The island of St. Maarten is ready to pamper you with sunshine, enthralling marine life, and fun water sports. At this tropical escape, you’ll have your pick of idyllic shores between the French and Dutch sides of the island, which both offer unique experiences and culinary delights.
Allow yourself to fully recharge on some of the best beaches in St. Maarten, where you’ll enjoy incredible views of this idyllic paradise and rejuvenating dips in the water.
Grand Case Beach
Head to St. Martin, the French side of St. Maarten, where you’ll find a peaceful environment. The uncrowded shore of Grand Case Beach, one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, will lure you in with its clear turquoise seas and long, expansive coastline. From the comfort of your lounge chair under the sun, enjoy the beautiful vista stretching out to the nearby island of Anguilla. Later, stretch your legs as you scout for seashells and colored-glass treasures that have washed ashore.
Take a leisurely dip in the warm, shallow waters, and make sure to follow up your beach activities with delicious Caribbean fare from the restaurants and bars that line this unspoiled stretch of sand. If you’re looking for authentic island food, venture into the “lolos,” traditional island eateries that can be found on Grand Case, one of the most memorable St. Maarten beaches.
Enjoy the views of airplanes overhead while relaxing on the famous Maho Beach on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. Located next to the airport on the southwestern coast, this lovely stretch is one of the world’s few places where people can experience the thrill of watching an aircraft up close just as it’s about to take off or land.
This popular seaside spot has a wide array of activities for any type of beachgoer. Hop in the water for a refreshing swim, snorkel amongst colorful schools of tropical fish, catch a speedy thrill on a jet ski, or try your luck at windsurfing. Maho Beach is also an excellent place to catch the sunset at one of the lively beach bars or restaurants with a refreshing cocktail in hand.
Great Bay Beach
Located in the port city of Philipsburg, Great Bay Beach is a wide stretch of golden sand with abundant amenities and ample space for sunbathing. Walk the mile-long boardwalk to explore the expansive beach and experience its lively atmosphere.
Browse quaint shops for souvenirs, stop for a refreshing seaside drink, and fuel up at the delicious restaurants that skirt the shore. Great Bay Beach is known for its laid-back attitude, varied food, and having some of the most fantastic swimming spots on the island.
If you’re in search of a quiet seaside respite, look no further than Mullet Bay. Situated on the Dutch side of the island, this beach is an idyllic spot to lounge and unwind, away from the crowds.
Choose between basking in the warm sun and cooling off in the shade offered by the resident palm trees. Indulge in local dishes and tasty, cool drinks from one of the restaurants with an ocean view. Enjoy a swim in the pristine waters as you relax in the tranquil setting of the bay.
Located near Maho Beach, Mullet Bay also allows you to view arriving and departing airplanes in a more peaceful setting. Golfers will be delighted by the nearby course, where they can try their skills surrounded by paradise.
The shores of northeastern St. Maarten are home to the well-known Orient Bay Beach, a well-loved stretch of sand on the island. Also referred to as the “St. Tropez” of the Caribbean, this beach is the largest in St. Maarten. Choose between reveling in pure sandy bliss or going off on an adventure by signing up for available water sports.
Snorkel out to the small island of Green Cay and view exotic marine life, or simply enjoy a leisurely float in the beach’s pristine waters.
One of the best things to do in St. Maarten is to get your adrenaline pumping with a thrilling jet ski or parasailing ride. Watch a game of beach volleyball and get your fill of beach barbeque and fresh seafood at one of Orient Bay’s fantastic seaside restaurants. Located right on the beach, options range from casual shacks to restaurants offering gourmet cuisine. Nearby, live music and other entertainment can be enjoyed in the village square, as well.
Friar’s Bay Beach
The protected cove of Friar’s Bay can be found on the northwestern coast of St. Maarten. It’s a destination for beach lovers and culinary enthusiasts alike. Indulge in fantastic Caribbean cuisine at the seaside restaurants located on this scenic stretch of sand, which has azure seas, and verdant vegetation that provide a gorgeous backdrop for lounging and basking under the sun.
Cool off in the calm surf that is ideal for swimming or unwinding with a tranquil float in paradise. At this quiet, peaceful beach you’ll find yourself relaxed in no time.
Baie Rouge, which translates to Red Beach, is situated on the western edge of St. Maarten, near the village of Marigot. The beach gets its name from its pink or red-hued sand that creates a beautiful and unique island scene.
This laid-back stretch of sand is a popular spot for beachgoers interested in swimming and lounging and includes comfortable access to amenities. With an expansive beach, there is plenty of room to stretch out in this beautiful setting. Sip a seaside cocktail or snack on authentic Caribbean food while overlooking this tropical oasis. You’ll want to bring your camera along to capture the beauty of Baie Rouge.
Happy Bay Beach
Stretch your legs on a hike to reach the secluded Happy Bay Beach on the northern coast of St. Maarten. From Grand Case Beach, embark on a ten- to fifteen-minute walk towards the typically uncrowded cove. Once you arrive at this gorgeous stretch of sand, you’ll see your trek was well worth the effort.
Discover Happy Bay’s rugged beauty, wide beach, and stellar snorkeling. If you need a break from the hot sun, plenty of shade is available under the palm trees that line the beach. Or go swimming in the clear seas to greet interesting and colorful marine life. This isolated stretch is one of the best beaches in St. Maarten.
Head to this small islet off the north shore of St. Maarten, where you’ll uncover natural beauty and excellent snorkeling. Access to this tiny slice of paradise is reached via a five-minute ferry boat ride or on a stand-up paddleboard or kayak from the village of Cul-de-Sac.
Calm, shallow waters will welcome you to Pinel Island, where swimming and snorkeling are popular activities. Discover a wide variety of tropical reef fish, and if you’re lucky, stingrays and sea turtles might even make an appearance, too. If you can, follow the Pinel Island Marine Trail, a designated snorkeling route that helps guide you along the best parts of the reef.
There, you’ll be greeted by local iguanas along rustic trails that weave their way through the tiny island towards viewpoints on the opposite shores. Onsite restaurants provide delicious refreshments that are perfect for fulfilling your appetite after enjoying the sun, sand, and various water activities.
Venture to St. Maarten’s southern shore and explore a trio of small coves that make up Cupecoy Beach. Situated on the edge of the Dutch side of the island, Cupecoy Beach will lure you in with its dramatic scenery.
Marvel at the incredible limestone cliffs that back the white sand and turquoise sea. These large rocks helped create the three separate coves within this beach. Take in this impressive vista, which stretches to the neighboring island of Saba, from the comfort of your lounge chair.
Enjoy the natural beauty of this small, secluded beach while you stroll on the sand, read a book, or take a refreshing dip in its pristine waters. Cupecoy is known for its fantastic sunset watching, which is best enjoyed while sipping a fresh cocktail from the local beach bar. It’s the perfect end to an amazing day at one of the best beaches in St. Maarten.
Burgeaux Bay Beach
Bring your surfboard to Burgeaux Bay Beach on St. Maarten’s western coast, near Maho Beach. This bay is particularly popular with surfers looking to catch a thrill in the bay’s swell. Large waves in a safe, shallow depth provide the ultimate ocean playground.
If you’re not big on surfing, you can also stroll the sand and search for pretty seashells or sea urchins in tide pools. Burgeaux Bay Beach is loved by locals and visitors alike. Enjoy the views of St. Barth’s from this idyllic stretch of soft sand and if you’re able to stay for the sunset, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular display from Mother Nature.
Cay Bay Beach
Popular with walkers, horseback riders, and bikers, Cay Bay Beach is a remote and serene stretch of sand situated between Great Bay and Simpson Bay. While the beach feels secluded, reaching this heavenly escape is easy.
At the eastern edge of the beach, pay a visit to the horse stables that offer guided rides across the shore. Meanwhile, the vast underwater world at Cay Bay Beach is also a huge draw for scuba divers and snorkelers. At shipwrecks teeming with marine life, you’ll find an interesting underwater playground where it’s easy to discover various sea creatures.
Geneve Bay Beach
Those interested in experiencing the Caribbean’s hiking trails should make their way to St. Maarten’s Geneve Bay Beach. Embark on an hour-long hike across the coastal trail from Guana Bay and end up in the ruggedly gorgeous Geneve Bay.
A walk on this beach is the perfect way to admire the island’s wild beauty and natural pools. Watch the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean as they crash against the rocky shore. Appreciate nature while taking a dip at its calm lagoon formed by rocks and the strong waves of the Atlantic. You may spot some tropical fish and sea urchins, as well. Enjoy the peace of this uncrowded beach, which is a true adventure off the beaten path in St. Maarten.
Just as its name suggests, Dawn Beach is the best seaside destination for watching the sunrise on the island. Perched right on the Dutch and French border, on the eastern shoreline of the island, the cove of Dawn Beach offers breathtaking sunrise views as well as impressive underwater landscapes.
Dawn Beach has a rich marine world offshore, which is popular with snorkelers that are looking to explore a vibrant reef. Its clear waters provide excellent visibility as you swim in search of interesting sea creatures, such as squid and exotic fish.
Kim Sha Beach
Located on the southwest edge of the island, Kim Sha Beach is known for its lively atmosphere. There’s a little something for every type of beachgoer here, whether you want to lounge in the sun, swim in the calm water, or try out a variety of watersports.
Get your fill of Caribbean cuisine at the beach bars and restaurants nearby and stick around for an awe-inspiring sunset. Although Kim Sha is a great beach destination during the day, it’s known for picking up after dark with a vibrant nightlife scene, too.
Get ready for a rejuvenating Caribbean escape with plenty of sun, sand, and sea on the idyllic island of St. Maarten. A luxury cruise is a fantastic way to St. Maarten’s beaches.
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