The Best Way to Get Around Sint Maarten (Should I Rent a Car)

One thing that’s great about this incredibly gifted island on the Caribbean, is that its small size allows for easy access to any points on the island. Whether you’re traveling by public transport, taxis, or car rentals you can get around the island, French side included, you can get from point A to point B, easily and fast.
The Best Way to Get Around Sint Maarten
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Your mode of transport will depend on your budget, but if you plan your budget along with how you want to get around the island then you can be sure to have enough time to see the island at your own pace and at your own route. There’s nothing better than enjoying the island in the way that you want to, especially if that includes how you go around it.

How Do You Get Around Sint Maarten?

Getting around Sint Maarten isn’t as complicated as you think, especially if you’ve been to plenty of far-flung tropical islands and beach towns. Sint Maarten, the Dutch territory of the island, is the more cosmopolitan side, ranging from luxury goods to quality transportation.

You can expect to get around Sint Maarten or even the entire island with ease via public transportation like taxis and buses, and of course, the tourist-favorite rental cars. However, rates on public transport vary depending on which side of the island the taxi or the bus is based on, though they can travel all-around.

Taxis on both sides of the island are regulated, and fees are fixed but vary on the point of origin and your destination. In Dutch Sint Maarten, has fixed fares for a maximum of two people, however, you can add 4 USD for an additional passenger, your excess baggage has different prices too.

If you’re taking a taxi from the Princess Juliana International Airport, you’ll see that there are fixed prices depending on where you’re heading for your accommodations that usually range from around 15 to 25 USD. Taking taxis late at night, especially around 10 PM to midnight, prices tend to hike 25% higher, and 50% higher between midnight to 6 AM.

Public buses can still take you wherever you need to go but there are two major disadvantages; first, it only operates on certain routes, meaning, you might not really get to where you want to exactly, and might have to take another bus for another route, second, it is crowded and usually takes longer to travel. This might spell problems especially if you’re travel plans include a strict itinerary.

Rental cars are the most common way to get around the island and are popular among travelers who prefer to explore the island at their own pace and route. It is arguably the best way to experience Sint Maarten or any island for that matter. Car rental companies are speckled throughout the island and can be found at the most convenient places, like the airport itself.

Car rental companies that are available in Sint Maarten, like Budget, Avis, Hertz, Alamo, Best Deal Car Rental, and Safari Car Rentals. However, you can only rent if you’re 25 years old and above, and rates are almost all the same throughout different companies.

Do You Need a Car on Sint Maarten?

It depends on how you plan to experience the island, but, most travelers and locals would recommend you to get one so that you can have all the freedom without being time-bounded, and limited. Thanks to the fame attached to rental cars all throughout touristy places all over the world, most rental cars in Sint Maarten are cheap and affordable. Most rental cars can cost around 16 to 142 USD per day, depending on the vehicle model, and seating capacity.

How Do I Rent a Car in Sint Maarten?

With the common preference for rental cars, all over the Caribbean, renting cars in Sint Maarten is also easy and convenient. Dozens of car rental companies speckle throughout the island, even after stepping out of the arrivals area in the Princess Juliana International Airport, you can easily see and check out the car rental kiosks that line up outside.

You can rent a car given that you have covered all that’s necessary to obtain one. But with the island’s heavy tourism, you can expect a smooth and easy process. First, you have to be at least 25 years old to be able to rent and drive a car. However, that age limit depends on the rental company, as some might allow younger than 25 years.

If you’re from Europe or any EU member-state, your license is valid in Sint Maarten, as long as it has English or Dutch translations. A valid ID as proof of identification, and other important information like your birth date, and name. You need to look upon more information regarding rental requirements from different companies so that you can gauge the price and the needed documents.

Can Americans Drive in Sint Maarten?

If your Driver’s License is in English, just like an International Driver’s License, and you have supporting proof of your identity, and age then you can drive a car, and that applies to non-US Americans as well.

Do You Need an International Driver’s License in Sint Maarten?

If you have a French or Dutch Driver’s License with an English translation, you won’t be needing an International Driver’s License. But, if you have a license issued from countries outside of Europe, the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and the Caribbean, you have to have an International Driver’s License with you.

How Much Is It to Rent a Car in Sint Maarten?

Renting a car would typically cost from 15 to 145 USD, but that depends on what type of vehicle, or model, and the seating capacity. However, some car rental companies tend to have packages that offer cheaper prices if you’re renting for longer days, and with a greater number of people.

Car rentals on tropical islands aren’t as costly as you would think. Touristy destinations have packages that cater to the convenience of bold explorers, especially to those looking to stay for a week or more, and who want to travel at their own pace and at their own route.

What Side of the Road Do They Drive on in Sint Maarten?

Just like in France and the Netherlands, driving is on the right side of the road, so if you’re from the US, Canada, some parts of Asia, and the rest of Europe, you won’t have problems adjusting when driving. Other roads and vehicle rules include the mandatory use of seat belts and child car seats.

Also, expect to see that international road signs are used on the island and that there are no strict border controls or other customs formalities at the border between the French and the Dutch sides. It is said that the borders are so loose, you won’t even notice you crossed them.

How Long Does It Take to Drive Around the Island of Sint Maarten?

Sint Maarten makes up a third of the island, making it bigger in terms of territory and land area than the French side of Saint Martin, however, with a loose border, you can just travel and drive across the island with no trouble. With respect to road signs of course.

The entire island of Saint Martin, that is French Saint Martin, and Dutch Sint Maarten combines, would take about less than three hours. With the island’s small 37 square miles, you can easily drive the entire loop in less than half a day, which is a good thing, because then you can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Allowing for more chances to explore the many little charms of Sint Maarten and Saint Martin combined.

Are Taxis Expensive in Sint Maarten?

If you have a meticulously planned, or at least a well-thought budget, then certain necessities like fares for public transport really aren’t that expensive in Sint Maarten. In Dutch Sint Maarten, has fixed fares for a maximum of two people, however, you can add 4 USD for an additional passenger, your excess baggage has different prices too.

How Much Does a Taxi Cost in Sint Maarten?

Fixed fare prices from Princess Juliana International Airport to Grand Case can cost 25 USD for up to two passengers and all their luggage, and traveling from Marigot to Grand Case is 15 USD. And if you’re starting off in Princess Juliana International Airport to anywhere in Marigot, it can be set from 15 USD to 20 USD, and if you’re heading to Maho Beach Hotel, 6 USD, and to Philipsburg is around 15 USD.

How Do I Get a Taxi in Sint Maarten?

If you’ve just arrived at the island, the Princess Juliana International Airport has a lot of taxis already queued up outside the arrivals. Other than the airport, there are tons of taxis that operate in Marigot, Philipsburg, and Grand Case that can take you anywhere across the island. However, be mindful of the taxi you’ll get as they might be based on Saint Martin, which has different rates or fare systems.

You can get taxis via company phone number available on hotel front desks, or you can just hail them curbside. However, you must pay attention to the kind of taxi you’re getting, as most taxis are regulated by the government, also called legal taxis. The other type is called “gypsy” taxis, they are not regulated, they operated illegally, and will often overcharge tourists.

Does Sint Maarten Have Uber?

Uber and other ride-sharing services aren’t available in Sint Maarten, neither in the French side of Saint Martin. Taxis and buses are the most common public transport, but nothing beats the convenience of rental cars in Sint Maarten.

How Much Is the Water Taxi in Sint Maarten?

With its Waterworld landscape, water taxis are a fun alternative to get around the island via the Caribbean waters. Most water taxis cost 5 to 7 USD per person one way, however, there are also special prices if you wish to book the boat for a whole day of going around.