Guest post by Susanne Richards
The island of Saint Martin is unique in that even though it’s 34 sq. miles (87 square kilometers), this country is divided in two. Part French and part Dutch, St. Martin offers travelers some amazing sites and activities to experience while in the Caribbean. If you’re like most guests, you’re probably only staying for seven days – make the most of your precious vacation time with these “must see” travel spots!
Orient Bay Beach
Orient Beach is known for its clothing optional side, a foreign concept to most North Americans. Plenty of people have bathing suits on so don’t let this deter you from going. Orient Beach is also known for its great variety of bars, restaurants and beach activities. It’s become a very popular tourist spot so come early if you want prime seating.
St. Martin’s largest casino is located only a few minutes from the airport, in what has become the go-to area for nightlife on the island. Gambling isn’t permitted in many parts of the Caribbean, but this Maho Beach hotspot offers plenty of action, as well as live cabaret shows on Friday and Saturday nights.
Sunset Bar & Grill
As a traveler you’ve probably seen your fair share of planes landing at airports, but chances that you’ve never seen them quite like this! Planes glide just a few feet over Maho Beach before touching down and there’s no better place to see them up close than from the Sunset Bar & Grill. Some thrill-seekers will even hang onto the nearby airport fence to catch the jet blast as planes take off!
St. Martin may be better known for its beautiful white sandy beaches but its mountains offer travelers both a challenging hike and great photo opportunities. Work those legs and challenge yourself to a hike up Pic du Paradise (Paradise Peak) which at 1,492 feet (424 meters) is the island’s highest point. Get the most out of your experience with a local guide – with their expert eye you’ll have better chances of spotting the local wildlife.
A short ferry ride will take you to the island of Anguilla. You can easily get a feel for this exclusive island in a full day and still make it back to your luxury St. Martin villa in time for dinner. Some travelers may also venture to another neighboring island, the glamorous St. Barts. It’s very similar to St. Martin in that St. Barts is also French, offers great shopping, mountains to hike and pristine beaches. During the peak Holiday season, expect to see some mega yachts!
There’s just so much to see and do in St. Martin, so try to find your ideal balance between relaxing by the pool or on the beach and venturing out. Sometimes the “must see” thing is just you and your loved ones playing on the beach!
About Susanne Richards: Susanne writes about villas in St. Martin and Caribbean travel for Luxury Retreats. She loves to explore new beaches and activities throughout the Caribbean Islands.