St. Martin - Budget Travel Questions

May 2nd, 2010, 05:46 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
St. Martin - Budget Travel Questions

We want to plan a holiday in November. Just a week, and I want beaches and snorkeling.

I thought about Roatan (we were there 2 years ago and loved it), but November is historically the wettest time of the year. So then we thought about Cozumel. Not a bad option, but tonight I started thinking about other areas in the Caribbean. Years ago we went to Guadaloupe & Martinique, and now we think we'd like to visit St. Martin. I checked Westjet and there's direct flights from Toronto to St. Maarten. (There's even a seat sale on right now - fare would be about $700 in November.) I've found a few cheaper places to stay on VRBO (< $100 / night) - they're in a place called French Cul de Sac.

We're a couple, late 50's, early 60's. We're what I'd call 'frugal travellers'. We've done lots of independent travelling in Mexico, Central America, Turkey, Australia and so on. For this trip, I want to go somewhere that's easy to get to and a place where the weather is likely to be good, although I know there are no guarantees.

So I have a couple of questions - is Cul de Sac an OK area? How's the weather in November? I think the hurricane season is usually just about finished by that point.

Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks, Susan
SusanInToronto is offline  
May 3rd, 2010, 11:08 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 686
do you mean french cul de sac? what hotel are you looking at?
Barbara1 is offline  
May 3rd, 2010, 11:46 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,590
For detailed weather data for any given period on almost any given island (including St. Martin) or destination go to www.wunderground.com. Use the Travel & Activities dropdown menu to select "Trip Planner". Enter the airport code for your intended destination (SXM for St. Martin) and your plnned dates of travel. You be directed to all types of weather data showing what actual conditions were everyday during that period over the last 10 years. After studying that data you'll know more about the weather than most locals.

You are correct, November is Hurricane Season in the Caribbean. No one can give you any guarantees about the chance of a major storm affecting St. Martin this coming November. You can research the frequency of huricanes for SXM (or any other Caribbean destination) by using the "Climatology" link at: www.stormcarib.com - there you find data showing showing the number of huricanes that have affected any given island during the past 150 years. Look at the statistics for your planned month of travel and decide if you are comfortable with the odds.

FYI - IMO the Cul de sac area is OK.
RoamsAround is online now  
May 3rd, 2010, 11:54 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
I'm actually looking at a couple of studios (http://www.vrbo.com/174630 and http://www.vrbo.com/224981) Both of them get fairly good reviews. I posted on Tripadvisor and people tell me that the area is not all that convenient. But it sounds as though it's possible to walk to a beach. Are you familiar with that area?

The other area that I've heard about is Oyster Pond. There looks to be a couple of small hotels (Les Balcons d'Oyster and Les Caravelles) where the prices look good. It also seems that there are a number of restaurants nearby.

But for some reason, I'm still drawn to the other area! Any advice?

One priority for us is access to snorkeling. I don't think we'd snorkel every day, but we would like to be able to snorkel a few times.

Thanks,
Susan
SusanInToronto is offline  
May 3rd, 2010, 12:01 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
Thanks Roamsaround. You're right - no guarantees anywhere! On our flight to Buenos Aires in February, our plane ran into mecanical problems while landing in Santiago to drop passengers off. As a result, all the passengers were put up in a hotel and Chile was hit with the earthquake that very night. We ended up spending 6 nights in Santiago. It was quite the experience .....

That's part of the reason we want to get away in the late fall. We eventually ended up in Buenos Aires (having cancelled our plans to go to Uruguay and Iguazu) and we loved our time there, but we came back to Canada feeling as if we needed another holiday. We thought maybe a week in the Caribbean would be something nice to look forward to.

How would French Cul de Sac compare to Oyster Pond?

I probably sound all over the map! Up until last night, I thought we'd be going back to Cozumel.
SusanInToronto is offline  
May 3rd, 2010, 02:44 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 686
Susan
the french cul de sac is a nice area.
i think it is a convenient area to be in. you can take the ferry to Pinel right there. you are a few minutes from Orient beach and Grand Case is a 10 minute drive away. Oyster Pond is a very nice area too. there are a few nice restaurants and hotels there, but I think it is further away from most other areas.
Le balcons does get good reviews though.
Barbara1 is offline  
May 4th, 2010, 09:19 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
Thanks Barbara. Last night I had convinced myself that we couldn't possibly afford to go to St Martin in November (am I made of money, blah blah blah). But today I'm starting to change my mind - I'm driving my husband crazy with my endless deliberations and rationalizations!
SusanInToronto is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 05:08 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
Well, I've made the decision - we're going to St. Martin. I'm booking the flights closer to the end of November. Looking forward to it!
SusanInToronto is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 06:06 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
That sounds odd - I'm booking the flights now, but we're travelling the end of November ....
SusanInToronto is offline  
May 10th, 2010, 06:18 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 18
Cul de Sac is nice, but you will need a car to get around, otherwise you're far from most things. Fron Cul de Sac you can walk to the ferry for Pinel, or the 'Decharge' Beach... but you won't want to do that every day. A car is a must.
Food quite expensive on SXM, but not too bad if you're self catering.
You may want to check out http://www.st-martin-maarten.com for some advice + vouchers giving you discounts.
travellover22 is offline  
May 10th, 2010, 10:31 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
Thanks. Yes, we had decided that we needed to have a car. I figure we'll do some self-catering and some meals out. I'm quite happy that we've made our decision!
SusanInToronto is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 11:16 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4
We are considiering a trip to the Cul de Sac area in March, I would love to hear about your trip and the area.
cbgirlie is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 03:59 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
I'll be sure to post a report when we're back.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
fate_golfman
Europe
4
Aug 24th, 2010 08:47 AM
pijeta
Caribbean Islands
10
Nov 5th, 2009 11:34 PM
dailln4n4
Caribbean Islands
6
Sep 26th, 2005 08:04 PM
STU
Caribbean Islands
6
Oct 31st, 2002 05:30 PM
Patsy
Caribbean Islands
4
Dec 5th, 1997 09:58 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:49 AM.