St. Maarten/St. Martin is a beautiful island in the Caribbean and a great destination for couples and families alike! It’s a unique island destination in that half of the island is Dutch, the other half is French. Planning a trip to visit? Here’s everything you need to know before traveling to St. Maarten + St. Martin!
Everything you Need to Know About Traveling to St. Maarten + St. Martin
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Do you need a passport to visit St. Maarten?
Yes, you do need a valid passport to travel to St. Maarten + St. Martin.
St. Maarten Airport (SXM) info
Travelers wanting to visit St. Maarten will fly into the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). Many major airlines fly here, including United, American Airlines, JetBlue, Delta, and more!
In fact, more and more airlines are adding direct flights to SXM from major cities, including Dallas, TX starting in June 2021!
And yes, this is the famous airport where the planes land right above the beach! It’s so fun to watch!
Traveling to St. Maarten + St. Martin: COVID Restrictions
Due to COVID-19, every traveler has to submit an application through an Electronic Health Authorization System (EHAS) BEFORE arriving on the island. Without pre-authorization, you will not be able to board your plane. When applying, you will be required to submit proof of a negative COVID test.
Starting May 24, 2021 the following rules apply for testing:
- “For fully vaccinated travelers, a negative Ag test result within 48 hours before departure is required. Official proof of the vaccination status (national vaccination card) must be uploaded in EHAS. The Ag test must carry at least an FDA-EUA approval. For non-fully vaccinated travelers, a negative rt-PCR test result within 48 hours before departure is required.”
- rt-PCR test requirements: “For travelers from the USA, US territories and Canada the time frame remains 120 hrs. prior to departure.”
- Antigen test requirements: “travelers originating from the USA and Canada can do an antigen test for the SARS-COV-2 virus obtained from a naso-pharyngeal swab performed within 48 hours prior to departure to Sint Maarten”
For more information and to see the most up-to-date requirements, click here. You will also be required to purchase COVID-19 insurance when completing your application. It’s $30 per person.
I had several people message me on Instagram worried about timing everything right (getting the negative covid test in time and then applying). I was worried about it as well, but it ended up being simple! We did a PCR test at CVS 4 days before and got the results the next day. As soon as we got the results we applied and uploaded the negative test. Within a couple of hours, we were approved and good to go!
I know it seems a little daunting, so please feel free to message me if you have any questions!
Are there border crossings on St. Maarten between the Dutch and French side?
Nope! The island has open borders between the Dutch and French sides. You will go through customs upon arriving in St. Maarten but will not have to do any kind of customs or passport check driving from one side of the island to the other!
If you leave the island and take a day trip to Antigua or another neighboring island, you will have to go through customs coming back.
Is Traveling to St. Maarten + St. Martin safe?
We felt very safe on the island! Of course, always be cautious when traveling, but we felt very safe and comfortable while exploring the island.
What language is spoken in St. Maarten + St. Martin?
English is the most widely spoken language in St. Maarten, especially on the Dutch side. However, on the French side of the island, you will hear a lot of French being spoken too.
What currency is used in St. Maarten + St. Martin?
The official currencies are the euro on the French side and the Netherlands Antillean guilder on the Dutch side, but most anywhere will accept American dollars – it’s usually preferred!
Traveling to St. Maarten + St. Martin: How to Get Around the Island
If you want to explore around the island, my advice would be to rent a car. We rented one from AVIS near the airport for a couple of days, and it was a blast driving around!
There are taxis available to take you from place to place, however they are a little pricey. There are no Ubers or rideshare companies on the island.
Best things to do in St. Maarten + St. Martin
This island is filled with fun things to do and a beautiful place to see! Here’s are a couple of the most popular things to do:
- Head to the beach (duh!). Here’s a list of the best beaches in St. Maarten/St. Martin
- Book a boat tour and sail around the island
- Get your adrenaline pumping on the steepest zip line in the world
Where to stay in St. Maarten + St. Martin?
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort, I highly recommend Sonesta Ocean Point Resort! We had an amazing experience here and it’s in a great location. Plus they gave me a special promo code to share:
Use code ONECHEL to get up to 50% Discount!
I hope this answered any questions you might have had before traveling to St. Maarten + St. Martin! If not, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or send me a DM on Instagram!
Ps – check out my St. Maarten IG Story highlight for more on our trip!
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