St Maarten vs Curacao (Which One Should I Choose?)

St Maarten vs Curacao. Both are beautiful islands that offer the best of Caribbean living. But which one is better to travel to for your vacation?

This article will compare the two islands to help you decide where to go on your next vacation. It’s important to consider what you want out of a vacation before choosing between Curaçao and St Maarten.

St Maarten vs Curacao Comparison

St Maarten and Curaçao are two of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. They offer a wide range of activities and nightlife options for visitors. So, which one is better?

1. Size: When it comes to size, Curaçao is a larger island. Curaçao has an area of 171 square miles, while St. Maarten has only 37 square miles. This means that Curaçao is about twelve times the size of St. Maarten.

Another difference between the two islands is their populations. Curaçao’s population is over 155,000, while St. Maarten’s population is only around 41,000 people on the Dutch side and 33,000 on the French side.

This means that there are more than four thousand people per square kilometer on Curaçao, compared to only one hundred people per square kilometer on St. Maarten. These differences in size and population can be seen in the different types of development on the two islands.

2. Beaches: The beaches in St. Maarten and Curaçao are both beautiful and offer different experiences. In St. Maarten, you can find a wide variety of beaches to choose from, including some that are perfect for swimming and others that are great for snorkeling.

The beaches in Curaçao are more rugged and less developed, but they offer stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding cliffs. Curaçao has more secluded spots if you’re looking for a more private experience.

3. Nightlife: When it comes to nightlife, there’s no comparison between St. Maarten and Curaçao. In St. Maarten, you can find bars, casinos and nightclubs open until the early hours of the morning, while on Curaçao the party scene shuts down by midnight. 

If you’re looking for a lively night out, then St. Maarten is the place to be. The island has everything from relaxed beach bars to high-energy dance clubs, and there’s something to suit everyone’s taste. Curaçao may have a more diverse culture and history, but when it comes to nightlife, St. Maarten is hard to beat.

4. Activities: In terms of activities, Curaçao has a bit of an edge. There are more options for things to do there, such as diving, snorkeling, and kayaking in the sheltered bays around the island.

5. Cost: One big consideration is cost. Curaçao is generally cheaper than St. Maarten, though there can be some variation depending on the time of year. If budget is a top priority, Curaçao may be the better choice.

6. Weather: The biggest difference between the two islands is the weather. St. Maarten has consistent trade winds that keep temperatures moderate year-round, while Curaçao can be quite hot and humid during the summer months.

Curaçao also experiences more rainfall than St. Maarten. St. Maarten is located just north of the equator and enjoys consistently warm weather year-round, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the low 90s.

Curaçao is located further south and has a more temperate climate, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the low 80s. This means that St. Maarten is typically hotter and sunnier than Curaçao. The exception is during hurricane season, which lasts from June through November.

7. Shopping: When it comes to shopping, there’s no comparison between St. Maarten and Curaçao. Although both islands have Dutch roots, the two offer vastly different shopping experiences.

In St. Maarten, duty-free shops abound, selling everything from liquor to jewelry to electronics at discounted prices. Curaçao is home to a number of malls, including the Punda and Otrobanda districts in Willemstad, where shoppers can find anything from high-end brands to local artisanal products.

If you’re looking for an authentic Caribbean shopping experience, head to Curaçao – but be prepared for higher prices than on St. Maarten.

8. Crime: How safe is St. Maarten compared to Curaçao? Both islands are popular tourist destinations, but when it comes to safety, St. Maarten is the clear winner. Curaçao is known for its high crime rate, while St. Maarten is much safer with significantly less crime.

There are a few precautions you’ll want to take regardless of which island you choose, but overall, St. Maarten is the better option if safety is your number one concern.

9. Location: St. Maarten is located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, about 190 miles east of Puerto Rico. The island is divided between France and the Netherlands, with the Dutch side featuring more resorts and casinos while the French side has more historical attractions. Curaçao is located just off the coast of Venezuela, about 70.3 miles west of Aruba.​​​​​​​

10. Towns and villages: St. Maarten is home to the bustling town of Philipsburg, while Curaçao has the charming Willemstad. Philipsburg is definitely worth a visit, but Willemstad offers a more authentic Caribbean experience.

The island of Curaçao.
Image by tammon from Pixabay

Is St Maarten or Curaçao better?

It can be difficult to decide whether to visit St Maarten or Curacao. Both islands offer beautiful scenery, crystal-clear waters and great beaches. However, there are some key differences that may help you make up your mind.

St Maarten is a Dutch territory and is home to a mixture of cultures. This results in a vibrant and colorful island with plenty of restaurants, bars and nightlife. Curacao is part of the Netherlands Antilles and has a more Caribbean feel, with fewer tourists and a slower pace of life.

If you’re looking for an action-packed holiday, then St Maarten is the clear winner. There’s something for everyone on this island, from water sports to golfing to shopping.

Is Curaçao a party island?

Curacao is a small island in the southern Caribbean Sea, just off the Venezuelan coast. Although it’s a small island, Curacao has plenty to offer visitors, including stunning beaches, interesting history and culture, and plenty of activities and nightlife. Curacao is often called a party island, and there’s no doubt that you’ll find plenty of bars and clubs to enjoy your evenings.

However, there’s also much more to Curacao than simply partying – the island has beautiful scenery, tasty food, and friendly locals who will make you feel welcome. If you’re looking for an enjoyable Caribbean vacation with plenty of nightlife options, Curacao is a great choice.

Is Curaçao a Dutch territory?

Curacao is an island in the Caribbean Sea and a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The country was formerly part of the Dutch colony of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which is now a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Curacao is located near Aruba, Bonaire, and Saint Martin.

Is Curacao worth visiting?

The island has a lot to offer tourists. If you’re interested in beaches and nature, then yes, Curacao is definitely worth visiting. The island has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, and its coral reefs are some of the best in the world. If you’re looking for nightlife and culture, then you may be disappointed.​​​​​​​

There are interesting historical sites, and plenty of activities to keep you busy. The capital city, Willemstad, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is definitely worth seeing.

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  • Karin K

    Meet Karin, the passionate author and founder of My love affair with St. Maarten began in 1994 during a memorable trip. The island's allure was so captivating that I decided to make it my permanent home. Since then, I've been committed to sharing the beauty and wonders of St. Maarten through my adventures and insights. Join me on this incredible journey!