St. Martin/St. Maarten was discovered in November of 1493 by none other than Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World. He decided to name the Island San Martin. Since its discovery the island has been claimed by two countries, France and The Netherlands. Though it is one island, it is divided into two separate nations, Saint-Martin (France), and Sint Maarten (Netherlands). Each side’s culture is influenced by their administering countries, however, they share such a similar heritage, and traditions, it is often difficult to tell the two areas apart. Both Nations are about equal in population, and share the island land equally.
Culture Of St. Martin/St. Maarten
St. Martin/St. Maarten is a blend of mostly African, British, Dutch and French heritage. Today, the island natives, the Creole, are outnumbered, by immigrants. Today, the island’s population is just under 80,000 and the island is truly a melting pot of people. There are immigrants from more than 70 different countries that have settled on the island.
With so many different people, from different countries around the world settling in St. Martin/St. Maarten, you would imagine that there are many different languages spoken on the island. With all of the different nationalities present, an english based Creole is the local language. The official, and two most widespread languages used on the island are, French (On the French side), and Dutch (On the Dutch side).
Geography & Beaches
St. Martin/St. Maarten is around 88 square kilometers in total area, and is the smallest area of land to be home to two separate nations. The island is located just over 300km from the east coast of Puerto Rico.
St. Martin/St. Maarten is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Both on the French side, and on the Dutch side. There are just under 40 beaches on the entire island. Some of the more notable ones to checkout on the French side are, Bay Long, Plum Bay, Bay Rouge, and Nettle Bay. Some of the best beaches to check out on the Dutch side are, Great Bay, Little Bay, Kimsha Beach, and Simpson Bay Beach. There are many more, but the ones listed above are the most popular, and most recommended to visit.