Safety and Health on Sint Maarten|St Martin

Safety

The safety of our guests is very important to us. We encourage our guests to use common sense when traveling to St Martin, as you would when traveling to any location you are unfamiliar with. While the island of St Martin/St Maarten is relatively safe, we strongly recommend travelers to be observant to reduce risks of any unfortunate events.

Personal Safety
Apply the same rules of personal safety as you would in any city in the world. Keep your valuables and your passport in one of the safes we provide in the villa/condo and carry a limited amount of cash. Keep a backup credit card in your safe and have photocopies of all your important documents such as passports, credit cards, and drivers licenses. The copies should be placed in a separate place than your safety. There are many banks and ATM around the island so there is no need to have an excessive amount of cash. At night, we advise travelers to use well-lit areas and walk in groups. Most areas are safe.

Car Safety

Never leave valuables in the car, absolutely nothing. The rental cars on St Martin are typically easy to break into. No bags, money, gifts, cameras or anything of value should remain in the car unattended. Cars parked at beaches or less populated areas are common targets. Park in well-lit areas and gated parking decks when possible. Avoid parking at deserted beaches. When driving at night, be conscious of your environment. Please do not drink and drive. The roads are thin in many locations and motorcyclists can be hard to see as the split lands often.

Health

Sunburns and Sun Poisoning
The UV rays of the sun in the Caribbean are very strong. Keep in mind that even on cloudy days, sunburns can happen. Always apply general amounts of sunscreen and reapply after swimming even if your sunscreen says “waterproof.” Keep yourself well hydrated and limit alcohol consumption when in direct sun. More importantly, care for your children and limit their exposure to the sun. If you start to feel nauseous, dizzy, unremitting headache and lethargic, get yourself out of the sun and direct yourself to the local clinic since you may be experiencing a sunstroke.

Hospitals
The Marigot Hospital | phone number: (590) 590 29 57 55 | is located in Concordia and offers the quickest medical access point for guests staying on the west side of the island (Simpson Bay, Maho, Cupecoy, Terres Basse, Nettle Bay, Marigot and Grand Case). Pharmacies on the French side are designated with green crosses. The cost of medical treatment at the Marigot Hospital is very reasonable.

The Dutch side or eastern half of the island can seek medical attention at Sint Martin Medical Center | phone number: (721) 543-1111 | on Cay Hill for those staying in Dawn Beach, Orient, Guana Bay and Phillipsburg. There are several clinics conveniently spread out through the island to render non-acute care. Pharmacies are located throughout the island and have very reasonable prices for prescriptions.

For those with high-risk medical conditions, we strongly encourage obtaining medical evacuation insurance through your trip insurance policy.

Shhhh…Keep These Three St. Martin Beaches a Secret

St. Martin is lively, fun, and beautiful. Gourmet Restaurants, little shops, and trendy island bars rest along turquoise water beaches. Perfect for travelers of leisure, servers even deliver ice-cold beverages and five-star meals right to your beach chair. It’s hard not to love these beachside amenities, yet some of us seek out seclusion, adventure–the secret spots. If that’s you, we know three secluded beaches you will love. But shhh, don’t tell anyone.

Petite Cayes (or Wilderness)

After a 30 minute, nature-rich, hike around the edges of the northern tip of the island is Petite Cayes, or as locals call it “Wilderness.” A secluded cove awaits with deep turquoise waters, fine sand, very few people, and beachside forest perfect for shaded naps and lunches.

Two trails lead you to the hidden cove of Wilderness, one that begins in Anse Marcel, and the other from the Transfer Station road. The latter is the more popular trail; it is less strenuous and shorter. This trail begins by walking on bright white and purple colored dried coral, and then through a steep rock maze that leads up to hillside dotted with cacti. Within the first five minutes of the hike, you will be sweating, but rewarded with vast views of the Caribbean Sea, the island of Tintamarre, and Orient Bay. The final 10 minutes of the hike is flat, but over dried coral and rock, so walk carefully. The beach is out of sight until the very end. When you reach a rock wall, step up, look to the left, and then you will see it—a beautiful hidden cove.

Ideally, hike before 9 am before the sun is intense as there is no shade on the trail. Pack lots of water, snacks, and sunblock. It is easy to roll an ankle on the dried coral, so make sure to wear shoes.

Happy Bay

Lined with coconut trees, and white sand is the paradise of St. Martin—Happy Bay. Two trails access Happy Bay, one from an unassuming left-hand turn before Grand Case that leads to a small parking area, or from Friar’s Bay. Both trails take about 10 minutes to walk. The trail from Friar’s Bay is steeper but more scenic. The trail from the parking area at Happy Bay is relatively flat and frequented by local cows.

Perfect for kids or for anyone who likes to wade in the water, most of the bay is a soft sand bottom, and the water in the bay is shallow and calm. The rocks that outline the bay have incredible snorkeling. Swim straight from the beach and in two minutes you will see colorful Caribbean fish. Pack your lunch and water, and get there early to secure a spot under one of the coveted, big shady trees.

Tintamarre — “Baie Blanche”

Take a boat trip 4km away from the northeast coast of St. Martin, and enter onto an uninhabited island with 80 acres low-lying green trees in the middle of the ocean. Enjoy the western side of the island, and its secluded beach of Baie Blanche. Blissfully swim in the shallow turquoise waters with sea turtles and colorful tropical fish. If you are there in March and in April, you might just be lucky enough to swim with dolphins. Rumor has it; mommy dolphins like to give birth in the shallow waters off the island.

Now a nature preserve, the island was once home to a cotton plantation, and then in the 1930’s, and 40’s it had the only airstrip in the region. A few fatal crashes and hurricanes destroyed the airplanes in use and the island never used the runway again. Remnants of this history are found on the island, so bring shoes to take a walk and explore.

Getting to Tintamarre, you will need to arrange either a private boat charter, join a day sailing charter or jump on a ferry. There is no ferry schedule, but you can organize one in advance at Cul-de-Sac, where the Pinel Island ferry docks. Better yet, have our SXM SIR Concierge make arrangements for you!

If you have any questions on how to get to either of these beaches, do not hesitate to write us, at concierge@sxmsir.com or call us US 213 805 0840.