St. Maarten St Martin is the smallest twin-nation island in the world with half being French and half being Dutch governed. However, there is some dispute about that due to folklore about when the French and Dutch were fighting over the island in the 16th century during the days of pirates and tall-ships.
The legend is that after many battles and lost men on both sides, the French captain and the Dutch captain sat down to settle the dispute about where to draw the line so they could all live in harmony on the same island.
Well, after many bottles of rum and a few fights later, they were still not agreed so they made a bet. The challenge was to race around the island in opposite directions and wherever they met, that would be where they drew a line and divided up the island in half.
So they drew a line, set off in the heat with their troops to race around the island hoping to divide it in half between them when they reached the other side. The legendary version of the legend says that the Dutch, as prone to a few drinks then as they are now, had to take a nap half way round because they were too drunk, so the French beat the Dutch – they netted 20 sq miles and the Dutch only 17 sq miles.
Despite the odd skirmish in the past, it is now a peaceful, neighborly affair which has benefited both sides tremendously and grown St. Maarten – St. Martin into the cosmopolitan, exciting, tranquil, picturesque, beautiful and inspiring island paradise it is today.
Having resided in the Caribbean for over 13 years and visited a lot of the other islands in the Caribbean, I can personally tell you that St. Maarten St. Martin is one of the best islands – to visit and to live on, for many reasons.
With 37 beaches for 37 square miles and a rugged mountain landscape interspersed with large valleys and navigable lagoons, St. Maarten St. Martin has much to offer in terms of natural beauty and exploration.
The recently built M Princess Juliana International Airport in St Maarten St Martin is a hub for, and largest in the region. if you’ve ever contemplated what it would be like to sit within 50 ft of a landing jumbo jet then this is for you! It’s not a cooincidence that St. Maartens’ airport was recently featured on the History Channels’ wrongly named ‘Worlds Most Dangerous Airports’ (wrong because there’s never been a serious accident here – fingers crossed).
One of the joys of St. Maarten St. Martin is its proximity to other varied and fascinating islands – you have the volcano-like Saba with its tropical rainforests and cliff-side hiking trails, there’s the completely flat Anguilla with its classy hotels and world-class beaches, and then there’s St. Barths – renowned as the chic French playground of the rich and famous. And they are all within eyesight and 10 – 20 mins by plane (which can be an experience in itself! – St Barths was also on the top ten list!).
If you like dining then you’re also in the right place – St. Maarten and especially the French side – St Martin, is regarded as the dining and gastronomic capital of the Caribbean and some of the restaurants here are in a league of their own! From Argentinian to Thai to Mexican and Creole, to the classics of French or Italian, or the budget-friendly ‘lo’lo’s’, you’ll find them all here.
Accommodation on St Maarten St. Martin is varied – you can stay in a budget guest house, a resort, hotel or a 5- star villa complete with it’s own entourage of chefs, maids and butlers with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean!
In the timeless words of Jimmy Buffet – ‘cheeseburgers in paradise’ have never tasted so fine!
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