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Learn more about flights to Sint Maarten 🛫
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Saint-Martin is an island divided between the French territory of Saint-Martin and the Dutch Sint-Martin. Naming can be confusing, and this is quite normal. The island itself is the smallest piece of land, divided into two parts. Moreover, both parts quite peacefully coexist like friends, and the border between them is purely symbolic.
The administrative center of the Dutch Sint Maarten is the city of Philipsburg. This part of the island has recently been actively rebuilt, attracting more and more tourists to their resorts. Especially a lot of Americans come here. All for the sake of beautiful beaches and real European style.
This unusual airport is one of the ten most dangerous in the world. Which sounds scary and interesting at the same time. The thing is that takeoff and landing require pilots experience and confidence. In addition, the runway ends almost in the ocean, so that planes fly almost 10 meters above the heads of vacationers. An exciting experience that absolutely all tourists celebrate.
But the main danger is weather conditions. In the Caribbean, devastating hurricanes and earthquakes occur regularly. For example, in 2017, Hurricane Irma severely damaged Princess Juliana's Sint Maarten Airport. Despite the fact that the new airport building, opened in the early 2000s, was built taking into account this weather conditions. So, going to the Caribbean, it is better to know in advance about weather and avoid the hurricane season.
As the smallest inhabited Caribbean island, Sint Maarten can be easily and quickly driven around from one end to the other. And you can even walk from the airport to the beach. Still, the planes land almost on the beach. And normal public transport you won't find here. Feel free to catch minibuses on the parking lots and speak to driver if he can take you to the place. Usually they are ready to give tourists a lift for a couple of bucks.
The Dutch part of the island of Saint-Martin is especially famous for its beaches. It is believed that from this side it is more pleasant to swim and more comfortable to sunbathe, and in general it is better to relax. There are a little less than forty thousand local residents, and twice as many tourists at almost any time of the year. Is there anything else to do besides a beach holiday? Lets see.
Sint Maarten has the coolest zip-line in the world. It starts at an altitude of 550 meters, where you can get by the cable car. At the top tourists put on insurance, they are attached then to a cable and released in free flight to the very bottom. If you open your eyes for a second, you can see the wonderful beautiful landscapes of the whole island. In the distance you can even see some neighboring islands. So it's even better (and faster) than a yacht tour around the Caribbean islands.
Airplanes land literally 20 meters above this beach. Scary and breathtaking. There is even a special information board on this beach on which the flight schedule is written so that tourists know exactly when to prepare cameras and catch impressive shots. You can also relax here peacefully between flights, but the main entertainment is in any case the aircraft’s landing gear that opens overhead.
On the Dutch side of Saint-Martin, because of the abundance of Americans, you can find almost any popular fast-food restaurant: McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway, Dominos, KFC. These famous names are found everywhere in Philipsburg. Not very authentic, but at least any tourist knows exactly what to expect from such an institution anywhere in the world.
If you want to save money, look for places where only locals eat. This applies, for example, to many Chinese restaurants. There are more than forty of them on Sint Maarten. Often these are inexpensive eateries where you can eat a typical Chinese noodle or steam bun very quickly.
Typical local food with a Caribbean flavor must be found in roadside shops. As always, there is nothing better than street food to get to know the local gastronomic culture. On these counters sell a variety of soups, fried chicken, pastries and much more.