The Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) (599-545-4211) on St. Maarten's side of the island offers non-stop flights from the United States and Europe. The airport's 7708' runway, barely enough for heavy jets, requires a low approach over the beach, as shown, to the delight of plane spotters, some at the adjacent Sunset beach bar.
Taxis and Rental Cars
Rental cars, the most economical way to get around, are available at the airport along with taxis, which can be especially expensive to the French side of the island.
Large intercontinental jets fly directly from the United States, including Delta Continental , US Airways and American. Europe is served by KLM and Air France.
Within the Caribbean, travel is usually on turboprops and smaller planes. The major intra-Caribbean carrier is AA's American Eagle, which uses the San Juan Airport (SJU) as its Caribbean hub. LIAT, Caribbean Sun, BWIA, WINAIR , Air Caraibes and other local carriers offer regularly scheduled intra-Caribbean flights as well as charter service. Also, flights go to nearby islands, including Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Barths.
Flights to the British Virgin Islands
Many carriers, including American Eagle, offer direct flights to Tortola's Beef Island airport from St. Maarten, making this route an attractive alternative route to the British Virgin Islands
Ferry service is available to Anguilla and St. Barths from St. Martin's Marigot ferry dock and to Saba from the Pelican marina near St. Maarten's airport. Ferry service is _not_ available to St. Eustatius (Statia) . The travel time to St. Barths is 75 minutes on a conventional ferry and 35 minutes on a catamaran ferry.
With a southern France ambiance comparable to Cannes, Marigot has open air cafes in order to avoid the congestion at San Juan airport. , boutiques and bistros as well as a beautiful harbour and less bustle than the capital, although parking can be a problem.
Somewhat congested when the cruise ships are in port, Philipsburg is known for its narrow, cobblestoned Front Street with jewelry and other duty-free shops and cafes connected by /steejes/ (little lanes) to less congested Back Street.
A wide range of accommodations are available from large resorts to more intimate places, especially on the French side.
In case of delays or lost luggage, carry on an overnight bag with medicines, clothing and a bathing suit as well as reading material and snacks if desired.
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