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Take loud drum and calypso beats, glittering and feathered costumes, mouthwatering food, lots of drinks and thousands ofhappy people, blend them all together and enjoy the most cultural festivity on St Martin/St Maarten: the Caribbean Carnival.

 

The island's wildest celebration, held on both sides but on different dates.

The French carnival fever takes hold during Lent where 'jump-ups' and huge parades color the streets of Marigot and Grand-Case. Zouk and reggae fills every corner with performances from popular local and international bands. A larger celebration is held in April on the Dutch side where the island comes to a standstill for over 17 days and nights. For months locals put their souls into sewing Carnival costumes and writing songs ready for the big celebrations. Some of the most beautiful creations of previous carnival seasons are at display inside the Jump Up Casino in Philipsburg. Go there to get a true taste of Sint Maarten Carnival, even if you missed the original celebration.

Each Carnival inspires a fresh and marvelous batch of calypso, often satirical and politically charged. The Calypsonians will compete for the title of Calypso King or Queen, a contest that draws hundreds of musicians and dancers from all the neighboring islands. If the partygoers are not hitting the street they are most likely to be jammin' in Carnival Village which sits on the edge of Philipsburg and is constructed just for the carnival.

More than a hundred booths are there to serve you food, from traditional 'Johnny cakes' and 'fungi' to Indian curry and 'roti', enough to make your taste buds go wild. If you think you've seen dirty dancing, wait till you experience the 'bumping and grinding' of the locals. The rhythm is so pervasive there's no escaping the beat, you won't even want to. So come and seek the heart of St. Martin's Carnival extravaganza and leave with memories that will make you smile.

About St. Maarten - St-Martin: Beaches, Nights, Shopping

A Dangerous Game: Riding the Jet Blast at St. Maarten's Airport

Watching jetliners approach and touch down only some meters away and also watching them take off has become one of St. Maarten's major tourist attractions.

Where to Play and Party on St Maarten - St Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin comes to life after dark. Nightclubs, casinos, beach parties... If you're a night owl, you've chosen the right destination! 

The Beaches of St. Maarten/St. Martin

St Maarten - St. Martin has 37 beaches and whatever your lifestyle or vacation style, if nude or prude, there will be a beach for you.

What's So Special About SXM?

The island of Sint Maarten  - Saint Martin is with 37 square miles the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations.

Exciting Things to Do on St. Maarten - St. Martin

Amigo Tours

AMIGO TOURS is an experienced tour operator that will be able to offer taylor made island tours for each requirement.

Random Wind Sailing Excursions

Experience a day cruise on an authentic world cruising sailing yacht, with snorkeling stops and other water activities.

Rhino Safari Excursions

Experience on-the-water excitement piloting your very own two-man RHINO Watercraft to the best snorkeling spots.

SXM Spyder Rental

The CanAm Spyders are the most thrilling way to explore Sint Maarten - Saint Martin on your own.

Featured Hotels and Resorts

Atrium Beach Resort & Spa

The Atrium Beach Resort & Spa is located right on the beach and only a short walk away from several beach bars, restaurants, shops, water-sports, casino and nightlife.

The Summit Resort Hotel

One of St. Maarten's best kept secrets is going to be spoiled: read about the Summit Hotel, a resort that opened its doors at...

Princess Heights Deluxe Condo Hotel

This family operated Boutique Condo Hotel offers spacious studio, one and two bedroom suites that feature balconies with ocean views and fully equipped gourmet kitchens.

Holland House Beach Hotel

The Holland House Beach Hotel is a St. Maarten landmark, with a unique location right on Great Bay beach in Philipsburg, the island's capital. 

Amazing Vacation Villas

BELLE MER - 4 Bedroom Villa

4 Bedroom | Starting $629 per night. Beautiful deluxe villa within walking distance of Orient beach, the St. Tropez of the...

TURQUOISE - 4 Bedroom Villa

4 Bedroom | Starting at $672 per night. Beautiful Turquoise is located on a hill overlooking beautiful Baie Rouge Beach...

SUNSHINE - 6 Bedroom Villa

6 Bedroom | Starting at $600 per night. Nestled on the beautiful beach of Burgeaux Bay in the area of Beacon Hill in...

SUNRISE - 3 Bedroom Villa

3 Bedroom | Starting at $400 per night.   Brand new, ultra modern 3 bedroom villa situated in the heights of Orient Bay...

Amazing Vacation Apartments

AAZURE - 1 Bedroom Apartment

1 Bedroom | Starting at $229 per night.   Aazure is a beautifully appointed 1 bedroom, 1 ½ bathroom condo overlooking the...

ACADIA - 3 Bedroom Apartment

3 Bedroom | Starting at $350 per night.   Located within the popular resort community of Cupecoy Beach Club, this lovely...

ADELAIDES ESCAPE - 2 Bedroom Apartment

2 Bedroom | Starting at $350 per night. Located in the resort community of Cupecoy Beach Club, this ground floor,...

ADRIANA - 2 Bedroom Apartment

2 Bedroom | Starting at $230 per night for 1 bedroom option.   Adriana is a beautiful contemporary 2 bedroom apartment...

Jewelry Shopping

Shiva's Gold + Gems

 "Take home our jewelry, have it appraised, then pay us." That's right! St. Maarten's leading jeweler Shiva's Gold + Gems is THAT confident of the unsurpassed quality and value of their...

Jewels By Love

"Jewels by Love - A Family Tradition" You will find the most valuable timepieces, backed by generations of experience and passion for horology here.

Grand Jewelers

Grand Jewelers has excellent choices of Geneve, Movado, Raymond Weil, Citizen and Seiko watches. They guarantee that they will offer you the best prices possible.

Royal Caribbean Jewelers

Royal Caribbean Jewelers eschews big brands and phalanxes of sales staff in favor of a laid-back, relaxed family-run affair dealing in diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.

Great Dining Spots

Charter House 18.63

The Charter House 18.63 is located right at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club. The outside terrace and the air-conditioned dining room provide a wonderful ambiance.

Esco Pazzo Pizzeria

With Esco Pazzo, there is now authentic Italian stone oven pizza available on the island of St. Maarten. The restaurant is located at the Princess Casino.

Sushiitto Japanese

SUSHIITTO promises Japanese food with a twist. Owned by Pierre Ferland of Pineapple Pete-fame, SUSHIITTO is St. Maarten's favorite place for sushi and teppanyaki-style dinners.

Topper's Restaurant and Bar

Topper’s Restaurant & Bar is a great international restaurant in a fun Caribbean cottage that celebrates all-American comfort cuisine alongside international culinary delights.