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A weekend in San Martin

A weekend in San Martin

They say that traveling is open your eyes to the beauty of the world. In less than two hours from the International Airport of Santo Domingo and Punta Cana, we can reach the smallest island in the world shared by two nations since 350 years ago. Let’s talk about San Martin if it were a Caribbean Berlin wall, it is divided by an imaginary line agreed in 1648 that is separate in to two symbolically: Sin Maarten, the Dutch side, and St. Martin, its French counterpart.

Ranked as the gastronomic capital of the Caribbean, the Dutch side, with its capital Philipsburg, it is more colorful, casual, fun and less expensive. More than its four hundred restaurants offering an eclectic fusion cuisine are a must for visitors. On the other hand, the side belonging to France, whose capital is Marigot, it is more "chic", with such charm that evokes the French Riviera in Provence, where luxury is set up as famous flag.

With a tropical dream beaches, has thirty seven recognized among the best in the Caribbean and it is an island with a rich cultural heritage. Located northeast of the archipelago of the Antilles, prior to the arrival of the first European settlers this territory was home to the Arawak Indians, who established between 800 and 300 BC. Its current name is given by Christopher Columbus who arrives on the island on November 11th, 1493. Despite, it was not until 1626 when the first western settlers occupy the area. The Dutch colonized in Little Bay, south. The French would do likewise to the north, in the bay of Embouchure. After the departure of the Spaniards, the Treaty of Concordia divides the territory between the Netherlands and France, recognizing dual nationality of the island and its unity. After many disputes and struggles between both countries, in 1817 the two nations set the frontiers we know today, although the truth is that this division is practically limited to maps, since the island considers itself as a single indivisible entity.

The story makes that San Martin has multiculturalism as a flag, especially since the 80s, when it was experienced a true demographic explosion. Currently, it keeps between 100 and 115 habitants with different nationalities. This is a real opportunity to know an island with hundreds of edges and different perspectives on a weekend. It has a perfect weather that goes around 25 degrees Celsius that will make any time good to know it, especially during the dry season, which takes place between December and mid-April.

The island has an International Airport in Juliana, in the Dutch area, and a regional airport in Grand-Case on the French side. When it’s time to go around the island there is a network of minibuses that connect cities and neighborhoods in Orleans, Philipsburg (the capital of the part belonging to the Netherlands), Grand-Case and Marigot (the capital of the part belonging to France). However, it is good to note that times are not fixed.

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TEXT: Alana Fernandez; IMAGES: Archivo