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On St. Martin, French traffic laws are applied and driving is on the right side of the road.
Drivers must hold a French or international driving licence, which covers them across the territory.
St. Martin’s road system essentially comprises a ring road that skirts the island’s coastline and smaller roads linking the built-up areas.
The courtesy of St. Martin’s road users is much fabled, and it is customary here for drivers to use their horn to greet others. In spite of the odd traffic jam in the high tourist season due to the island’s inadequate infrastructure, driving on St. Martin is relatively stress-free drive.
Like anywhere else in the Caribbean, finding your way around St. Martin can be relatively complicated, in spite of the fact that there is only really one main road, the Route Nationale 7.
Road signs and markings are often very sketchy. Don’t be surprised if your hotel is located “just after the tree by the letterbox on the left” or “on the right after the palm tree”.
Don’t panic: simply ask for directions (a common request on Saint Martin) and you’ll be on your way in no time.
Roadmaps are available free of charge from the Saint Martin Tourist Office and in a number of stores and other locations on the island.
|Orient Bay||Grand Case||Marigot||Philipsburg|
Boats enter Simpson Bay Lagoon through two moving bridges, one on the French side of the island and the other on the Dutch side. When open, the bridges stop the flow of traffic for several minutes.
• Sandy Ground bridge (French side, leaving Marigot towards Nettle Bay) :
Monday to Saturday : 8:15am - 2:30pm - 5:30pm
Sunday : 8:15am - 5:30pm
Information : 0590 87 20 43 / VHF channel 16
• Simpson Bay bridge (Dutch side)
7 days a week: 9am - 9:30am - 11:00am - 11:30am - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Information : VHF channel 12
Regular taxi services run between Marigot, Philipsburg, the other areas of the island and the airports.
Marigot : 0590 87 56 54
Philipsburg : (1-721) 542 2359
Princess Juliana International Airport : (1-721) 546 7713
Grand-Case Espérance Regional airport : 0590 87 53 03
Please note that taxis do not have meters but charge according to a fixed fee, and that some taxis, especially those on the Dutch side, only accept US Dollars.
Taxis leave from outside Grand Case Regional Airport, the ferry terminal on Marigot waterfront (French side) and Princess Juliana International Airport (Dutch side).
Group taxis (minibuses) cover most areas of the island. There is no fixed time table however there are dedicated bus stops. Simply wait at of the bus stop and raise your hand to alert the driver when a minibus arrives. Buses generally accept Euros and US dollars.
To get the most from your stay on St. Martin and visit the different parts of the island, you will need to approach a car rental agency.