As we quickly learned, St. Martin is a fantastic island for people of all activity levels. Whether you prefer beach bumming all day or doing something more active, there’s something to do for everyone. This was perfect for us, as we can swing either way. No matter your preference, here are some places you’ll want to check out on the island.
- Dawn Beach (at the Westin)
– We came here a few times because our villa was located on this beach. It is a public beach, so anyone is welcome. The bar has happy hour with really great pina coladas, which we enjoyed. The bay the beach is on had a pretty high seaweed count when we were there, and the surf is a little heavier than in other places, but it was generally not crowded and is a gorgeous beach. Also, we would definitely consider staying at the Westin if we were going the resort route.
- Friar’s Bay
– Friar’s Bay is at the end of one of the sketchiest roads we went down. You will pass goats eating trash, construction sites, and brown muddy ponds. I was pretty convinced we were being led to our death, but it ended up being very rewarding after dodging millions of pot holes. The bay was very quiet and had a couple of beach bars, but be warned that renting any of the beach chairs and umbrellas will cost you around $20. Also, the beach bar that we rented through was anarchist themed? Unsure what that was about, but it was fine, nonetheless.
- Ocean Explorers shark dive
– This was an absolute highlight for us. Scott and I are both scuba certified, and Scott had heard of this shark dive when looking at places to go before we got there. This was the one activity I wanted to plan in advance. You are required to go on 1 other dive with Ocean Explorers before your shark dive. We went directly before the shark dive, but we picked up a group who had dove the day before. The first dive we went on was to a ship wreck, and the ground was covered in sting rays of all sizes. The shark dive was incredible – you are taken down to the bottom, and then you crawl along the ocean floor to a semi circle where you get to observe the sharks. They are Caribbean reef sharks and they are absolutely beautiful. The staff is highly trained and informative, and they bring very nice underwater cameras on both of your dives. For $25 you can have access to their photos – we got access to over 400, very high quality photos, so it is DEFINITELY worth it. This is for sure an experience we won’t forget. If you’re not into sharks, but do enjoy scuba, Ocean Explorers is a great dive shop to go through.
- Loterie Farm
– This is a jungle paradise located pretty high in the mountainous area. There are many options for how you can spend your time at Loterie. You can pay to get access to their pool area, which is what we did with our day. You also get access to a couple of dip pools (smaller pools to just cool off) and a jacuzzi. It is absolutely gorgeous. They have a bar and a kitchen, and the drinks and meals are all very well priced. Scott and I both got sandwiches that were massive. The staff working here is SO nice and interact with each guest to make sure you have what you need. You can also pay to go on a hike, where you can take a trail for a 1 or 2 hour hike. We attempted this and had to turn back halfway through. We were very tired to begin with, were not used to the elevation, and were not wearing proper shoes to embark on the hike. It was beautiful, though! Something I wish we would’ve done was the massive zipline through the jungle. There are different sizes and levels, but the massive one takes you to the very top of the jungle and sends you down with incredible views. If you just want to hang out and can’t afford to spend a lot of money, you can also just go to eat at their cafe.
- Pic Paradise
– Pic Paradise is the highest point on the island and is very close to Loterie. We followed our GPS to get there, but ended up having to park on the side of the road and walk the rest of the way up. There were some pretty extreme potholes that our small car was just not going to make it through. We walked probably 10ish minutes to reach the top and it was not a bad walk at all. The view is breathtaking!
- Mullet Bay
– Mullet Bay was probably our favorite beach. We came here a couple of times to beach bum it up. An important fact about Mullet Bay is that it’s split in half – one half is Dutch, one half is French. The Dutch side is on the left – there is a parking lot over here, as well as a beach bar and chairs/umbrellas you can rent. This side is a lot more energetic, with party barges showing up on this side of the bay and a DJ that was playing. The right side is the French side. It’s much more quiet, people keep mostly to themselves over here, and you just kind of park on the side of the road and walk through the golf course to get here (I think…that’s what we did. You could also park in the lot and just walk over). Something very important to recognize is that the French side is clothing optional. We were not aware of this but we quickly became aware of it. Scott really enjoyed snorkeling here and saw quite a bit of marine life, an octopus being the most notable (it was farther out by the cliffs, there were just tiny fish in the bay where we swam). The water here is ridiculously clear and mostly calm. We’ve heard it can pick up quite a bit and people enjoy surfing here when that happens.
- Jet Extreme St. Martin
– Located at Hotel Mercure, Jet Extreme rents jet skis, hoverboards, flyboards, and jet packs. Scott and I rented a jet ski for an hour and had a blast. You jet ski around the little bay that they are located on, which is pretty calm but really beautiful. The staff is super nice and helpful, and all the equipment is in great condition. Someone jet pack for me and let me know how it is.
Scott and I were in St. Martin for 7 full days, and we wish we had more time! There is so much to do on the island, but we really enjoyed the adventures that we went on. Hopefully, we can go back some day and see more of what the island has to offer!