Is St. Martin Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

Is St. Martin Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

While Saint Martin is commonly perceived as a secure destination, it remains prudent to observe fundamental precautions to safeguard your well-being.

On the island of St. Maarten, instances of car break-ins and petty theft are prevalent. As a result, visitors to St. Maarten should exercise caution by avoiding isolated areas after dark and ensuring the secure storage of valuables and money.

LATEST NEWS from St. Martin:

March 7: Armed robbery is being looked into by Sint Maarten police

Two young men approached a group of women and proceeded to steal their possessions. 

While the robbery was underway, one of the perpetrators struck a woman on the head with a firearm. 

Subsequently, the suspects left the scene in a vehicle, prompting a pursuit by law enforcement. 

As of today, authorities in Sint Maarten have arrested two individuals, including a minor.

Areas to Avoid

According to local reports, it’s a good idea to avoid Sandy Ground and Agrement (both in Marigot) due to a spike in crime.

At the same time, it is recommended to avoid visiting secluded areas especially when walking at night and alone.

Official Travel Advisories

U.S. Travel Advisory – Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

St. Martin has the lowest level of advice. Still, there is street crime and petty theft to be aware of. 

Although there is violent crime among those involved in the illegal drug trade, tourists are rarely affected by this. Yet, you should exercise common sense caution when visiting the island.

Canada Travel Advisory

Regarding crime, the Canadian government alerts its citizens to the rise in violent crime, which includes armed robberies. Tourists are occasionally the target of criminals.

They also advise Canadians to be cautious and mindful of their surroundings, particularly at night.

Common Scams

While scams in St. Martin are relatively uncommon, it’s essential to be aware of the following:

Braid scams: Beware of locals offering to braid your hair for a fee. After completing the service, they may demand significantly more payment, citing reasons such as the length of your hair or the time taken. To avoid this, agree on the final price upfront and, if necessary, call the police.

Car rental scams: Some rental companies may falsely claim damage to the vehicle upon its return, often citing tampering with the door-lock as an excuse to charge additional fees, sometimes up to $300. Be vigilant and document the condition of the vehicle before and after rental to prevent such scams.

Taxi scams: Be cautious of taxi drivers who claim that their meter is malfunctioning, only to overcharge passengers at the end of the journey. If a driver tells you he does not have a meter, decline their service and seek an alternative taxi.

Safety Tips for St. Martin

Here are some safety tips to ensure your visit to St. Martin is both enjoyable and secure:

  • Adhere to all local laws to avoid any legal misundersatings.
  • Opt for reputable accommodations by checking reviews and selecting well-established hotels or guesthouses.
  • Swim only in designated areas and pay attention to warning signs or flags. 
  • Keep your valuables secure and avoid flaunting expensive jewelry or electronics.
  • Choose reputable restaurants and exercise caution when consuming street food.
  • Stay vigilant when using public transportation or taxis, keeping your belongings close at all times.
  • Keep a written record of emergency and family phone numbers in case of phone loss or emergency situations.
  • Minimize the amount of cash you carry.
  • Stay away from isolated or poorly lit areas, including beaches, especially during nighttime.
  • Never leave valuables unattended while at the beach.
  • Consult with local authorities to identify safe beach locations for swimming and relaxation.