sun-lovers, water babies, sailors and divers alike will find St Maarten an alluring Caribbean getaway. This popular destination in the former Netherlands Antilles is lined with delicious coastline, on which to frolic, bake, or get active.
The most prominent physical feature in St Maarten is Mount Flagstaff, an extinct volcano, but the most important for visitors is the excellent beach that follows the south and west coasts; beach activities and shopping at duty-free centres firmly satisfy most tourists.
St Maarten is also popular with sailing enthusiasts and divers. The excellent diving conditions feature striking coral reefs located close to the shore. One of the most popular dive sites is the wreck of HMS Proselyte, a British man-of-war which sank in 1801. Body boarding is increasingly popular way of enjoying the gleaming waters and getting refreshed in the pouring sunshine.
Last updated: 17 December 2014
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.