General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
ATMs Not all ATMs in the Caribbean operate like those in your home country. Some may only accept a four digit PIN number, so if yours is longer you may want to change it before your trip. Ensure you keep your travel money in your primary chequing account as some ATMs default to this account and will not allow you to choose another. Withdrawal fees are generally much higher outside your home country.
The main banks are Banque des Antilles Françaises/BDAF (tel 05 90 29 13 30), Banque Française Commerciale Antilles-Guyane/BFC (tel 05 90 51 08 60), Bred Banque Populaire (tel 08 20 33 66 04), Crédit Mutuel (tel 08 20 83 02 34) and La Poste service financier (tel 05 90 51 07 64). They have ATMS at their branches and at various locations throughout St Martin. ATMs generally accept major credit cards on the major networks, such as Cirrus and Maestro. They dispense euros and some, including Crédit Mutuel, also dispense US dollars.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS Banks Hours vary widely. In general banks are open Mon-Fri 8/8:30am-4pm (most close for lunch between 12 noon and 2pm). Crédit Mutuel is closed on Wed and BDAF closes at noon on Wed. Bred Banque Populaire is also open on Sat 8am-1pm.
Post Office Marigot, main post office (rue de la Liberté): Mon-Fri 7am-5:30pm (Wed it opens at 8am), Sat 7:30am-12 noon
Marigot, Howell Center: Mon-Fri 7:30am-6:15pm, Sat 7:30am-12:30pm
Baie Nettlé, Grand Case and Quartier d'Orléans: Mon-Fri 8am-1pm, Sat 8am-11:30am
CHURCHES/RELIGIONS Predominantly Roman Catholic. Hinduism, Rastafarian, voodoo and Protestant, including Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Seventh-day Adventist, also represented.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS The local currency is the euro (€ or EUR). Paper money comes in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500 bills, and coins in 1¢, 2¢, 5¢, 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, €1 and €2 pieces. US dollars are widely accepted. (Note: generally St Martin doesn't accept florins and St Maarten doesn't accept euros.) Most prices are listed in both US dollars and the local currency. Most establishments accept major credit cards.
To ensure hassle-free purchases during your trip, you may want to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling abroad.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS American Express: lost or stolen card, 336/393-1111 (call collect); lost or stolen cheques or cheque cards, 801/964-6665 (call collect) Discover Card: 801/902-3100 MasterCard: 636/722-7111 (call collect) Visa: 410/902-8022 (call collect) Western Union: DHL Worldwide Express, 00-599/542-3174 (St Maarten; no agents in St Martin)
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS A valid passport and a return or continuing ticket is required. Citizens of France and the EU can also use a national ID card. For stays longer than 90 days a visa is also required.
Citizens of some countries may require a visa. Consult your nearest France consulate/embassy.
You can pass freely between St Maarten and St Martin. If you are planning day trips to St Barts or Anguilla ensure you check their entry requirements.
Note: As of January 23, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
Some countries require single/lone parents or other adults travelling alone with children to provide documents showing evidence of parental/custodial and/or access rights, and/or documents authorizing consent from the parents, legal guardian, and/or the court for the children to travel. Parents of adopted children, particularly those of a different nationality, should carry the proper documents.
NEAREST FOREIGN REPRESENTATION British Embassy: 33 1 44 51 31 00 (France), 05 90 82 57 57 (emergencies, Honorary British Consul, Guadeloupe), 599-9/747-3322 (Honorary British Consulate, Curaçao), 246/430-7800 (High Commission, Barbados) Consulate of Canada: 00-599/543-6261 (St Maarten), 00-599/520-5202 (St Maarten after hours), 246/429-3550 (High Commission, Barbados), 613/996-8885 (collect to Ottawa) US Embassy: 246/436-4950 (Barbados), 011 596 596 75 67 54 (US Consular Agency, Martinique)
As of January 10, 2007
British pound sterling
European Union euro
HEALTH STANDARDS The Centre Hospitalier de Marigot/Hôpital Louis Constant Fleming (tel 05 90 52 25 25) is located in Concordia, just outside of Marigot. Doctors may not speak or understand English and advance payment may be required. The nearest hyperbaric chambers are located in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Curaçao.
Your home medical program may not provide payment for medical services outside your home country. Obtaining adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulance coverage, and consulting a physician or travel medicine specialist six to eight weeks prior to your trip to determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is recommended.
There are a number of pharmacies around the island.
Emergency phone numbers: - SAMU, 15 (urgent medical care service/Service d'Aide Médicale Urgente) - Fire, 18 - Police, 17 - SMUR, 05 90 52 26 26 (emergency team/Service mobile d'urgence et de réanimation) - Sea rescue, 05 90 29 20 45 (SNSM)
ILLEGAL ITEMS There are strict penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs, and strict regulations for exporting or temporarily importing firearms, medications and certain plant and animal specimens.
For more information call the customs office (Douane de St-Martin) at 590/5 90 87 32 18.
LANGUAGE French is the official language, but English is widely spoken.
POSTAGE The main post office (tel 05 90 51 07 60) is located on rue de la Liberté in Marigot. It is open Mon-Fri 7am-5:30pm (Wed it opens at 8am) and Sat 7:30am-12 noon. A second branch in Marigot is located at the Howell Center (tel 05 90 87 95 02). It is open Mon-Fri 7:30am-6:15pm and Sat 7:30am-12:30pm. The branches in Baie Nettlé (tel 05 90 87 00 31), Grand Case (tel 05 90 87 05 96) and Quartier d'Orléans (tel 05 90 52 07 65) are open Mon-Fri 8am-1pm and Sat 8am-11:30am.
Airmail to North America can take one to two weeks and to the UK, two to three weeks. Courier service is also available.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 1 New Year's Day Mar/Apr (varies) Good Friday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Sunday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Monday May (varies) Ascension Day May 1 Labour Day May 8 VE Day July 14 National Day/Bastille Day July 21 Schoelcher Day (Abolition of Slavery) Nov 1 All Saints Day Nov 11 St Martin Day/Armistice Day Dec 25 Christmas Day
SHOPPING HOURS Shops are generally open Mon-Sat 9am-6/7pm. Many close for a few hours between 12 noon/1pm and 3pm.
TAXES If not already included in the rate, hotels add a 5% local government tax to bills.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS Telecommunications are modern and cellular and Internet services are available.
The country code is 590. Local phone numbers have 10 digits. All phone numbers start with 05 90 (eg, 05 90 XX XX XX) and all cell phone numbers with 06 90 (eg, 06 90 XX XX XX). To make local calls and calls within the French phone system dial all 10 digits. To call St Martin from North America dial 011 + 590 + local nine-digit number (the 0 is omitted for calls originating from overseas). To call North America from St Martin dial 00 + 1 + area code + local phone number.
Calls between the Dutch and French sides of the island are considered international calls. To call Dutch St Maarten from French St Martin dial 00-599 + the local seven-digit number. To call St Martin from St Maarten dial 00-590 + the local nine-digit number (the 0 is omitted).
France Télécom (tel 10 14) provides telecommunications services. There are few if any phone booths that accept coins. Télécartes phone cards are available at post offices and other local agents for use in Télécom phone booths.
For more information see the section in FAQs: Can I use my calling card from here?
East Caribbean Cellular (tel 542-2100), Orange Caraïbes (tel 05 90 51 90 90) and Digicel (tel 08 10 63 56 35, French Guiana) provide cellular roaming services. Check with your service provider to see if they have a roaming agreement with one of these companies.
TEMPERATURES The average daytime temperature is 81°F. There is no rainy season, but occasional showers occur in late summer and early fall.
TIME ZONE The island is on Atlantic Standard Time year round, which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer the time is the same as on the east coast of North America and during the winter, the time is one hour ahead.
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.