General Information of St. Maarten/Saint Martin
Here are a few tips to make sure your stay in the island is nothing but smooth sailing
Languages spoken in St. Maarten: English is spoken everywhere but Dutch is the official language of St Maarten and French in Saint Martin. You may also hear Papiamentu in St Maarten and Creole Patois in Saint Martin., in addition to other world languages such as Spanish, Chinese and Hindi.
Currency: US dollars are widely accepted. The official currency of Dutch St Maarten is the Netherlands florin or guilder (NAF) and on the French side it is the Euro. All major credit cards are widely accepted and there are ATMs thoroughout the island. Identification is needed in order to cash travelers checks. Prices are usually listed in dollars and the local currency.
Climate: Sunshine and warm temperatures throughout the year. The trade winds keep temperatures comfortable and the average is 80 F in the winter and 86 F in the summer.
Phones: The country of St. Maarten is now part of the North American dialing plan; The North American Prefix is 721 followed by the 7 digit number. For example to call Simpson Bay Resort from North America you need to dial +1-721-5442503.
Drinking Water: Water is one of our most precious commodities here on St. Maarten. Bottled water is found everywhere at reasonable prices.
Safety: Never leave your belongings unattended in parking cars or on the beach. Walking alone at night on the beach or in areas with no streetlights is not recommended. Likewise, do not draw attention to yourself by displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry. When on vacation it is always a good idea to carry copies of your passport, credit card numbers and the phone number of your credit company.
Newspapers: Leading US and European newspapers are available on St. Maarten. For local news, check the St. Maarten Daily Herald and its Thursday Out & About section.
Island Shopping: Island capitals, Philipsburg and Marigot, are both duty-free zones full of jewelry and watches, lead crystal, french perfumes, electronics and designer labels. Other good buys are paintings by island artists, local hot sauces, preserves and Guavaberry liqueur, which is distilled from the berries of a native tree.
Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time year round (equivalent to Eastern Daylight Savings Time).