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Introducing St Martin

While the Dutch side embraces every Caribbean cliché, the French half clings to its European roots and holds on for dear life. Noticeably devoid of casinos and skyscraping timeshares, the quieter French side is a charming mix of white-sand beaches, cluttered town centers and stretches of bucolic mountainside.

As the euro continues to outperform the American dollar, many businesses are having a hard time keeping up with their neighbors on the Dutch lands. Restaurants sometimes advertise one-for-one euro-to-dollar exchange rates on their meals, and hotels keep their prices as low as possible in order to compete with the big-name resorts on the other side.

This section starts where the Dutch coverage ends – in Marigot, the French side’s capital, and the neighboring Terres Basses. Then we head across the island toward Grand Case, Orient Beach and down to Oyster Pond (which links back up to the beginning of the Dutch sub-chapter at Philipsburg).