Sint Maarten; Saint Martin. Half Dutch, half French, and yet completely Caribbean. Whichever side you land on, this Caribbean isle in the Leeward Island chain is a stunning yacht charter destination, with rolling green hills and secluded palm fringed bays, powdery white sand beaches and a thriving nightlife. This is the tale of two island nations in one.
Marigot, Saint Martin, is a quaint place with a strong French character, where you will find elegant restaurants and sophisticated beach clubs dotting the sand, and DJs playing as the sun sets over the Caribbean. There are French colonial buildings and wide boulevards, white-painted cottages sitting by the sea under bending palms. Designer boutique shopping can be found on the boardwalk waterfronts, and night markets line the streets by the port, jewellery glinting in the moonlight.
Behind the coast, green hills rise up - rolling down the other side to Sint Maarten, the southern nation of the island. In those green hills you will find hiking trails and vineyards, and can even zip-line through the trees.
The Dutch side is livelier and more populous, although is not without many gentle spots of quiet beauty. Over by the airport you will find the famous Sunset Bar along a small strip of beach, where jumbo jets come into land only tens of metres above the brave (and foolish) beach-goers who fling themselves against the wire fence to feel the roaring wind of the jet engines.
Superyachts cluster in the grand marinas in Simpson Bay, and the nightlife along this strip is known for its steel bands and dancing under the stars.
Once away from the towns, the coastline cares not if it is French or Dutch. A beautiful landscape of sheltered anchorages and deep lagoons, bays of emerald greens and sapphire and patches of dark where the rocks lurk underneath. On a luxury yacht charter in Saint Martin you can snorkel in shallow waters that glimmer with light, across reefs that are a riot of colour and life. The stunning expanse of soft white sand at Baie Longue beach on the French/Dutch border is an exclusive retreat and well-worth a visit.
Saint Martin is also well-known for its sailing regattas, when the vast cream and silver sails of superyachts billow and snap around the beautiful coastline, and the rum punch flows in cheerful marina bars long into the night.
The split-personality island of St Maarten/Martin has everything for the perfect yacht charter: fine dining, glorious beaches, crystal clear waters and a thriving shopping and nightlife scene. A yacht charter in Saint Martin is perfectly positioned to enjoy the nearby islands of St Barths, Anguilla, Antigua and St Kitts & Nevis during a Leeward Islands charter.