Какво да правите в Синт Маартен

Сен Мартен

How to have fun on Sint Maarten / Saint-Martin during a one-day cruise stop?

And how to have fun on longer stays? Discover what the main activities Saint-Martin has to offer.

The 10 best hotels - Sint Maarten

Plane-spotting

Among aviation enthusiasts, few places are more famous than Sint Maarten.

A beach with fine white sand, the sea on one side and just a few meters to the other side the start of the runway of SXM airport. This is the famous Maho Beach, where planes will land literally a few metres over your head.

On takeoff, the planes again taxi as close to the fence by the beach as possible to give them the most time to taxi and then climb more steeply due to the relatively high mountain on the other side of the runway. Thanks to this take-off just outside the airport fence, it is possible to experience first-hand the power of jet engines such as those powering the Airbus A 330.

Until recently it was also possible to experience a Boeing 747 here, but this has unfortunately been replaced by the Airbus A 330.

Fence flying is practiced here, where adrenaline junkies cling to the fence and let the power of these jet engines work on them. If you go snorkelling at this beach, you will find lots of sunglasses, hats and many other things on the seabed that have flown people here.

True aviation enthusiasts will also find time for spotting at the small Grand Case airport in the French part, where only about 10 planes fly in daily.

Beaches and swimming

There are nearly 40 beaches on the island, so there really is a beach for everyone. Certainly the most famous beach, and the one that most tourists head here for, is Maho Beach.

Maho Beach - This beach is also sometimes referred to as the noisiest beach in the world, for the reason that it is located just a few meters from the airport runway. The runway is only 2,300 metres short, so planes fly as low as possible to the top of the runway, passing literally just a few metres above the heads of sunbathing tourists.

Happy Bay - for us is definitely the best and most beautiful beach we have visited here. You can't get to Happy Bay by car or motorbike, so there are really very few people there (sometimes we were all alone). On the one hand, we are quite surprised because this beach is mentioned in almost every guidebook or travel guide. The beach can be reached on foot from Friar's Bay beach. It's about a 15 minute walk through the "jungle" with iguanas jumping over your head.

Happy Bay is also known for its rather large and colourful coral reef, where you can see lots of fish, octopuses or rays. For us, this was probably the best snorkeling spot on the island. There are no services or toilets on the beach, so you need to be prepared for that.

Great Bay Beach - is the beach in Philipsburg. The beach is a short walk from the harbor where the ocean liners dock, so you can see them from there.

Ilet Pinel - a beach in a nature reserve on Pinel Island. A beautiful beach with turquoise water and fine sand. There is a bar on the beach where you can order food and drinks. It's more crowded, but definitely worth a visit, just like the whole of Pinel.

Mullet Bay - Beautiful spacious and great beach just a short distance from the more famous Maho. However, it is considerably quieter.

Snorkeling

Definitely the best snorkeling spot we found (and that we were really looking for) was Happy Bay, otherwise it's really not worth much around the island.

There are also good conditions at Anse Marcel in the north of the island.

In general, the underwater life in St. Martin's waters is not as abundant as on other Caribbean islands, but for recreational snorkeling interspersed with trips and swimming, the island is perfectly adequate.

Excursions to nearby islands

If you're staying on St. Martin for at least a week, we definitely recommend taking a boat or plane to the surrounding islands as well.

Detailed information about transport to/from St. Martin is described in the chapter How to get here.

St. Bartholomew

A French island that is perhaps even more famous among true aviation enthusiasts than Sint Maarten itself.

The local small SBH airport is famous for its short runway bordered by a steep hill on one side and a beautiful beach on the other.

However, St. Barthélemy also charms with the beautiful town of Gustavia, where influences from the time of Swedish rule and the current French rule mix, and of course the typical Caribbean beaches with their white sand.

The island has the hallmark of a luxury destination, where a night in a beachfront hotel starts at around 900 usd. However, with very frequent air and boat connections, you can easily take a day trip.

  • By air - return tickets from 200 usd, flying Winair from SXM airport or St. Barth Commuter from Grand Case airport in France, the flight takes about 13 minutes
  • By boat - return tickets from 115 usd, boats sail to Philipsburg or Marigot, cruise takes 45 minutes
  • Search for hotels - St. Barth

Saba

The tiny island of Saba is the smallest of all the Dutch territories and is also the place where you will find the highest mountain in the whole of the Netherlands, Mount Scenery.

Saba is a great place for hiking, where you can spend several days walking on the hills. It is also one of the most popular diving destinations.

Find out what to do and see in our detailed guide to Saba.

  • By air - return tickets around 200 usd, only Winair flies, flight time approx 15 minutes
  • By boat - return tickets around 115 usd, sailing only from Philipsburg, sailing time approx. 80 minutes
  • Search for hotels - Saba

Anguilla

The closest island to St Martin is the British island of Anguilla, known for its great dive sites and beautiful beaches.

The shortest international flight in the world runs 19 km between SXM and Anguilla Airport.

  • By air - return tickets around 200 usd, only Anguilla Air Services flies, flight time approx 7 minutes
  • By boat - return tickets around 60 eur, sailing only from Marigot, sailing time approx. 20 minutes, more expensive tickets can be purchased on the line from the dock at SXM airport
  • Search for hotels - Anguilla

Treks

You often ask if there is hiking on Sint Maarten besides the beaches.

Sint Maarten does not have any long marked hiking trails and is more suitable for short walks, for example to Fort Louis in Marigot (approx. 1 km) or from the end of the road to the highest mountain Pic Paradis (approx. 2 km).

Adrenaline fun

Enjoy a ride on the steepest zip line in the world or take a different zip line over the treetops of the dense jungle.

There are two centres of adrenaline fun on St Martin.

  • Sentry Hill - On the Dutch side, take advantage of the 853-long zip line, which overcomes a height difference of 320 metres, making it the steepest attraction of its kind in the world.
  • Loterie Farm - On the French side you can enjoy a zip line over the jungle or take a walk through the dense forest.
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