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Planning an Affordable Island Getaway? Visit St. Maarten/St. Martin for a Fabulous Tropical Vacation

[youtube:bk62fdU_S1M?version=3;[link: Vacation Villas – St Maarten/St Martin];http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk62fdU_S1M?version=3&feature=related]A St. Maarten vacation is one of the tourism world’s best-kept secrets in that a trip to the island paradise is not nearly as expensive as one would assume. For about the same price as a trip to Hawaii, a very different exotic, tropical adventure awaits.

Situated due East of Puerto Rico and just south of Anguilla in the Caribbean Sea, St. Martin or St. Maarten, is half-French and half-Dutch. Although it’s divided along cultural lines, visitors have the benefit of enjoying everything the fabulous locale has to offer, from beautiful beaches and azure blue waters to a wide selection of recreational activities, great resorts and countless other pleasures. If an island getaway is just what the doctor ordered, defy the glum economic times and plan a trip to this fabulous island. You may be pleasantly surprised at how far your money goes.

More bang for the buck makes for a great vacation and in St. Martin, that’s exactly what lies around nearly every bend. From outstanding free activities like hiking, swimming, sunbathing, even a trip to the museum; to a plethora of inexpensive options, a great vacation is the rule, not the exception. During the daytime, choose from a variety of water activities like deep sea diving, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, parasailing, waterskiing and windsurfing. When on land, there’s horseback riding, a visit to Loterie Farm on the French side of the isle, or a round of golf at Mullet Bay on the Dutch peninsula.

Of course, no vacation is complete without getting out and enjoying the cultural attractions! Several casinos, the St. Maarten Park zoo and the Tijon Parfumerie are but a few, and if those aren’t enough, there’s always Front Street in Philipsburg on the Dutch side, one of the island’s premier shopping destinations. Take advantage of the duty-free/tax-free prices and peruse many of the same shops as the celebrities. Countless gourmet restaurants are sprinkled across the entire island, too, many of which offer tasty, affordable fare. And when the sun goes down, there is never any shortage of bars and clubs to visit where you can dance the night away.

Naturally, a St. Martin vacation is characterized by its beaches, blue waters and sun, sun, sun. There are numerous bays, lagoons and ponds in which to bask in the beautiful weather and work on a tan. Nude beaches are there, too, for a real-to-life European experience. While singles and couples can find things to do around every corner, there are plenty of fun activities for families and large groups. One of the best ways to accommodate a bigger group while on the island is to rent an historical villa. Typically less expensive than hotel accommodations, villas are more often than not closer to, if not right on, the waterfront. Private pools, air conditioning, Internet access, full kitchens and other amenities make a villa rental your home away from home. Aside from the outstanding creature comforts it provides, a villa lets you experience St. Martin as a resident, if only for a little while. The resorts and hotels are nice, but there’s something far more authentic about spending your vacation time in your own cozy hideaway.

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For the ultimate tropical island vacation, author Stephen Daniels recommends St. Maarten vacation rentals available from the Villa Lady. All these villas are oceanfront, reasonably priced and luxuriously equipped with everything you will need for the most laid back and enjoyable Caribbean vacation