The Caribbean is well known as the home to many beautiful islands, all featuring blue skies, clear waters, and sandy beaches. All this, of course, makes this region an extremely popular vacation destination for people from around the world. It is understandable that first timers might have a hard time choosing which island they’d like to visit when they all look so inviting. If you are seeking everything the Caribbean has to offer, and love a little European influenced diversity with a laid-back atmosphere, warm-water activities, peace and total relaxation, St. Maarten vacations tops the list for many travelers.
This island has had quite a colorful history, having been claimed by multiple nations, including the Spanish, Dutch, and French. According to some legends, the island was actually named by Christopher Columbus when he spotted it on November 11, 1493 on the holy day of St. Martin of Tours and named it after St. Martin at that time. While the original name of the island was retained, the spelling has changed according to which nation was claiming it at any given time. The two spellings that are widely used today are Dutch and French because the island was divided between the two nations by treaty in 1648, and is still divided to this day.
Weather patterns on this Caribbean gem are pretty much what most people would consider as close to perfect as possible. Highs in the mid 80s and low in the mid 70’s are the prevailing temperatures year round. Hurricane season has been known to be rough from time to time, so potential visitors may want to take some extra precautions around the latter part of summer and early fall.
The scenery rivals that of the most beautiful tropical islands anywhere in the world. Soft, sandy beaches and blue crystalline waters invite swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, or simply lounging. There are also great shopping venues and restaurants featuring international cuisine with wonderfully fresh food and inexpensive drinks. When it comes to St Maarten rentals don’t overlook the lovely villas that can be found all over the island. However, if ocean breezes and unobstructed vistas of sunrises and sunsets are high on your list of must haves, be sure to check out those that dot the shorelines around the island.
Because the island is owned by the French and Dutch it is imperative that all visitors carry current passports at all times. In fact, you won’t be able to get on a plane to get to St. Maarten without one, so make sure your paperwork is in order before booking your trip. There is no need to carry a lot of cash as credit cards are accepted in most places, and ATMs are available as well. If you do carry cash, be sure to have small bills as smaller shops and vendors often do not have large amounts of change on hand. That being said, one of the greatest things about this island is how truly laid-back it is. Frequent visitors suggest that when you are finished packing for your trip, you take out half of your clothes and leave them at home. That makes current baggage limitations imposed by most airlines easy to deal with.
Water sports and lovely beaches are abundant, so don’t forget clothing for activities such as swimming, scuba diving and snorkeling in the tropical waters. The rest of the time, shorts, tank tops, t-shirts and flip flops are considered acceptable almost everywhere though you might want to throw in a summer dress or long sleeved shirt and slacks if you want to grab a dinner in one of the nicer restaurants.
For the ultimate Caribbean get-away featuring a relaxed atmosphere in a tropical setting, renting an oceanfront villa in St. Marten just can’t be beat. Once you have visited, you will definitely want to return again and again.
For the ultimate tropical island vacation, author Stephen Daniels recommends St. Marten vacation rentals available only from the Villa Lady. All these villas are oceanfront, reasonably priced and luxuriously equipped with everything you will need for the most laid back and enjoyable Caribbean vacation.