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Avanti Travel Insurance blog

12 May

Discover St Martin In The Caribbean

St Martin

The Perfect Location For Your Next Caribbean Holiday

Less well-known than some of its Caribbean counterparts, this small island is a fantastic holiday destination with plenty to see and do.

When thinking of a Caribbean holiday, St Martin often gets overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbours. But while this little island may not be as well-known as some other Caribbean islands such as St Lucia or Barbados, it certainly has plenty to offer as a holiday destination.

An Island Of Two Halves

Situated in the northeast Caribbean, St Martin is a small island of 37 square miles and has a population of approximately 75,000 people. It also has the curious distinction of being the smallest island ever to be split between two nations. Since 1648, the northern part of the island (St Martin) has been part of France, while the south (St Maarten) belongs to the Dutch. This unusual set-up has resulted in a location which has a rich history, great food and two very distinctive cultures.

Things To Do

With its soft white sand and clear turquoise seas, St Martin is renowned for its fantastic beaches. And with over 37 beaches on the island, holidaymakers really are spoilt for choice. Orient Bay is one of the best, boasting a large expanse of white sand and an underwater marine reserve that is teeming with tropical fish – perfect for snorkelling. There is also a section of the beach where clothing is purely optional!

While many hotels have their own private stretch of sand, the best beaches tend to be found off the beaten track. So it’s worth getting out there and exploring in order to find some of the most scenic and secluded coves the island has to offer.

We can’t talk about the beaches of St Martin without mentioning Maho Beach. Located just metres from Princess Juliana Airport, tourists gather here to watch passenger jets skimming over their heads as they come in to land.

When you’re tired of the beach (if that’s possible!) there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied during your stay in St Martin.

Fantastic Water Sports

As you would expect from an island destination, water sports are readily accessible on St Martin. The clear waters and coral reefs are perfect for snorkelling and if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, there are plenty of companies offering paddle boarding, jet skiing and fly-boarding. A boat trip is also a great way to experience the island, whether it’s a powerboat ride to a nearby island or a leisurely romantic cruise at sunset.

For nature lovers, Loterie Farm is the place to go. This former sugar plantation is the island’s only private nature reserve and is home to mountainous peaks, tropical forests and local wildlife such as raccoons and green monkeys. Adrenaline junkies can also get their fix here with zip line rides high above the jungle canopy – remember to take out some adventure sports insurance. Check policy for terms and conditions.

City lovers are also catered for. The French capital, Marigot, is charming and stylish, it offers fantastic shopping – from high end fashion boutiques to a vibrant daily market. It’s also home to Fort Louis, where you can enjoy fantastic views over the island.

Last but certainly not least, we have to mention the food. The island boasts a gourmet food culture that sets it apart from its Caribbean neighbours, with the island home to residents from more than 100 different countries, there is something to satisfy every palate.

Need To Know

St Martin enjoys pleasant temperatures all year round, but to avoid both the hurricane season and the very expensive high season, the best time to visit is May to June or November to mid-December.

The official languages of St Martin are French and Dutch. However, English is widely spoken across the island. As it’s officially part of Europe, the official currency is Euros, but US dollars are also accepted pretty much everywhere – so check to see which has the best exchange rate before you travel.

As with any trip, make sure you take out adequate insurance before you travel. And if you’re a frequent traveller, don’t forget to check out our annual multi-trip insurance – with cover for unlimited trips within a one year period it can work out as better value, leaving you with more money to spend on that delicious St Martin food.