Sint Maarten, the Friendly Island

Sint Maarten is the Island of 120 different nationalities ( Haitians, Dominicans, French, American…etc) which explains its name ‘The Friendly Island’. In fact, the Island has known a demographic BOOM in the 80’s, they were 8000 people in 1982 and 35 000 in 2007 in French Side and they were 38 959 in the Dutch Side. The population is still really young due to the natural increase: 38% are less than 20 years old in 2007 compared with 30% in Guadeloupe and 21% in Sint Barth. In the 80’s, the immigration part represented 53% of the total population. In 2007 it only represents 38% because of the tightening of immigration rules. We have to note that more than ¾ of the population are coming from the Caribbean region.

2 Sides, 2 Neighbors

Since the Concordia Treaty, the island is still divided into 2 parts: The French side in the North and the Dutch Side in the South. Only two signs will inform you that you are arriving on the other side: No passports or ID controls.

A charming place

Sint Maarten is famous for its Caribbean sea full of treasures: turtles, dolphins, whales. Mother nature knows how to welcome you.

Amazing wild life

St Martin’s life is wider than it appears. The species found all around the island are diverse and multiple. St Martin possesses a large Natural Reserve (3060 ha). Here, a large number of species can be encountered: birds, iguanas, fishes, turtles, rays, dolphins or even whales.

Excellent cuisine

Sint Maarten is the capital of Caribbean for Gourmets! Discover French cuisine and local food all around the Island, by the sea!

History

The first population was the Arawaks from the South of America migrated about a thousand years ago. They live peacefully in the island named at that moment the ‘Land of Salt’ until the arrival of the Amazonian Group, the Carib. But it turned to the Spanish hands with the Cristophe Colomb’s arrival on November 11th, 1493. He claimed…

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Religion & Beliefs

The religion in Sint Maarten/Saint-Martin (SXM) is important on people’s lives. There are 50 religious influenced by the Christianity. The most widespread are certainly : Adventist, Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Voodoo, Methodists, Muslim, Rastafarian, Hindu. The Gospel is a part from the Island’s authenticity. You’ll hear some during the Sunday morning…

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Culinary traditions

You will discover some spicy tastes and also ‘fishy’ tastes all around the Island. The local chefs like to introduce you the local flavors : lobsters, queen conches, Ribs, local fish, fish soups. Most of these recipes are cooked with fish and local shellfishes. A lot love to do BBQ. If you come to Sint Maarten, you’ve absolutely…

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Art & Architecture

You will meet some artists as well around the Island. They are often using colors on their paints and like to represent local traditions and beautiful landscapes. Painters, sculptors, you’ll find your happiness here! The architecture represents the Caribbean style : green walls, pink roof, red doors. SXM is such a colorful place! 

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Music

Zouk, Socca, Dancehall, Gospel, Bachata, Merengue, Salsa … You’ll probably listen to that music only in Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten. A lot of tourists bring home some local CD’s to remember their sweet holidays. It is mainly party mood which represents all that kind of music. In many bars and restaurants you can dance easily on Latino’s vibes and if you don’t…

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Games

The Domino is a popular game in Sint Maarten. You will hear some laughs, tears, and fit of the giggles around the table. Don’t be surprise ! The objective is to put all your domino in only one round! Sint Maarten keeps this tradition to raise their bird and make them fight against each other. Some of them associate this game to…

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