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Day tour from St Martin

Virginia
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Day tour from St Martin

Will be in St Martin in 2 weeks. We would like to do a day trip to St Barts. Should we have any trouble getting a rental car at the ferry dock if we don't book in advance? How much is there to do within walking distance of the ferry dock (2-3 miles that can be walked safely and is not steep hills)?

Pittsburgh...
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1. Re: Day tour from St Martin

There is lots of information on this forum about day trips.

http://tinyurl.com/82ouogg

http://tiny.cc/rcoh6

http://tiny.cc/qa9on

http://tiny.cc/snfdn

http://tinyurl.com/7wujcwk

The main town of Gustavia is where you will land so you can explore there and Shell Beach without a car. FYI you cannot walk anywhere outside of Gustavia and St Jean safely and without hills.

Virginia
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2. Re: Day tour from St Martin

Thanks. I've read all the posts. Haven't seen anything about availability of rental cars. I know there are places at the dock to rent them. But I read something somewhere that advised renting in advance in high season.

We aren't sure about going yet and do not want to rent in advance and wonder if it is hard to get a car for the day last minute in January,

columbus
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3. Re: Day tour from St Martin

I really don't think you will have a problem renting last minute that time of year. Only time I would not do that would be high, high Christmas/New Year season. Late January you will be fine. Worst case senario, just hang in Gustavia, head to Shell Beach, or taxi to St. Jean Beach and then explore the shops in St. Jean. Have a wonderful vacation! Binti

Virginia
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4. Re: Day tour from St Martin

Thanks for info.

Pittsburgh...
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5. Re: Day tour from St Martin

Sorry, I focused on the "what is there to do" part of your question.

As Binti notes, you should not have a problem renting a car from the ferry dock. There are a few agencies in Gustavia, where you will land, and more in St Jean at the airport. Worst case scenerio, if you can't get a car, taxis tours will be waiting in the parking lot. You can arrange for them to give you a quick tour of the island and drop you at the beach of your choice. Pre-arrange the pick up time and have them bring you back to Gustavia for late lunch and some shopping before getting the ferry back.

Virginia
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6. Re: Day tour from St Martin

Thanks. Any idea of the current price of car rental for a day or a taxi tour?

Pittsburgh...
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7. Re: Day tour from St Martin

Sorry, I can't help you with that....we have only rented long term and never used a taxi on the island.

Maybe someone else can help?

NY
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8. Re: Day tour from St Martin

I would suggest that you contact one of the car agencies in advance and get them to meet you at the dock. In low season, you can probably do this just the day before. This will have the advantage of saving some time when you arrive in SBH, and not having the pressure of negotiating for a price as it will already be agreed. Don't go through the US reservation systems of the major agencies. Look-up car rental in SBH, pick one, and call or email them directly. These are small, usually familly owned operations. They will serve you well.

If you want a taxi, they typically wait at the dock. They will gladly take you around the island or stay with you for the day. I have never used them but I am told taxis are VERY expensive in SBH.

Chicago
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9. Re: Day tour from St Martin

We took a day trip from St. Martin a few years ago and did not get a car. We walked around Gustavia, where the ferry docs We took a cab to Nikki Beach for lunch and stayed on St .Jean beach for the day till we had to get back to the ferry. If you are planning on doing a lot of exploring I would highly recommend a car, cab rides can get pricey. Through the hotel we receive a discounted rate of 40 euros for a car rental. St. Bart's has very beautiful beaches and I recommend you try to see at many as you can. I will also say that one of the most gorgeous beaches was in Anguilla, the island is unspoiled and just amazing. I would recommend a day trip there for a secluded feel.

Edited: 10 January 2012, 20:21
Philadelphia, PA
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10. Re: Day tour from St Martin

If you make your way to St. Maarten, you should take a day trip to St Barts - it will give you a completely different Caribean experience. Ferries leave from Marigot on the French side and Oyster Pond on the Dutch side. We traveled today and there was plenty of room on the ferry both ways. The Babou 1 and Voyager ferries both had room. We rented a car via Voyager by asking the cashier. They set us up with Euro One who met us and 2 other groups at the dock, drove us to their location near the airport and upon our returning our car, they drove us back into town. It was a very convenient and painless experience. The cost was around 65Euro. The agency even told us that a typical trip around the island takes about 8 liters of gas. I put in 9 liters at 12.7 Euro - it's not cheap. We found the island quite hard to travel, that said, once on the main road, it is quite easy since the road basically makes a loop around the island. Getting to some of the beaches can be a challenge, not only in finding the roads from the main one, but when you find the public access, there normally is little to no parking around. Grand e Saline beach was an exception as there was plenty of public parking. Unfortunately, when the wind blows the sand bites into you and otherwise detracts from a most beautiful location (no facilities there, although a few restaurants were nearby. I was completely amazed at how quickly one can get from one side of the island to the other, the map is deceiving not only because the island is small, but you spend your time going directly up or down hill in most cases, and the miles add up quicker than you think. The drive from Grande Saline to St. Jean took us no more than 10 minutes. You MUST rent a car or get a taxi tour if you go. This is one island where you see roads being repaired, updated, or clearly having been well-maintained, and most properties are well-maintained as well. On some islands, I find it a real let-down, vacation spoiler to have the reality of poorly maintained, horid looking properties in my constant view as I travel to or from my much more lavish accomodation, I don't think you will find that on this island.

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