Saint-Martin is a unique island, which belongs to two countries at once; the northern part of the island belongs to France and the southern – to the Netherlands. Saint-Martin is famous for the complete lack of boundaries, except the symbolic pillars which tourists like to use as a background for photos. The climate of Saint-Martin (aka Sint Maarten, if spoken in the Dutch style) can be called tropical; the average temperature is 27 degrees C.
The island is famous not only for beautiful beaches and friendly sea, but also for legalized prostitution. The main part of brothels is located in the Dutch capital of the island - Philipsburg that is not surprising. However it is interesting that narcotic substances permitted in the Netherlands are prohibited here. Fans of less extreme entertainments can go on an excursion to the beautiful farm of tropical butterflies in the French capital of Marigot Island. Connoisseurs of local culture can visit the History Museum and Fort Amsterdam. Tourists can also go to the zoo.
It is worthy of note that the Duty Free area covers the entire territory of the island, so many branded goods are sold in an acceptable price that can not but please fans of shopping. In the northern part of Saint-Martin the main currency is the euro, in the southern part - the Dutch guilder, but any tourist can easily pay in the US dollars or with a credit card.
While preparing of documents it is necessary to consider that residents of the countries that do not have the right of visa-free visits to the island, which include: / list of the countries / should have a special visa. However, the list of documents necessary to obtain the visa does not differ much from the standard Schengen visa. One should obtain the visa of that part of the island (French or Dutch), where he or she plans to spend most of the time.
Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM)
The Airport is one of the most extravagant in the world: its runway starts right on the Maho Beach. Due to its unique location, arriving planes land almost on the heads of tourists. Some lovers of extreme pleasures come to St. Maarten solely in order to enjoy the landing and take-offs of "Boeings" (it is recommended to keep near the fence and try to stay on wobbly legs). The airport is 15 kilometers from Philipsburg and has one terminal.
Diving in St. Martin
The water transparency off the Saint-Martin coast reaches a hundred meters. Taking into account that the coastal area of the island is a rich underwater world, which combines brilliant riffs, lots of unusual tropical fish and other marine life, it becomes clear that St. Martin is extremely attractive for divers of very diverse skills.
For free-divers and for not very experienced divers the best place for snorkeling is Grand Case Beach, located on the French side of the island.
Divers will like not only unusual reefs inhabited by colorful marine life, but also the remains of sunken ships, the oldest of which went to the bottom in 1801. Here one can also explore a relatively "fresh" barge which sank in 1962. On the island there are many places for scuba diving. Some of them are 65-75 feet deep and even deeper - it depends on the experience and preferences of the diver. It is worth noting that the sea is not always calm before diving.