Gay Vacations in St. Maarten/St. Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin Highlights

  • Choose which side of the island suits you best. The Dutch side has bigger and more lavish hotels but can feel removed from the locals. The French side is said to have more than 300 restaurants and the best dining in the Caribbean, although is farther from the best shopping.
  • Bring your dollars. The Dutch side of the island uses the Netherlands Antilles florin and the French side uses the euro, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted everywhere on the island.
  • Avoid deserted beaches. Empty and quiet beaches may seem like paradise, but they can make you a target for theft. On the flip side, when you're on a crowded beach (especially a nude one), don't leave any of your belongings or clothing unguarded on the sand.


This double-named isle is the smallest territory in the world shared by two sovereign states. It was officially split in 1648 between the Dutch and the French, who seem to get along nicely on this tiny, 37-square-mile speck. The southern, Dutch part of the island tends to be bustling with shopping cruise ship passengers, while the cafe-filled northern French part is a bit sleepier. Overall, the island is very sophisticated and built-up. St. Maarten/St. Martin is a shopper's paradise, with duty-free malls everywhere and no local sales tax. Prices are sometimes lower here than anywhere else in the Caribbean and fine liqueurs, cigarettes, and French perfumes can be up to half off their American prices.

The gay and lesbian scene on the island is not that noticeable, although St. Maarten/St. Martin is gay-friendly and popular with the LGBT crowd. The best way to meet fellow queers is at Cupecoy Beach, close to the Dutch-French border on the western side of the island. It's a string of three, white-sand beaches set against a backdrop of caves, beautiful rock formations, and cliffs. Gays can also be found on the beaches of Baie Rouge and Orient Beach, both also nude. Beyond the beach and shopping scene, the island has great deep-sea fishing, and scuba diving is excellent, with various reef, wreck, night, cave, and drift diving options.

Published: 17 Jul 2008 | Last Updated: 9 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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