Saint Martin takes its draws from its rather unusual, geopolitical landscape, combined with its long, blended history, and natural beauty. Barbados on the other hand does not only take pride in its natural gifts, from branches, to lush interiors, but to the magic of the Bajan people as well.
Where are Saint Martin and Barbados?
Saint Martin lies at the northern side of the Lesser Antilles, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Caribbean to the west. The island is situated in the northeastern Caribbean, neighboring other Caribbean jewels like St. Barts, St. Kitts, and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Anguilla to the north.
Just like Saint Martin, Barbados is also located in the Lesser Antilles and is geographically the easternmost island of all the Caribbean. The island is completely surrounded by water, and its closes neighbors have to be Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the far west, and Sint Lucia to the northwest. Because of its easternmost location, Barbados seems like it is outside the Lesser Antilles as it slightly juts out into the greater Atlantic Ocean.
How Far Is Barbados from Saint Martin?
With both located in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is located 659 kilometers or 409 miles southeast of Saint Martin, directly. Crossing almost three-quarters of the entire Lesser Antilles, the sheer distance between the two islands spans between islands and can only be traversed through flying.
Getting to Saint Martin from Barbados
The best way to get in between Saint Martin and Barbados is by flying via Air Antilles, Air Caraibes, or St. Barth Commuter. Despite the reputation of these islands as two of the most visited islands in the Caribbean, you can only fly to get in between them.
With its sheer distance, it typically takes around 15 to 20 hours to fly either from Bridgetown in Barbados to Saint Martin’s Marigot, or vice versa. Flying with only a few available airlines most tickets prices range around 230 to 1,400 USD, both for one-way trips, and roundtrips.
Saint Martin vs. Barbados
An island country situated easternmost of the Caribbean, almost as if it wants to break out into the Atlantic, Barbados is yet another beautiful and gifted gem in the Caribbean. This island appears like one of those islands that are so ridiculously beautiful that just by looking at pictures from postcards and travel magazines, that its name will ultimately end up in your travel lists.
Barbados is a special place in the Caribbean, not only for its natural beauty but also for the flavor the island offers to curious visitors, and seasoned travelers looking to have that proverbial Caribbean experience. You can find plenty of gorgeous white sand beaches around its coasts, luxury services from its many top-rated resorts, and of course, the beautiful and unique Bajan people.
If Saint Martin juggles the French and Dutch cultures in the island’s opposing sides, Barbados is the love child of Caribbean-West African and British cultures, creating the unique, diverse, and incredibly fun Bajan people. Famous for their music, and local culture the Bajan people are predominantly West African descent, yet holds British traditions like afternoon tea, cricket, and horse races, and at the same time loves dancing to calypso tunes.
If you’re looking to be overwhelmed with its natural beauty, beaches like the Dover Beach, Bathsheba Beach, and Carlisle Bay are some of the favorites on the island. With a picturesque setting, you can also do plenty of water sports and activities on the island, which of course, they are famous for as well. You can surf in Christ Church, and sail and fish in St. Michael.
Money Matters in Saint Martin
Saint Martin isn’t the most expensive island in the region. Its often said that the island’s prices are a bit costly for the region, however, it isn’t the most expensive either. Most probably this is due to the Euro prices, as both Sint Maarten and Saint Martin are part of the European Union.
To put things into perspective, you can always compare the prices of different necessities and other common purchases between destinations. For a meal in an inexpensive restaurant, it would cost you 12 to 20 USD in Sint Maarten and Saint Martin, while in other big players in the Caribbean like Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, it would be around 6 to 10 USD.
Half a liter of a domestic beer in Saint Martin and Sint Maarten would be around 2 to 4 USD, while in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica it can cost around 2 to 3 USD. Saint Martin can be pretty pricey, however, its disparity against other islands is only small, and would not hurt your budget and break the bank.
Competitive Prices of Barbados
You can see how much you might need when traveling to a certain destination by comparing them with other tourist meccas in the region, in this case, different Caribbean islands. First off, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant would cost you 12 to 20 USD in Saint Martin, as well as in Barbados, while in other big players in the Caribbean like the Dominican Republic or Jamaica, it would be around 6 to 10 USD.
Half a liter of a domestic beer in Saint Martin and Sint Maarten would be around 2 to 4 USD, while in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica it can cost around 2 to 3 USD. While the same half-liter of domestic beer can cost you around 3 to 6 USD in Barbados. Barbados can compete with Saint Martin’s prices, and can sometimes be more expensive.
Barbados is also known for its luxurious tastes, and cosmopolitan charm, however, given a well-prepared budget, or if you are one of those well-heeled travelers, Barbados’ prices won’t be a hindrance to your quest for that special Caribbean holiday.
Which is Better – Saint Martin or Barbados?
If you want two equally interesting and rich cultures on one island, brimming with sights, multilingual people, double the culture, and twice the fun, then Saint Martin is the place for you. French Saint Martin alone is enough to provide you that fabled Caribbean experience you’re looking for. What better way to spend it in so-called “Tropical France”?
On the other hand, if you’re up for that perfect combination of interestingly beautiful people, and spectacular beaches, and picturesque natural beauty that are just some of the bests in the region, Barbados is your best bet. You can jam and dance with the locals and their calypso tunes, and enjoy everything mother nature has given the island, from lounging on its pristine beaches to having fun with any water sports you can do here.
The Caribbean is one of the most naturally gifted, and most beautiful regions in the entire world, and with that many islands, it’s near impossible to pin down which is which. However, the best and possibly the only factor that will decide which is which, what you want to get out of that proverbial Caribbean experience.