St Maarten vs Jamaica (Which Island Is Better For You?)

What Caribbean island should you visit? If you are wondering where you should go on your next vacation, this article will help you make your decision a bit easier. When comparing St. Maarten vs Jamaica, both have their own pros and cons, so it’s important to know the facts before deciding on which one is best for you. 

St Maarten vs Jamaica Comparison

When it comes to Caribbean getaways, there are a few destinations that always come to mind: Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and St. Maarten. Each island has its own unique flavor and appeal, but which one is the best for you? Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each.

1. Size: St Maarten is a much smaller island country than Jamaica. St Maarten is only 37 square miles, while Jamaica is over 4,240 square miles.

Because of its size, St Maarten has a more intimate feel to it, with a population of only around 37,000 people. Jamaica has over 2.9 million people living on it, so it feels more bustling and crowded.

Another big difference between the two islands is their landscape. St Maarten is made up of volcanic rock, so it has a more rugged feel to it. Jamaica is mostly made up of tropical rainforest, so it’s lush and green.

If you’re looking for beaches, St Maarten has some of the most beautiful in the world, while Jamaica’s beaches are not as impressive as its other features.

2. Beaches: To start with, let’s look at the beaches. Jamaica has more than 635 miles of coastline, with breathtakingly beautiful beaches dotting the landscape. St Maarten, on the other hand, has almost 37 miles of coastline, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. 

In terms of beaches, Jamaica definitely has the edge. The island is home to some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in the world, such as Negril’s Seven-Mile Beach and Montego Bay’s Doctor’s Cave Beach.

St. Maarten may not have quite as many beaches to offer as Jamaica does, but the ones it does have are absolutely incredible. Some of the best beaches on St. Maarten include Maho Beach, Mullet Beach, Orient Bay, and Friar’s Bay.

So which island has better beaches? It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a wider selection of beaches to choose from, go with Jamaica.

3. Nightlife: So, which island has the better nightlife? There really is no definitive answer, as both islands offer a wide variety of nightclubs, bars and restaurants. However, St Maarten does have a slight edge when it comes to nightlife. The island has more clubs and bars than Jamaica, and the party atmosphere is a bit livelier. St. Maarten also has more casinos than Jamaica, making it a popular destination for those who love to gamble.

That said, Jamaica certainly has its charms when it comes to nightlife. The music scene is legendary, and there are plenty of funky bars and cool clubs to check out.

4. Activities: Both islands offer amazing scenery and plenty of activities like diving, snorkeling, and hiking.​​​​​​​ St. Maarten offers an abundance of activities for visitors to enjoy, including casinos, shopping, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

There are also many water activities available, such as sailing, boating and windsurfing. The island is also home to some beautiful beaches. Jamaica offers a much more laid-back atmosphere with plenty of natural beauty to enjoy.

The beaches here are definitely worth exploring, and there are also plenty of outdoor activities available, such as hiking and zip-lining. Kingston is Jamaica’s capital city and is home to many interesting cultural attractions.

5. Cost: St. Maarten is known for its luxury resorts and high prices. However, there are also many smaller, more affordable hotels and restaurants if you’re looking to save money.

Jamaica is slightly less expensive than St. Maarten, but not by much. In the end, it really depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation. If you want to splurge on luxurious accommodations and fine dining, then St. Maarten is the better option.

But if you’re looking for an affordable island getaway with plenty of activities and beautiful scenery, then Jamaica is a great choice.

6. Weather: When it comes to the weather, there is no comparison between St. Maarten and Jamaica. In St. Maarten, the weather is perfect for enjoying the outdoors most of the year. The average daytime temperature is in the 80s, and there is almost always a refreshing breeze blowing.

In Jamaica, the weather is hot and humid all year long, with temperatures averaging in the 90s. It’s not unusual for it to rain every day in Jamaica, while St. Maarten enjoys plenty of sunny days year-round.

7. Shopping: At first glance, it might seem that Jamaica would win out when it comes to shopping. After all, the island is home to the world-famous King’s Plaza Shopping Centre, as well as a number of smaller malls and markets.

However, St. Maarten has its own share of excellent shopping opportunities. The Dutch side of the island is home to a number of high-end boutiques, while the French side offers a more relaxed atmosphere with plenty of small shops and art galleries.

On St. Maarten, you’ll find an abundance of duty-free shops selling everything from jewelry and watches to perfumes and liquor. In addition, there are plenty of stores selling souvenirs, clothing, and other items at reasonable prices. By contrast, Jamaica is not as well-known for its shopping options.

While there are a few duty-free stores in Kingston and Montego Bay, the selection is not as varied as on St. Maarten. And although you can find some good deals on souvenirs and local handicrafts, overall prices tend to be higher in Jamaica than on St. Maarten.

8. Crime: Jamaica is notorious for its high levels of crime. Petty theft is common, as is violence towards tourists. There have been several cases of sexual assault against foreigners in Jamaica, and gangs are known to operate in certain areas.

It’s important to take precautions when travelling in Jamaica, such as avoiding areas that are known to be unsafe and always carrying a copy of your passport and travel documents. St. Maarten is a much safer destination than Jamaica.

9. Location: St. Maarten is located in the northeast Caribbean Sea and is divided between France and the Netherlands. The Dutch side of the island is known for its casinos, duty-free shopping, and vibrant nightlife. The French side of the island is more laid back and features beautiful beaches, lush hillsides, and excellent restaurants.

Jamaica is located in the Caribbean Sea, just south of Cuba. It’s well known for its stunning white-sand beaches, coral reefs, and rain forested mountains. Kingston is the capital city and home to many cultural attractions including museums, art galleries, and theaters.​​​​​​​

Negril, Jamaica
Image by Nadine Laplante from Pixabay

Is St Maarten or Jamaica better?

When it comes to deciding whether St Maarten or Jamaica is a better destination, it really depends on what you are looking for in a vacation. For example, if you want to relax on the beach and enjoy the sun and sand, then Jamaica would be the better choice.

However, if you are looking for more excitement and activities to do, then St Maarten would be a better option. The island of Jamaica is known for its laid-back lifestyle, while St Maarten is known for its nightlife and casinos. So, it really just depends on what you are looking for in a vacation.

Which is better for vacation, Dominican Republic or Jamaica?

When it comes to deciding which Caribbean country is better for vacation, the answer depends on what you are looking for. The Dominican Republic is great if you are looking for a more luxurious and modern experience, while Jamaica is perfect if you are looking for a more laid-back and natural setting.

The Dominican Republic has many all-inclusive resorts that offer luxurious amenities like spas and golf courses. The country also has a lively nightlife scene with casinos and nightclubs.

By contrast, Jamaica is home to more eco-lodges and smaller inns that focus on providing a rustic, natural experience. However, Jamaica does have its share of all-inclusive resorts as well.

Both the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are known for their beautiful beaches. The Dominican Republic’s beaches tend to be rocky, while Jamaica’s beaches are generally sandy.

Which island is better than Jamaica?

There are many islands in the world that can offer travelers a unique and memorable experience. However, when it comes to comparing which island is better than Jamaica, there are a few contenders that stand out. One of these islands is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic offers visitors stunningly clear turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and lush tropical vegetation.

What’s more, the locals are incredibly friendly and welcoming, always eager to help make your stay as enjoyable as possible. There are also plenty of activities available on the island, from golfing and diving to horseback riding and zip lining.

Another excellent option for those looking for an island that’s better than Jamaica is Barbados. This Caribbean island is well known for its incredible beaches – some have even been voted amongst the best in the world.

Is Jamaica or Bahamas better?

When it comes to deciding whether Jamaica or the Bahamas is a better travel destination, it can be tough to choose. Both islands offer beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, and plenty of activities to keep you busy. So, what’s the difference?

Jamaica is a bit more lively and vibrant than the Bahamas. If you’re looking for a place where you can party all night long, Jamaica is your best bet. The Bahamas is a bit more laid-back and relaxed, perfect for those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Jamaica is also home to some amazing hiking trails, while the Bahamas has some of the best diving in the world. If you’re looking for an adventure, Jamaica is definitely the place to go. If you’re looking for relaxation and stunning scenery, head to the Bahamas instead.

Related Post:


  • 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!