St. Martin Getting Around / Car Rentals
The most convenient way to see the island is by rental car. St. Martin / St. Maarten car rentals can be arranged through most major companies, either online or by phoning their toll-free numbers and asking for the "international desk."
A number of local rental companies are also available. Most cars have automatic transmissions and include air-conditioning. A 4WD vehicle is not necessary for the island's gently rolling terrain.
There are two drawbridges on the island, the Sandy Ground Bridge on the French side and the Simpson Bay Bridge on the Dutch side. The bridges open to allow boats to enter and leave the Simpson Bay Lagoon and stop traffic for several minutes on a fixed schedule, posted at the bridges, 7 days per week.
Driving is on the right side of the road in both the French and Dutch sides.
TAXI / BUS
Taxis are available at Juliana Airport, at taxi stands in Phillipsburg or Maho on the Dutch side, or from Marigot and the Espérance Airport on the French side. Taxis can also be arranged by telephone. There are no meters, so inquire about the fare in advance. Rates are generally higher in the evening than in the daytime, and may increase again after midnight.
Minivan buses in Saint Martin / St. Maarten run from about 6:00 in the morning to midnight and can be boarded at bus stops in towns or flagged down anywhere along the roads. There are no fixed schedules, but they leave every hour from Grand Case and travel to Marigot, Cole Bay, Simson Bay, Mullet Bay and other major towns on the island. There are also Marigot-Philipsburg, Orleans-Philipsburg, and French Quarter-Philipsburg connections.
Pay in cash for each leg of the trip. Drivers are usually multi-lingual; tell the driver where you want to go when he stops. Buses connect towns but don’t generally serve the island’s beaches.
BIKES / SCOOTERS
Scooters and motorbikes are recommended only for experienced riders. With so many visitors driving around in cars who are unfamiliar with the island, extra caution is advised. A driver's license is required (as well as a helmet to ride on the French side). Bicycles are also available for rent.
Featured Getting Around / Car Rental Services
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