St.Martin St.Maarten Attractions

Because of its beginnings as a settlement for Indian tribes and European adventurers, St. Martin/St. Maarten attractions present a variety of sites and places that tell of the island’s history and culture. Market places, forts, museums, historical buildings and traditional practices are evidence of that past.

In the midst of its heritage, St. Martin/St. Maarten attractions help preserve what represents the true origins of the island with regard to various aspects of the origins of the people and their way of life, making St. Martin/St. Maarten what it is today. Creole cuisine, language spoke, animals, paintings, craft and architectural styles are some of the reflections of St. Martin/St. Maarten in its pure form.

One main St. Martin/St. Maarten attraction is carnival; a demonstration of the island’s historical and religious background, since carnival was developed as an event put on by African slaves for recreation and festivity. This St. Martin/St. Maarten attraction is staged in all other islands of the Caribbean and is showcases the people’s creativity, musical talent and love for fun and good times. Carnival, as an attraction in St. Martin/St. Maarten, comprises not only ‘street jump-up’, that is, dancing to the sound of music in the streets and parading costumes, but also different shows which draw large audiences, such as the carnival queen show and calypso and soca monarch competition.

On both the French and Dutch sides of the island, museums are St. Martin/St. Maarten attractions that provide interesting information and scenes of the island’s first peoples and settlers. As an attraction in St. Martin/St. Maarten, the French Museum (Musée de Saint Martin) in Marigot displays, photos, craft and artifacts depicting the presence of the very first Amerindian tribes in 3250 BC and eventual colonization by Europeans from the 15th century up to the beginning of the 20th century. Many of the pieces a this St. Martin/St. Maarten attraction were discovered during archeological expeditions on the island and produced exemplary results with the pre Columbus ceramic pieces and sculptures considered to be among the oldest in the Caribbean, dating to as early as the year 550 BC. A second room of this St. Martin/St. Maarten attraction is dedicated to exhibits which depict the arrival of the first European colonizers on the island, as well as the colonial wars fought and the division of St. Martin/St. Maarten by the French and Dutch, in reaching a peaceful agreement to jointly occupy the territory. Similar exhibits can be found at the Dutch Museum on Front Street in Philipsburg, showing the settlement, Amerindian artifacts and evolution of Dutch society on that part of the island.

Forts are always important sites and are proof of the long wars and effort that went into occupying and defending territories. Fort Louis in St. Martin and Fort Amsterdam are two attractions in St. Martin/St. Maarten respectively which demonstrate the hard work that was put in by colonizers to lay claim over the island. Both St. Martin/St. Maarten attractions are strategically located on hills and give full of views of the Philipsburg and Marigot harbors.

As a tropical isle, beaches are not the only attractions St. Martin/St. Maarten worthy of being further developed and concentrated on. Natural sites and endemic plant and animal species are also taken care of. In St. Martin, as well as in Aruba, the Butterfly Farm was established to help preserve and exhibit the beautiful butterflies that can be found on the island, as well as in other parts of the world. This St. Martin/St. Maarten attraction comprises pools, manicured grounds and gardens, meshed structures, and of course, hundreds of fluttering multicolored butterflies. Getting a firsthand view of the life cycle of these fragile creatures, changing from eggs, pupae, to caterpillar and butterflies is remarkable.

Pic Paradis (Paradise Peak) is one of the fun attractions in St. Martin/St. Maarten from where Marigot, Orient Bay and Philipsburg can be viewed in the distance from the island’s highest peak. Guided tours along the dirt track to the top give interesting insight into the sights and sounds of St. Martin/St. Maarten, vegetation, friendly animal species and history.

Much more than sun, sea and sand, St. Martin/St. Maarten attractions show that there is essence and life to this wonderful tropical destination.


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