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Guide to Sint Maarten...
Best Beaches in Sint Maarten


By: Louise Fayet

Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is the closest island to Anguilla, just a 5-minute flight or a 15-minute boat ride away.

The island is divided into two distinct parts: the French side, Saint Martin, and the Dutch side, Sint Maarten. Both sides offer unique experiences, showcasing diverse cultures, cuisine, and atmospheres.

The public ferry is by far the most popular way to hop between Anguilla and St. Martin as it is affordable. The ferry goes direct from Blowing Point to Marigot on French Saint Martin in 15 - 20 minutes.

Our favorite way to get to and from St. Maarten is to catch Calypso Charters. Most convient for those traveling from the St. Maarten airport (SXM or Princess Juliana International Airport), Calypso drops you off at the pier which is just 1 minute away from the airport.

Calypso's captains always make sure your crossing is as smooth as can be.

Now that you are on Sint Maarten, it's time to explore Sint Maarten's beaches! Click the video below to see more on these beaches...

Top Beaches in Sint Maarten

All beaches here are public and most are accessible by car. Let's start with my top 5!

First on my list, this beach is known worldwide...

Welcome to Maho Beach
Maho Beach

Maho Beach is world-famous for its thrilling proximity to the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport.

Videos of massive airplanes and luxury private jets landing and taking off at this beach have gone viral repeatedly. During the high season, the beach is lined with tourists eagerly watching the planes.

A Plane Lover's Dream
Maho Beach

When I meet strangers and they ask where I'm from, if they're unfamiliar with Anguilla, I simply mention the beach where planes land in the Caribbean, and they instantly recognize it!

Maho Beach is an obvious must do when visiting Sint Maarten.

My 2nd favorite Sint Maarten beach...

Mullet Bay is a beautiful crescent-shaped beach. It is right around the corner from Maho.

Mullet Bay Beach

Tourists and locals flock to this beach daily. During winter, waves can pick up and surfers line up to catch a wave. We love summer time here as the water is super calm and is a swimmer's dream.

Mullet Bay Beach
Mullet Bay Beach

Mullet is also great to plane-spot and to catch the sunset.

Home to three restaurants, you can spend all day here!

From one end...

Mullet Bay Beach

To the other...

Mullet Bay Beach

This beach is stunning!

Next up at number 3 on my list is Cupecoy Beach.

Cupecoy Beach is known for its dramatic limestone cliffs and secluded sandy coves.

Cupecoy Beach
Cupecoy Beach

The shore is lined with unique caves and natural nooks carved by the sea. It is perfect for a tranquil and more private escape.

Overlooking the beach are a few luxury hotels and condos.

Cupecoy Beach

Cupecoy is also one of the best spots on Sint Maarten to enjoy the sunset.

Cupecoy Beach

Next up...

#4 Simpson Bay Beach!

Simpson Bay Beach is quite the opposite. The scenic bay is busy with hotels and beachfront bars.

Scenic Simpson Bay
Simpson Bay

The beach is a great spot for watching yachts sail by. Simpson Bay is a major hub for boating and yachting. During high season mega yachts dot the horizon.

Simpson Bay

With white sand, calm protected waters and lush palms, this beach sure is picturesque.

Simpson Bay

Stroll this beach at sunset time. You won't regret it!

In 5th place, Great Bay.

Located in Philipsburg, Great Bay Beach is bustling with activity. The bay is home to the main cruise ship terminal for Sint Maarten.

Great Bay and the Philipsburg Boardwalk bring hundreds of cruise ship visits annually.

The beach is around a mile long and is usually always calm...

Great Bay Beach from the Sky
Great Bay Beach

I love to stroll along the boardwalk. It is lined with duty-free boutiques offering jewelry, souvenirs and restaurants.

One of my favorites...

Ocean Lounge at Holland House
Holland House on Great Bay Beach

Ocean Lounge is the perfect beach-front lunch in Philipsburg!

After lunch, visit landmarks like Court House, St. Maarten Museum and if you are into history and great views, the Fort Amsterdam.

If you have time, visit...

Kim Sha!
Kim Sha

Kim Sha is a popular beach located on the southern coast of Sint Maarten, near Simpson Bay.

It is a hub for water sports and beach side eats like Buccaneers Beach Bar.

Kim Sha

The beach gets pretty busy as it is near some of the larger hotels on St. Maarten.

Driving towards Phillipsburg, over and down a hill, you will find Indigo Bay.

A growing community with expensive villas and a soon to be resort, Indigo is true to its name. The water here is a deep and glistening blue.

The restaurant overlooking the shore whips up some of the best piña coladas...

Indigo Beach Restaurant Piña Coladas
Indigo Beach Restaurant Pina Coladas

Last but certainly not least, another beach on the Dutch side is Little Bay.

Just around the corner from Philipsburg, this serene beach is a favorite among locals.

Little Bay and Philipsburg in the Distance
Little Bay

Here, the most popular attraction is the marine life. It is one of the best snorkeling experiences on the island. Little Bay is renowned for its sunken submarine and helicopter.

If you visit, don't forget your snorkel and mask!

After lounging on the beaches, it's time to explore some of the attractions and restaurants in Sint Maarten...

What To Do & Where To Eat

Sint Maarten truly has it all. My favorite activity? Beach hopping with a charter boat.

One of the more scenic and laid-back things to do here is to see the coast by boat. Our friends at Nautical Charters know the best spots!

Beach Hopping with Nautical Charters
Beach Hopping with Nautical Charters

Looking for an adrenaline rush? Consider renting jet-skis, one of the most popular and thrilling activities on the island!

Jet-Ski at Maho Beach
Jet-ski at Maho Beach

Special Tip: Jet-ski around Maho for a truly unique experience. From here you can watch from the water as the planes land and take off!

Next, another main attraction, especially in peak season...

Mega Yacht Spotting
Jet-ski at Maho Beach

St. Maarten welcomes hundreds of yachts during the peak season. Celebrities flock to the island during winter. After touring the islands of St. Maarten/Martin, Anguilla, and St. Barths, these mega yachts refuel and stock up in the marinas.

The Simpson Bay bridge offers one of the best vantage points to watch these million-dollar beauties cruise into the marina. For the ultimate experience, I recommend grabbing a meal at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club, where you can enjoy lunch or dinner with a view of the celebrity ships!

Compared to Anguilla, St. Maarten is much hillier. If you love hiking and nature, be sure to add the natural pool hike to your list of must-do activities!

Hike to the Natural Pool
Hike to the Natural Pool

The hike takes around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many times you stop to snap a photo. A refreshing dip in the beautifully carved-out sea-rock pool is the perfect way to cool off after.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. St. Maarten offers zip-lining, rum tasting, and nature tours. You'll always find something to do here, whether it's relaxing on the beach, enjoying stunning sunsets, or experiencing the vibrant nightlife that keeps the island bustling.

Now, let's dive into the cuisine!

St. Maarten is a melting pot of different culinary traditions. With influences from various cultures and diverse cooking styles, even the pickiest eater will be satisfied.

Here are some must try restaurants...

Top Carrot in Simpson Bay
Top Carrot in Simpson Bay

Top Carrot has become one of my favorite and most recommended restaurants on Sint Maarten. The word "favorite" does not do it justice. If I could, I would eat at Top Carrot everyday!

Next, for the best sushi, Alina is an absolute must for dinner and drinks.

Dinner at Alina Restaurant
Alina Restaurant

You may recognize the owner and operator of Alina, Chef Ken Lin from Cha Cha San in Anguilla. He opened up Alina in St. Maarten a few years ago and ever since, it has become one of the island's top restaurants.

It is always fun to hop over to St. Maarten to enjoy a mouthwatering meal with Chef Ken.

For tasty and authentic Sicilian cuisine, Sale & Pepe whips up the most savory pastas and plates.

Sale & Pepe
Sale & Pepe

Owner and Chef Davide Zagami was born in Catania, Sicily. His restaurant overlooks the marina and the many dazzling yachts.

Choosing a restaurant here is tough! There are over a hundred spots to grab a bite on the Dutch side alone.

Sint Maarten Cupecoy beach

St. Maarten's Dutch side offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, with its beautiful beaches, diverse dining options, and captivating attractions.

Whether you're seeking thrilling experiences like plane-spotting at Maho Beach or a tranquil escape to secluded coves, St. Maarten promises a fun and unforgettable Caribbean getaway.

We'll be seeing you again soon, Sint Maarten!