A distinctive feature of Saint Martin lies in the fact that it is divided roughly between France and the Netherlands. That is why the island has two capitals – Philipsburg (Dutch side) and Marigot (French side). In fact, Saint Martin consists only of these two cities. It goes without saying that white sand beaches will attract tourists’ attention. Let’s start with the beaches that belong to the Dutch side. Pelican Beach is a perfect place for a beach holiday and scuba diving.
Simpson Bay Beach is known for its close location to Princess Juliana International Airport. The level of noise pollution is minimal, despite the proximity to the airport. Kim Sha Beach is located after the drawbridge of Simpson Bay Beach. The beach is short but wide with calm waters and a center for diving. It is a good place to watch the Caribbean sunsets. Cupecoy Beach is a nudist beach. Dawn Beach is a beautiful white sandy beach, great for snorkeling. Maho Beach is a beach located in the Western part of the runway of the international airport of Princess Juliana, planes land and take off directly over the heads of tourists, and oddly enough, a lot of vacationers eager to experience these feelings in the first place. Mullet Bay Beach is a great place for surfing.
Now let’s see some of the beaches of the French side, which are not any less amazing. Long Bay is one of the longest and quietest beaches on the island. Plum Bay is a pretty sparsely populated beach that can satisfy persons keen on snorkelling and experienced surfers. Red Bay is also one of the most popular white sand beaches. There are a lot of beach restaurants. Grand Ilet is an island, an ideal place for picnic, situated in the middle of Simpson Bay lagoon, but you can only get there by boat. Anse Marcel is a great spot for a family holiday. Petites Cayes is a perfect place for nature lovers and surfing, if you are not afraid of 30 minute walk to this beach. Grandes Cayes is a suitable area for family barbecue and diving. Le Galion Beach is a Paradise for surfers and windsurfers. There is sea kayaking, scuba diving and Hawaiian Canoeing. Orient Bay is one of the most popular beaches among tourists as it has everything you need: hotels, restaurants, store and all necessary conditions for doing water sports. Baie de l’Embouchure is a perfect place for windsurfing all year round. Lucas’ Bay is the last beach on the French side, suitable for novice divers.
There are some places of interest on the Dutch side as: the court building on Front Street belonging to the list of the main historical monuments, the Museum of History that illustrates all the main periods of life of the island, the National Heritage Foundation, Sint-Marten, Sint Maarten Park, that is home to more than 80 species of animals, and of course two Forts – Amsterdam and Willem I.
On the French side you can find the following sights: Catholic Church, Fort Louis, the old prison, sugar factory, Pic Paradis is the highest point of the island, a National Nature Reserve of Saint-Martin, the Butterfly Farm and the border obelisk, indicating that you are crossing the border between the two parts of the island.
It goes without saying that two sides of the island have enough places for active entertainment. For example, on the Dutch side you can ride ATV scooters, go snorkeling, diving and do other water sports (flyboarding, water skiing, surfing, kite surfing, tubing, SUP boards and kayaking), study at sailing and surfing schools, ride Harley Davidson motorbikes or cars, you can book a private or public charter of water transport or just enjoy nightlife, discos, parties, casinos and bars.
The French side is famous for its restaurants and their chefs, nevertheless outdoor enthusiasts will not be disappointed as they will be offered different kinds of water sports (diving, snorkeling, kayaking, kite surfing, surfing, flyboarding, water skiing, paddle boarding, Hawaiian canoeing and water cycling) and land sports (golf, cycling, pony riding, skydiving).
It is impossible to ignore the wonderful shopping that attracts a lot of tourists. Saint Martin is a single duty free zone where you can buy best-selling clothing brands, technical innovations from all corners of the globe and of course jewelry at affordable prices.
Anyway, the feelings that occur when you read about visiting this wonderful island do not do it justice, that is why we strongly recommend you experience its hospitality for yourself.