Caribbean Tourism

Before Travelling to Sint Maarten


Average temperature is 26.5° C, 80° F and average annual rainfall is 45in.


In addition, under a 1994 Franco-Dutch immigration accord, visitors to Dutch Sint Maarten have to meet French immigration criteria, even if not visiting the French side. Therefore, many nationalities now have to obtain a French visa before embarking on a shopping trip to Philipsburg. The local immigration officials are particularly concerned that you fill in your tourist card with a hotel address, even if you do not know whether you’ll be staying there.

Emergency Numbers:

Police: T22222. Fire: T54222. Ambulance: T22111. Hospital 24-hr emergency services, T31111.

Hospitals & Medical Services/Facilities:

There is a new hospital on Cay Hill with 60 beds, all basic specialism, a haemodialyse department and 24-hr emergency services, T31111. Ambulance: T22111. A helicopter airlift to Puerto Rico is available for extreme medical emergencies.

Official Time:

Atlantic Standard Time, four hours behind GMT, one ahead of EST.


110 volts AC. Note that it is 220 volts on the French side.


  • Currency: Netherlands Antilles guilders or florins are the official currency, but the most common currency is the US dollar, which you need never change at all. You will get a poor exchange rate for French francs. It is often difficult to get change from payments in any currency other than US dollars. Credit cards widely accepted.
  • Departure Tax: US$6 when leaving for the Netherlands Antilles, US$20 for other destinations at Juliana Airport except for French visitors returning to Guadeloupe or France. Passengers staying less than 24 hours are exempt. Travel agents ask for US$3 to confirm flights. Airport flight information T52161.


Scotiabank, Back St, T22262, 1% commission on TCs. Windward Islands Bank, T22313, Charges US$5 per TCs cashed. Barclays Bank, 19 Front St, T22491. Chase Manhattan Bank, Mullet Bay, T44204. Algemene Bank Nederland, main office at Front St, T23505. Citco Bank Antilles, 16 Front St, T23471, 3 other offices on the island as well. Nederlandse Credietbank, T22933. Open 0830-1530, Mon-Fri (some open Sat morning).

Public Holidays:

New Year’s Day, Carnival Monday (April), Good Friday, Easter Monday, 30 April, Labour Day (1 May), Ascension Day, St Maarten Day (11 November), Christmas Day, Boxing Day.


Many denominations are represented. Seventh Day Adventist, Anglican, Baptist, Jehovah’s Witness, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Church of Christ, Baha’i, The New Testament Church of God. Look in Today (see Communications) for details of services.

More . . .

Sint Maarten - Getting There

Airport Information: ALM, T54240/54210. Air Guadeloupe, T54212. KLM, T52120. LIAT, T54203. American Airlines, T52040. Air France, T54212....

Getting Around in Sint Maarten

Land Car: Foreign and international driver’s licences are accepted. Drive on the right. The speed limit is 40 km per hour in urban areas,...

Sint Maarten Communications

Postal Services: 2 safe places for holding mail are Bobby’s Marina, PO Box 383, Philipsburg and Island Water World, PO Box 234, Cole Bay....

Sint Maarten Tourist Information

Local Tourist Offices: Imperial building, 23 Walter Nisbeth Rd, 3rd Flr, T22337, F22734,Well supplied with brochures and guides to St...

Philipsburg - the capital of Sint Maarten

Philipsburg The capital of Dutch St Maarten, is built on a narrow strip of sandy land between the sea and a shallow lake which was once a...

Hurricane Luis

St Maarten was one of the islands worst hit by Hurricane Luis in Sept 1995. Six people were killed, damage of US$1bn was reported and at...

Sint Maarten - One 37-square-mile island 144 miles east of puerto rico

One 37-square-mile island 144 miles east of Puerto Rico is shared by French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten. With magnificent beaches,...