Like many Caribbean ports, there is a shared tax system that charges a per person fee and decreases with the number of people. We ended up with 6 people in our van which dropped the per person price to $7 to Orient Beach, with just two it's $9 per person and they aren't eager to go until they get more. The prices are fixed and posted at the cruise port.
On the way back, we had arranged to meet our driver at 2:30pm but the storm clouds were gathering and we weren't looking to stay that long anymore so we went back to the parking lot and hopped into one that was already filling up. Once again it was $7 per person back to the port, we had them drop us off in the shopping area before we got to the port.
Next level Car Rental
I usually use reviews to make my bookings and Susan,s review was used in my selection. So to assist others I too will put a review out there.
I recently visited St Marteen in June 2012 and rented a car from Next Level Car Rental, they are the best. The agent Vicky was very patient and helpful to us, she went the extra mile to assist us with anything we needed.
They are flexible with dates and times, even provided discounts and specials.
I will definitely use their service every time I go back
Thank you Next Level Car Rental especially Vicky
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Next Level Car Rental
I don't usually write reviews but I had to tell you about my newest discovery.
I recommend anyone to rent at Next Level Car Rental agencies located on both the french and Dutch part of the island. My friends and I have been coming to the island for the past 8 years every single year. And I can tell you I know alot about the island and no other company beats the service we got here.
Get offers, discounts and if you are lucky maybe even an upgrade.
Ask to speak to Vicky (she is a sweetheart)
Susan from New York
- Budget Travel
Buses run on both sides of the island and are easy enough to spot. They are actually mini vans and trips cost anywhere from $1.50 to 3.00. Destinations are posted on the front window. Please note, most buses stop running around dusk so if you miss one, you'll need to get a taxi which can get pricey.
There is bus service from: 1. Marigot to Bay rouge, 2. Marigot to Cole bay KFC (maho-Philisburg bus/dutch side), 3. Marigot through A// Quarter D'orleans (pass 1 mile to Lotterie Farm and continues to B// Grand Case then 1 mile away to C//Orient Beach
Buses cost $1.00 or $1.50 U.S. If you travel a short or medium distance pay $1.00 or $1.50 to reach the end destination. You can flag the buses down, but if you are walking along the road they will honk behind you to see if you need a ride. Sometimes the taxis will carry a group of people at a discount rate, sometimes not.
The drivers are multilingual and will understand you and where you want to get to. Sometimes they will mention where your stop is if they know you are not sure where you are going, sometimes they don't. It is very easy to take the buses. Say "good morning/good afternoon/good evening" to the other passengers when you board. Pay when you leave. If you need change then ask the driver to make change while you are waiting for your destination. They may or may not make change for you. Probably he will.
If you are going all over the island in one trip then you may need a few different buses so it will be $1.50 three times.
Oh, and by the way the buses are white minivans.
Expensive Transportation St. Martin/Sint Maarten
Taxis are $30 for two people - one way, to any major town on the island that is about 30 minutes away. Buses are less expensive when arranged by your hotel or resort. Car rental is extremely expensive (we paid $80 for one day, after the rental person said we had to pay an extra $15 cash for gas when we probably only used one or two gallons at the most!)
The taxi's are very expensive, but they are everywhere. To go from one side of the island to another i.e airport to Grand case will cost you $26.00 US To go a short distance i.e. 5 minutes or about 1 mile will cost you $10.00. To go a few miles it will cost $15, not double the cost for double the distance. The fare is based on zones. You don't need to know them. I found the drivers to be honest. Each one had comparible rates. Once a driver, who knew we were going to take the bus, offered to take us for half the cost, but usually they don't barter cause it is not allowed. Do ask the cost BEFORE you get in the vehicle or you will be overcharged at the end.
Maudit Air-Transat à la marde
Air-Transat n'a rien fait pour attirer la clientèle. Retard de 1.5 heures parce que l'eau était gelée. On part finalement pas d'eau autre que des bouteilles. Pour se faire pardonner des toilettes qui ne flushait pas, ils passent les écouteurs gratuits, pour ensuite s'appercevoir que le système audio/vidéo était en panne. Good!
Durant le vol, des lumières allumaient et éteignaient sans contrôle (genre court-circuit). Escale dans un couloir de l'aéroport de Puerto-Rico, le temps de faire le ménage de l'avion. Dans ce couloir, 1 seule toilette pour l'ensemble des passagers de l'avion, une machine à liqueur en monnaies américaines. Maudite gang d'innocent!!!
On arrive finalement à St-Martin partie hollandaise avec 2.5 heures de retard et la mauvaise humeur.
- Sailing and Boating
Local Car Rental Agency
Renting a car is the best way to get around the island. There are just as many local car rental companies as there are American/International car rental companies.
There will be occasional hitchhikers on the road and they are perfectly safe to pick up during the daytime as this is part of the communal ritual on the island. Avoid doing this at night time.