We arrived in St-Maarten (the Dutch side of the island) early in the morning and I was excited to go visit this popular island. We got in a taxi and asked to be dropped off in Philipsburgh (capital of St Maarten) where we would try to catch a local bus to Maho Beach. But somehow we landed in Marigot, a bustling town on the French side of the island. There was a large marina and lots of expensive looking stores but no beach. We took a few pictures for the sake of it and then hopped on a local bus to reach Maho Beach. It was amazing to hear French, English and Spanish locals chatting together on the bus. It’s not in Montreal that you would see strangers exchanging like that in different languages!
It was nice to be on the bus with the locals because it felt like we were backpacking. But then we hit traffic! Traffic on a Carribean island, can you imagine? We just can’t escape it! And that’s when we understood that St-Maarten is one busy island! There are probably as many cars as there are people. Not our fave island. And to top it off we arrived in Maho Beach to find it was unbelievably crowded!
But as planes landed over our head every 5 minutes we understood why it was crowded. It was quite spectacular. One plane took off and had so much jet blast force that it sent some people and their belongings flying in the air and landing in the water! It was so dangerous I couldn’t believe it! And then I saw the sign…
It’s too bad that Maho Beach was crowded because the water was amazing! But I got to swim quietly at the other end of the beach and even take this beautiful picture:
There’s a local berry that grows in St-Martin which is used for alcohol and fresh juices. It’s called guava berry and I had a chance to taste it. It was quite yummy but it didn’t come close to my favorite fruit in the world….the passion fruit!
After Maho Beach we wanted to visit Orient Bay known for it’s nude beach and young crowd. But because of traffic we ran out of time and decided it was safer to just finish our day off on Great Bay beach, the beach next to the port in Philippsburgh.
If you’re a shopoholic then Great Bay is for you! There is a boardwalk with loads of restaurants and bars. For two beachs chairs, one beach umbrella and 5 beers we paid only $15! Too bad I couldn’t drink…
Our day ended on our balcony taking in the beauty of St-Maarten. But what we didn’t know is that it was nowhere near the breathtaking views we would be seeing the next day in St-Kitts! Stay tuned for my next post!
For more information on St-Maarten’s port of call: http://www.cruisecritic.com/ports/newport.cfm?ID=13