We had an opportunity in April 2012 to visit Saint Martin, an island in the northeast Caribbean that is divided between the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Sint Maarten) and France (Saint Martin). While we stayed in and spent the majority of our time on the southern, Dutch side of the island, we did explore a few areas on the French side and sail to Prickly Pear Cays in Anguilla. Saint Martin had some the of best beaches and clearest water we've encountered and was a wonderful place to rest and relax for a few days.

Accommodation: Rainbow Beach Club 

Adventures: The Lambada, Prickly Pear Cays, Baie Rouge Beach, Maho Beach, Princess Juliana International Airport, Philipsburg, Carnival, Marigot

Memorable Moments: 1) Sailing on the Lambada. 2) Snorkeling at Prickly Pear Cays. 3) Watching the planes land at Princess Juliana International Airport. 4) Strolling the markets in Marigot. 5) Watching the sunset each evening. 6) Making friends with the local iguanas and feeding them flowers. 7) Searching for sea glass in the clear waters.

Takeaways: 1) The sun is intense in the Caribbean. 2) Island time means there are long delays. 3) Iguanas are rather friendly creatures. 4) The USD is accepted everywhere. 5) Traffic is terrible. 6) Who knew jet blast is an attraction? 7) Snorkeling is our new favorite pastime. 8) Goggles are handy in the clear waters. 9) Clothing is optional on many of the beaches.

Foodstuff: The island has an abundance of BBQ chicken, ribs, and fish. (We developed a liking for fish here!) Be sure to try the pastries on the French side of the island. The local beers are Carib and Presidente, but Heineken is also popular on the Dutch side of the island. Try Ting, a carbonated beverage flavored with grapefruit juice. Also, rum.


1) Rent a car.
2) Bring sunblock, aloe, ibuprofen, snacks, and cash.

P.S. A very special THANK YOU to our friends who invited us to stay at their family vacation home. We had such a great time with you on the island!


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