Compared to France, there is a time difference of:
- 5 hours in the winter (from the end of October to the end of March)
- 6 hours in the summer (from the end of March to the end of October)
Compared to New York:
- 1 hour in the winter (from the end of October to the end of March)
Compared to universal time (GMT):
- 4 hours’ difference.
There are more than 120 nationalities on the Friendly Island. On the French side of the island, St. Martin, the French language is used by public authorities and schools. But the locals of St. Martin speak English pretty well and it is widely spoken across the island. On the Dutch side, the official languages are Dutch and English. However, Spanish, Creole, and Papiamento are also widely spoken on both sides of the island.
The two official currencies are the euro on the French side, and the florin (NAF) or guilder on the Dutch side. However, American dollars are accepted across the island and are frequently used as currency of reference. There are several currency exchanges and banks with ATMs all over the island. Please note that there are a lot of places that do not accept checks, but most accept the main international credit cards.
On the French side: 220 Volts / 60 Hertz. European sockets.
On the Dutch side: 110 Volts / 60 Hertz. American sockets.
On both sides of the island, the stores selling electrical appliances, Hi-Fi devices and cameras also sell power converters and adapters for American and European plugs. Electrical appliances can therefore be used on both sides of the island.
There are no water springs or rivers on the island. The clean water distributed comes from water desalination plants. Just like the rest of the planet, water has become a rare resource here and so it is expensive. Spring water and mineral water are available for purchase from all stores.
The international codes for St. Martin (French side): +590 and for Sint-Maarten (Dutch side): +1 721.
From St. Martin to St. Martin:
dial the 10-digit number.
Calling Sint-Maarten from St. Martin:
for a landline: 00 1 721 54 + the 5 digits of the landline number.
for a cell phone: 00 1 721 55 + the 5 digits of the cell phone number.
From St. Martin to France:
00 33 + the 10-digit telephone number.
From St. Martin to the United States:
- 001 + area code + telephone number.
From Sint-Maarten to St. Martin:
- for a landline: 00 59 + the 10 digits of the landline number.
- for a cell phone: 00 59 + the 10 digits of the cell phone number.
From Sint-Maarten to Sint-Maarten:
- dial the 7-digit number.
From Sint-Maarten to France:
- 00 33 + the 10-digit telephone number.
From Sint-Maarten to the United States:
- 001 + area code + telephone number.
The internet service providers on the island are: Orange Caraïbes, Dauphin Telecom, and Canal Box. Fiber optic cables are currently being installed throughout the island. Broadband connection is available in most districts and ultra high-speed networks are being installed across the island. Internet access is available in bars and restaurants. In most places, you just need to ask for the Wi-Fi password and you can access the internet free-of-charge. Hotels generally all have Wi-Fi in the rooms or in communal areas. Free internet access is one of the services offered by hotels.
You can travel to St. Martin with your four-legged friend. You should however check with your accommodation services to find out if pets are accepted and if an extra cost applies. On the French side, small dogs are accepted depending on the establishment as long as they are kept on a leash, but they are not allowed on the beaches for hygiene and regulatory reasons.
No vaccines are required to travel to the island of St. Martin. Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, see the travel conditions on the page Covid Infos.
The sun rays are particularly strong on St. Martin because it is located between the Tropic of Cancer and the equator. It is therefore essential to have high SPF sunscreen and total protection sunblock is even recommended for those who are used to the Mediterranean sun. Good quality sunglasses are also highly recommended and you should always have a sun hat with you.
Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti in the Caribbean). There are a few cases each year. The symptoms of the disease are high fever and headaches, aching and weakness, and they can last for several weeks. Symptoms arise 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. In most cases, dengue fever does not result in complications. However, there is a risk of bleeding that comes with this viral infection, mainly due to the lowered blood platelet count. If in doubt, make sure you go see a doctor and avoid taking aspirin and anti-inflammatories.
Therefore, you should protect yourself from mosquito bites by using mosquito nets, wearing long sleeves and pants, and by using mosquito repellent. It is also important to avoid creating places for mosquitoes to breed, by getting rid of stagnant water for example, both indoors and outdoors.
Some plants can cause serious allergic reactions, namely the manchineel tree (from the Spanish manzana, meaning apple). This tree is 6.5 to 16 feet high and looks like an apple tree. It grows in dry and sandy ground, mainly near beaches. Its dense foliage provides shelter, but be careful because just slight contact with any part of the manchineel tree can cause burns that can be more or less severe. It is dangerous to take shelter under this tree when it is raining because its sap and fruit are extremely toxic. You are generally recommended not to eat fruit without asking for advice about the type of fruit from specific organizations or people with expert knowledge.
Some fish, especially those that are found on coral reefs, contain toxins that, if consumed, can be quite unpleasant (itching, tingling sensation, dizziness, etc.) and sometimes very serious (paralysis, low blood pressure). This reaction is called ciguatera fish poisoning. Always make sure you request the necessary information from specific organizations or people with expert knowledge before eating fish, especially if you have caught the fish yourselves. Big fish (over 2 pounds) are usually the ones that contain the most toxins.
The health system on the French side is exactly the same as in France. All well-known medication can be found here.
On the French side :
- Hôpital Louis Constant Fleming, Concordia, Marigot – Emergency services: +590 590 52 26 29 / reception, admission: +590 590 52 25 25
- For urgent medical assistance: 15
- Police emergency line: 17
- Fire department: 18
- Erick Ambulances: +590 590 29 29 34
- Ambulances des Îles du Nord: +590 690 29 08 11
- Military police, Concordia: +590 590 52 21 90
- Military police, Hope Estate: +590 590 52 35 95
- French Red Cross: +590 590 87 86 50
- Local Police: +590 590 29 56 22 – +590 590 29 56 23
- Border Police, Marigot: +590 590 87 57 13
- S.N.S.M. Saint Martin (Sea rescue): Emergencies: (590) 690 767 500 – Station telephone number: (590) 590 29 20 46
- CROSS AG : Emergencies: 196 or (596) 596 70 92 92 or Ch. 16 and 73.
On the Dutch side:
- Hospital: 910 or (+ 1 721) 543 1111
- Police: 911 or (+ 1 721) 542 2222
- Ambulance: 912 or (+ 1 721) 542 2111
- Fire department: 919 or (+ 1 721) 545 4222.
- Le Pélican, daily newspaper: +590 590 52 21 45 – http://www.lepelican-journal.com
- Le Soualigapost, news website firstname.lastname@example.org – http://www.soualigapost.com
- Le 97150, free biweekly newspaper – +590 590 27 74 61 – http://le97150.fr
- Le FaxInfo, free daily newspaper – +590 590 29 22 22- https://www.faxinfo.fr/
- Le Saint-Martin’s Week, newspaper – +590 590 77-8080 – http://www.stmartinweek.fr
- The Daily Herald, daily newspaper in English – +1 721 542 52 53 – https://www.thedailyherald.sx/
There is a selection of getaway-type magazines available free-of-charge in the stores, restaurants, and hotels across the island.
- Tourist Office, 10 rue du Général de Gaulle – Marigot : 0590 87 57 21 – https://www.st-martin.org
- Collectivité, rue de l‘Hôtel de Ville – Marigot : + 590 590 87 50 04 – http://www.com-saint-martin.fr/
- Prefecture of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, 23 rue de Spring – Concordia : + 590 590 52 30 50 – http://www.saint-barth-saint-martin.gouv.fr/
- Chamber of Commerce and Industry (C.C.I.), Concordia – Marigot : + 590 590 27 91 51 – https://www.ccism.fr/
- Veterinary services : + 590 590 87 31 16
- Post office, Marigot : + 590 590 51 07 60