Tintamarre translates as “a great confused noise,” though you wouldn’t know it by looking at Île Tintamarre just off the northeast coast of St. Martin. But did you know this now quiet island has a much, much more exciting past?

At one time, it had a (defacto) king! Another time, a bustling airport — the first for the French West Indies. Its ownership has been disputed from St. Kitts to France to Amsterdam. Flat Island, as it’s also known, even had its own currency at one point. And that’s all just after colonists arrived.

Now, visitors to this quiet corner of the Caribbean spend their time mostly splashing in the pristine waters or prancing along the island’s brilliant sands or just quietly paddleboarding — oblivious of the sometimes noisy confused history of Île Tintamarre.

But it’s that knowledge that makes visiting this and all the islands of the West Indies with their rich histories that much more interesting!

Ever been here?