The Leeward Islands is one of the Caribbean’s crowning jewels, so it’s no wonder that thousands of travelers visit St. Martin and St. Maarten each year.
The island is home to a number of famous beaches, including what many tout as the world’s scariest beach: Maho Beach. Given this locale’s proximity to the Princess Juliana International Airport, beachgoers can see planes flying just feet above their heads as they make their way to the landing strip.
Still, don’t let this scare you away from indulging in a vacation in one of the most luscious tropical paradises in the Caribbean. Use our travel guide to start planning your next adventure:
Where to Stay in St. Martin
Like many of its Caribbean counterparts, St. Martin and St. Maarten are home to a number of high-end luxury resorts, most of which are directly on the beach.
If you’re wanting an all-inclusive option, places like the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and Grand Case Beach Club check every box. High-end amenities like in-room whirlpools, spacious suites, and private balconies are par for the course. The Divi Little Bay Beach Resort is situated on its own private peninsula in between two sparkling bays with waterfront views at every angle. The Grand Case Beach Club provides a more intimate, relaxing experience, making it an ideal choice for couples and honeymooners.
Things to See and Do
With more than 35 distinct beaches throughout the island, you could spend an entire week or more doing nothing but enjoy the sand and surf. But if you’re seeking adventure beyond the sea, you’ll want to include the following fan-favorite activities:
This vibrant melting pot of flavors, colors, and smells is an experience for the senses just as much as for your enjoyment. Local produce, meats, spices, and fresh fish are sold here daily, along with a full range of flavored rums that are available for sale and sampling.
Front Street is one of the most iconic areas in St Maarten, serving as home to some of the best deals on chinaware, jewelry, electronics, and more — all available with duty-free status. The Coliseum Princess Casino and the Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit are also found here.
This postcard-worthy nature preserve is simply stunning. Visitors can travel to this secret hideaway and experience a plethora of wining, dining, hiking, climbing, and treetop tours.
If the death-defying planes of Maho Beach aren’t your cup of tea, you can head to Cupecoy Bay to take life at a slower pace. It’s a quiet locale, but not completely secluded, so you’re never far away from your next adventure.
Toppers Rhum Tour
It wouldn’t be a trip to St. Martin without indulging in some island-made rum. Visit a real distillery where all the magic happens and sample of their biggest achievements, including flavors that are currently under development.
What to Eat
It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling to St. Martin or St. Maarten – you’re going to want to bring your appetite! In true island fashion, fresh seafood abounds in most of the restaurants. However, given its dual Dutch and French influences, you’ll also find a variety of international fare, including Creole, Lebanese, Italian, and even barbecue.
Grand Case Resort’s food scene is nothing short of exquisite, and is often touted as some of the best fare on the island.
When to Visit St. Martin / St. Maarten
If you had to pick an ideal time to visit St Martin or St Maarten, the two best options would be May-June or November-December. These are the times when resorts and hotels offer their best rates, even though the weather is generally pleasant year round. Summer and early fall are considered the offseason, and many hotels will close during this time.
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