Top 10 Photos Of Sint Maarten That Will Leave You Speechless & Make You Want To See This Island Soon – Lesser Antilles, Caribbean Sea

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Port of Philipsburg, Sint Maarten

It’s a small port for cruise ships located on Sint Maarten’s southern coast territory of Dutch Antilles. The port has two piers where tourists are welcomed at Harbor Point Village with steel pans just after embarkation from the ship. It stretches along Great Bay and is one of the Caribbean‘s busiest cruise ports (before pandemic times) welcoming about 2 million passengers a year.

An Overview on Sint Maarten:

Sint Maarten – the country whose flag had Jinkee Pacquiao confuses that with the Philippines when she congratulated Hidilyn Diaz for her weightlifting victory – is one of the Dutch islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago by the northern Caribbean Sea. However, it is not an island by itself as the other half is shared with the French Collectivity of Saint Martin. It was first sighted by Christopher Columbus on November 11, 1493 on the feast day of St. Martin de Tours (whom the island is named after), though at that time, Sint Maarten was already inhabited by Arawak Indians. The capital, Philipsburg was discovered by the Scottish captain under the Dutch Navy, John Philips in 1763 which eventually became a vibrant hub of commerce and trade.

Throughout the 18th century, Sint Maarten has been ruled over 16 times as the Dutch, French and the English fought over for control of the Caribbeans. The Dutch particularly was interested of this island for its salt from the coastal lagoons. Current border between Sint Maarten (Dutch) with Saint Martin (French side) was drawn in 1817 Treaty of Paris. Slavery was abolished in 1863 and the island’s economy has gone into decline until 1939 when it was declared as a duty-free zone. In World War II, Allied forces took hold of Sint Maarten and built a military airstrip which is now the location of Princess Juliana International Airport and in the 1950s tourism began to surge in the island.

Map showing the location of Saint Martin island and the border between France and The Netherlands.

Where European sophistication blends with the warm, laid back vibe of the Caribbeans in this tiny yet pretty island, Sint Maarten or Saint-Martin, depending on where you are standing, is a very unique essence. It is because of its component being a two-country in one island but most travelers arrive at the Dutch side (Sint Maarten) like what we’d done in March 1997 aboard M/T Knock Dun. On the Dutch side which is the south, are sprawling resorts, dynamic beach bars and casinos while in the north French St. Martin is a reminiscent of a Mediterranean fishing hamlet. A quiet countryside and a tropical paradise here are top 10 photos that will leave you speechless on Sint Maarten.


Border monument of Saint Martin island.

One Little Island, Two Nations

It is the smallest landmass in the world (37 sq. miles)
a top photo that will leave you speechless, and is split between the 60% northern French part (St. Martin) and the 40% southern Dutch half (Sint Maarten). Two countries, two different cultures, two different languages but there is no physical border, you can travel as much as you like between each territory.


Tijon Parfumerie: “A Unique Fragrance Experience”

Make your own eau de parfum while on holiday and take it home here at the French St. Martin side. A top photo that will leave you speechless, visit Tijon Parfumerie et Boutique and they will teach you how to blend from among 300 various essential oils to create your own scent, no experience needed but just your fine nose will do. Dewy, exquisite, floral, musky, refreshing or sweet… the choice is yours.


Crazy Airplane Landings At Maho Beach, Dutch side

Definitely a top photo that will leave you speechless and a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will have at the Dutch Sint Maarten side are the crazy landings and take-offs of aircraft at Maho Beach. Famous to enthusiastic photographers, soaring fanatics and just curious thrill-seekers, Maho Beach extraordinary “stardom” is due to its location being adjacent to Princess Juliana International Airport and the airplanes are on their final approach landing, passing over a short distance above your head when you are on this beach.


The Lolos of Grand Case

Don’t leave St. Martin without sampling its street food at Grand Case – visit a lolo (local term for open barbecue joints) where its food scene is a top photo that will leave you speechless. Grand Case is a charming fishing village which not only has the best French cuisine in the Caribbeans but the lion’s share of lolos along the beachfront. Considered as an institution here in St. Martin , open-sided lolos dish out a generous serving of grilled ribs, fish, chicken or lobsters along with flaky johnnycakes.


Front Street & Philipsburg Courthouse

The centerpiece of Philipsburg, Sint Maarten‘s capital – the Courthouse. Located at Watney Square along Front Street, this white, wooden structure with green embellishment has a bell tower with a pineapple design on top, the Caribbean symbol of welcome and a top photo that will leave you speechless. Philipsburg Courthouse which was built in 1793 was once used as a jail and fire station but is now a working courthouse.


Loterie Farm, Happiest Place On St. Martin

A top photo that will leave you speechless is Loterie (pronounced like lottery) Farm, the secret hideaway tucked in Pic Paradis of French Saint-Martin. It was once a sugar plantation but fallen into disrepair and it was converted into an outdoor eco-adventure park. Visiting Loterie Farm is one way to explore St. Martin‘s biodiversity while engaging in the recreational park’s different adrenaline-rush activities like the extreme fly zone, a zipline or the multi-level swimming area linked by water cascades and an obstacle Ti-Tarzan course for kids if you’re traveling with children.


Ruins of Fort Amsterdam, Philipsburgh

Perched on a cliff that divides Great Bay and Little Bay in Sint Maarten, Fort Amsterdam which is
a top photo that will leave you speechless was once Holland‘s first island military base. Constructed in 1631, it was built to guard St. Martin‘s salt resources against invading forces. Enjoy a stunning view over Philipsburg when you’re at the summit of Fort Amsterdam which is not only famous for its historical ruins but a breeding ground for pelicans as well.


Fort Louis Wreck, Marigot

Once a mighty fort like Fort Amsterdam in Philipsburg, Fort Louis was built in 1789 by then French governor Jean Sebastian de Durat to protect Marigot and its warehouses of rum, coffee and sugarcane at the harbor from British and Dutch pirates. Abandoned for centuries, the short but very steep climb to the ruins of Fort Louis gives you a piece of Saint-Martin‘s history and an astonishing panorama over Marigot and Simpson Bay, a top photo that will leave you speechless.


St. Martin’s Baie Rouge

Saint-Martin‘s Red Bay or Baie Rouge
a top photo that will leave you speechless owe its name from its red-colored sand. Adding to the beach’s extraordinary attraction is a large rock arch a.k.a. “Devil’s Hole” where you can swim under it to find a smaller private beach on the other side. Red Bay offers a perfect ambience for a relaxing retreat with the bars and restaurants at the area offering a drink of Saint-Martin‘s signature rum – the guavaberry liqueur.


View of Saint-Martin From Pic Paradis

Pic Paradis (Paradise Peak) is the highest point of Saint-Martin, a top photo that will leave you speechless and gives you an unobstructed view of Marigot, Orient Bay and the Caribbean Sea. A trail near the Loterie Farm will lead you to the summit where you will walk through something like a rain forest and a little higher is the viewing platform with the magnificent panorama of Saint-Martin below.

Sint Maarten will absolutely steal your heart which will eventually become one of your favorite travel destinations. An exotic mix of three prominent cultures: Dutch eenvoud (simplicity), French savoir-faire (smoothness) and a relaxed Caribbean energy summed up to make this dot of an island a paradise. “Welcome”, Welkom” or “Bienvenue”, visit Sint Maarten or Saint-Martin one day, the home of the “Friendly People” and experience for yourself the magic of this island.

Reference: Wikipedia