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First timer to St. Maarten

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First timer to St. Maarten

Hey all,

I have been perusing through the many helpful topics on this board, as my GF and I are planning on staying in January and I have 3 main questions/concerns...

1. I don't want to dig up old topics here, but how safe or unsafe is this island in reality? I mean, I travel somewhat frequently and tend to use "common sense" but if someone comes up to me with a gun or machete, there is not much I can do to prevent that...right? Should I avoid walking at night no matter what? I mean, I am no Chuck Norris, but anyways should I rent a car, or are taxis readily available (and safe) if we end up drinking at bars until midnight or so? I do not mean to make any negative presumptions by any means, but I just want this to be a good trip for my GF. Any transportation tips and safety tips would be great!

2. Activities/excursions...from what I can tell, many of these companies cater to the cruise crowd. Are there some dedicated to ppl. solely on the island, or does it matter? Any good recommendations would be much appreciated.

3. Any good hotel recommendations? I was thinking about Les Balcons, but anything in the $100-$200 range would be good, Hotel L'Esplanade and Le Petit looked really nice but too much for me.

Also sorry, any good detailed maps of the island available online? If someone could please help me out w/my first adult journey to the Caribbean, I would be much obliged!

Thanks again,


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725 posts
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1. Re: First timer to St. Maarten

Rent a car to discover all the beautiful beaches during the day.

If you are party people-stay near Simpson Bay area-

You can walk to most venues at night.

Les Balcons is in a quiet area of the island and a bit of a long drive at night.

go beach . com has some good island maps.

Just be cautious, don't leave anything in the car.

Don't walk around in the wee hours at night.

Don't drive up to Pic Paradise at any time.

Instead, go to the Loterie Farm nearby for the zip lines and a scrumptious lunch.

Auburn Washington
Destination Expert
for St. Maarten-St. Martin
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4,178 posts
5 reviews
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2. Re: First timer to St. Maarten

Just use common sence for safty and take the advise from the previous response.

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3. Re: First timer to St. Maarten

A couple I can think of are, if you travel to Maho do not park near the secluded areas away from other autos, park in the garage instead. Don't go around showing money, etc (kind of in the common sense topic) and in the evening stay where other people are near and if driving, keep the doors locked.

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4. Re: First timer to St. Maarten

Thank you for all of your suggestions.

I am also looking at possibly renting a condo/villa possibly in the Orient Beach area...any suggestions?

Specifically does anyone have experience with the one below?


Also, is this a safe area at night?

Thanks again for all of your help!

Cupecoy Bay, St...
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10,202 posts
19 reviews
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5. Re: First timer to St. Maarten

Can't really comment too much on this one, other than it's upstairs over a small grocery store in the middle of Orient Village. Looks very nice, and I would guess it would be a fun place to be if the restaurants in the area are open.

6. Re: First timer to St. Maarten

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