Maho Beach

Spirit Airlines arrival over Maho Beach

There isn't an aviation enthusiast in the world who doesn't know the legendary Maho Beach. It is located literally a few metres from the runway threshold of the local SXM International Airport.

Landing planes are really only a few feet above your head, while a popular takeoff "sport" is trying to stay standing up in the strong stream of aircraft engine exhaust fumes.

Buy tickets to Sint Maarten now

The world's most famous beach?

Maho Beach is not only known to aviation enthusiasts. Even travellers who are otherwise not very interested in airplanes like to show off their attractive photos of planes landing just overhead.

That is why Maho Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world and is by far the most visited beach on St. Martin.

Where is the best place to watch planes?

Where are the best places for spotting, i.e. photographing and watching planes?

Literally anywhere.

The entire beach follows the airport fence, and the view of landing (and sometimes taking off) planes is great from every corner of the beach.

You can stand right in the centerline of the runway so that you have the planes directly overhead, but you can also stand on the edges of the beach to get great sideways photos of the planes.

Along the fence you can then get good photos of planes taxiing to take off, but the mesh fence has no camera holes, which are common at some other airports.

When to go to Maho Beach?

Large US transport aircraft such as Boeing 737, Airbus A320/321 or Boeing 757 land in the afternoon. The first arrivals start around 12:30pm and the last around 6pm.

The largest long-haul Airbus A330s from Europe, operated by Air France and KLM, land between 14:30 and 16:00.

Morning traffic again brings rarer airlines from the surrounding islands.

The smallest propeller planes fly and private jets all day.

Amenities on the beach

At the south end of the beach, you can refresh yourself at the world's most famous beach snack bar, the Sunset Bar.

You can choose from full hot meals (around 25 usd), cold snacks (from 10 usd) and alcoholic cocktails (between 12 usd and 18 usd).

There is a screen installed right in the bar with current arrivals and departures as well as the famous surfboard, where the staff lists the arrivals of the big planes each morning.

The Sunset Bar is also connected to several small shops selling clothes (you can buy, for example, caps or sunglasses) or cosmetics.

There are toilets within the Sunset Bar open to all visitors for 1 usd (cash only).

Showers and loungers

Cold watershowers are not available at Maho Beach.

Sun loungers and umbrellas are available for hire in good weather on the south side of the beach near the Sunset Bar. For a set of 2 sun loungers and 1 parasol you will pay 35 usd per day.


At the north end of the beach near the roundabout, you can buy groceries or drugstore at the regular "Maho Market".

This is a great and inexpensive option to get a complete snack for your beach stay.

The supermarket also has a hot food counter (approx. 9 usd for 400 grams).

What is swimming like at Maho Beach?

The beach is covered with fine light sand and the entrance to the water is partly rocky, but comfortable and safe. However, the bottom drops off quite steeply after about 5 metres from the entrance.

Be aware that especially in the morning and early afternoon, the beach is extremely crowded in high season. This is mainly due to the fact that at this time the island is usually full of people from cruise ships that dock in Philipsburg during the day.

The beach becomes more crowded around 15:00.

You'll then find a crowded beach great for swimming south of Maho Beach and along the southern edge of the runway all the way to Simpson Bay.

Accommodation at Maho Beach

If planespotting is your main goal on St. Martin and you're not so concerned about price, stay at resorts near the beach.

Click on the name of the hotel for availability and rates.

Slightly cheaper hotels can be found at Burgeaux Bay about 300 metres south of Maho Beach.

How to get to the beach?

Maho Beach is easily accessible by public transport.

Minibuses stop at the roundabout and run on the Maho - Simpson Bay - Cole Bay - Philipsburg route. The frequency is 5-10 minutes during the day and the fare is 1,50 usd to 2 usd depending on distance.

You can stop the minibus anywhere around the roundabout with a wave of your hand.

Transportation by car is also possible, however, very heavy traffic should be expected.

Secure parking is available at the Sunset Bar for 5 usd per day. You can park for free anywhere along the main road towards the airport on the grass strips.

For details on getting around the island or taxi prices, see the Transportation section.

Какво да видите наоколо

Открийте всички места, които трябва да видите в Синт Маартен.

Тази статия може да съдържа партньорски връзки, от които нашият редакционен екип може да получи комисиони, ако кликнете върху връзката. Вижте нашата страница за рекламна политика.