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Time difference from New York
+ 1 hour in winter (end of October to end of March)
Time difference from mainland France
- 5 hours in winter (end of October to end of March)
- 6 hours in summer (end of March to end of October)
Time difference from Universal Time (GMT)
- 4 hours
Over 120 different nationalities can be found on the “Friendly Island”.
On the French side of the island, St. Martin, French is used in government departments and schools but, being bilingual and very proud of it, English is widely spoken here.
On the Dutch side of the island, St. Maarten, Dutch is used in government departments and some schools (depending on school curriculum) but, being bilingual and very proud of it, English is also widely spoken there.
In addition to English and French, Spanish, Dutch, Creole and Papiamento are also widely spoken on both sides of the island.
The two official currencies on St. Martin are the Euro on the French side and the Florin (Netherlands Antillean guilder or florin) on the Dutch side.
US dollars are also accepted across the island.
There are many change points and banks on St. Martin.
Be aware that many places do not accept cheques from foreing cheques but most will accept major credit cards.
French side : 220V / 60Hz. European sockets
Dutch side : 110V / 60 Hz. American sockets
On both sides of the island electrical goods stores selling electrical appliances, hi-fi and cameras sell transformers and American and/or European adaptors that allow you to use your electrical appliances in both Saint Martin and Sint Maarten.
There are no springs or rivers on the island and tap water comes exclusively from the desalination plant. Like on the rest of the planet, water has become a rare asset and is therefore expensive. Spring water and mineral water are available for purchase across the island.
International dialling codes are +590 for Saint Martin and +1-721 for Sint Maarten.
Calling from Saint-Martin• To call Saint-Martin : 10-digit number
• To call Sint-Maarten
- Landline : 00 1 721 54 + 5-digit landline number
- Mobile : 00 1 721 55 + 5-digit mobile number
• To call USA : 001 + state code + number
• To call mainland France : 10-digit number
• To call Saint-Martin :
- Landline : 00 59 + 10-digit landline number
- Mobile : 00 59 + 10-digit mobile number
• To call Sint-Maarten : 7-digit number
• To call USA : 001 + state code + number
• To call mainland France : 00 33 + 10-digit number
Internet service providers: Orange Caraïbes, Dauphin Telecom, Médiaserve and Caribserve.
Broadband internet (ADSL) is available in most districts. Wifi internet can be accessed in some areas in the north of the island and in Terres Basses.
You can also access the internet at one of the many internet cafes on the island. The vast majority of hotels have internet access, as do the Marinas.
It is possible to bring pets to Saint Martin, but you must consult your host to ensure that your pet is welcome here.
In French Saint Martin, small dogs on a leash are welcome in most places but are not allowed on the beaches. Very few restaurants on the Dutch side allow pets.
No vaccinations are required to enter the island.
Situated between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, Saint Martin receives the full force of the Caribbean sun. A high-SPF sunscreen is essential and sunblock is recommended for those that are not used to the intense sunlight.
A good pair of sunglasses and a hat are strongly recommended.
Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by the Aedes mosquito (Aedes aegypti in the Caribbean) that manifests itself as a high fever accompanied by headache, muscle and joint pain and weakness, which may last for several weeks. Symptoms appear two to seven days after a bite from an infected mosquito. In most cases, Dengue does not present complications. Nevertheless, mainly due to a low platelet count, this viral infection carries a risk of haemorrhage. You should ensure that you protect yourself from mosquito bites. If in doubt, consult a general practitioner immediately and avoid taking aspirin or anti-inflammatories.
According to the "Direction de la Santé et du Développement Social" (DSDS) there have been no recorded cases of Chikungunya or bird flu on the island to date.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites by using mosquito nets, wearing long clothing and using repellents (citronella) and sprays.
Prevent the proliferation of carriers by eliminating reproduction sites indoors and outdoors.
Some plants can cause severe allergic reactions, in particular the manchineel tree (from the Spanish “manzana”, meaning apple). The manchineel which is 2 and 5 metres, resembles an apple tree and is found in dry and sandy soils, in particular along the island’s beaches. Its leafy branches create shady spots but its fruit is highly poisonous. Mere contact with any part of the manchineel can cause severe burning. Do not shelter under the manchineel when it is raining. The sap and fruit are extremely toxic. As a general rule, do not eat fruit from a tree on the island without consulting the proper authorities first.
Certain fish, particularly reef fishes, contain toxins that may, if eaten, cause serious illness (paralysis and low blood pressure) and very unpleasant symptoms (itching, numbness, dizziness). This is known as ciguatera, or gratte – “itch” in French. Avoid eating fish until you have consulted the proper authorities, especially if you have caught the fish yourself. Large fish (+1 kilo) have the highest count of these toxins.
Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the island of Saint Martin is a melting-pot for many different groups and remains a high risk zone. On Saint Martin, like anywhere in the world, the only protection is to use a condom during sexual intercourse.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses at 6 rue Fichot, Marigot (tel. 0590 87 01 17) offers free and anonymous testing.
St. Martin being part of France the medical system here is the same and all common medication can be obtained here.
• St. Martin
Louis Constant Fleming Hospital, Concordia, Marigot – Emergency department: 0590 52 25 52
S.A.M.U. (medical emergencies): 15
Centre Médecins de Gardes (ADGUPS) (doctors on call): 0590 90 13 13
Medicall / Medical assistance: 0590 29 04 04
Erick Ambulances: 0590 29 29 34
Ambulances des Iles du Nord: 0590 52 00 52
Les liaisons dangereuses, health prevention centre (6, rue Fichot, Marigot): 0590 87 01 17
Fire department, La Savane: 0590 29 02 86
Fire department, Grand Case Airport: 0590 87 95 01
Gendarmerie (police), Marigot: 0590 52 21 90
Gendarmerie (police), La Savane: 0590 52 30 00
Gendarmerie (police), Quartier d’Orléans: 0590 52 35 95
Municipal police, Marigot: 0590 87 88 33
Municipal police, Grand Case: 0590 87 19 76
Border Police, Marigot : 0590 87 57 13
C.R.O.S.S. sea rescue between Anguilla and French Guiana : 0596 70 92 92
S.N.S.M. Saint Martin (lifeguards) - manned 24/7: 0690 76 75 00 - 0690 41 17 07 - 0690 72 59 59 - 0690 31 37 47
• St. Maarten
Emergencie : 911
Doctors on call: (1-721) 5111
Hospital: 543 1111
Ambulance: 912 or 542 2111 or 520 6262
Fire: 120 or 542 6001
Police: 111 or 542 2112
Water police: 542 2277
Many other magazines feature Saint Martin:
• Discover (luxury magazine) - www.discover-magazines.com
• Turquoise (the sea-lover's guide) - www.turquoisesxm.info
• Best Gastronomy (restaurant guide)
• Nature (fauna and flora)
• Nights (nightlife, restaurants, shopping)
A number of other magazines are available on the island and can be obtained from the Saint Martin Tourist Office.
• Tourist Office, route de Sandy Ground, Marigot : 0590 87 57 21 ou 0590 51 05 30 - www.stmartinisland.org
• Collectivité of Saint Martin, rue de l‘Hôtel de Ville, Marigot : 0590 87 50 04
• Préfecture (reception), Fort Louis, Marigot : 0590 29 09 21
• Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Concordia, Marigot : 0590 27 91 51
• Veterinary Services : 0590 87 38 67
• Library, Marigot : 0590 87 85 87
• Cultural Centre, Sandy Ground: 0590 87 76 02
• Cultural Centre, Grand Case: 0590 87 88 75
• Cultural Centre, Quartier d’Orléans: 0590 29 41 61
• Lost or stolen credit cards: 0836 69 08 80
• Weather forecast: 0892 68 08 08 or 0892 68 97 10
• Post office, Marigot : 0590 51 07 60
• Tourist Office, WG Buncamper Road 33, Philipsburg : + 542 2337
• Government information service, Ennia Building, Philipsburg : + 542 4119
• Chamber of Commerce, Philipsburg : + 542 3590
• Weather forecast : + 545 4226