Is Sint Maarten Expensive to Visit (and What Is the Currency)?

Sint Maarten can be pricey, almost to the point where it can compete with Aruba, but it isn’t the most expensive island in the region. If you’re a good and thrifty traveler, you can always find ways to go around some of the ridiculously high prices.
Is Sint Maarten Expensive to Visit
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The island doesn’t have many resources to go around, so it imports most of its products from its partners thus imposing higher prices, plus, the reputation as one of the best islands in the region further adds to that notion. It’s best to come with a well-thought-out budget and an open and curious mind.

What Is the Economy Like in Sint Maarten?

Just like most of the Caribbean, and exotic tropical destinations, the economy is heavily reliant on tourism, and tourism-related business. The Dutch constituent country’s tourism industry and the financial influx it brings make up about 45% of the Gross Domestic Product or the GDP, with a per-capita GDP of 29,495 USD since February 2021, the island’s inhabitants are often classified as having a high standard of living.

The island saw its economy’s peak prior to the devastation of Hurricane Irma in 2017, where it cleaved many of the island’s sources of income, such as tourism, and agriculture. With an economic rebound in 2019, the island finally saw an increase of 5% but was eventually duped by the COVID-19 Pandemic starting in 2020.

Is Sint Maarten a Third World Country?

Sint Maarten is not a third-world country, because it can’t be considered a separate country in itself, as it is still part of a developed first-world country. Being a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sint Maarten is not fully sovereign and is not considered an independent state. The island has a certain level of autonomy to its internal affairs, such as legislation, and elections, but still relies on the Netherlands for foreign diplomacy, and defense.

Is Sint Maarten a Rich or a Poor Country?

With the people of Sint Maarten having a recorded income-per-capita of 29,495 USD in 2021, Sint Maarten has a high standard of living despite the setbacks caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017, which took two full years for the economy to bounce back.

Now, with large swaths of tourists coming in yearly, the constituent country sees a significant leg-up in their economy. Giving more jobs to people, and eventually giving them a stronger buying power.

What Is the Average Income in Sint Maarten?

The average income in Sint Maarten is around 2,500 to 3,000 USD per month, equating to 29,000 to 30,000 USD annually. However, this may be below standard for many countries like the US but the island doesn’t have an economy as large as the US, or Europe. This is measured in comparison to many jobs that are on the island, most of which are within the tourism industry.

What Is the Minimum Wage in Sint Maarten?

Sint Maarten has a minimum wage of 8.83 ANG, or 4.9 USD per hour for employees above 21 years of age. This system is based on the current hourly minimum wage as of January 2019.

How Much Do Teachers Make in Sint Maarten?

Teachers, despite their noble cause, only make less than their counterparts in mainland Netherlands. Some of them make less than the average yearly income of 39,000 to 40,000 USD, which could be problematic seeing as the costs of living can be pretty pricey, as most products are sourced outside.

What Are the Taxes in Sint Maarten?

The tax system of Sint Maarten consists of corporate and individual taxes. However, corporations are classified as either resident or non-resident, and the taxes are income tax, profits tax, dividend tax, or the company turnover tax. The turnover tax (BBO) is levied on the delivery of goods and all services rendered ‘within the territory’ by the resident or non-resident entrepreneurs within the scope of their business.

A transfer tax of 4% is charged on the transfer of the real estate. Additionally, there is also a Real Estate Property tax – this annual tax is collected using the value of the real estate property.

The tax rate amounts to 0,3% of the value of either unimproved, or often empty land property and improved land with an established structure, and is charged to the owner. A person who inherits money or property on the estate of a person who has died has to pay inheritance tax.

Is Sint Maarten Tax Free?

Non-residents of the island are subject to taxes, from income to real estate, especially if they are employed on Sint Maarten.

How Expensive Is Sint Maarten?

Sint Maarten, just like its French counterpart, Saint Martin, is not the most expensive locale in the region, but it’s a bit pricier than most other regions. Something that’s common among Dutch Caribbean islands, or the former Netherlands Antilles.

However, to get the right estimation on what your budget should be when you visit, it is important to grasp the overview of the landscape of the cost of living in the region by comparing. Let us compare the prices, and other costs of notoriously expensive Aruba, Caribbean poster child Jamaica, and fun Cancun, probably the region’s party central.

First off, food, specifically how much meals would cost. Aruba already costs a whopping 10 to 20 USD for a relatively inexpensive meal by the island’s standards, Jamaica costs around 3 to 6 USD, while Cancun in all its highs only costs 6 to 10 USD. Sint Maarten, however, can set you back to 12 to 20 USD.

If you’re planning on taking public transport, specifically public buses, one-way trips in Aruba can cost around 2 to 3 USD, in Jamaica, it’s only a dollar, while in Cancun, it’s half a dollar only. While in Sint Maarten, a one-way bus ticket can cost you 1 to 3 USD.

A vacation isn’t complete if you’re not going to give in to the simple delights of alcohol. In Aruba, half a liter of domestic beer can cost 2 to 4 USD, the same as in Jamaica. While fun Cancun, where alcohol and partying are king, it tends to be cheaper with an average cost of 1 to 2 USD. Sint Maarten’s alcohol prices hit close to Aruba and Jamaica with 2 USD for half a liter of domestic beer.

Make no mistake, the Caribbean can be inconsistent with its prices and costs, and this depends on whether or not a certain product is an import, or grown and manufactured on the island. In the case of Sint Maarten, a lot of its products are imported from other neighboring islands, as far as the US, and South America, some even from Europe.

It is still best to gauge your spending and budget depending on the living costs and prices on the island. You can only do that with sufficient prior research. In this sense, Sint Maarten is indeed pricey but still hasn’t booted out Aruba, Anguilla, and Saint Barts as the most expensive islands.

What Currency Does Sint Maarten Use?

Despite being a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherland, Sint Maarten uses the Netherland Antilles Florin, or the guilder, as the official currency, not the Euros. US dollars are widely accepted, mostly by establishments that cater to tourists.

Are Us Dollars Accepted in Sint Maarten?

US dollars are widely accepted in Sint Maarten and are often required from tourists. This may probably be due to US Americans being the largest tourist demographic visiting Sint Maarten and the entire island of Saint Martin. However, you can’t really use US dollars on the French side, as they use mostly Euros.

Can You Use Euros in Sint Maarten?

Sint Maarten may use the Netherland Antilles Florin as their official currency, but Euros are also accepted, especially if you plan on crossing the border to French Saint Martin, which mainly accepts Euros and not the US dollars.

What Is the Best Currency to Use in Sint Maarten?

It is best to use the US American dollars wherever you’re from, especially if you’re from the US, or anywhere in North and South America. You can easily convert your local currency money in Sint Maarten as there are many Currency Exchange centers that dot the island.

However, if you plan to cross to French Saint Martin, you have to convert your money into Euros, as the French side is known to only accept Euros. It is best to be well-informed on currency exchange rates as they can change from day today.

Can I Use My Credit Card in Sint Maarten?

Credit card is widely accepted in Sint Maarten, as all major credit cards are used on the island. You can rest assured that you’re VISA or MasterCard credit cards will cause you no hassle. All you need to do prior is let your issuing bank know that you’ll be using it overseas. Just don’t break the bank.

Is American Express Accepted in Sint Maarten?

American Express is widely accepted in Sint Maarten, as well as other major credit cards like VISA, and MasterCard.

How Much Money Should I Take to Sint Maarten?

It depends on how long you’ll stay, and the experiences that you want to have, like a well-thought-out itinerary. For a 7-day trip to the island, you can go a long way with a budget of 1,800 to 2,000 USD as a solo traveler, or 3,300 to 3,500 USD for couples.

You need to have sound knowledge and good estimations on how much you’re willing to spend before visiting. So, it’s best to look up all the necessary information you can find.

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