One of the Leeward Islands located in the West Indies, St. Martin is an island less than forty-square miles in size and is shared by a joint Franco-Dutch border controls: France and Netherlands Antilles.

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By: Paolo Gamba

Visitors traveling to this “hidden gem” needs to be aware of some important details to help prepare and plan a fantastic trip. Here are some St. Martin Travel pointers to keep you on top of things on your visit:

Climate

The temperature of St. Martin remains constant year-round averaging about 80F and water temperature level averages 78F. Trade winds provide a little cooling on the coasts. Periodic rain showers in the late summer and early fall are be anticipated, with an average annual rains of forty-five inches.

Currency

Dutch St. Martin’s official currency is the Netherlands Antilles Florin or Guilder (NAF). United States dollars are widely accepted. Practically all of the prices in the island are noted in dollars and the regional currency.

Banking Hours

Dutch St. Martin banks are open from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday, although some banks likewise open on Saturdays..

Entry Requirements

For US citizens entering St. Martin for three months or less need a present passport or an initial birth certificate together with a photo ID.

For Canadian residents entering for fourteen days or less must have a valid passport or birth certificate, or naturalization certificate. If remaining more not fourteen days however less than thirty days, a certificate of admission for momentary stay is released upon arrival. Likewise needed are return tickets, files for next destination, and enough funds.

For UK citizens or British safeguarded individuals getting in for 3 months or less is needed a valid passport, return tickets, sufficient funds, and files for next location.

Citizens from other countries must validate with a travel agent for the proper documents needed to go into St. Martin. Vaccinations are not needed unless tourists are arriving from locations experiencing an epidemic.

Departure Tax

The departure tax is $20.00.

Language

The main language of St. Martin is Dutch; however, practically everybody speaks English. Spanish and Papiamento are likewise other typical languages spoken in the island.

Time Zone

The island of St. Martin follows Atlantic Standard Time all year-round. For the duration of fall and winter, twelve noon on the East Coast of the United States is 1pm on the island. During US daytime savings time, the hour on the Eastern Seaboard is the same as it is on the island.

Shopping

Shopping in the island is entirely duty-free. Stores are open from Monday through Saturday from 9am till 6pm, other stores on the island open till 10pm or later on.

Tipping

Most of dining establishments and hotels include ten to fifteen percent to the bill as a service charge. Travelers may tip more for unique service and it is traditional to tip taxi drivers 10 to fifteen percent. Porters at the airport normally receive one dollar per bag.