There are many different transportation options for tourists looking to navigate the island of Saint Martin. These options include rental cars, taxis, busses, bicycles, and more. The conditions for traveling throughout Saint Martin are generally very good. Many tourists who visit Saint Martin find navigating the island to be quite simple, there is one main road that circles the entire island which makes major towns on the island accessible.
St. Martin has a high population density of about 75,000 people in an area of about 85 meters squared, this can often cause traffic on the roads in the highly populated areas such as Phillipsburg and Marigot mainly between the hours of 6-10 am and 4-7 pm. Outside of these hours, the roads in Saint Martin are usually very calm, laid back, and easy for tourists to navigate.
Most travelers choose to rent a car during their stay in Saint Martin. This is the easiest way to travel throughout the island. Several car rental companies are available for tourists at both Princess Juliana airport in Dutch Sint Maarten and at Grand Case airport in French Saint Martin. These rental car companies usually charge around $30 (25 Euros) per day.
Table of Contents
- What are the best transportation services in St. Martin?
- How are the roads in Sint Maarten?
- How long is the Sint Maarten Highway?
- Is there a railway in Sint Maarten?
- How is the transportation by sea in Sint Maarten?
- How is the transportation by air in Sint Maarten?
- How is the public transportation in Sint Maarten?
- How is the transportation by taxi in Sint Maarten?
- Can hitchhiking be done in Sint Maarten?
- How is the cycling in Sint Maarten?
- What tours are available in St. Maarten?
What are the best transportation services in St. Martin?
The best transportation services in Sint Maarten are listed below.
- Alpha Transportation Services
- Here & There Trucking Service
- Best Price Taxi Service SXM
- Sunita’s Taxi St. Maarten
- Silverline Tours and Transportation
- Coral Transportation
- RAD Exotics Luxury VIP Transportation
- Robinson Boat Charter & Speed Boat Tours
- Water Taxi Sint Maarten
All of the transportation services mentioned on the list above cover a wide array of transportation needs in Saint Martin. All of these services are located throughout the island of Saint Martin and are very well reviewed by previous tourists on the island and offer first-class service to their customers, they are known for their safe and reliable methods of transportation. Their services range from limousine services, taxi services, ferry rides, airport transfers, cargo transportation, ocean and air freight transportation, boat and water taxi transportation, and rental cars in Sint Maarten.
How are the roads in Sint Maarten?
The roads in Sint Maarten are generally kept in good condition. The roads are paved and four-wheel drive is not normally needed in most cases to drive on the road. Even with the island of Sint Maarten being split between the French and Dutch nations, there is no official border between French Saint Martin and Dutch Sint Maarten, so traffic flows freely between each side of the island.
In Saint Martin, the rules of the road correspond to French regulations, traffic flows on the right side of the road. The speed limit for roads in town is 30 miles per hour (50km/hr) and the speed limit for open roads and motorways is usually 62 miles per hour (100km/hr). There is an occasional traffic jam in high traffic areas due to the limited number of roads on the island. There are no toll roads on the island of St. Maarten.
Some of the roads on the island of St. Maarten can be quite rural; it is not uncommon to see cows and other livestock pass through these roads. It is important to exercise caution when driving through these rural towns and wait for the livestock to pass through the road.
There is one main road or highway in St. Martin called Route Nationale 7 or National Route 7, this road circles the entire island and leads into many of the main towns on both sides of the island. This makes Saint Martin easy for first-time visitors to navigate on their own. There are small side roads that are connected to National Route 7 that lead to smaller towns and beaches on the island, these side roads can often be quite narrow so caution must be exercised while driving.
How long is the Sint Maarten Highway?
The main highway in Saint Martin was created in 1960 and is called National Route 7 or Route Nationale 7. This main road is around 16 km long (9 miles), circles the entire island of Saint Martin and passes through major cities such as Marigot, Quartier d’ Orleans, Phillipsburg, and Simpson Bay.
Is there a railway in Sint Maarten?
No, there is no railway located on the island of Sint Maarten.
How is the transportation by sea in Sint Maarten?
The transportation by sea in St. Maarten is very good, there are a few options for traveling by sea to and from Saint Martin. Many tourists travel to the nearby islands that surround St. Maarten such as Anguilla, Saba, and St. Barths. Other forms of transportation by sea include water taxis and the various cruise ships that dock in Saint Martin every year.
Many who visit St. Maarten take advantage of the island’s proximity to other islands such as Anguilla, Saba, and St. Barts by taking the ferry from St. Maarten for a day trip to these nearby islands. The length of these ferry trips is usually between 20-90 minutes depending on the island’s distance from St. Maarten and the cost of a round trip ticket to these islands ranges from $30-$120 (25-100 Euros).
Several boat tours are available to tourists in Saint Martin some of which feature all-day tours of Saint Martin and surrounding islands via sailboat, yacht, or catamaran. These tours feature stops at famous beaches and shops all over the island of St. Maarten and usually cost from $100-$250 per person.
Another popular method of transportation by sea to St. Maarten are the various cruise ships that dock in Saint Martin every year. There are two cruise ship ports in Saint Martin, there is a large port located in Phillipsburg that can dock seven cruise ships at once and a smaller dock located in Marigot that can usually accommodate 1 medium-sized cruise ship at a time. Over 2 million cruise ship passengers come to Saint Martin every year.
Water taxis are another form of sea transportation available in Saint Martin. Water taxis are often used by cruise ship passengers as shuttles between the center of Phillipsburg to the cruise ship docking areas. They are also used as methods of touring the island, these water taxis stop at nearby beaches and near popular shopping centers. The water taxis usually come every 5-10 minutes and cost around $5 per person for a one-way ticket.
How is the transportation by air in Sint Maarten?
Flights to Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is known for being very good on the island. There are two airports located in St. Maarten, one is Princess Juliana International Airport which is located in Simpson Bay on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, this is Saint Martin’s only international airport. The second airport on the island is L’Espérance Airport also known as Grand Case-Espérance Airport located in Grand Case on the French side of Saint Martin, this is a regional airport that is mainly used for local flights to Guadeloupe and St. Barts as well as private aircrafts.
Princess Juliana Airport was constructed on March 20, 1964 and is the main airport on the island of Saint Martin. Princess Juliana airport handles a little under 2 million passengers per year as well as 60,000 different aircraft movements per year from 25 different airlines from all over the world. There are many transportation options available at Princess Juliana airport such as busses, taxis, and rental car services. The average prices of tickets vary depending on where you’re coming from. The average price for flights from different areas in the world to Saint Martin are listed below.
- United States: The average price for a round trip flight from the United States to Saint Martin is $200-$500 (172-430 Euros) per person.
- UK: The average price for a round trip flight from the UK to Saint Martin is $600-$900 (516-775 Euros) per person.
- EU: The average price for a roundtrip flight from the EU to St. Maarten is $600-$1000 (516-775 Euros) per person.
- Australia: The average price for a roundtrip flight from Australia to St. Martin is $1,500-$3,000 (1,292-2,584 Euros) per person.
- Local Caribbean islands: The average price for a roundtrip flight from a local island in the Caribbean to Sint Maarten is $100-$300 (86-258 Euros) per person.
How is the public transportation in Sint Maarten?
In Saint Martin, the main method of public transportation is the bus. The busses that run throughout the island are privately owned vans that operate as busses that are regulated by the local government. These buses can be recognized by their license plates that are labeled with the word “Bus”.
The busses in Saint Martin have frequent routes between Phillipsburg, the capital of Dutch Sint Maarten, and Marigot, the capital city of French Saint Martin. Each bus has an identifying marker that states the driver’s route which is usually a sign in the front window that indicates the starting and ending point of the route. It is common to wave the busses down as they approach so they will stop. As your destination approaches on the bus it is common to tell the driver verbally that you would like to stop.
The busses are a very easy and straightforward way to navigate the island, they are also the cheapest form of transportation on the island with the cost of a one-way ticket ranging from $1-$3 (0.86-2.50 Euros) per person. Children under the age of three can ride the bus for free. Since the busses are privately owned, they don’t have a set schedule, but they normally operate from 5 am-12 am.
How is the transportation by taxi in Sint Maarten?
Taxis are one of the main forms of transportation on both the French and Dutch sides of the island of Saint Martin. Taxis on the island of Saint Martin can be identified by their license plate which reads “TXI”, this indicates that it is a registered taxi, it is important not to get into any vehicles that don’t have this on their license plate. Usually, these taxis are vans that can carry up to 10 people, some taxis can even be rented for the day to take you on a tour of the island. 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. Taxis are especially available at the arrival section of Princess Juliana International airport and major hotels on the island. Drivers usually only accept cash in both Euros and U.S Dollars.
The prices of each taxi ride in Saint Martin can range from $4-$45 (Euros) depending on the distance and timing of your trip. Rates usually increase by about 25% from 10 pm- 12 am and by about 50% between 12 am-6 am. There is also a $5 additional charge for 3 or more passengers. The taxis in Saint Martin are not metered, however, drivers are required to carry a government-issued rate sheet for two-person occupancy in their vehicle. It is important to agree on a rate with the driver before entering the taxi. Rates might be slightly different depending on whether you are on the French or Dutch side of the island, but each taxi services the entire island of St. Maarten, regardless of what side of the island your trip begins on.
There are no Lyft or Uber services available on the island of Saint Martin.
Can hitchhiking be done in Sint Maarten?
Yes, although hitchhiking is not very common on the island of St. Maarten, it is certainly possible. Saint Martin is known for its high population density, welcoming and friendly atmosphere towards visitors, and helpful natives which are good conditions for those looking to hitchhike.
Hitchhiking can be done throughout the entire island, but the French side of the island would offer the most ideal conditions for hitchhiking because of its beautiful scenery. However, hitchhiking is not recommended to visitors to St. Maarten because petty theft and crime can be common on the island, and tourists are often an easier target.
How is the cycling in Sint Maarten?
Cycling is a mode of transportation that locals and tourists alike use as a way to explore and navigate the island of St. Maarten. Saint Martin has very hilly terrain in some areas which can make it difficult for less experienced bikers to travel by bike. However, mountain biking is very popular in Saint Martin and there are several beautiful coastal trails with amazing views on the island such as the Careta trail that circles Pic Paradis and Knoll Loop in Marigot, Saint Martin.
In Saint Martin, bikes are available to rent for about $25 (Euros) per day. There are a variety of bicycle tours that are available for tourists that cost around $49-$75. It is also possible to rent a scooter or moped for about $60 per day in Saint Martin. Traffic is heavy in certain areas and often not considerate of cyclists so it’s best to exercise caution when biking.
What tours are available in St. Maarten?
There are many different ways to explore the island of St. Maarten. One of these is via the amazing tours which make it easy and convenient for tourists to explore the island. Some of the tours on the island of St. Maarten are listed below.
- St. Maarten/St. Martin Tripple Beach Tour: This is a five-hour tour that will take you to three of the most popular beaches in Saint Martin: Maho Beach, Orient Bay Beach, and Mullet Bay. The tour also features two stops in Phillipsburg and Cole Bay where you can soak in the history and culture of St. Maarten. This tour is $40 per person and beverages are included.
- Super Island Tour through St. Martin: This five-hour tour will take you to some of the most popular locations on the island of Saint Martin including Grand Case Beach, Marigot market, Fort St. Louis, Maho Beach, the Phillipsburg courthouse, and St. Maarten Nectar. There are a lot of opportunities for duty-free shopping, marveling at the lovely views, and learning about the history of St. Maarten. Tickets for this tour cost $62 per person.
- Beach Tour by Alpha Transportation Services: This four-hour tour includes visiting both the French and Dutch sides of the island of Saint Martin stopping at the major points on the island such as the French/Dutch border, Orient Beach, Maho Beach, Marigot, and Phillipsburg. A complete cycle is made around the island where you are taught about the ancient and more recent history of Saint Martin as well as have the chance to take photos of the beautiful scenery. The price for this tour is $35 per person.
- The Best Catamaran Day Sail in St. Maarten: This tour is a family-friendly five-hour yacht excursion that leaves from Simpson Bay in Dutch Sint Maarten. You will visit several famous beaches on the island and have the opportunity to go snorkeling and paddle boarding. The cost of this tour is $119 per person.
- Three Island Adventure with a stop at Tintamarre to swim with Turtles: This five-hour tour allows you to explore the coast of Saint Martin for a full day on a cruise boat. Equipment such as paddleboards, floatation devices, and snorkeling gear are offered and as well as a trip to Tintamarre island where you can swim with the local turtles. Lunch and snacks are provided, the tour costs $136 per person.
These are some of the best tours in Sint Maarten. However, there are many ways to get these same tour experiences using other methods on the island. Rental cars are a popular way that tourists choose to navigate St. Maarten as well as taxis. These can be used to visit the different popular beaches and shops on the island. A rental car usually costs $30 (25 Euros) per day. Taxis can range and price but usually don’t exceed $45 (38 Euros) per trip in St. Maarten. There is also a ferry that is available in the town of Cul de Sac in French Saint Martin that travels to Pinel Island the fare is $20 roundtrip and runs every 30 minutes between the times of 9 am to 5 pm.