Photo Credit: Jovaughn Stephens
5 Of St. Martin's Most Beautiful Beaches To Visit On Vacation
St. Martin, half French and half Dutch, is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, 37 to be exact. You never have to drive very far to get from one to the other, and as a general rule, you can be topless on all of them, and even nude in select cases.
If you have time, jump on the ferry from the port at Marigot and head to Anguilla, home of Shoal Bay, popular for its sugary sand, clear waters, and dolphin sightings. Be sure to bring your passport for this little getaway, though there’s a chance you might not make it to Anguilla, as St. Martin has more than enough beaches (to say nothing of the restaura nts, shops, clubs, and casinos) to keep you entertained.
In no particular order, here are 5 beautiful beaches on the island.
1. La Baie Orientale (Orient Bay)
If you’ve ever been to Pampelonne Beach on the Côte d’Azur, you’ll notice its parallels with Orient Bay.
This beautiful and lively stretch of sand and sea is nicknamed “the St. Tropez of the Caribbean,” and is one of the most popular on St. Martin.
Peruse the shops, restaurants, and bars, rent water sports equipment, and feel free to strip to your birthday suit if you want to avoid those pesky tan lines. You won’t be the only one; not unlike parts of Pampelonne Beach, nudists have their own niche here.
2. Baie aux Prunes (Plum Bay)
Plum Bay is located in Terres Basses, roughly at the midway point between Pointe du Canonnier and Falaise aux Oiseaux.
Like most beaches, Plum Bay’s personality varies depending on the weather. Experienced surfers dig its waves, and the rich blue waters make it attractive for snorkeling and scuba diving. When the water is calm and the tide is low, it’s good for a swim.
3. Baie Rouge (Red Bay)
This Terres Basses beach gets its name from the reddish tint of the sand, and it’s possible to steal a view of Anguilla. Aside from swimming, people come here for snorkeling, bird watching and long, romantic walks.
For refreshments, head to Chez Raymond and Gus’ Beach Bar and Grill.
4. Cupecoy Beaches
While some would argue that the French side of St. Martin is prettier overall, the Dutch beaches of Cupecoy deserve a mention.
The water can be temperamental; sometimes it pulls away from the shore completely. But the beauty has less to do with the water, and more to do with the dramatic limestone formations and unbelievable sunsets. On a clear day, catch a glimpse of the island of Saba.
You’ll find vendors selling cool drinks and snacks, but it’s best to pack your own if you’re looking to save money.
The Cupecoy beaches have a steady following of LGBT+ visitors. But once you’ve moved away from any beach/tourist area, it’s wise to exercise some discretion.
5. Maho Beach
Maho Beach, also located on the Dutch side, has one unique feature: it’s right by Princess Juliana International Airport, making it a draw for aviation lovers, and a nuisance for those looking for a spot to place their towel on the sand.
You can watch planes take off and land, but getting too close can result in injury, and in some extreme (but rare) cases, death.
Your best bet is to grab a Piña Colada or Rum Punch at one of the nearby bars and take a selfie with an airplane from a safe distance.