Tag: St Maarten Travel

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Where to Find the Best (and Strongest) Rum Punch on St. Maarten

February 20, 2014 at 10:14 AM | by | ()

As we told you in yesterday's mailbag, the Dutch side of St. Maarten is the place to party. But where is the best value? Most tourists head to the infamous Sunset Beach Bar to watch the planes come in, but we like to recommend a spot on the opposite end of Maho Beach, the Driftwood Boat Bar. Cheap and down to earth, you still have a view of the planes taking off and landing, and most importantly, it serves up one hell of a rum punch.

Eight different kinds of rum fill your plastic cup more than halfway up before splashes of tropical juices create a base for a final blast of booze at the top. Surprisingly, the concentrated juices camouflage the rum well and it tastes great (not like a cup of rum!), but there's no hiding -- you will be feeling fine by the time you reach the bottom. The price? A reasonable $6, considering the amount of rum. Check out the two cups on the right:

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Mailbag: 'What's the Main Difference Between the Dutch and French Sides of St. Maarten?'

February 19, 2014 at 9:18 AM | by | ()

Have questions you want answered? Write us, or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.

Those researching a trip to St. Maarten will find that the island is split between the French (St. Martin) and the Dutch (St. Maarten), and once there, will see that it isn't an identity complex or anything -- the island really is two separate countries with two separate cultures. The French side uses the Euro, the Dutch side the dollar, for example, and while English is spoken on both, French is definitely the dominate language on its side.

In light of that, today we answer an often-asked question: "What's the difference between the two sides?"

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Photos: A 360-Degree View of St. Maarten from Its Highest Point

Where: St. Martin
February 17, 2014 at 11:47 AM | by | ()

Pic Paradis is the highest point on St. Martin (1,391 feet), and those who make their way to the top are rewarded with 360-degree views of the island. You can either hike or drive to the top, so the beauty is open to all ages and abilities.

The view was a bit hazy in certain directions on our recent visit, but it is an absolute must-do for visitors with a few days to explore. You have to change positions at the summit to see the whole island -- it will be obvious -- but its perspective will not only show you the beautiful green-blue contrast of the land and the sea, but allow you to gain a feel for the different corners and layout of the island thanks to a labeled map at top.

We start with a above and below looking southwest towards Simpson Bay and Maho Beach:

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Caribbean Day Trip: Three Islands You Can Easily Reach from St. Maarten

February 13, 2014 at 12:50 PM | by | ()

The phrase "island hopping" gets thrown around a lot when we're dreaming of travel or reading about the ways of high-profile jetsetters, but when you consider it in the scope of reality, it becomes a rather tall task. Short flights between islands are rarely a bargain, and how much damage can you really do with a week's worth of vacation?

Visitors to St. Maarten will find plenty to do on the island itself, but those thirsty for a day trip will be pleased to know that it is located at the center of a well-rounded group of islands, providing a number of plausible day-trip and overnight options. The best part? You can go by boat to all of them.

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Throwback Thursday: One Tropical Concorde

March 28, 2013 at 4:48 PM | by | ()

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't get that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

"So this one time, I was tanning on the beach when a Concorde flew, like, right over me."

In 1989, an Air France Concorde made a very special flight to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten/St. Martin. It would be the only time Concorde landed at Princess Juliana International Airport on St. Maarten, but the airport itself hasn't forgotten. This photo is still on display, just after security, in the terminal at SXM.

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WestJet Launches Cuba And St. Maarten, Non-Stops Away From Canadian Winter

November 3, 2009 at 4:54 PM | by | ()

Starting from last Sunday, Toronto travelers in search of warmth have had two new options courtesy of Canadian low cost carrier WestJet. Last week the airline announced they were launching nonstops to Varadero, Cuba and St Maarten, and the first flights duly took off over the weekend.

The company issued separate press releases for the St Maarten and Cuba routes, each identical except for the obviously made up location-specific quotes from Hugh Dunleavy, WestJet Executive Vice-President of Strategy and Planning. That doesn't make WestJet's announcement any less exciting. It just kind of made us giggle.

Both new routes have flights three times per week, and both last only until April 29, 2010. Presumably that's the date they expect Toronto to thaw, with all the consequences for demand that would portend. They're promising more "sun destination" announcements in the coming days though, so maybe those will last past the winter months.

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