This guide is about the Dutch side of the island called Saint Martin (St. Martin). If you are going to Saint Martin instead, read my Saint Martin eSIM buying guide.
Sint Maarten – a special municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, also referred to as a constituent country of the Kingdom.
It is often confused with Saint Martin, mostly because the island is called Saint Martin.
To make it even more confusing, the northern half of Saint Martin is simply called Saint Martin and is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic.
So you have a Dutch side, Sint Maarten, and the French side, Saint Martin.
What makes things even more interesting is that there are no formal border checks between Sint Maarten and Saint Martin.
So you may accidentally pass the border and end up at the other side.
But before you do so, you will most likely land at the Dutch side because the main international airport, Princess Juliana International Airport, is located there.
L'Espérance Airport/Grand Case Airport has only four airlines servicing it – Princess Juliana International Airport has 25 airlines servicing it.
Sint Maarten is known for its lovely weather, incredible beaches & thrilling nightlife.
Moreover, many cruise ships stop at the island with passengers from countries worldwide.
The thing is – it is a given that you want to share your Sint Maarten experiences online.
I think it is an unwritten law somewhere.
But before you get too excited, you should know that international roaming can be expensive.
It could be so expensive that it could pay for a second holiday in Sint Maarten.
That is why you can be better off with a travel eSIM to save on data costs abroad.
How much will you pay for a travel eSIM for Sint Maarten?
You can get an eSIM for Sint Maarten for 9.50 USD from Airalo (Lantana).
I will also introduce you to a few global eSIMs that can be used in Sint Maarten and 110+ other countries, including Sint Maarten's (indirect) neighbors, for competitive rates.
Original publication: 19th of January 2023. Last updated: 15th of January 2024.
Table of Contents
Airalo Lantana eSIM for Sint Maarten
If you have looked for travel eSIMs before, you have undoubtedly read or heard of Airalo – the largest, oldest & most popular eSIM platform out there, covering around 190 countries (more than any other eSIM platform out there).
Airalo is so popular and loved, even by myself, because Airalo's eSIMs are often the most affordable while using (one of) the best local networks while also offering plenty of data options so that you can pick the one that suits your needs.
The latter does not really apply to Sint Maarten or the Caribbean in general, but let's not get ahead of ourselves 😏.
Anyway, the Airalo eSIM for Sint Maarten is called Lantana and uses the Digicel Sint Maarten and TelCell Sint Maarten networks (on 4G/LTE – no 5G NR because there is no 5G NR in Sint Maarten yet 🗿).
Wait… why does the Lantana eSIM use the Digicel Sint Maarten and TelCell Sint Maarten networks?
Travel eSIM providers like Airalo set up roaming agreements with local mobile operators.
And that is not an Airalo-specific thing – basically all mobile operators do, allowing their customers can still stay connected when abroad (at high prices).
Otherwise, they would need to build their own networks in 190 countries, which is $$$.
For example, 2degrees in New Zealand claims it spent more than a billion (New Zealand) dollars on its network, and New Zealand is not even that big.
Imagine how much it would cost to build your own network in every country out there 😳.
Anyway, you may have been distracted by the term roaming because you may have read stories of travelers going back home facing a 7000 USD roaming bill or something.
Worry not; that will not happen when you use the Lantana eSIM (or any other travel eSIM mentioned in this guide), as long as you make sure to turn data roaming off on your main SIM card.
Okay, that is enough background information – let's check what Airalo's options are in Sint Maarten.
- Sint Maarten/Lantana 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 9.50 USD
Now, you may think this is a sad selection or that 1 GB of data is insufficient.
Both points are true… I agree – but you can make unlimited top-ups with the Lantana eSIM through the Airalo website or apps.
So if you need 5 GB of data, you can purchase the Lantana 1 GB eSIM and get four 1 GB top-ups.
Yes, it is a bit inconvenient for now; Airalo may offer 3 GB, 5 GB & 10 GB plans with a 30-day validity for Sint Maarten soon, as it did for many other countries it supports.
Be aware: most travel eSIMs, including Airalo's Sint Maarten Lantana eSIM, are data-only eSIMs, so you cannot call or text with them (nor can you receive any calls or SMS).
Hopefully, that is not a dealbreaker because the Lantana eSIM is the cheapest eSIM mentioned in this guide.
The main issue with the Lantana eSIM is that it has only one option: 1 GB for 7 days.
But you can make unlimited top-ups with the Lantana eSIM through the Airalo website or apps.
So if you need 5 GB of data, you can purchase the Lantana 1 GB eSIM and get four 1 GB top-ups.
Yes, it is a bit inconvenient for now; Airalo may offer 3 GB, 5 GB & 10 GB plans with a 30-day validity for Sint Maarten soon, but we have to be patient now.
And you know that I would purchase multiple top-ups because I use a lot of data when traveling and testing eSIMs 🤪.
But… do I not often say that local SIM cards or eSIMs are cheaper than any other option, including travel eSIMs?
Yep, that is true (and you have a good memory!) – but you will have to deal with Sint Maarten SIM card registration laws.
(Why does this matter? Because hackers can steal your (critical) personal data if the mobile operator does not secure your data properly, like what happened in Australia (10 million Optus customers were affected, where info, like passport numbers, were stolen (including mine – luckily not my passport number but my boyfriend was not as lucky) or Indonesia (1.3 billion SIM card-related data was hacked)).
- Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
Anyway, the Airalo Sint Maarten Lantana eSIM is an affordable option to stay connected in the country.
International eSIM for Sint Maarten & More Caribbean Countries
Okay, I went over the Sint Maarten travel eSIM options offered by Airalo.
As expected, these eSIMs can only be used in Sint Maarten and not in neighboring Anguilla, Saba, Saint Martin or Sint Eustatius.
So what if you plan on visiting any of those countries, or you are on a world tour and wish to use one eSIM in multiple countries – do you have any other options?
Yes, you do. Airalo, Holafly, Nomad, SimCorner & Simify have regional, global & international eSIMs covering at least 80 countries; some include Sint Maarten too.
If you see names that you do not recognize because they have not been mentioned in this guide, it is because they either do not cover Sint Maarten or the prices are criminal – I want you to save money, not get robbed 🗿
So let's see which multi-country eSIMs can be used in Sint Maarten and other countries, including Sint Maarten's neighbors.
Airalo Island Hopper eSIM for Sint Maarten
Airalo also has the Island Hopper eSIM covering 24 countries with 1 GB of data for 7 days, costing 15 USD.
The Island Hopper eSIM can be used in the following 24 Caribbean countries:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- French Guiana 1
- Grenada 2
- Montserrat 2
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Kitts & Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Turks & Caicos Islands
1 the Latamlink eSIM covers French Guiana too – it has better options than Island Hopper (1 GB/7 days, 2 GB/15 days, 3 GB/30 days & 5 GB/30 days) in Central- and South America. However, if you do not visit those regions and stay in the Caribbean only, then stick with the Island Hopper eSIM instead
2 on 3G only
Like the Lantana eSIM, top-ups are available if you need more data.
This is why I recommend the Holafly Caribbean eSIM over the Island Hopper one because you get much more data for the same money.
However, the Holafly eSIM does not cover as many countries as the Island Hopper eSIM.
I am working with Airalo to turn the Island Hopper into a -link eSIM so that it offers you better value (the -link eSIMs have at least four variants, up to 100 GB of data for 180 days, making top-ups often unnecessary).
But do not get the Island Hopper eSIM just for Sint Maarten because the Lantana eSIM is more than half the price of Island Hopper.
For now, you still have an eSIM covering almost all of the Caribbean, which is neat :).
As you can see, the Island Hopper eSIM cannot be used in Sint Maarten (yet).
However, as many who visit – do not just stay in – (they often go to (two nearby countries there the eSIM can be used) as well), you can consider it.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Sint Maarten (Airalo)
In this guide, I went over Airalo's Lantana as the only (reasonably priced) eSIM for Sint Maarten.
I recognize that there are other eSIM providers that do offer services for Sint Maarten.
But they are either crazy expensive or the quality of service is whack (based on my experience or the experiences of other Phone Travel Wiz readers).
But you are free to try them out and let me know if they were any good 😀.
Buying a SIM Card in Sint Maarten
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting a Sint Maarten SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.