The St. Maarten Adventure left us speechless. The magnificent little island of St. Maarten (or St. Martin, as it is sometimes referred to), shared by France and Netherlands, St. Maarten is certainly one of those places. From its fascinating history and culture to the breathtaking sights, there is just so much to explore. Be warned, it can all be a little overwhelming at first, but you will have the time of your life once you settle down.
1. Watch The Sunrise At Dawn Beach
Named after its incredible sunrises, Dawn Beach is one of the best beaches you will ever come across, anywhere in the world. Period. You just have to watch the sunrise here. Another incentive to go in the morning is to avoid the crowd. Oh, and if you are a fan of snorkeling like we are, then there are only a few better places in the world where the water is so clear and the experience so pleasant.
As you can tell we were not very ambitious to go see the sunrise at Dawn Beach, the photo below is taken in the afternoon because we slept in. We were told by many people the sunrises at Dawn Beach are incredible!
2. Visit Maho Beach
Okay, so we will be honest and tell you that this isn’t one of the most aesthetically pleasing beaches on the island – there are plenty of better options. So, why do we recommend this? Princess Juliana International Airport is right next to Maho Beach, and you can stand in the water while airplanes descend over your head, it is an experience and sight that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. We were pretty hesitant of the idea at first as we ran through all the what if's in our minds but figured we had not come this far to not at least watch as a few planes flew right over us! After braving it out we decided to walk over and have lunch at the Sunset Beach Bar which is located right next to Maho beach. You are able to eat and watch the airplanes take off and land from the comfort of your table. Now the craziest site and something we did not do was we watched as an Air France flight was getting ready to take off, people grabbed onto the fence in hopes to catch air. Catch air they did!! As the jet revved it's engines the people were literally lifted off the ground from the force of the engines and were holding on for dear life so they weren't thrown into the cement barricades behind them. Something we would not recommend doing as over the years many people have been seriously hurt and there are warning signs all over. We enjoyed watching the planes so much that we came back a couple more times in our 12 day stay in St.Maarten and ate at the Sunset Beach Bar.
3. Take A Peaceful Moment On The Island of Anguilla
If peace and calm in the midst of simple but breathtaking scenery is your thing, then this place is an absolute must! We did a day trip here and explored the island in depth by taking a ferry from the French side of the island. When we first arrived we swam with dolphins which was an amazing experience! We had never swam with dolphins before and we were so happy that our first time was in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. The Dolphin Discovery is located just a short walk on the beach right near where the ferry drops you off.
It is our understanding now that the dolphins had to be relocated to another island because of hurricane Irma. Be sure to double check before heading to Anguilla to swim with the dolphins.
After we finished with the dolphins we walked back to the pier where we had first arrived and from a beach hut we rented a car for the day. In Anguilla you must have a legit drivers license from the island in order to rent a car. Not to worry...they will issue you an Anguilla Drivers License for a small fee on the spot. Driving on Anguilla was a bit of a challenge for us since in America we drive on the right side of the road and in Anguilla they drive on the left. The traffic is very minimal as you may go miles without even passing one car and there really are no street signs as directions are given by landmarks. It took us some time but we found Sandy Ground and had a delicious meal at Johhno's restaurant right on the beach. We relaxed there and enjoyed some time just taking in the view. We are so happy that we took the day to travel to Anguilla as it was well worth it!
4. Enjoy The Crystal Clear Water At Orient Beach
This beach is on the French side of the island and it's famous for its clear waters, fluffy sand and a myriad of activities such as parasailing, jet skiing, beach volleyball or renting an umbrella and chairs to relax for the day. We chose to rent the chairs and umbrella and take in the view and enjoy the ocean and the white sand beach.
There really is nothing quite like sitting on a Caribbean beach that is as breathtaking as Orient Beach!
5. Enjoy A Day On Pinel Island
Pinel Island is on the north side of St.Martin and is a wonderful way to spend your day. They have a ferry you can take or you can rent kayaks just to the left of the ferryboat dock. We opted to rent the kayaks and we are so glad that we did. It's a short kayak trip over and the water is shallow and calm. We chose to get out and walk around on the sand bars and stop at a little island in the middle on the way over. Once you are over at Pinel Island you can rent umbrellas and they have food and drink service right on the beach.
We loved going to St.Maarten!!
We are really looking forward to the day we get to go visit again. It is such a beautiful island filled with such amazing culture. St.Maarten is a great place to vacation and filled with so many different things to do. We are excited to go back someday!!!