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(extra) - Sint Maarten (NA) / Saint Martin (F)

Sint Maarten (NA) / Saint Martin (F)

Situation: approx. 300 km east of Puerto Rico, and approx. 950 km north of Curaçao

Inhabitants: 74.000
whereof French side: 38.000, Dutch side: 36.000

Size: 37 square miles
whereof French side: 43 km², Dutch side: 32 km²

Highest elevations: French side: Pic du Paradis - 424 m, Dutch side: Sentry Hill - 344 m

Nickname: The friendly island


a. Geografic situation:

The six Dutch islands of the Caribbean are:
- A B C
- S S S

On the one hand we have the A-B-C-islands:
Aruba - Bonaire - Curaçao.
Those are situated near the coast of Venezuela (20 to 50 miles),
Distances among each other between 30 and 45 miles.

- the ABC islands present approx. 92% of the total area.
- 90% of the total inhabitants live on A-B-C.

The other three islands are called S-S-S-islands, and can be found 600 miles (!) northeast of A-B-C !
Sint Maarten - Saba - St. Eustatius; located 'up there' near Puerto Rico.

From a statistic point of view, their influence seems small: just 8% of the total area and just 10% of all Dutch West Indian inhabitants. Saba has just 1.400 inhabitants, while St. Eustatius just has 2.100. (but Curaçao for comparison 165.000!) Often the islands Curaçao and Aruba are associated with the Dutch West Indies rather only.

b. political situation:

Contrary to the geographic situation, the islands B + C on the one side and the three S-S-S islands on the other side form the State 'Netherlands Antilles. (" Nederlandse Antillen")
This an autonomous country within the Dutch Kingdom.

But wait a minute, what about Aruba? (the A of A-B-C)
Aruba received a separate status in 1986 the so called Status Aparte" en thus is not a part of the Netherlands Antilles anymore, but has a direct link with the Netherlands.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands (Koninkrijk der Nederlanden) consequently is made up (since 1986) out of the following three parts:
- the Netherlands ("Holland") with capital city Amsterdam
- the Netherlands Antilles with capital city Willemstad [803 km² / 207.500 inh.]
- and Aruba with capital city Oranjestad [193 km² / 70.000 inh.]

St. Martin (F)

St. Martin belongs administratively to Guadeloupe and is a Sub-Prefecture of the Dépt. de la Guadeloupe.

The French Antilles (French West Indies) are:
- Martinique (with capital Fort-de-France) and
- Guadeloupe (with capital Pointe-à-Pitre)
The islands Marie Galante, La Désirade, les Saintes, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin are part of Guadeloupe as well. However St. Barths and St-Martin are not really close to Guadeloupe, but are situated 140 miles north.

The Dépt. Guadeloupe has 417.000 inhabitants, quite a lot for Caribbean standards.

On St. Martin everything is crowded:
1960 the French side had 4.500 inhabitants, in 1980 it was 8000, in 1988 there were 24.000 and in 1997 it was more than 30.000. Like the Dutch side, an enormous grow.

Among the 34.000 inhabitants approx. 7500 persons from Haiti, 3000 persons from the Dom. Republic and 3000 European French people from France. (= la Métropole). - newspaper on St Maarten, N.A. -
News online -
Internet Service Provider -
Infos on St Maarten -
Best of St. Maarten - tourist + travel info - tourist + travel info - tourist + travel info

   St. Maarten (NA) :

On the way from Cole Bay (NA) to the border monument.

Union Road

 St. Maarten (NA) :

We are approaching the border and the border monument. Well, actually there is no visible border, as all goods and persons circulate freely on all the island.

  border monument
  border monument
   St- Martin (F):

...part of the French Republic!

  St-Martin (F):

welcome to the French side.

Sint Maarten (NA)

welcome to the Dutch side.

   St-Martin (F) :

Having passed the border: the first 100 yards on French territory.
(Route nationale

rue de Hollande

St. Martin (F):

On the French side the trunk road is called "rue de Hollande" (=Holland street)

St. Martin (F):

After 1.5 miles we reach Marigot, capital of the French side. Place name boards have the same color and design like in French mainland Europe! (La Métropole)

St. Martin (F):

In Marigot: seeing "France Telecom" and 'La Poste" mail, one rather is reminded of the French Riviera (Côte d' Azur) than the Caribbean.

Sint Maarten (NA):

Trunk road towards Philipsburg centre.

Sint Maarten (NA):

Street post near Philipsburg, NA.

(Longwall road)

Overview map

BK August 2002

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More pictures of the Netherlands Antilles?! HERE!!

all photos copyrighted by BK