Twice the vacation, twice the fun
St. Maarten is a romantic honeymoon and destination wedding island with a split personality, thanks to an international border between its two sides: Dutch St. Maarten to the south, French St. Martin to the north. Its capital, Philipsburg - a popular stop for cruise ships - began as a Dutch trading center, and forts around the city are reminders of its strategic importance in St. Maarten’s history. Fort Amsterdam, built in 1631, was the first Dutch military outpost in the Caribbean; the Spanish captured the fort soon after it was completed and kept it until 1648, when they abandoned it. Fort Willem, today topped by a television transmission tower, is great for a hike.
Today tourism is king; bustling Front Street in Philipsburg beckons bargain hunters with 500 duty-free shops. There are 36 sugary sand beaches to visit; one favorite strip is Cupecoy Bay Beach near the Dutch-French border, and windsurfers head to busy Maho Bay Beach, located near the airport. One of St. Maarten’s more private strands is Simpson Bay Beach. Simpson Bay Lagoon is enclosed, making the water a natural for water skiing. Dawn Beach, Oyster Pond and Guana Bay are favourites for snorkeling and windsurfing.
Image courtesy of St. Maarten Tourist BureauDivers can explore an 1801 British frigate, the coral-covered HMS Proselyte, which sits a mile off the coast. Visitors can lounge on the beach or spend time mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, playing tennis, or participating in watersports. Adventurers may want to try kiteboarding and operators on the island can also arrange for parasailing, windsurfing and Wave Runner excursions with instruction. Sailing is very popular; experience the thrill of the daily 12-Metre Challenge, a three-hour staged version of the America’s Cup race. Sailors of every skill level can serve as a member of the crew aboard the boats.
Visit the St. Maarten Park, a part of the St. Maarten Zoological and Botanical Garden, filled with Caribbean and South American animals, plants and birds. Spot sleek ocelots and bush dogs, parrots, toucans and owls, boa constrictors and marine toads, even land crabs and giant land snails. After dark, dinner is an international affair, with more than 300 restaurants offering French, Dutch, Caribbean, Italian, Chinese, Indonesian, creole and West Indian menus. Later in the evening, consider visiting one of 12 casinos. Gaming on St. Maarten is “European mode,” quiet and sophisticated.
Documentation required to get married in Sint Maarten
1. Birth Certificate-A full length, original birth certificate of both parties.
2. Marriage Search– This is a sworn letter of attestation which states that you never have been married before. This can be obtained from the Vital Statistics Office or the Civil Registry office from the province in which you reside.
3. If divorced - an Original divorce certificate or a final judgment decree must be provided.
4. If widowed - a death certificate is required.
5. Passport copy - Colored copy is preferable
6. Witnesses - Six (6) witnesses are required if marriage is performed outside of the Marriage hall.
7. Copies of passports and birth certificates and their profession
8. Witnesses must be 18 years and older.
9. If Marriage is performed at the Marriage Hall, only two witnesses must be provided.
1. All documents should be in the possession of the wedding coordinator, no later than two weeks prior to the actual wedding date.
2. All Canadian’s documents must have an “Authentication Stamp” from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a “Legalization Stamp” from the Dutch Consulate.
3. All United State of America’s documents must have an “Apostille stamp” from the Secretary of State.
Although we provide this information it is subject to change and you must contact the tourist board or consulate to verify these requirements.
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