What you need to know before traveling to Saint Martin

Saint Martin is a tiny island of 88 square kilometers in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Saint Martin is the French part of the island, occupying 55 square kilometers. The remaining 33 square kilometers belong to Sint Maarten, the Dutch part of the island. Though the island is split between two nations, it is not necessary to go through customs to pass from one side to the other. The French town of Marigot and the Dutch town of Philipsburg are both within easy reach of sandy beaches. However, the island offers more than beaches. It is a beautiful place for hiking and biking. At Philipsburg you can tour 17th century Fort Amsterdam and the Sint Maarten Museum. In Marigot you can visit 18th century Fort Saint-Louis. A visit to the tiny hamlet of Colombier is like stepping into a long lost world. This one-street community is off the main tourist routes and looks just as it did in centuries past. For a great view of the island and ocean, go to Pic Paradis. You can ascend to its main lookout points 424 meters (1391 feet) above sea level by car or by foot. Also be sure to see Grand Case, the most picturesque village on the island.

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