Yes, the island of St. Maarten / St. Martin is a safe place to visit in the Caribbean for many reasons. The crime rate in St. Maarten is very low compared to many other islands in the Caribbean. The main tourist areas on the island are generally safe.
The main crimes that occur on the island of St. Maarten are petty theft and car break-ins. For this reason, those traveling to St. Maarten should be sure to take the needed precautions such as avoiding remote areas at night and making sure valuables and cash are secured and not left unattended. Travelers should also make sure that they are locking the doors of their rental cars and making sure that no valuables can be easily seen in the car.
The general precautions travelers should take when visiting St. Maarten / St. Martin are measures they should take when visiting any other travel destination. Aside from these necessary precautions, many travelers feel very safe when visiting and exploring the island of St. Maarten. Many who visit the island note the friendly nature and atmosphere of the island and experience a level of comfortability that makes them want to return to the “Friendly Island” of St. Martin.
Table of Contents
- What should visitors know before going to St. Maarten?
- Are the Airports in Sint Maarten safe?
- Does St. Martin have a hospital?
- Is the water in St Martin safe to drink?
- Do visitors need travel insurance for Saint Martin?
- Is there a lot of crime in St. Maarten?
- Is it safe to shop in St. Maarten?
- Are the roads in St. Martin good for driving?
- What are the weather conditions in St Martin?
- Are there dangerous animals in St. Martin?
What should visitors know before going to St. Maarten?
There are a few things that visitors should know before visiting regarding the travel requirements of Sint Maarten. In order to enter the island of St. Maarten visitors will need documents such as a valid passport, a return ticket, a completed and approved Electronic Health Approval (EHAS), proof of accommodations, proof of sufficient funds, and proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus and/or a negative PCR or rapid test taken within the last 24 to 48 hours depending on which test is taken.
What are the important emergency contacts in St. Maarten?
The important emergency contacts for the Dutch side of the island of Sint Maarten are listed below.
- St. Maarten Medical Center: 910 or + 1 (721) 543-1111
- Police Department: 911 or +1 (721) 542-2222
- Ambulance Services: 911 or +1 (721) 542-2111
- Coast Guard: 913
- Fire Department: 919
What are the important emergency contacts in St. Martin?
The important emergency contacts for the French side of the island of Saint Martin are listed below.
- Louis Constant Fleming Hospital: +590 (590) 52 26 29
- Police Department (Grand Case): +590 (590) 87 19 76
- Police Department (Marigot): +590 (590) 87 88 33
- Coast Guard: +590 (590) 70 92 92
- Ambulance Services: : + 590 (590) 52 00 52
Are the Airports in Sint Maarten safe?
Yes, both of the airports in St. Maarten are safe. There are two airports on the island of St. Maarten, Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on the Dutch side of the island and the Grand Case-Espérance Airport (SFG) on the French side of the island.
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, both Princess Juliana International Airport and Grand Case-Espérance Airport have initiated an infectious disease awareness campaign aimed at prioritizing healthy travel on and off the island. The aim is to mitigate the spread of the virus through safe and clean practices that are conducted in both airports such as regularly sanitizing highly frequented areas, recommending passengers wear masks and requiring all incoming visitors to provide proof of vaccination or take a covid test before entering the island.
Both airports on the island of St. Maarten were also significantly damaged due to Hurricane Irma in 2017. Certain parts of the airport have had to be rebuilt and remodeled to endure hurricanes that might strike the island of St. Maarten in the future. Both Princess Juliana International Airport and Grand Case-Espérance Airport are now fully operational and safe for all passengers to use.
Does St. Martin have a hospital?
Yes, there are hospitals on the island of St. Maarten, two of them are considered to be main hospitals. One on the French side and one on the Dutch side of the island. The hospital on the French side of the island is called Louis Constant Fleming Medical Center, which is located the in capital city of Marigot. The hospital on the Dutch side of the island is called Sint Maarten Medical Center and is located in Philipsburg which is the capital city of Dutch Sint Maarten.
Is the water in St Martin safe to drink?
Yes, the water in St. Maarten is safe to drink. Tap water is safe to drink for both locals and tourists alike. Many of the hotels on the island have desalinated tap water. Bottled water is also a popular option for many on the island.
Do visitors need travel insurance for Saint Martin?
Yes, all those traveling to St. Maarten must purchase travel insurance before entering the country. As of January 11, 2021, the government of St. Martin has made it mandatory for visitors to the island to obtain COVID-19 insurance with the exception of flight crews, cruise ship crews, French nationals, AUC faculty, and students and BES-ZVK medical referrals.
The insurance buying process is a step in the EHAS application, which is an online application that visitors to St. Maarten must complete before entering the country. The cost of travel insurance to enter St. Martin is usually around $15 (€14). Travel insurance typically covers situations like trip cancellations, emergency medical assistance, lost or damaged baggage, travel delay, baggage delay, and emergency medical transportation.
Is there a lot of crime in St. Maarten?
No, there is not a lot of crime on the island of St. Maarten. The island as a whole has a very low crime rate. One of the biggest crimes on the island is passport theft, so be sure to bring your original driver’s license with you as well as a photocopy of your passport. If you are renting a car, it may also be wise to purchase rental car insurance, as rental cars are sometimes broken into on the island. Along with purchasing insurance, be sure to not leave any valuables on the seats of the car.
Saint Martin is generally considered a safe island to visit. As when traveling to any other tourist destination, safety precautions should be taken such as being aware of your surroundings, traveling in groups, and traveling around the island with a minimum amount of jewelry, cash, and other valuables.
Is St. Martin safer than St Maarten?
No, Saint Martin is not safer than St. Maarten. In recent years there have been periods of unrest on the French side of the island of Saint Martin. This unrest has included protests, strikes, and even minor acts of violence. There have also been more reports of crime on the French side of the island in comparison to the Dutch Sint Maarten throughout the years.
The unrest on the French side of Saint Martin took place in the year 2021 and has currently ceased. Nowadays, both the French and Dutch sides of the island are at peace. Although this period of unrest took place, the island of Saint Martin is known for being a relatively safe and peaceful island in the Caribbean. There are few reports of crime on the island.
What are the areas to avoid in St Maarten?
All of the areas in St. Maarten are currently viewed as relatively safe for tourists to visit. St. Maarten has a low crime rate which gives many travelers peace of mind when exploring different parts of the island. However, it is recommended to avoid walking alone in certain areas at night time such as in the main city of Philipsburg.
Is St. Maarten safe at night?
Yes, St. Maarten is a safe place at night for many tourists. The crime rate is very low in St. Maarten and most places on the island are safe and secure at night. However, it is recommended to avoid walking alone in certain areas at night time such as in the main city of Philipsburg. It is important to take sensible precautions such as carrying a minimum amount of valuables on you while exploring the island at night and avoiding remote areas.
Is there unrest in St. Martin?
Yes, there have been reports of unrest on the French side of Saint Martin in recent years. In 2021, there were protests, strikes, and social unrest in the French capital of Marigot. This caused the roads on the French side to be blocked and there were even short sporadic periods of violence that occurred such as gun violence and cars being wrecked. This activity caused several cruise ships and tours to cancel their routes to the French side of the island in areas such as Orient Bay and Baie Nettle. Many businesses and hotels suffered a loss of business due to the unrest.
However, the unrest remained mostly on the French side of the island. The Dutch side of the island remained at peace and many tourists still frequented the area at that time. Currently, the entire island of St. Martin both the French and the Dutch side is at peace and all living on and visiting the island have the freedom to cross the border division with ease.
Is it safe to shop in St. Maarten?
Yes, it is very safe to shop on the island of St. Maarten. St. Maarten is one of the top places where tourists visiting the Caribbean enjoy shopping because of the duty-free status of the island. There are many great shopping centers in St. Maarten that tourists can enjoy such as Front Street, Back Street, Marigot Market, the Boardwalk, and also different boutiques on the French side of the island. Tourists who shop in these areas do not often experience crime or theft.
Are the roads in St. Martin good for driving?
Yes, the roads in St. Maarten are good for driving. The roads in St. Maarten are especially good compared with some of the roads in the other Caribbean islands. Very few roads on the island require a 4-wheel drive vehicle because the roads are paved and maintained well. Many tourists from all around the world travel to St. Maarten and rent a car during their stay have no problem driving on the roads throughout the island.
In St. Maarten cars drive on the right side of the road. Some of the traffic laws in St. Maarten are different than in places like the United States, for instance, cars coming from the right have the ‘right of way’, if signs don’t indicate otherwise.
Does St. Maarten have taxis?
Yes, St. Maarten has taxis available on the island for tourists to use. Taxis are readily available throughout Saint Martin and are a form of transportation that a lot of tourists rely on when they visit St. Maarten. Usually, these taxis are vans that can carry up to 10 people.
Taxis are especially available at the arrival section of the cruise ship port in Philipsburg, at major hotels on the island as well as at Princess Juliana International airport. Drivers usually only accept cash in both Euros and U.S Dollars. The prices of each taxi ride can range from $4 to $45 (€3.5 to €40) depending on the distance and timing of your trip. It is important to agree on a rate with the driver before entering the taxi.
Are there Uber or Lyft services in St. Maarten?
No, there are no Uber or Lyft services available on the island of Saint Martin.
Does St. Martin have car rental services?
Yes, St. Maarten has many car rental services available to travelers while visiting the island. Most travelers choose to rent a car during their stay in Saint Martin. This is a good option if you are planning to stay in St. Maarten for an extended time and would like to explore many different parts of the island independently. Several of the best car rental companies in St. Martin are available for tourists at both Princess Juliana International Airport in Dutch Sint Maarten and at Grand Case Airport in French Saint Martin. These rental car companies usually charge around $30 (€25) per day.
Do traffic accidents happen in Sint Maarten?
Yes, traffic accidents do happen in St. Maarten. Traffic accidents are more frequent on the Dutch side of the island. The reason for this is because this is the side of the island that is heavily populated by tourists. Traffic accidents most often occur during “rush hour” which is between 4 pm and 6 pm.
How should you handle an accident in St. Maarten?
In the event of an accident while in St. Maarten it is advisable to first access the damage, make sure everyone involved is okay, and call an ambulance to make sure that anyone injured receives medical attention. Second, it is important to call the police so that you can get an official report of the accident. Third, take notes and photos of the car and any injuries in case any conflict arises later. If you rented a car while on the island it would be advisable to contact the rental company and/or the insurance carrier.
Is it safe to walk around in St. Maarten?
Yes, St. Maarten is a safe place to walk and explore. Many tourists visit the island of St. Maarten every day and take walks in some of the popular tourist locations on the island such as the boardwalk in Philipsburg, the Marigot Market, Fort Louis, Fort Amsterdam, Front Street, and Back Street.
The island of St. Maarten also has many hiking trails in areas such as Pic Paradis, Happy Bay Beach, Dawn Beach, and Guana Bay Beach. Many who visit these areas feel safe as many of these areas are heavily populated. The island of St. Maarten is a relatively safe island within the Caribbean, there are very few reports of crime in the area.
What are the weather conditions in St Martin?
St. Maarten has warm and humid weather with temperatures that change slightly throughout the year, St. Maarten has a tropical climate. The average annual temperature in St. Maarten is between 80°F to 89°F (26°C to 31°C) and minimum temperatures sometimes fall below 68°F (20°C). St. Martin has two seasons, the dry season and the wet season.
The dry season is from December to May, and tourists visit the island to enjoy the summer temperatures. During this period, the sun shines almost every day and there is very little rainfall. The wet season is from May to November, the temperature never falls below 68°F (20°C) and the daylight hours are longer.
Is St. Maarten in the hurricane belt?
Yes, St. Maarten is in the hurricane belt. Hurricane season in St. Maarten starts June 1 and ends November 30. St. Maarten has experienced many hurricanes in recent years that have caused major damage to many beaches and buildings on the island such as restaurants, hotels, homes, and other businesses. Some of the hurricanes in St. Maarten that have caused major damage in recent years are Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, Hurricane Gonzalo in 2014, Hurricane Omar in 2008, and Hurricane Luis in 1995.
What is the best time to visit St Martin?
The best time to visit Sint Maarten is between January and April. The reason for this is because this is the time of year when the weather is exceptionally good in St. Maarten. Between the months of January to April, there are also excellent and inexpensive rates on hotels as well as the opportunity to enjoy some of the exciting festivals taking place on the island.
Are there dangerous animals in St. Martin?
No, there are no dangerous animals in St. Martin / St. Maarten.
Are there shark attacks in St. Martin?
Yes, there has been one reported non-fatal shark attack on the island of St. Maarten in the year 2005. There are several species of sharks located in the waters surrounding St. Maarten. Experts say that they are generally not a threat and that they most commonly are located offshore in deeper waters and are rarely located close to shore. Shark attacks are very rare on the island.
Does St. Martin have a lot of bugs?
Yes, St. Martin has several different species of bugs on the island including spiders, butterflies, ants, bees, and mosquitoes. However, mosquitoes are the most common bugs on the island. Mosquitoes can often be found after it rains on the island.
Are there mosquitos in Saint Martin?
Yes, there are mosquitoes on the island of St. Martin. Like many destinations in the tropics, mosquitoes are the most common bugs on the island of St. Maarten. Many who are traveling to St. Maarten choose to wear bug repellent for protection from mosquito bites.