St. Martin / Sint Maarten is a lively island - with lots going, especially around the coast, but the island also has a wild and exciting countryside. Many will enjoy the activities on and around the beautiful beaches - no doubt the "inaction" too. But others will want to explore, if only to find one of the other wonderful beaches, some of which are secluded and hidden away. This island is well worth exploring, its heritage, its natural world in the rain forest, its beautiful bays and beaches. In addition - as if they were not enough - this island offers you very distinct modern cultures on each side of the French/Dutch line. The towns and villages are exquisite and worth a visit. It is easy to get around - and there are a number of ways you can do this easily and in comfort.
There are lots of ways to get "out and about" on this exciting Caribbean island
Hiring gives you freedom to explore the wild countryside and the wonderful beaches.
St. Martin / Sint Maarten is a small island with a lot to see and do
Take the opportunity to see what this beautiful island can offer you
The first mode of transport you'll be interested in ! We can arrange a transfer with our transfer company on the island. They'll meet you at the airport and take you to your accommodation. Usually that will take less than 20 minutes. It is a small terminal and they haven't lost anyone yet. On your travel documents there will be a number to call, just in case. The return transfer can be arranged with the driver. We use an excellent company on island, reliable, friendly fantastic team who have been in business for over 25 years. They have an office at the airport terminal. They can also arrange tours around the island and excursions. NB. If you hire a car on St Martin you might still want to have airport transfers and have the car delivered to your resort. You can have a return transfer or return the car at the airport. Our advice is to take a transfer to your accommodation, and collect and return the car at their office, to save time at the airport, on arrival and departure.
No shortage of good quality taxis on St. Martin / Sint Maarten. Taxis are available at Princess Juliana Airport and all major hotels. Taxis do not have meters, but drivers have to stick to fixed rates. After 22:00, fares increase by 25% and 50% after midnight. Your resort can arrange a taxi - they will know the best companies to use. It's always a good idea to ask the rate before you take a taxi. Much the same as in the UK. Approximate taxi fares from Juliana Airport to: Marigot -- $12 ; Grand Case -- $20; Nettle Bay -- $15 ; Orient Bay -- $25.
An inexpensive way to get around the island is hopping aboard the little mini-van buses that local people use. The "jitneys" have signs that indicate where they are going and you can hail them to pick you up. Your interesting ride will be to the accompaniment of native zouk and soca music - and a lot of banter. Public transport is available to and from all parts of the island between 6.00 am and midnight. There are regular buses between Philipsburg and Marigot (through Cole Bay), French Quarter, St. Peters and Mullet Bay. The prices are between $ 2 and $3, depending on the distance.
Hiring a Vehicle
We recommend hiring a vehicle so you can enjoy exploring the island and various other activities. Hiring on St. martin / Sint Maarten is not expensive. Hiring a car is a great way to get the most out of a holiday on St Martin / St Maarten. Even though the island is very small – only 37 square miles – it is well worth exploring. The mountainous terrain hides many small towns and villages, with spectacular views and an amazing variation of landscapes. They drive on the right side of the road, and most of the roads are in good condition. But please note - they do like their 'sleeping policemen' (speed bumps) so take it easy. As long as you are happy with one, a small compact car would be easier to drive around - and will be cheaper to hire. A range of cars is available, from "mini" cars to jeeps to the large 4X4 SUVs. Some hotels offer shuttles to venues around the island in particular the casinos on the Dutch side of the island.
We work closely with two vehicle hire companies one on the French side and one on the Dutch side, for convenience of delivery and collection to your accommodation. There is no border control - or restrictions - between the two sides of the island. On St. Martin / Sint Maarten you are never more than 40 minutes from your resort or 15 minutes from the ocean. We can easily include a hire vehicle in your holiday itinerary for all or part of your holiday, you may want to hire for just a couple of days - not a problem.
NB: taxes and surcharges are often not included prices on websites. It is standard practice for resorts and travel companies to quote hire prices without the insurance! A nasty shock when it is demanded when you arrive on St. Martin / Sint Maarten to start your holiday ! We do not work like that - our prices include all taxes and CDW cover as standard. No hidden extras !
You can hire buggy style fun cars - but these are not for getting out and about - just a bit of fun around the local area. You can also hire scooters and mopeds, but they are no a lot cheaper than cars, and while being a lot of fun, they are not as convenient or safe as cars. Harley Davidson motorcycles are available for hire. We can include vehicle hire in your holiday itinerary - which is covered by our ATOL licence. Booking with us will be a little cheaper - with a reputable hire company - and the vehicle will be ready for you when you want it.
Not just for the athletic ! The coastal areas of the island are relatively flat, and an easy and very picturesque ride. The interior of the island is hilly and undeveloped - which is code for rugged terrain - but the big plus is you get very close to the natural word, the beautiful flora and fauna, riding through the rain forest. There are several companies hiring good quality bikes - and we can arrange that for you if you wish. Traffic, outside the towns is fairy light. We can also organise mountain bike tours for you on your holiday. These tours are led by professional guides who will stop at points of interest to tell you about the environment and history.
Getting around your local area on foot is safe an easy - you won't be hassled and pestered. Outside the towns the island is undeveloped and the interior of the island has a rugged terrain covered by a rain forest. There are lots of hiking trails. The coast road is very flat an easy walk alongside the beautiful, blue Caribbean sea. Lots of recreational walks, to see the sights, enjoy nature or just stretch your legs.
There are lots of tours and excursions - by road and sea- all great ways to see and explore St. Martin / Sint Maarten. Most will have special topics of course, island tours, the rain forest, bird watching, cave exploration and various attractions around the island. St. Martin / Sint Maarten is not a big island, so this does not involve hours on a coach. Most journeys take less than 30 minutes. All great ways to get out and about and see the island. We can let you have more details if you wish. As you would expect on an island there are numerous boat trips, sunset cruises, snorkelling trips, or just lazy days drifting along the coast. Most boats will have refreshments and stop in secluded bays to do some snorkelling, so always take your swim stuff with you ! Not expensive and great fun and always a great way to see any place - from the ocean