Saint Martin’s popular Red Bay is named after its slightly red-tinted sand. Making this beach even more unique is a large rock arch, which is quite a sight to see. Here, visitors can soak up the sun on the red sand, wade through the warm waters, and even swim under the arch to find another, smaller private beach area on the other side. Hopefully, this works up an appetite, as there are also many delicious restaurants lining Red Bay.
Located on the French, east side of the island, Orient Bay is one of many gorgeous beaches in Saint Martin. Often known as the ‘Saint Tropez’ of the Caribbean, Orient Bay is one of the island’s largest and most popular beaches. There’s no need to pack up a large beach bag as there are numerous restaurants, bars and shops to visit along the sand here. Visitors can also partake in many watersports; beach-goers can rent jet skis, parasail or even go for a catamaran ride.
Often pictured on St. Martin’s souvenir postcards, Maho Beach is well known for its extremely close location to the Princess Juliana Airport. Located on the Dutch side of the island, Maho Beach is unique in that patient visitors are able to get an up-close-and-personal view of the planes taking off and landing into the runways. Beware though, visitors should make sure to hold on tight to their belongings, the planes fly so close to the beach that items are often blown away!
Built in 1789, Fort Louis offers visitors both a piece of St. Martin’s history and gorgeous views of the island overlooking Marigot Bay. Originally constructed in order to defend the island’s goods and later abandoned, the fort is now fully restored for guests to learn about the island’s origins. Sitting high atop a large hill, visitors can gaze out at the bay and admire the various shades of blue that abound between the water to the sky.
Comprising 135 acres of lush tropical land on the French side of the island, Loterie Farm is located at Pic Paradis, which is the highest point of the island. Visitors can partake in numerous activities amongst the beautiful grounds. You can go hiking or biking, while adventurous guests can try out their zip line course. Visitors looking for a more laid-back day can eat in the cafe, take a dip in the pool or lounge in the gardens; the choice is yours!
Loterie Farm, 103 Route Pic Paradis, Rambaud, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, +590 590 878616
The Seaside Nature Park is situated in 30 acres of land on the Dutch side of the island. Originally a plantation, the park now attracts visitors looking to engage with the island’s wildlife. The park is most well known for offering visitors seaside horseback riding. However, the park also boasts a petting zoo, with ducks, rabbits, turtles, peacocks and iguanas. The park is a beautiful spot for a romantic getaway or even a day trip with the kids.
Seaside Nature Park, Cay Bay Road 64, Sint Maarten, +599 5445255
Saint Martin’s locals typically visit this beach. This makes the bay feel lesser-known and off-the-beaten-track for tourists. Friar’s Bay is known for its calm waters free of seaweed with shallow sand bars extending far into the sea. It’s the perfect location for snorkeling. Previous snorkelers have reported seeing a great deal of colorful fish amongst the bright sand and clear blue water. After snorkeling, make sure to grab a drink at one of the beach’s relaxing bars.
Unwind and relax at one of the most beautiful spas on the island: Good Life Spa. This modern yet warm and welcoming spa is the ideal location to recharge and rejuvenate. The spa’s elegant atmosphere takes cues from St. Martin’s natural beauty, boasting waterfall Jacuzzis, deep-hued wooden accents and stone furnishings, creating one seriously soothing oasis. The Good Life Spa offers multiple services, including massages, scrubs and facial treatments.
Good Life Spa, La Terasse, Maho Plaza, Sint Maarten, +599 721 545 2540
Just off of coast of the main island is Pinel Island, situated in Orient Bay. There are frequent water taxis running to and from the French side of the main island at Cul de Sac. Make sure to plan enough time on the island though, as the last boat leaves at 4pm. Once on the island, visitors can visit the central beach or hike to more secluded ones. There are also three excellent restaurants on the small island, including Le Karabuni, which specializes in lobster.