Few people realize that there's a whole new world to discover behind the beautiful bars and beaches. The underwater world of the caribbean is a great way to remember your holiday. You will forget the beach, the shops and that nice bar but you will never forget the great experience of being able to breath under water and spend time with people that will guide you there! I had a great time with the Caribbean Dive College. You can't miss it if you leave the cruise ships area and walk your way to Philipsburg. Be sure to create good memories of your stay on Sint Maarten. Go scuba.. and the Caribbean Dive College is a great way to start!
Various round-abouts in St Martin have sculptures in the middle that represent the various phases of history of St Martin
I only have photos of two of them - the Emancipation one - I took three photos as we drove around the roundabout, and the Salt Pickers. The Salt Pickers had a very hard life. The sculpture shows a central figure which is a man using a shovel to mine the salt. A man and a woman are transporting a large tray of salt while two women are shown gathering salt. The Dutch stopped salt production in 1949.
The Emancipation one is near the cruise ship terminal. The Emancipation Declaration was signed in Curaçao on July 1, 1863.
The St. Maarten Park has a focus on the Caribbean and American Tropics. It is the largest zoo in the Caribbean They have over 80 species including the largest display of exotic parrots in the Caribbean. In addition to the birds and various kinds of monkeys there are also Ocelots, Bush Dogs (Bob's photo), Golden Lion Tamarins and Capybarras. And it doesn't stop there. They also have tropical plants such as Bougainvillea, Allamanda, Oleander, Ixoria, the Flamboyant, Sea Grape, Cordia and Yellow Poui. Some additional pictures are in the afternoon travelogue titled Natural Wonders and the Zoo The pictures there include the blue macaw, a toucan, a green iguana and a scarlett ibis.
We were taken on a tour of the various animal cages, and also visited the Bat Cave (with the fruit eating bats which were behind a glass barrier). In addition to the Capuchan monkeys (pictured with the guide) and the Bush Dog, other pictures on this tip include the red footed tortoise (and baby), a sleeping racoon, and the East African Masked Lovebirds.
Open in the Winter: 9:00am to 5:00pm
in the Summer: 9:30am to 6:00pm
Admission $10 Adults; children 3-11 $5
They have a nice gift shop, a snack bar and a playground which is the largest on the island
My grandmother had been to this zoo on a previous cruise, so one of the places we went was to this place. She showed me photos that she took the last time she was here. This is the largest zoo in the Caribbean
I just loved the scarlet macaws. I thought they should be called Rainbow Macaws. I also liked the Bush Dog, and the hamsters. I went into the petting zoo. I didn't like the reptile house because there were mosquitoes in there.
There were peacocks and iguanas wandering the grounds. One of them came up to my grandmother on her scooter.
There was also a group of school kids there when we went.
Entrance fee: $10 adults, $5 age 3 to 11
Open in the Winter: 9:00am to 5:00pm
in the Summer: 9:30am to 6:00pm
They have a nice gift shop, a snack bar and a playground which is the biggest one on the island
As you walk the short boardwalk, you will be approached by vendors selling everything from braiding to jet ski rentals, to people trying to get you to go to a time share presentation.
One thing that is always fun is the banana boat tours. A large, inflatable tube where you sit, and get pulled by a boat or jet ski through the water. Tons of fun.
Sometimes the best part of the trip is the anticipation of getting ready to leave. Well I had so much fun reading Ed and Sandra's personal web pages on St Maartin. I first read about their trip reports on the www.traveltalkonline.com forum. I hope you enjoy this link of theirs
The A.C. Wathey Pier is named after Dr. A.C Wathey and is where cruise passengers first set foot in St. Maarten. The Pier leads out to a tourist center where there is shoping, water taxis, tourist information and island tours.
Liz and I bought our water taxi pass here to Phillipsburg.
The Town Pier is where the majority of water taxis will let you off. The Pier has ATM's, visitor information, tour information as well as pay phones. This area is essential your gateway to Philipsburg.
Philipsburg is the capital of the Dutch side of the island. Philipsburg has beautiful beaches, nice restuarants and tons of shopping. There is no need to rush in Philipsburg; there is a casual feel that permeates you and automatically slows you down. Take your time and visit the shops, stroll the beaches, eat at the restuarnts, wander the markets and interact with the people. It is a friendly place and a fun place to visit.
St. Maarten is an island and surrounded by beautiful, calm water so of course they are going to be boat fanatics. Boating is very big in St. Maarten and a great way to island hop around the Caribbean.
Old Street is best described as a a smal area packed with shops especially duty free items such as liquor. The Belgian Chocolate Box is here so definitely check it out as well as compare liquor prices.
Great Bay Beach is the perfect spot to take a dip in the crystal blue waters, sun bathe or stroll along the shore. The sand is like sugar and the water is so warm....I can understand why people love this beach. The water is so warm and clear like bath water.
The beach area has some lovely shells and are perfect for the shell collector. Liz enjoyed picking up shells for her colection.
Many people come to St. Maarten to shop for jewlry. The prices in St. Maarten are very good and not paying tax on your items can make a big difference. Just like any big purchase it's good to come prepared and know what you are looking for, how much it costs and the quality you are looking for. Deal with reputible shops that have been recommended by actual customers. Family owned business usually have the best quality merchandise and do many of the repairs and actually jewelry making on their premises.
Before we travelled to St. Maarten we knew what we were looking for and how much it cost at home. We were able to find the right quality and price for our desired items.
The Claude Wathey statue was the first thing we noticed as we walked off of the cruise ship. The statue is of one of the islands most patriotic and influential political figures.
According to our guide book his story is that he was born Albert Claudius Wathey in Philipsburg, St. Maarten on July 24, 1926, he attended St. Joseph's School, which is still located on Front Street. His formal educational training was in business and hotel management. Wathey began his active political career in1950, winning his first Island Council Elections in 1951. He later went on to form the prominent Democratic Party of St. Maarten with Clem Labega in July of 1954. Wathey enjoyed an illustrious political career, becoming a senator in the Netherlands Antillean Parliament in 1962 and later holding other prominent posts, among them Commissioner of Tourism. His vision of tourism being the driving force behind the island's economy is one of his most important legacies, and to that end he helped engineer deals that brought major hotels to the island.
In addition, his pride as a Sint Maartener led him to help create a national holiday for the island. Thanks to his efforts and those of other prominent island residents like Labega and Dr. Hubert Petit, on November 11, 1962, St. Maarten Day was born, a holiday islanders celebrate with pride to this day.
The Philpsburg Courthouse is one of the oldest monuments on the island. It was completed in 1793 by the order of Commander Willem Hendrik Rink. The Courthouse is located right in the heart of the shopping district on Front Street. The structure is two slevels with a tower. The tower is toped with a pineapple as a symbol of hospitality to all who visit the island.