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GETTING AROUND - ST MAARTEN

On Foot

Walking around the picturesque capitals on St Maarten is the perfect way to check out the island’s charms, which include the perfect port area of Philipsburg on the Dutch side and Marigot on the French side. Both are decorated with stunning architecture and offer some of the best dining, and shopping options in the Caribbean. Wandering along the selection of the islands of 35 beaches is a dream come true, with soft sands beneath your feet, tropical foliage blowing in the trade winds, and the dreamy sparkling waters lapping onshore.

By Boat

There are many boat charters, day trips, island hopping, sunset cruises, and water taxis available on St Maarten to ply around the stunning waters. There are so many beaches to explore, hidden bays, and idyllic offshore islands to see. Taking a boat charter is a very popular activity visiting locations like the inner Simpson Bay lagoon as well as the outer islands of Anguilla and St Barths. There are water taxis found around the docks and marinas to zip passengers to different destinations. A sunset sailing cruise around the sea with a cocktail in hand is an iconic way to end the day.

By Car

Renting a car is one of the best ways to see and explore both sides of the island. There are rental cars available at the Princess Juliana International Airport as well as by the cruise ports and in the main towns. The roads on the island can be narrow and get crowded the closer you get to Philipsburg and Marigot. Having your own car makes navigating between the French and Dutch sides of the island manageable. Traffic is on the right-hand side of the road, watch out for scooters and motorcycles zipping by, and road signs are in English on the Dutch side and in French on the French side with speed limits listed in kilometers on both sides.

By Taxi

Taxis are available on both sides of the island, usually in the form of vans, and hang around by the cruise ship ports offering to go around the entire island for around US$25. Drivers are also willing to be hired as tour guides charging around $45-$50 an hour. Taxis are not meted, they charge according to a fixed rate and on the Dutch side taxi drivers only accept US dollars. You can negotiate a ride with a ‘gypsy taxi’ and pay around $3 for a 10-minute ride.

By Bus

There is a bus system with small minivans who display their direction and license plate in the front window. The fares are based upon distance and cost anywhere from $1.50 - $3.50, there are bus stops or you can flag them down from anywhere. They are a cheap way to get around the island from the Dutch to the French side, there is no set schedule.