Things to do in Saint Martin
Things to do in Saint Martin
As winter continues in full force, and the weather continues to be cold and wet, it’s only natural to dream of escaping to a more tropical climate. While the Caribbean may immediately spring to mind, you may not consider Saint-Martin, as it is known on ‘The French Side’ of the island (or Sint Maarten, as it is known on ‘The Dutch Side’). Saint Martin is one of the lesser-known islands in the Caribbean, and we’re taking this chance to encourage you to give it a visit!
Offering the incredible ocean-view landscapes that you’d expect from any Caribbean island, as well as theme parks, beaches, casinos, and excellent food, St Martin is far less densely-crowded with tourists than many of its more popular counterparts such as Jamaica, or the Dominican Republic. If you’re thinking about hopping onto Skyscanner to check flights for a last-minute winter vacation, then we’re happy to help you out: here’s our 7-day itinerary for spending an amazing week in Saint Martin.
As for any travel itinerary created here at Latiture21Resorts, we strongly recommend renting a vehicle for the week to allow you the ultimate flexibility and freedom in moving from place to place. Our suggestion for Saint Martin is Leisure Car Rental, conveniently located just outside the airport so you can collect your vehicle instantly upon arrival! If renting a car for the week isn’t your style, Saint Martin buses run fairly regularly at dedicated bus stops and taxis are easy to come by.
It’s your first morning in Saint Martin; throw open the curtains in your luxurious vacation rental and embrace that glorious Caribbean sunshine! After making a breakfast pit-stop at the Jule’s Bakery for fresh French pastries, you’ll be kick-starting your vacation with a fun-filled, adrenaline-fueled morning amongst the treetops at Loterie Farm! Here you can experience the natural wonderland of Saint Martin from a birds-eye perspective as you whiz through the tree canopy via lofty walkways and ziplines! Afterwards, tuck into some lunch and unwind in the Loterie Farm ‘Zen Zone’ – you can choose from a variety of relaxation stations, including the bamboo room, the tree lounge, and the garden, or you can even hire your own mini cabaña for the day!
In celebration of your first full day in Saint Martin, enjoy dinner at Bistrot Caraibes on Grand Case Boulevard, which we previously named as one of our favorite foodie spots in the Caribbean! This whole menu is a real treat, but we recommend their show-stopping house specials; the grilled lobster with garlic butter followed by decadent hot chocolate cake.
Get ready for a day of immersive culture as you head to Philipsburg, capital of the Dutch side of the island, known as Sint Maarten! You’ll begin with a three-hour bicycle tour of Philipsburg's most historical sights, including Fort Amsterdam and the Philipsburg Courthouse. This tour is suitable for cyclists of all abilities and is a great way to see the highlights of the town! You’ll then take a stroll down the boardwalk for a quick stop at the Sint Maarten Museum to see some ancient island artifacts and Caribbean crafts.
Following all that exploring it’s time for lunch! We suggest the Lazy Lizard Beach Bar & Grill, where you can dine on their delicious onion rings, curried conch, and Voodoo shrimp right on the seafront just around the corner from the museum. After lunch, hit up the duty-free stores on Front Street for great deals on clothes, souvenirs, and high-end jewelry; perfect for a casual, window-shopping stroll, or an all-out shopping spree.
Day three is sending vibes of natural beauty and romance; grab a laid-back brunch for two at Coco Beach Bar and Restaurant in Orient Bay, and then pay a visit to the nearby Butterfly Farm, or La Ferme Des Papillions, as you may hear it referred to on this French side of Saint Martin.
A guided tour of the farm will educate you about the lives of butterflies and allow you to examine butterfly eggs and the chrysalis up close, as well as handling grown butterflies themselves! You’ll also be free to spend as much time as you please in the butterfly garden, where you’ll also be exposed to hundreds and hundreds of exotic butterfly species from around the globe, all in varying vivid hues! Farm favorites include the Blue Morpho from South America and the Tree Nymph of South-East Asia, as well as the rare and beautiful ‘glass-winged’ White Morpho.
As this perfect day comes to a close, indulge in delicious food and unlimited champagne aboard a catamaran as you enjoy a 2-hour cruise along the coast of Saint Martin while the sun sets. Don’t forget your camera – you won’t want to forget this one!
You’ve reached the middle of your vacation, and it’s time to relax! Take the morning to enjoy a lie-in and perhaps a dip in the pool at your vacation rental, before making your way to Simpson Bay Lagoon, located on the south-west side of the island, perfectly balanced on the French/Dutch border! Pop into the lovely Vesna Taverna for a tasty lunch before stepping onto the fluffy, white-gold sands of the bay and settling down on a sun lounger with a good book. If you’re craving a cocktail, then never fear: there are plenty of beach bars to choose from!
If you’re the kind that can’t sit still long enough to get a sun-tan, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of activities on offer at Simpson Bay too! This is a fantastic spot to try some snorkeling, or if you’d prefer to stay above the surface, you can try your hand at jet-skiing!
You’ve thoroughly explored the culture of the island’s Dutch Side, now it’s time for the French Side! You’ll be spending the day in Saint Martin’s French capital, Marigot, snuggled in a picturesque harbor on the west side of the island. Don’t miss a visit to Fort Louis, which was built in 1789 to defend the warehouses containing the island’s most valuable exports. You can walk up to Fort Louis for a great view over the town, or take a look in the Roland Richardson Art Galleries to soak up some culture! Marigot is best seen by wandering aimlessly through the winding cobblestone streets, popping in and out of local shops and food stands as you go.
For dinner, head to one of the best authentic French-Caribbean restaurants on the island, Marigot’s very own Bistro Nu. The chefs at Bistro Nu work with fresh local produce, creating a brand-new menu every week, but trust us – you’ll love whatever they put in front of you, whether it’s a succulent steak, or a creamy crème brûlée.
It’s an early wake-up call this morning as you take an energizing hike on the highest point on the island, Pic Paradis. You can drive almost the whole way up to Pic Paradis, with just a few minutes’ walk taking you up to the summit where you’ll enjoy sweeping panoramas over the surrounding landscape of Saint Martin. From here, you can take an easy hike along the Carreta Ravine, where you’ll be treated to the beautiful Hope Lake! We suggest taking a picnic with you to enjoy with the stunning views.
In the afternoon, take some time to relax on wide, open sands at the aptly-named Happy Bay Beach. This beach is all golden sands, clear peaceful water and swaying palm fronds, so sit back and enjoy paradise! The nearby Rainbow Café is the perfect place to grab some dinner afterwards, offering up delicious tapas and cocktails.
We know, it came around so quickly, but it’s your last day on the beautiful island of Saint Martin! Luckily, there’s one last great spot that you can visit en-route to the airport! Maho Beach is nestled right beside the runway and has been made famous by its incredible plane-landings which many people gather to watch each day! Check out this Travel Addicts blog post for a more detailed description of the action at Maho Beach here. Head to the airport early so you can take a look at this awesome island spectacle before you depart!
We know you’ll enjoy your fun-filled and relaxing week in Saint Martin! There is so much to be seen and experienced here that you may even be tempted to stay for longer...
Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for itineraries, travel tips, and much more!