Saint Martin

Saint Martin

Use Normal Level of Caution

Sint Maarten is located in the Caribbean in the Leeward Islands east of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The northern half of this island is Saint Martin, a French Overseas Collectivity. The southern half of the island is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with a population of about 39,000 people. The government is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy. Sint Maarten's chief of state is the King of the Netherlands represented by a governor, and the head of government is a prime minister. The Netherlands retains responsibility for defence and foreign affairs.

Christopher Columbus sighted the island in 1493, and over the years, the island was claimed and/or occupied by the Spanish, French, and Dutch. When the Eighty Years’ War ended, the Spanish left the island since they no longer needed a base in the Caribbean. The French and Dutch claimed the island, and after some clashes, a treaty was signed in 1648, which divided the island between them.

In 1939, the island became a free port, and thus began a boom in international trade and tourism. The Princess Juliana International Airport opened in 1943, and four years later, the island’s first hotel opened.

Today tourism plays a large part in the economy of Sint Maarten. Hundreds of thousands of people visit every year and enjoy the beaches, hiking, water sports and casinos.

Currency ANG: Netherlands Antillean guilder
Language English; Dutch
Capital Philipsburg
Recent Alerts 1
Latest Alert March 21, 2017 - Zika virus in the Caribbean - update

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Saint Martin. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Sint Maarten through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Sint Maarten.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Sint Maarten, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Rabies

Rabies occurs only in bats in Sint Maarten. There is a risk of exposure to bat bites for travellers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote areas that might bring them into direct contact with bats (such as adventure travellers and cavers).

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever occurs in Sint Maarten.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in this country. Sint Maarten requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination from all travellers 6 months of age or older if arriving from a region where there is a risk of yellow fever.

Zika Fever

Local transmission of Zika virus infection has been reported.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Saint Martin.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination for rabies is recommended only for persons who may come in contact with bats.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccination is not recommended. However, Sint Maarten requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination for all travellers 6 months of age and older if arriving from a region where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Saint Martin.

None required.

Safety and Security in Saint Martin

Emergency Numbers

911

Personal Safety

The crime rate is low in this country and most travellers have no trouble. However, petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, or other theft does occur. Always be alert to your personal safety and security. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. There have been reports of armed robberies and also reports of visitors being chased by people on motorcycles. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never leave your drinks out of your sight. Avoid isolated areas. Avoid beaches after dark.

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