Culture and Tourism
St. Martin's Dutch side is known for its festive nightlife, beaches, jewelry, exotic drinks made with native rum-based guavaberry liquors, and plentiful casinos. The island's French side is known for its nude beaches, clothes, shopping (including outdoor markets), and rich French and Indian Caribbean cuisine. English is the most commonly spoken language along with a local dialect. The official languages are French and English for Saint-Martin, and both Dutch and English for Sint Maarten. Other common languages include various French-based creoles (spoken by immigrants from other French Caribbean islands), Spanish (spoken by immigrants from the Dominican Republic and various South American countries), and Papiamento (spoken by immigrants from Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao).
The island is home to accommodations including hotels, villas, and timeshares, many of which are privately available for rent or sale.
Rental cars are the primary mode of transportation for visitors staying on island. If any driving is expected off the major roads (such as to some of the more secluded beaches), a four-wheel drive is recommended. Traffic on the island, however, has become a major problem; long traffic jams between Marigot, Philipsburg and the airport are common.
Because the island is located along the intertropical convergence zone, it is occasionally menaced by tropical storm activity in the late summer and early fall.
Neighbouring islands include Saint Barthélemy (French), Anguilla (British), Saba (Dutch), Sint Eustatius "Statia" (Dutch), Saint Kitts and Nevis (Independent, formerly British). With the exception of Nevis, all of these islands are easily visible on a clear day from St. Martin.
Read more about this topic: Saint Martin
Famous quotes containing the words culture and, culture and/or tourism:
“The higher, the more exalted the society, the greater is its culture and refinement, and the less does gossip prevail. People in such circles find too much of interest in the world of art and literature and science to discuss, without gloating over the shortcomings of their neighbors.”
—Mrs. H. O. Ward (18241899)
“... weve allowed a youth-centered culture to leave us so estranged from our future selves that, when asked about the years beyond fifty, sixty, or seventyall part of the average human life span providing we can escape hunger, violence, and other epidemicsmany people can see only a blank screen, or one on which they project fear of disease and democracy.”
—Gloria Steinem (b. 1934)
“In the middle ages people were tourists because of their religion, whereas now they are tourists because tourism is their religion.”
—Robert Runcie (b. 1921)