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Solo Travelling & Crime

Buenos Aires
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104 posts
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Solo Travelling & Crime

After reading a few threads about crime I got a little worried since I'm planning a solo trip for late April. I've started trying to wonder whether it's a sane idea in the first place.

Is it better for solo travellers to go during high season or is high-season-end "ok" crime-wise?

At the beach: Since I'll be on my own I'll have to leave my stuff somewhere if I want to go for a swim. Any tips to prevent it from being stolen - like, at Mullet Bay or some other public beach.

Wandering around by car: does a solo driver attract problems. I'll try to travel during the day. . . but still, if I rent a car it'll be to go to Grand Case, Lotterie Farm (which is in the way to Pic Paradise), maybe the zoo, maybe Marigot, etc. . .

Walking around at night to/from the hotel/nightclubs in Maho and or Simpson Bay. I've no idea how safe or unsafe it could be. Nightlife where I'm from starts at around 2:30am up to around 6am - I'm not sure what timings are handled here.

What about ATMs in Maho or Simpson Bay?.

I don't carry much cash and I don't look like someone you'd want to tackle with brute force but then criminals are not stupid and move in groups and are armed - so I'm not sure it makes a difference whether I'm a young guy or a granny.

I live in a 3rd world country and I haven't been mugged except once when i was a kid but I keep hearing (local) stories in the news and I know sometimes criminals from backgrounds of extreme poverty/marginalization will shoot/stab the people they mug "just because" - often when drugs are involved.

Staten Island, New...
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1. Re: Solo Travelling & Crime

Maho is a busy area and there are lots of activities you can walk to from your hotel if you stay at Sonesta.

Not a great idea to be out and about at 2 A.M. even in that area.

ATM is available in Maho.

Enjoy your vacation.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Solo Travelling & Crime

I see you are from BA and I went there on vacation last year. Prior to my trip I did some research and the postings about crime nearly scared me away from the trip ( not to mention US State warnings about kidnappings). However, I decided to go and am so glad I did. I had a wonderful time in BA and never had a problem w/ crime. I think it's similar anywhere you travel, there is always a risk of crime and if you read travel posts you can find plenty of reasons to doubt your security. My suggestion is to go to St. martin, enjoy yourself and be aware of your surroundings as you would anywhere you travel.

Louisville, Kentucky
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3. Re: Solo Travelling & Crime

St. Maarten has crime. So does everywhere. I can say in good faith that if you use common sense and good judgement you will be fine. Don't let the stories you read through research scare you away from experiencing new places. You will regret that. ATM's are available, just remember there will be international fees added. French rental tags do not have that "R" that stands out as a rental car. Ask for those tags if possible. On the beaches, take only what money you will need at that time. IF, IF, IF something happens you haven't lost everything. As for the nite time....I guess that would be like anywhere else at that hour, a little more risky but honestly I don't know. I wouldn't think twice about doing that on St. Eustatius (Statia), but that is certainly not St. Maarten.

new england
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4. Re: Solo Travelling & Crime

Crime has escalated on the island in the past couple of years. I've been going for 23 yrs. (70+ visits) and hadn't seen crime as a problem in the past as it is now. Low employment, drugs, illegals all contribute to these problems. Just be aware of your surroundings, even at the ATM's. Maho is an excellent choice because of the activity! However, don't stay out too late because that's when the thugs tend to be around......although there are daytime robberies as well. Be careful in the Lotterie Farm/Pic Paradise area, as well, lots of car thefts etc. If you go, don't leave anything in your car. But, do have lunch @ Hidden Forest Cafe! Oolala! Of course, Grand Case has fabulous restaurants, Bistrot Caraibes is one of my favs!!

Go to Orient Beach. Lots of beach bars. Must try Baywatch!! AWESOME food. Also, Kokomarina for a much different experience. Same view....two quite different restaurants. Baywatch more American fare

(owned by Andy & Cheryl of Jersey) and Kokomarina very French (owned by Marina and KoKo her hubby/chef!). Plus, the beach is topless so be aware.....and further down Orient is a Naturist Resort, Club Orient. Something for everyone.

Don't leave anything at your chair on any of the beaches. They'll be gone. Rather purchase a waterproof container to keep your cash/license etc.

They're available at many shops. I carry a bag for my lotions/towels etc. and tie it to the chair. So if someone wants the bag they'll have to take the chair with it!

SXM is unique.....no other place like it in the Caribbean. However, be aware that there is, indeed, crime.

Have fun!

Contessa

Buenos Aires
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5. Re: Solo Travelling & Crime

Tying my bag to a beach chair sounds like a good plan. Do all beaches provide chairs at a fee?

Why do I have to be aware that there may be topless in Orient Bay?

I'll try to be careful not to look at people too much - but I wonder if the usual tourists here are more sensitive about this kind of thing to the point of it being a potential problem (random people starting fights in broad daylight. . . that kind of thing). I do know the culture I live in is more laidback about personal space and all that.

Does anyone know if the way from Maho to Mullet Bay is safe?. What kind of path is it? An actual street. . . I've heard something of a golf course.

Staten Island, New...
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6. Re: Solo Travelling & Crime

EverythingBurns

Maho to Mullet is a road, should take you about 15 minutes to walk to the beach, the second left turn off the main road leads to a parking lot behind the beach.

New Jersey
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7. Re: Solo Travelling & Crime

Suggest Maho Beach Hotel. Beach is not wide, but roughly 1/4 mile long, planes land right over your head. Or, you can walk safely to Mullet Bay in less than 10 minutes. No need for a car, just take a few bucks for beach vendor hut selling snacks, soda/beer. Great beach. Nights are busy at Maho area with casino, shops, eateries, and bars. Well lit, unarmed security, lots of tourists hanging out. Never had a problem, this will be our 6th year. At roughly 9pm each night, they hold traffic and the casino dancers put on a 10 minute show in the street. There is a night club or two located at other end of Maho Beach that would require you to walk through an unlit area, that I would reserve doing. Otherwise, go and have a good time. As far as car rental, if you plan to tour around the French side, request a rental with French license plates as the Dutch rentals have an "R" on their plates. Just like home (USA), don't leave any valuables in the car. You'll be fine.

Auburn Washington
Destination Expert
for St Martin / St Maarten
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8. Re: Solo Travelling & Crime

Nobody pays any attention to people that are topless at Orient or any other french side beaches. Don't have to worry about fights or disruptive behavior starting up. Just go and do your thing and enjoy yourself.

Gig Harbor...
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9. Re: Solo Travelling & Crime

I think it was mentioned because some people are unpleasantly surprised/offended by topless/nude sunbathers.

If ,perchance, you are that sort, you would be fore-warned.Not that there's anything wrong with that!

If you are not, enjoy ,with the rest of us..:)

Mpls. MN
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10. Re: Solo Travelling & Crime

The road from Maho to Mullet is pretty easy~ you can park a number of different places. This was one of our favorite beaches. You can rent a beach chair and umbrella~ and yes keep as little cash or personal belongings w/you.....There is a wonderful place that we enjoyed ~ I think it was called Rosies~ just a shack...but the ribs were great. My best suggestion as far as worrying about safety has to do w/ not leaving anything in your car that you dont want stolen.....and keep your door/windows locked day and night. We made the mistake of leaving a patio screen door unlocked ~

Enjoy the island....it really is a unique place.