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World Travel Guide > Guides > Caribbean > St Maarten

St Maarten travel guide

About St Maarten

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.

Key facts

Area:

34 sq km (13 sq miles).

Population:

39,538 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

1,092 per sq km.

Capital:

Philipsburg.

Government:

Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Head of state:

King Willem-Alexander since 2013, represented locally by Governor Eugene Holiday since 2010.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs since 2019.

Travel Advice

COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.