Saint Martin is an island in the northeast Caribbean, approximately 300 km east of Puerto Rico. The 87-square-kilometre island is divided roughly 61/39 between France (53 km2, 20 sq mi) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (34 km2, 13 sq mi); the two parts are roughly equal in population. It is the smallest inhabited sea island divided between two nations. The division dates to 1648. The southern Dutch part comprises Sint Maarten and is one of four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The northern French part comprises the Collectivité de Saint-Martin (Collectivity of St. Martin) and is an overseas collectivity of France.
St. Martin’s Dutch side is known for its festive nightlife, beaches, jewelry, drinks made with native rum-based guavaberry liquors, and casinos. The island’s French side is known for its nude beaches, clothes, shopping (including outdoor markets), and French and Indian Caribbean cuisine. English is the most commonly spoken language along with a local dialect. The official languages are French for Saint-Martin, and both Dutch and English for Sint Maarten. Other common languages include various French-based creoles (spoken by immigrants from other French Caribbean islands), Spanish (spoken by immigrants from the Dominican Republic and various South American countries), and Papiamento (spoken by immigrants from Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao).
Tourists often use accommodations such as hotels, guesthouses, villas, and timeshares.
Rental cars are the primary mode of transportation for visitors staying on island. Traffic on the island has become a major problem. Long traffic jams between Marigot, Philipsburg and the airport are common. In recent years sargassum weed has arrived on the south (“Dutch”) shoreline, but the northern French coast is generally free of the weed.
Because the island is located along the intertropical convergence zone, it is occasionally menaced by tropical storm activity in the late summer and early fall.
Neighbouring islands include Saint Barthélemy (French), Anguilla (British), Saba (Dutch), Sint Eustatius “Statia” (Dutch), Saint Kitts and Nevis (independent, formerly British). With the exception of Nevis, all of these islands are easily visible on a clear day from St. Martin.
Saint Martin Island has an extreme airport right next to the beach.
Posted by Konbini on Wednesday, 4 March 2015