Things to see and do in St Maarten
Attractions in St Maarten
Cross over to Marigot
Tiptoe across the border (no passports are required) into French St Martin and visit the charming market town of Marigot. This is the main town and capital on the French side. Market days are every Wednesday and Saturday morning.
Get on your bike
Cycling and mountain biking can be enjoyed on the coastal road and along the trails around Paradise Peak. There are excellent views and peddling allows you to quietly approach roadside wildlife. There are numerous bike hire and bike tour operators available on the island.
Have a go at deep sea fishing
Arrange a deep sea fishing expedition, with half- and full-day charters available all year round. Game fish can be found lurking in the deeper waters around the island such as tuna, mahi mahi and wahoo. What better way to catch you own dinner.
Make some waves and go sailing
The island is one of the Caribbean's leading sailing venues, rent anything from motorboats and yachts to canoes, or charter day trips and "picnic sails" to secluded bays and nearby uninhabited islands. Bareboat charters are also available, which means you can charter a fully equipped yacht without a professional skipper and crew.
Marvel at the Queen Wilhelmina Golden Jubilee Monument
Take a peek inside Philipsburg's nine shingled churches, and visit the Queen Wilhelmina Golden Jubilee Monument. Nearby is Fort Amsterdam, dating from the time of the earliest settlers. Located alongside is a breeding colony of Brown Pelican with over 60 nests.
Set sail for the St Maarten Heineken Regatta
Founded in 1980, this annual yacht race bears the apt slogan "serious fun". It's intended to represent both sides of the sailing community in the Caribbean – the racing and partying. Growing year on year, the event now attracts over 3,000 sailors from 32 nationalities.
Shop tax-free in Philipsburg
Enjoy the colonial atmosphere and duty-free shopping of St Maarten's principal town, Philipsburg, which is situated on a sandbar that separates Great Salt Pond, a salt marsh, from the ocean. The entire town consists of two streets, Voorstraat (Front Street) and Achterstraat (Back Street), and several short, narrow alleys.
Take a visit to the Border Monument
Travel inland to see the picturesque ruins of several plantation mansions, set in the wooded hills around Mount Flagstaff, and the Border Monument, which celebrates 300 years of cooperation between the French and the Dutch. This remains the smallest landmass in the world to be shared by two sovereign nations.
Take the plunge at a wreck site
Take advantage of excellent diving conditions, with 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. There are also many good sites for snorkelling.
Watch the planes at Maho Beach
St Maarten is famed for its runway into Princess Juliana International Airport, where landing aircraft touch down a mere 35m (115km) from Maho Beach. The runway is situated right next to the sea, with hulking jets appearing to land perilously close to sunbathers. Perfect for some quirky holiday snaps or for plane enthusiasts.
St Maarten Tourist Office in the USAAddress: 77 North Centre Avenue, Suite 215 Rockville Centre, New York City, NY 11570
Telephone: (516) 594 4100.