There are over 37 beaches on the island of St Maarten/St Martin, and while I didn’t make it to all of them on my trip, the ones I did go to were stunning. The beaches in St Maarten/St Martin are some of the bluest and clearest you will ever see. I will say, while I did enjoy the beaches of St Martin, it wasn’t my favorite place to visit.
The water may not be as blue, but I still prefer the untamed beach of Zipolite on the Oaxacan coast in Mexico where you can see the sun rise and set on the same beach. I also prefer waves that I can bodysurf to calm bays where not much is going on. I also prefer traveling to Greece where not only are there are gorgeous beaches, but beautiful old towns to explore and wander through. While I did find some good food in St Martin, I still didn’t find it as good as other places I have traveled and, it was very overpriced. I also didn’t appreciate being harassed by massage people and vendors on the beaches in St Martin. They wouldn’t take no for an answer. And, I had my iPhone stolen on Orient Beach while on this trip, which just added to my list of why it wasn’t my favorite island. Guess I’ll have to reread the article I wrote on beach theft! That said, the beaches were still gorgeous, and these were my favorites. You might wish to hire a car to fully explore the island to get to all of these beautiful beaches.
Best Beaches In St Maarten/St Martin
1. Mullet Bay Beach
Mullet Bay Beach definitely gets my vote for having the bluest water on St Maarten. It was one of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever been to, and the snack bar made really good fish for lunch. It was the only beach that sold coconuts, too, though both coconuts I had weren’t very sweet. The only downside of this beach is this is where I was harassed the most by vendors, but don’t let that sway you from this beach. It’s beautiful!
2. Happy Bay Beach
Happy Bay Beach is a hidden gem. It’s where I spent most of my time because there was a shark attack on Orient Bay during my visit, and the French government decided they now get to control everyone and closed all the beaches for swimming on the French side during most of my visit. Since Happy Bay requires a 15 minute hike to get there, I doubted the police would be enforcing this rule on this beach, and I was right. Happy Bay is clothing optional, so if that bothers you, this isn’t the beach for you. I did talk to a guy who said someone once stole all his items including his clothing on this beach, so watch your stuff!
To get there, drive down the road just as you leave Grand Case where there is a restaurant and a fan/LED place (Google maps will tell you to turn down this road). Park alongside the road and go through the gap in the fence. Just walk straight down the road and you will wind up at Happy Bay. You will mostly have it to yourself, and the water is glorious. There are no bathrooms or restaurants, so bring plenty of water and snacks. On this hike, there are some gorgeous views, and you will get to see how green St Martin is.
3. Red Bay Beach/Baie Rouge
Baie Rouge is another one of those, pinch me I’m dreaming, sort of beaches. It’s called Red Bay Beach because someone thought the sand looked pink. I think maybe they had too much rum. The sand was lovely though and reminded me of crushed graham crackers. There’s a cave at one end that you can swim to. The water is calm at this beach, and it’s also a great place to snorkel. None of the beach bars were open the day I went, so I practically had the beach to myself.
4. Plum Bay/Baie Aux Prunes
Plum Bay is another beach you will have mostly to yourself as there are no services or amenities on this beach. I went just after a rainstorm, and it was beautiful. You have to go through a guard gate to get there. Just tell them where you are going, and they will let you through. The shore is a little rocky, so wear hiking sandals if you have them.
5. Grand Case
Grand Case has beautiful aquamarine waters, and is the best beach for viewing the sunset. It’s also a great beach to stay on if you are visiting St Martin, as it’s where most of the restaurants are on the French side, so you won’t have to drive to go to dinner at night. I won’t recommend the VRBO I stayed at. While the terrace views were lovely, it was a step above camping, and the mosquitoes were terrible due to a lack of maintenance. Also, the owners lived right next door, which gave me no privacy. But, Grand Case, overall is a great beach to go on beach walks, find sea glass, and to explore.
6. Orient Bay Beach
Orient Bay is probably the longest beach on St. Martin, and is great for walking on. It’s also where the sun rises, if you like sunrise beach walks. My favorite restaurant in St Martin, Orange Fever, was also on this beach, so make sure you have lunch here a few times on your St.Martin trip. The passion fruit frozen mojito and shrimp Caesar salad were the best. I also stayed on this beach during my trip, but wouldn’t recommend it, as the restaurants on this beach are only open during the day, so you have to drive to dinner each night. There’s also still a lot of construction going on from the hurricane at the properties on this beach.
7. Maho Beach
Maho Beach, in St Maarten, is one of the most famous beaches in the world. Next to the Princess Julianna airport, it’s a great spot to watch the low-flying planes come in and land, and some tourists, like to stand behind the planes to feel the jet blast when the planes take off. It’s a very small beach, and right next to the road, so it’s not a place you will want to spend the day, but it’s definitely a spot to go sit at one of the beach bars and watch the planes come in.
What are your favorite beaches in St Maarten / St Martin? Let me know in the comments below!