Real Estate St Maarten

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St Maarten Accordion

About St Maarten

Often referred to as the crossroads of the Caribbean, St Maarten is located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, approximately 150 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. The island is just three hours from New York City and two hours forty-five minutes from Miami.

St Maarten is the Dutch side of the island shared with St Martin, which is administered by the French government. English is the predominant language on the island; however, several other languages are also commonly spoken. The Netherlands Antilles florin (NAf) is the official currency. The U.S. dollar is also widely accepted on St Maarten.


The 37-square-mile island of St Maarten was first settled by the Arawaks and was discovered by Christopher Columbus on behalf of Spain in 1493. Columbus sighted the island on November 11th, the holy day of St. Martin of Tours, and so named the island after him. For the next 150 years the island was passed between Holland, England, France and Spain.

The old stone forts that guard many of the island's inlets are proof of the island's turbulent past. In 1648 St Maarten was peacefully divided between Holland and France, and today is the smallest landmass in the world to be shared by two sovereign nations.

Travel Information

Entry Requirements for U.S. citizens

A valid passport and a return/continuing ticket.

Entry Requirements for Canadian citizens

  • A valid passport and a return/continuing ticket. * A certified copy of birth certificate, a photo identification and a return/continuing ticket.
  • A "Landing permit" (Permanent Resident Card) with valid passport and return/continuing ticket.

Entry Requirements for European community citizens

  • A valid passport and a return/continuing ticket.

The following categories are exempted from the visa requirement:

  • Holders of a valid residence permit for the United States, Canada, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland or Switzerland;
  • Holders of a valid residence permit for the French part of St Maarten;
  • Holders of a valid residence permit for one of the countries or public bodies (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean;

The visa requirement applies to all children, regardless of age. They must have their own visa sticker, which means that they must have their own passport. Fees do not need to be paid for visa applications for children under the age of six.

Even if married to a Dutch national, an alien whose nationality requires him or her to have a visa is still required to apply for a visa and pay the visa application fee.

On Island Travel

Traveling the island has been a pleasure in recent years, thanks to major initiatives to improve the infrastructure of St Maarten, including the construction of new roads, the re-paving of existing roads and the implementation of roundabouts and traffic lights in key locations throughout the island.

Things to know

Sub-tropical, with trade winds from the Caribbean Sea.

The island has a year-round temperature of approximately 80°F (27°C).

Language: English is the predominate language in the island, however the official language on the St Maarten side is Dutch, and is officially French on the St. Martin side. French Creole, Spanish, Papiamento and other languages are also spoken.

41,000 people live on St Maarten and 36,000 on St Martin for a combined total of 77,000.

Currency (Dutch St Maarten):
Netherlands Antilles florin (NAf); the official exchange rate is NAf 1.77 for each US$1.00 U.S. dollar.

(French St. Martin):
The official monetary unit is the euro.

(Dutch St Maarten):

110-volt AC, 60 cycles (same as U.S. & Canada)

(French St. Martin): 220-volt AC, 60 cycles (requires the use of adapters and transformers)

Medical Facilities:
St Maarten Medical Center in Cay Hill and L'hospital General de Gaulle in Marigot, St Martin. Airlift is available to Puerto Rico and the continental U.S. in case of extreme medical emergency.

Pet Regulations:
Animals are admitted temporarily to the island with the following papers: a health certificate dated no more than 10 days before visit and a record of inoculations, including a rabies shot administered no more than 30 days before visit.

Princess Juliana International Airport (Dutch St Maarten) services all the international flights. L'Espérance Airport (French St Martin) services small commuter flights from neighboring islands.

Main deep-water port: Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facility located in Philipsburg, St Maarten.

Calls to St Maarten/St Martin from the U.S. are international calls and require the following country codes:

  • Dutch St Maarten: +1 721 followed by 54 and the seven-digit local number
  • French St Martin: +590, 590 again followed by the six-digit local number

Time: Atlantic Standard Time, year-around

Entry Requirements: Valid U.S. or Canadian Passport

Driving: International driver's license

Taxis: Available at airports, towns and resort areas

Getting here

By Air

Getting to St Maarten by air or sea is now easier than ever. Just three hours from New York City and four hours from Miami, direct fights are offered by such carriers as Continental, American, U.S. Air, United, Delta, Spirit and Jet Blue. In 2006 a new terminal building was completed at St Maarten's Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) Other recent upgrades to the airport include air traffic control and radar system upgrades and improvements to the taxiways and apron.

By Sea

St Maarten's A.C. Wathey Pier is ranked among the top ten world cruise ports and destinations. This ultra-modern facility, featuring seaside and boulevard promenades, can accommodate four cruise vessels alongside its 2100 feet cruise pier. A genesis class pier is currently under construction.