People & Culture
Islanders greet you with a melting pot of warm smiles.

When you arrive in St. Maarten/St. Martin you’re welcomed by friendly locals who trace their roots to Europe, Africa, North America, Asia and the surrounding Caribbean. Their multicultural contributions are evident in the island’s melting-pot cuisine, and also in a rich Caribbean culture that celebrates expression.

Artists long have flocked to these Caribbean shores to paint by the crystal-clear waters and rolling emerald hillsides. You’ll find studios and galleries all over the island. Stop by for a chat and browse. You’ll come away with a deeper understanding of the folks behind the smiles – and maybe a painting or sculpture to treasure for years to come.

Music as well is a mainstay of life. Beach barbecues are as much about soca, reggae and calypso as they are about good food. Music festivals take center stage throughout the island, featuring legendary and emerging groups as well as internationally known musicians and DJs. Groove to what you know and love or explore new rhythms and styles.

Local residents also celebrate a rich heritage spanning centuries. The Emilio Wilson Museum at Rockland Estate traces the island’s history from prehistoric to modern times, and the Sint Maarten Heritage Museum in Philipsburg houses a wealth of fascinating artifacts and documents.