St Martin / St Maarten - General Information
In the north of the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles chain lies Saint Martin island (St Maarten), a small territory shared by two cultures, two countries, and thousands of tourists each year. St. Martin island is divided into two halves roughly through its middle; on the southern side is St. Maarten, a Dutch dependency renowned for its restaurants, while the French dependency of St. Martin occupies the north and offers beautiful beaches and abundant water sports. Most of St. Martin island's 80,000 residents are of African descent, giving St. Martin island a unique combination of European hospitality infused with Caribbean charm. Visit St. Martin island, sometimes called the Caribbean's friendliest, if you want to experience two vacations for the price of one.
Currency on St. Martin Island: On the Dutch side of St. Martin island legal tender is the Netherland Antilles florin (NAf), while the Euro is used on the French side. The US dollar is generally accepted throughout St. Martin island as well, as are major credit cards.
Passport requirements: Entry requirements vary for each destination, it is your responsibility to verify you have the correct documents prior to travel. July 1, 2005 a valid passport is required for travel to St. Martin. January 1, 2006 a valid passport is required for travel to all the Caribbean and Mexico.
Time Zone on St. Martin Island: St. Martin island is on Atlantic Standard Time, four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.
Driving on St. Martin Island: Driving in both St. Martin and St. Maarten is done on the right-hand side of the road.
Voltage on St. Martin Island: On the Dutch side outlets generally operate on 110 volts with flat-pronged plugs (like North America), while the French side has 220 volt outlets with round-prong holes.
Language on St. Martin Island: Dutch is the official language of St. Maarten, while French is used in St. Martin. English is widely used across the island as well, as is Papiamento - a dialect common to the Netherland Antilles with English, Spanish, Dutch, French, and Portuguese influences.
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