Sint Maarten may spark confusion when you search for it online due to its varied spellings. This puzzling fact stems from a unique geographical twist: this single, 37-square-mile island is shared by two distinct nations. The northern side, which makes up 55% of the island, is known as Saint Martin and belongs to France. Meanwhile, the southern part, covering roughly 45% of the landmass, is the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten.
Every corner of this spectacular island, where mountains meet the sea, is worth exploring. The Dutch region, although smaller, is renowned for its warm-hearted locals, justifying its nickname, “The Friendly Island.”
The allure of Sint Maarten extends far beyond engaging conversations with locals over the country’s signature guavaberry liqueur. The island boasts a plethora of experiences, from lounging on a beach while airplanes fly astonishingly close overhead, to riding the world’s steepest zipline, to feasting on endless johnnycakes. Here’s your guide to the magic of Sint Maarten.
Feel the Thrill of Planes Flying Over Maho Beach
Maho Beach and the neighboring Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten are famous for their startlingly close encounters with airplanes. Photos and YouTube videos often depict sunbathers seemingly within arm’s reach of incoming aircraft. To join this exhilarating spectacle, arrive early in the day when most international flights land. For a more comfortable view, rent a daybed or chair from local vendors.
However, Sint Maarten offers 36 other beaches for those seeking more tranquility. Long Bay Beach, also known as Baie Longue, is the island’s largest beach, featuring a secluded coastline of turquoise waters framed by rock formations. It’s an ideal spot for bodyboarding and surfing. For sailing expeditions around the island, head to Simpson Bay, which offers numerous options, including No1SXM Sailing and Sail Arawak SXM.
Experience the World’s Steepest Zipline and Interact with Parrots
Sint Maarten’s beaches often steal the spotlight, but the island’s zipline and bird sanctuary offer equally exciting adventures. The Flying Dutchman Zipline begins at the summit of the nearly 1,200-foot-tall Sentry Hill on Rockland Estate, one of the…
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