St Maarten
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Things to do in St Maarten

Things to do in  St Maarten

Welcome to St Maarten

St. Maarten—the half-Dutch, half-French Caribbean island—is the smallest landmass in the world shared between two nations. The mix creates an exotic and unique union of three distinct cultures: Dutch straightforwardness, French savoir-faire, and a laid-back Caribbean vibe combine to create this small slice of paradise.

On the French side, Saint Martin, visitors to the capital Marigot can travel to the Grand Case Beach or enjoy a snorkeling experience in the underwater world at Oyster Pond. The largest town on the Dutch side, Sint Maarten, is the town of Philipsburg. Full-island tours are the perfect way to discover the best beaches, do some tax-free shopping, and learn about the island's history.

Top 15 attractions in St Maarten

Marigot Market

St. Maarten has plenty of upscale shops, but travelers itching for a more authentic experience head to this weekend market in the French capital of Marigot. Anguilla fishermen arrive early with their hauls in colorful boats, joined later by fruit and vegetable sellers as well as spice vendors, filling the air with tropical aromas.More

Maho Beach

Maho Beach is close to Saint Martin’s Princess Juliana International Airport—so close that planes coming in for a landing fly very low over the sand on the way to the runway. In fact, the planes cruise so low that it sometimes feels like they’ll take out the umbrellas.More

Simpson Bay

St. Maarten’s longest beach has all the ingredients of a perfect Caribbean paradise: soft white sand, clear and calm turquoise water, and gently waving palms. Though located just behind the Princess Juliana Airport, Simpson Bay is surprisingly quiet and unpopulated.More

Maho & Mullet Bay

Allow an easy, perfect day on the east coast of Sint Maarten to unfold at Maho Beach and Mullet Bay, two very different beach experiences within walking distance of each other. First, go to Maho to feel the thrill of swimming in the sea as incoming airplanes fly extremely low overhead, then walk to quiet Mullet Bay to sunbathe, snorkel, and play golf.More

Great Bay Beach

Straddling the entire length of Philipsburg, Great Bay Beach is one of St. Maarten’s longest and widest beaches. Along its 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) stretch are lively beach bars, rum shacks, and street carts serving ice-cold beers and some of the capital’s best spots for dining and duty-free shopping.More

Front Street

Front Street is the main street and activity hub of Philipsburg, St. Maarten’s Dutch-side capital. Running along the inside of the bay, Front Street (Voorstraat) is home to some the island’s finest restaurants and shopping—including duty-free jewelry, electronics, and cigars—as well as historic wooden buildings.More

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort

Divi Little Bay BeachResort is a secluded beach just outside Philipsburg on the western peninsula of St. Martin’s Great Bay. Postcard-pretty with soft, white sand and tranquil, turquoise water, the beach is popular spot for snorkeling and other watersports such as jet skiing, paddle boats, and parasailing.More

Pinel Island

Located just off of the west coast of St. Martin, Pinel Island is a haven of white sand and clear water perfect for kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders, snorkelers, and those who want a tranquil escape from the modern world.More

Tintamarre Island

Known for its rugged beauty, the uninhabited island of Tintamarre—part of the St. Martin Nature Reserve—is 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) off the northeast coast of St. Martin. A popular day trip, the island boasts historic ruins, large grassy fields of a former plantation, unspoiled beaches, and abundant wildlife.More

Orient Bay Beach

The white sands of Orient Bay Beach are no secret in St. Maarten. This clothing-optional spot is a top attraction in the area, and sun worshippers come for its views of the bay, clear water, snorkeling opportunities, and many beachside restaurants and bars.More
D-Boat SXM

D-Boat SXM

A ship transformed into a restaurant and entertainment hub, D-Boat SXM draws visitors to the island of St. Maarten who come to eat, drink, and enjoy the Caribbean coastline from this unique floating viewpoint.More

Baie Rouge Beach

Secluded Baie RougeBeach—set between two rocky bluffs in the lowlands along the west coast of St. Martin—is one of island’s most beautiful beaches. Its name hints at what makes it special: sparkling pink sands and red-hued rock formations, although the beach bar and a cave flooded with seawater, Devil’s Hole, also hold appeal.More


Off the southern coast of St. Maarten, the diminutive and isolated island of Saba is a thriving sanctuary for tropical plant and animal life. Though Saba doesn’t have any beaches, the pristine volcanic island is a paradise for hikers and a world-class destination for scuba divers.More

Oyster Pond

Saint Martin / Sint Maarten is the smallest territory in the world to be peacefully divided by two distant powers. The border between the French side and the Dutch side along the island’s east coast is simply demarcated by the clear, calm waters of Oyster Pond, a protected cove with a pretty marina and a dock for ferries to Saint Barthelemy.More

Philipsburg Courthouse

Standing sentinel in the palm-lined Watney Square on Front Street, Philipsburg Courthouse is the centerpiece of the island’s Dutch capital. Built in 1793, the white wooden structure with crisp green trim has a bell tower topped by a pineapple—a classic Caribbean symbol for “welcome.” Once used as a jail, a post office, and a fire station, the building is currently a working courthouse.More

Top activities in St Maarten

Big three-Full Experience at Rainforest Adventures St Maartin
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Big three-Full Experience at Rainforest Adventures St Maartin

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Best Of Full-Day Snorkeling and Beach Excursion with Hot Lunch in Sint Maarten
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Sky Explorer and Flying Dutchman at Rainforest Adventures St. Maarten
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Sky Explorer and Sentry Hill Zip Line Adventure St Maartin
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Sky Explorer and Sentry Hill Zip Line Adventure St Maartin

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Anguilla Getaway Cruise
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Anguilla Getaway Cruise

3 Island Adventure with stop at Tintamarre to swim with Turtles
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Anguilla and Prickly Pear Cays day trip
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Tango Caribbean Dinner Cruise

Tango Caribbean Dinner Cruise

St. Maarten Best Island Tour

St. Maarten Best Island Tour

Luxury Private Full-Day Catamaran Charter in St Maarten & Saint-Martin
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St Maarten Luxury Catamaran Full-Day Group Charter
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People Also Ask

What is St. Maarten best known for?

St. Maarten, an island split between France and the Netherlands (Sint Maarten), is known for crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches, including Maho Beach, where planes take off and land right above visitors’ heads. It’s also known for its casinos, duty-free shopping—especially for jewelry—and a lively dining and nightlife scene.

Is St. Maarten worth visiting?

Yes. St. Maarten offers activities and attractions for all types of visitors, including beautiful beaches, top-notch sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Its lush mountainous interior offers steep ziplines with great views. There’s also duty-free shopping, a diverse culinary scene, lively casinos, and plentiful bars and nightclubs, especially in Simpson Bay.

What is the best month to go to St. Maarten?

The best month to visit St. Maarten is May, as it offers good weather, smaller crowds, and cheaper prices. The peak season is the dry season between December and April, but it’s also the most crowded time, and prices will be at their highest. Hurricane season runs June through November.

Which side of St. Maarten is better, the French or the Dutch?

It depends on your preference. Both sides have beautiful beaches, but the French side tends to be less crowded and offers more upscale food options and a more laid back experience. Scuba diving and sailing culture is better on the Dutch side, which also offers casinos and more nightlife options.

Do they speak English in St. Maarten?

Yes, English is spoken in St. Maarten. In fact, English is the most commonly spoken language. Other common languages spoken in St. Maarten include Dutch, Spanish, Creole, French, and Papiamento.

Is St. Maarten a party island?

The Dutch side of the island (Sint Maarten) is considered the party side. Partygoers will find options for drinking, dancing, and live entertainment—including live music—at the many casinos, casual and upscale bars, cocktail lounges, discos, and nightclubs. The less crowded French side (St. Maarten) has a more laid back vibe.


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