Island name: St. Martin (RN, northern part of the Island).
Country: France (overseas collectivity).
Nationalities: The entire island boasts 80 different nationalities.
Language: French (official language), English, Dutch, French
Patois, Spanish, Papiamento (dialect of Netherlands Antilles).
Island Capital: Marigot.
Population: 33,102 (October 2004 census).
Climate: temperature averages 80-85 degrees all year long; low
humidity, gentle trade winds, brief, intense rain showers; July-Novemeber
is the hurricane season.
Coastline: 58.9 km (for entire island).
Geographic coordinates: 18 04 N, 63 05 W.
Highest point: Pic du Paradis 424 m.
Location: island 300 km southeast of Puerto Rico.
Size: 7 km x 14 km, 54.4 sq km.
Currency: Since January 01, 2002, the Euro ((EUR), €) has
into effect in the European Union, and St Barths. The US dollar is widely
used and accepted. Euros per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007).
Electricity: 120 volts at 60 cycles; outlets use the standard
European two cylinder plugs (diferent to Sint Maarten).
Entry Requirements: Nationals of the member countries of the
European Union just need an ID card (we are indeed in Europe, although
not being "within" the Schengen bounderies). For North American citizens,
a valid passport, as well as a return ticket are compulsory. The citizens
of some other countries (notably some Caribbean islands) should have a
Safety: Most visits to the island are trouble-free, however crime
has been increasing in recent years and visitors should refrain from leaving
valuables unattended on beaches, in cars and hotel lobbies. Burglaries
and break-ins occur sometimes at resorts, beach houses and hotels and there
have been incidents of armed robbery. Precautions should also be taken
against car theft and insurance cover is advisable.
Telephone: the international: country code is +596.
Time: The local time is GMT - 4h. There is a 5 hour difference
with France in winter and 6 hours in summer. For example, when it's midday
in St Barth, it is 5 pm in Paris in December or 6 pm in August. With regard
to the United States, in summertime the East coast time is the same as
in St Barths, and in winter St Barth "lives" one hour later.
Tipping: hotels usually add 5 % occupancy tax per person, but
a small gratuity is appreciated for good service. Restaurants and hotels
usually add a service charge of 10 to 15 % to the bill, and it is always
best to check the bill. Taxi drivers and porters expect to be tipped, particularly
if they have handled luggage.
Airport: Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). The airport
is located 15 km (9 miles) west of Philipsburg in St Maarten.
Ferry Service: The Anguilla ferry terminal is in the village
of Blowing Point. Ferries are leaving to St. Martin several times a day.
Ports and harbors: Blowing Point, Road Bay.
Ethnic groups: creole (mulatto), black, Guadeloupe Mestizo (French-East
Asia), white, East Indian.
Government type: Parliamentary Democracy.
Legal system: the laws of France, where applicable, apply.
Religions: Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Protestant, Hindu.
GDP per capita: 14,500 euros (1999).
Industries: tourism, light industry and manufacturing, heavy
Natural resources: Salt.
Unemployment rate: 12.9% (2000).