Everyone knows the pictures: people holding on to the fence and almost being blown away by a starting jet (can be dangerous, so attempt with caution) – or jumbos flying a few meters above the crowded beach. The pictures are from Princess Juliana International Airport on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, the Dutch part of which is called Sint Maarten and the northern part of the island, Saint-Martin, is a French overseas territory. The frequency of flights to Europe is correspondingly high – mostly by KLM and Air France. For many aircraft fans and spotters the island is the dream destination within the Caribbean. But also for non aviation enthusiasts, the island offers everything that one expects of a Caribbean paradise: beaches, palm trees, luxury hotels and more.
Best Time to Travel
As is typical for a Caribbean island, temperatures fluctuate only slightly throughout the year. During the day the air temperature is around 30 °C and the water reaches swimming-pool-like temperatures of 28 °C. Between June and the end of November one should consider that it is hurricane season in the Caribbean. The best time to travel is therefore December to May, with hotel prices rising accordingly. Hurricane “Irma” caused severe damage to the island in 2017. In the meantime, however, many accommodations have reopened and the majority of the (tourist) infrastructure is functioning again.
Immigration & Visa Requirements
Sint Maarten is part of the Dutch Kingdom, but unlike the northern part of the island it is not part of the European Union. A passport is therefore required for entry, which must be valid for at least 6 months after departure. This also applies if you only want to visit the French part (by plane), because the airport is located in the Dutch part. EU citizens do not need a visa to visit St. Maarten. Tourist stays are possible for up to 30 days, if you visit several Dutch Caribbean islands even for up to 90 days. For the French part, there are no restrictions on the length of your stay. On departure, an airport fee of 30€ will be charged.