Enjoy a Caribbean Vacation at our St. Maarten Resort
When you are ready to escape cubical life, there is no better place to recharge than the paradise that is St. Maarten. Whether you want to shop, dine, relax on the beach, or hit the hottest clubs, you will find exactly the vacation you are looking for on St. Maarten when you stay at the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort.
Island History & Culture
St. Maarten is one half of the smallest country in the world with two sovereign nations; the other half belongs to St. Martin. The island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named St. Martin. The Spanish quickly lost interest in the island due to its small size, leaving it to be settled by the Dutch and French. The two countries signed the Treaty of Concordia dividing the island into two parts, though with no physical border so residents could move freely between the two sides. The northern half of the island, St. Martin, belongs to the French, while the Netherlands occupy the southern half, St. Maarten. The two countries live in harmony and are home to more than 140 different cultures, giving it the title of the “Friendly Island.”
Colorful architecture, lively music, fun games and traditions, unique art — these are just a few of the reasons why St. Maarten and St. Martin are so special. The French side features traditional Creole buildings and homes that are elaborately decorated and brightly colored with chiseled wood decorations. You’ll see the noticeable and attractive architecture in Marigot, Grand Case, and other popular areas on the French side. Dutch side half-timbered homes have a more American-style architecture, though they still feature bright island colors.
Those looking for music and entertainment will find that every day on the island is an excuse for celebration, fun, and dancing. You’ll hear all sorts of music playing everywhere on St. Maarten and St. Martin, including salsa, steel band, reggae, zouk, and rock. One of the island’s well-known steel bands, The Gunslingers, can be heard at local events. Popular games on the island include Dominos and Bingo. If you’re looking for a piece of art to commemorate your trip to St. Maarten, visit one of the many art galleries and exhibition spaces throughout, including Amahoro Galerie, Camaieu, and Celadon Art Gallery. During the year, our island holds many exciting events where you can experience the European flavor and unique culture even more, such as:
- January — St. Martin DP Dance Salsa Festival
- February/March — French Side Carnival
- March — Heineken Regatta
- April/May — Dutch Side Carnival
- May — Captain Oliver’s Regatta
- June — Boardwalk Fest Carnival Parade
- July — French National Holiday & Marigot Celebration Day
- August — Hennesey Artistry Event
- September — Guinness Concert
- October — Bodybuilding Championship in Maho
- November — Fete de la Cuisine
- December — New Year's Celebration on Boardwalk
St. Maarten Beaches
The top tourist draw in St. Maarten is the beautiful, white sand beaches. Spend the day relaxing with a book or diving into the stunning blue waters — you cannot go wrong here. Clothing optional beaches are also popular, but less so on the Dutch side of the island. Maho Bay Beach is particularly famous, as it sits at the end of the airport’s runway and airplanes pass extremely low over the beach. It can be a thrilling experience for those who are interested.
Shopping on St. Maarten
Travelers who love a good bargain will adore the shopping options on the duty-free island of St. Maarten. With hundreds of duty-free shops to explore, St. Maarten is a shopper’s paradise. The top shopping spot on the island is Philipsburg Shopping District, where you will find a 1-mile stretch of shops offering jewelry, makeup, electronics, souvenirs, liquor, and much more. Marigot is also home to the impressive, air-conditioned West Indies Mall, which houses many well-known shops and restaurants. The Marina district and the Rue du Général de Gaulle are also hot spots for high fashion.
The Culinary Capital of the Caribbean
When visiting St. Maarten, you’ll find no shortage of dining options. Called the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean,” St. Maarten is known around the world for its fusion cuisine. There are hundreds of gourmet restaurants, cozy bistros, traditional eateries, and beach cafes for you to sample throughout our tiny, 37-square-mile island. Two areas you must visit when visiting St. Martin include Marigot’s downtown and waterfront districts, which offer fabulous flavors day and night, and Grand Case — the mecca of Caribbean cuisine. Here you’ll be able to taste French Creole cuisine, seafood specialties, Italian food, Vietnamese and Oriental cuisine, and everything in-between.
St. Maarten Casinos
Are you ready to try your luck? Another popular attraction on St. Maarten are the casinos. There are several world-class casinos to choose from on the Dutch side of the island. Come to escape and you could go home a winner!
Tourist Attractions in St. Maarten
There is far more to St. Maarten than great shopping and breathtaking beaches. There are many other attractions to explore on this eclectic Caribbean island. Here are a few of the top sites you don’t want to miss.
Fort Amsterdam, the first fort built by Dutch settlers in the Caribbean, is located on the same peninsula as Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. A hike up the hillside will lead you to this historical site, which offers some of the most beautiful views on the island. Group hikes from the resort are offered, so check the activity board for times and be sure to bring your camera!
St. Maarten's Butterfly Farm is home to more than 40 species of butterflies from around the world. Explore the amazing bamboo rainforest where butterflies like the Central American Postman and Blue Morpho flutter about. Learn about how they survive and how some species protect their eggs. It’s fun for kids of all ages.
St. Maarten Heritage Museum
Located on Front Street, this modest looking building houses an impressive collection of relics and art. View indigenous pottery shards, tools, and religious totems from more than two millennia. The museum is open from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Seaside Nature Park
Enjoy the natural beauty of St. Maarten at Seaside Nature Park, located in Cay Bay, next to Indigo Bay. This park features horseback tours, hiking, guided walks, kayaking, snorkeling, and even pony rides. It’s also a perfect place to host a romantic picnic or a kid’s birthday party. The beach bar provides a great spot to relax with a cold drink.
Nerds from around the world will delight in this small nonprofit museum of movie history by the creator of Yoda and other creatures from Star Wars. Learn how your favorite characters like Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Terminator, Alien, Highlander, and Superman were brought to life during your next visit to the Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit.
Marigot on St. Martin
Explore the most French city on the island. This is the capital of the French side of St. Maarten and features colonial houses, cafés, bistros, pastry shops, and luxury boutiques. Who needs Paris when we have Marigot?
Nature lovers will adore visiting this private nature reserve featuring over 54 hectares of countryside. Offers restaurants, lounges, zip lines, and hiking. The Loterie Farm is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
There are so many fun activities and areas to explore on St. Maarten. Book in advance at the resort to ensure your spot on any of these exciting adventures. Also, ask about Lord Sheffield tall ship, horseback rides, fishing, boat rentals, private charters, and so much more!
A Few of the Island’s Best Tours:
- Monday Island Tour — A three-hour guided tour with brief stops at Orient Beach and Marigot.
- Americas Cup Yacht Race — Join the crew or just sit back and relax. Either way, this race offers great excitement!
- Swaliga — Three-island snorkel to Prickly Pear, Anguilla, and Sandy Island. Open Bar, snorkel gear, and lunch are included.
- Sail to Anguilla or Prickly Pear — Sail on Blue Beard or Lambada with open bar, snorkel gear, and lunch included.
- Visit Saba — Go for a dive or hike the rain forest.
- Visit St. Barths — Explore the Caribbean French Riviera.
- Golden Eagle Sail Cruise — Sail around the island, enjoy lunch in Grand Case, take a mud bath at Tintamarre, and snorkel at Creole Rock.
Additional Tours Include:
- Random Wind Sail
- Celine Lagoon Pub Crawl
- Dinner Cruises
- Semi Submarine
- Kids Lagoon Cruise