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St. Maarten offers a delightful case of split personality. Legend has it that a Frenchman and a Dutchman divided ownership of the island through a walk-off: Standing back to back, the two headed in opposite directions, walking around the island until they met. Perhaps the Dutchman paused for a refreshing brew. At any rate, the French ended up claiming 21 square miles of the island to 16 square miles for the Dutch. This lively tale says much about St. Maarten's easygoing ways. No formal boundary exists between the Dutch and French sides of the island; a simple welcome sign tells you when you cross from one country to the other. But the differences are as noticeable as the spelling of the island's name. The French spell it St. Martin. And it's this split personality that lends so much to the island's charms, including an international reputation for the finest cuisine in the Caribbean.
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The Dutch capital of St. Maarten, Philipsburg charms with colonial architecture, historic buildings, wonderful shopping and sun-swept beaches. Just a few blocks wide, delights can be found around every corner.
The hub of French St. Martin, this capital city is filled with designer boutiques, sidewalk cafés and bistros and trendy art galleries. Wander through the charming streets and experience a taste of France.
Hailed as the "Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean", this charming seaside town is renowned for its exceptional dining and culinary variety, glorious beaches and romantic vistas.
Large mesh enclosures house a dazzling array of exotic butterflies in their natural, tropical setting. Walk through the lush foliage, photograph these delicate creatures and learn about their life cycle.
Cool trade winds, light waves and sparkling sand make this one of the most popular beaches. But it is the clothing-optional French side that attracts the most attention.
Take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be Dennis Conner for the day and race million-dollar yachts in the turquoise blue waters and brisk trade winds of the Caribbean Sea.
Unlike anything in the U.S., this zoo boasts some 200 animals, all exclusively from the tropics and a number are quite rare.
One of St. Maarten's pluses is the fine collection of venues to sail, swim, snorkel and kayak. Or take an exhilarating Segway tour on the boardwalk!
Children age 12 and younger, savings up to 50%. For actual pricing information, click on tour title or Reserve button.