Everyone has a dream vacation spot, be it Hawaii or the Florida Keys or maybe some other tropical spot. My family and I visited St. Maarten for the first time in 2009 and we all fell in love with this tiny island immediately. Best known as being the smallest inhabited sea island divided between two nations, a division dating back to 1648 with a French side (Saint-Martin) and a Dutch side (Sint Maarten), this small 33.6 sq. mile island offers so much more than just miles of beach and water. Yes, we loved the warm water, white sand beaches, and friendly people, but the food, shopping, and abundance of excursions on the water and on land made it attractive to all of us.
What made our first trip to St. Maarten so special was that it was the first time I saw my husband truly relax. This was a no cell phone, no Internet vacation and he actually honored my request. Although we weren’t the only ones on the island, we felt like we had the entire island to ourselves. We could drive around easily, eat in or dine out, and go grocery shopping and make our own meals if we felt like it. The laid back feeling of the island permeated our vacation through and through and we felt so relaxed that it was hard to go back home. Since then, we were able to visit St. Maarten three other times with cruises whose itineraries had stops here.
My tip: I always recommend to readers that if they feel like splurging on a meal or shopping to do so on the Dutch side as the rate for the Netherlands Antillean guilder is better than on the French side with the Euro as their form of currency.
Next time: We are back in Spain finishing up our trip in Barcelona. See you next time!