With two island colonies (Dutch side and the French side) that boast a huge wealth of natural resources, beaches, rich wildlife, and large rain forests, St. Martin (St.Maarten) have established its mark as one of the exciting islands to explore and discover along the Caribbean coast. The 34 square mile island boasts of white sandy beaches fringed with palm trees. It attracts tourists all over the world and contributes greatly to the country’s main income.
The French and Dutch settled on this island more than 11,000 years ago. It greatly influenced the culture, traditions, architecture, and religious structures that can be found on this holiday island.
Here are the top ten not to be missed places in St. Martin.
It is a quiet beach with crystal clear water, white sand and no huge waves. Mullet Bay is ideal for kids. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the island where it is possible to be in peace especially in the morning where guests are still minimal. There is rent collected on the use of umbrellas and chairs, toilets and shower rooms and all the necessary amenities that completes the infrastructure of a well loved vacation spot. The water is warm and the waves are not rocky and allow swimmers to enjoy and have fun.
There are lots of makeshift eateries on the beach, where you can find bottled water, beer, soda, burger and a kind of dish made with rice, beans, rib, lettuce and tomato and fried banana which is indeed very tasty. The beach is very nice and not as crowded as the other beaches you can find along the shorelines of St. Martin. The sea is clean with an intense shade of blue and the attraction has lots of greenery. The transparency of the water does not require any snorkeling gear to admire the tropical fishes that live there. The left edge and the side stones have amazing corals. It is visible to the naked eye and you can even see a lion fish in a hole.
This is the famous beach in St. Martin that is located very close to the airport (Philipsburg). The feeling of seeing the planes so close is indescribable. The beach is small but it is beautiful, crowded, and certainly worth knowing. You can enjoy a beer while watching the planes descend at the airport which is next to the beach. Prefer to visit the beach in the afternoon, which is where most of the landings of aircraft occur.
At the bar next door, it has a surfboard with the schedules of flights. The schedule for the larger aircraft to pass by all over the beach is between 12h and 14h. The beach is not one of the best on this island but the real attraction is to watch the planes coming down a few feet from your head, it is funny when the plane takes off and throws to the wind and amuse all the tourists down below. The beach is on the Dutch side of the island.
It is a unique experience to take a picture with the plane practically on top of you. Depending on the type of aircraft, you will be blown away by the small beach (imagine what happens to bags, towels, slippers that are found in the water a few seconds). It’s worth taking a bath in these magnificent waters but be very careful because after a few meters it becomes quite deep.
Orient Bay Beach
The Orient Bay Beach is accessible by a bus or taxi ride from the city center. It is very pretty and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. The colors are beautiful and it is pleasant to see the kite-surfers who do stunts in the water or take the waves at the shore. This long white sand beach is equipped with umbrellas, sun loungers, restaurants and practice many water sports adventures (snorkel, scuba diving, sailing, surfing, kayaking, etc.) You can make long walks and even go to the nearby nudist beach. The fine white sand gives a pleasant feeling and ideal for those who want to enjoy the sun and a little privacy. The beach kiosks offer different and appetizing menus for every curious guest.
It is one of the largest beaches in St. Martin that is also romantic and has lots of possibilities for relaxation. It is highly recommended for those who are looking for fun and to enjoy a good summer vacation. Another worth knowing feature is its waves; it explodes in every sense of the word. The advantage is that you can swim and those who do not want it to can sit nicely in the shade in one of the cafes. But it is really very busy, especially when many cruise ships are in port at St. Maarten.
It is a small island that is just 10 minutes away from the marina in the port of Orient Bay at a cost of € 5 per person. The sea is spectacular as well as the beach that has plenty of nature. The island has 2 factories and 2 restaurants where you can eat discreetly. There is a French restaurant that prepares the best lobster. This island is very beautiful and suitable for those who want to spend a relaxing day. However, it is usually super crowded. The beach is equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas at reasonable prices. There are two dining facilities that are well integrated with the landscape and located right at the landing of the crossing between the islands. The island is accessed via a small boat that goes back and forth many times within the day. The sea is a transparent blue with warm temperature and fantastic kiosks serving a good selection of food and drink or appetizers. One of the attractions there is the lime green iguanas that are left freely wandering under the tables. For those with children, the beach is very quiet and shallow and ideal for a quick dip. The beach is pure delight; you can rent chairs and umbrella on the left side which is the fine sandy beach part of the island.
Tintamarre Island is an uninhabited island with the possibility of hiking and swimming adventures. The tour begins with a boat ride from the Pinel Island starting at 10 am for € 15 round trip. Upon arrival, a beautiful wide beach and the flat island welcome everyone without parasols, sun loungers or beach restaurants in sight. Only a few boaters and some nudist colonies can be seen on this attraction. You have the choice of activities to do and one of them is to swim with the giant turtles which is what this island is famous for.
According to locals, there are more than 20 beaches on this island that can be explored on foot along the shore. Another activity is to take the nice hike to the old airstrip but do not be too late because the heat of the sun gets hard especially during 12pm. You can also try snorkeling and see lots of fish, turtles, conch, rays, corals, and other forms of marine life. Try climbing on the rock on the right and see a very nice view of the rocky cliffs and the ocean. Bring your own food and water and be careful on the picnic areas as they are frequented by lizards and hermit crabs. If you have the opportunity to go to St. Martin do not miss this desert island.
Fort Saint – Louis
It is the perfect spot to take a little air and the height to see Marigot from above and including the strategic interest of the highest point near the bay. Do not be afraid to go even if it is a bit steep. It is easy to reach this attraction from Philipsburg. Take the public bus for U.S. $ 2 to Marigot. It will pass or stroll along through the city and the harbor. Right on the harbor begins the ascent to the fort to reach the top and where you can look back on many ruins. The fort is not comparable to San Cristobal, San Juan, but what is impressive about Fort Saint – Louis is the view of the bay of Marigot with its beautiful yachts and many more bays that completes the island of St.Maarten.
On the way back you can very well get to know a part of the island with beautiful views. Although the views are spectacular across the marina and Marigot, the fact remains that these are only some ruins that are not well maintained and no particular indications. The ruins have a few guns here and there. But then the views of the Marigot harbor, Nettle Bay Lowlands, Simpson Bay, and the Anguilla Island are all superb. In good weather, the view is distant and it gives a feeling of spaciousness on this small island.
To begin with, the Paradise Peak is located between Grand Case and Marigot in Rambaud. To explore this mountain you need to hire a guide and a 4×4 because the road is very narrow and dangerous especially on the way up to the summit part. Be cautious and drive carefully once you get on the edge of the cliff. At the end of the route there is a fence that blocks access to the antenna where you have to turn to park if you decide to make the trek.
The entrance to get to the top is indicated by an old sign made of hand resting on the steps. This is a totally isolated place that is perfect for group tours and newlywed couples. You go at your own risk to satisfy your curiosity. The tour can be capped with a hiking trip to the nearby Loterie Farm and Pic Paradise which is open to the public. Enjoy the adventure hiking trails with a good 360 degree view of the entire island on top.
The Boardwalk in Philipsburgh is a nice place to spend hours of shopping and good dining choices. It has fun bars and restaurants along with a scheme beach with simple bars. The best place to shop is at the back street. The international airport is just 15 minutes away and the whole promenade area can be explored in about 30 minutes. It is a large bay with beautiful sand beaches, dining places, umbrellas and chaise services.
Everywhere there are shops selling everything from sweets to electronics and photographic equipments. However, the shops and restaurants close as early as 6 pm making the boardwalk look like a desolate ghost town. The shops only open until midnight when there are cruise ships docked in the harbor of Philipsburgh. The place is safe and secured by the local police even at night.
This is the main street of Philipsburg (with only 4 parallel streets) that is rather narrow and very busy. You can get there from the cruise port by walking (about 20 minutes) or by taking a taxi (U.S. $ 3 per person or 5 Euros for 2 people) The vast majority of buildings are shops selling mostly jewelry, watches, and electronics. There are also a few hotels, guest houses, perfumeries and two casinos. For jewelers, do not hesitate to haggle hard especially at the end of the day when they are about to close shop. The buildings are rather colorful and architecture is unique. You can also admire points of interest such as Philipsburg Court (Courthouse), the Guavaberry Emporium, and the famous ‘crossroad’ sign. The
boardwalk and the beach are just 2 minutes apart. So you can go take a bath right after doing your shopping.
Great Bay Beach
Located across the Boardwalk, the Great Bay Beach is a captivating beach with pleasant, turquoise sea, white sand and a nearby marina that has many interesting souvenir and duty free shops. This beach is where most of the cruise ships dock.
This beautiful stretch of white sand that stretches for about 1 km, boasts of crystal clear waters and a central location for those who want to visit the center of Philipsburg. The beach is in fact just a 10-minute walk from the harbor and is located right in front of a number of small shops and cafes of the place