The island of St. Martin, located in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles, was originally inhabited by the Arawak and Carib Indians. Although Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1493 and claimed it for Spain, there were no significant attempts made to colonize and develop the island. It was not until 1648 that the French and Dutch gained control of the island and agreed to divide control of the island between the two of them. Today, St. Martin has the distinction of being the smallest island to be shared by two different nations.
St. Martin is one of the prime tropical getaways in the Caribbean, and, no matter what your background, age, or interests may be, St. Martin is sure to have everything you are looking for in your dream Caribbean vacation. The island is an ideal destination if you enjoy recreational activities, with a wide range of options from which to choose. The turquoise waters surrounding St. Martin offer spectacular opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. If you enjoy fishing, you will find that St. Martin is one of the best locations in the entire Caribbean to fish for exotic tropical fish. Some of the most popular and prevalent varieties of fish found in and around St. Martin are marlin, sailfish, barracuda, and tuna. Other recreational activities that many vacationers enjoy include tennis, hiking, horseback riding, sailing, and golf.
Many vacationers escape to St. Martin for the gorgeous, unparalleled beaches that dot its coastline. On the island’s French side, several of the most popular beaches are Baie Rouge, Plum Bay Beach, Baie Longue, Orient Beach, and Grand Case Beach. If you are on the Dutch side, you can enjoy Cupecoy Beach, Maho Beach, or Dawn Beach.
The nightlife on St. Martin is some of the best in the entire Caribbean, with a vibrant, exciting atmosphere and laidback vibe. Due to the island’s heavy European influence, the bars, restaurants and clubs boast the style and vibrancy associated with European, particularly French, nightlife.
St. Martin is widely known as a “shopping mecca” in the Caribbean, boasting some of the best shopping in the entire area. The two most popular destinations on the island for shopping are Marigot and Phillipsburg, both of which offer a wide range of designer boutiques, local shops, and quaint cafes. And because St. Martin has a duty-free port, shoppers often find incredible quality goods from designer brands such as Hermes or Cartier for a fraction of the price they might pay elsewhere.