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Get to know the twin Dutch and French spirits of the island of St Maarten/St Martin during this 4-hour history tour from Philipsburg. Circumnavigate the island while learning about the natural history, geology, culture and traditions of this unusual place through your guide's engaging commentary. Stop by important landmarks and highlights that help paint the total picture of the island's past. Round-trip transportation from the cruise port is included.


  • 4-hour guided history tour of St Maarten/St Martin
  • Circle the island on this comprehensive tour
  • Learn about the history, geology, culture and traditions of this half-Dutch, half-French island
  • Visit a plantation, a fort and a salt pond
  • Stop for iced coffee, tea and a Caribbean cake

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

St Maarten History Tour

Fort Amsterdam

Meet your guide and tour group at Dock Maarten in Philipsburg; pickup from the cruise port and some Philipsburg locations can be arranged.

Stop at the Emilio Wilson Estate, where the Golden Rock and Industry plantations have been preserved, the last remnants of the more than 100 plantations that once existed. In the park remains of the plantation house and ruins of the surrounding farm buildings can be found. You'll visit this park to give the hardships of those times a moment of thought as well as enjoy the lovely scenery and marvelous trees in the park.

At the salt ponds, learn about the first inhabitants of St Martin, the Arawak. They called the island 'Soualiga' meaning 'Land of Salt'. The naturally producing salt ponds of St Martin were also the reason for the Dutch to return after they had an unplanned stop over on St Martin in 1624. You'll learn what Great Salt Pond looked like in her hey day and you’ll be able to see the difference in her appearance today.

Visit one of St Martin's 3 remaining forts. Each fort offers a great view of one of the two capitals St Martin is rich and form a lovely background for the conquest and pirate stories of St Martin. The forts are situated on top of hills and will take a 15 minute uphill walk to reach them.

Learn about St Martin's geology through a visit to one of the two sites where layered rock is clearly visible. Along the way, take a break for iced tea, iced coffee and homemade cake with a Caribbean twist.  

After the tour, you will be returned to the starting point.

Please note: this our is not suitable for participants who have difficulty walking on sloped or uneven terrain.

Customer Reviews

Wesley D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Very informative!

Brenda Johnson United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Ilja was our tour guide. She did a fantastic job of delivering the history of St. Maarten( The Dutch and French) side. The lunch in the park was good also.

Wesley D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Great Tour of the area and all the sights!

Krystal H

4 star rating: Recommended January 2017

got a good idea of what the island looked like as a whole. good to know the history of it as well. recommend for 1st timers.


4 star rating: Recommended January 2017

We had a great experience on our tour. We were picked up on time, and our guide provided a lot of interesting information about the history of the island. We never felt rushed and she allowed us to take as many photos as we wanted. She also provided a snack and regularly offered us water if we needed it. One regret is that we did not get to take a photo of the statues depicting the salt trade that were in the center of town. I am thinking it may have been because the statues are in the middle of a traffic circle which would make it tricky to stop and take a photo. We would definitely recommend this tour. It may be best to plan it for the beginning of the week because there were less cruise boats so that our stops were not as crowded.

Donna C

4 star rating: Recommended March 2016

This tour was great! Our guide was very informative and engaging. He took us to the forts on each side of the island and we had a nice break with tea and cake at a park created from an old sugar plantation site as well as making other stops to take pictures. Good for those interested in history.

Michael T

4 star rating: Recommended December 2015

We highly recommend this tour. It is a small group, very personal with easy customization to suit our interests and lots of time for interaction during the tour. We enjoyed the tour of the island and the well informed history background. A wonderful touch was the homemade iced coffee and cake served during the tour. WELL DONE!

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