The island has more than thirty beaches and all kinds of nautical activities. Not far from the two capitals, Marigot and Philipsburg, these bays are explored by tourists, who drive with their rental cars to discover charms of the island. Unknown to most of the visitors who visit the island of Saint Martin, we are going to unveil 5 atypical and unavoidable places. Once your car is picked up from your car rental company at Marigot or Philipsburg airport, set off for the 5 secret places of Saint Martin & Sint Maarten.
Situated in the south-eastern region, less than half an hour's drive from Marigot via Union Road, and 7 minutes from the center of Philipsburg, you can drive along the coast of Guana Bay, which leads to stunning natural pools.
The water is translucent, allowing sea urchin lovers to experience a daydream. Lovers of sea-bathing will be satisfied with a leisurely swim in one of these saltwater pools, sheltered by the rocks.
This natural beach called Wilderness, on the French side of the island, is known in the surfing world as an excellent spot. It is a beautiful place, whose sunbeams illuminate multicolored landscapes of green nature, white sand, and azure blue sea. After driving about 20 minutes from Petite Caye, you can park your rental car at Grandes Cayes and continue on foot for a few meters. You have to walk for about 20 minutes on “Chemin des froussards”. A beautiful straight line allows you to enjoy the heavenly landscape. This bay is reserved for self-reliant and advanced surfers. The swell breaks from the North/Northeast on this wonderful coral reef. The wave is pretty easy to tame. But the difficulty lies in the passage of the obstacle constituted by rocks and sea urchins when launching on the reef.
David's hole, which is also called Devil's Hole, is composed of two cavities of 24 meters and 10 meters deep, located on the Baie of Cayes. It is a magical place for snorkeling thanks to its rich aquatic fauna and flora. However, care must be taken not to get injured with sea urchins and cayes. The route to get there is very short but rather dangerous.
After having parked your rented vehicle on the side of the road, you continue the path on foot, going up towards the chasm, crossing some iguanas. You will find a rich aquatic life, with tropical fish, hawksbill turtles, and beautiful corals. At Pointe du Bluff, you can find many shallow natural pools. And you can access to the beach of the abandoned hotel La Belle Creole.
Also called "flat island", access to Tintamarre is by boat. The island of Tintamarre is an uninhabited island located 3 km North-East of the island of Saint-Martin. This small island has an area of 100 hectares. Tintamarre has a beautiful beach in the heart of a nature reserve. There is an old smuggler's airstrip with remains of airplanes. For those who have a boating license, it is possible to rent a boat for a day for about $604. For the others, a captain will make you sail on his speedboat for 6 hours for a little more than $109. A motorboat cruise is possible for about $54 to take you to this uninhabited wild bay, whose underwater life is incredibly rich.
The urban exploration (urbex) of the "Hotel de la Belle Creole", whose site was devastated by the passage of hurricane Luis in 1995, offers you an impressive visit. The hotel having never been reopened, the places are now frozen there. This visit requires extreme care. It is recommended to stay outside the buildings, as the interior has been weakened and unsecured. In this abandoned setting, nature has regained its rights. The Happy Bay hotel is overgrown with vegetation and street artists give free rein to their creativity.
It is possible to discover some of the remains of the luxurious rooms and reception areas that made the prestige of the hotel at the time. Located in Nettle Bay, you can park your car nearby to enjoy a nice picnic on the beach. The 15-acre NoNo Island is adjacent to the property and located less than 100 meters from the shoreline. Marigot, the capital of the French side of St. Martin, is located just across Nettle Bay.
The island of Sint Maarten has many attractions to satisfy visitors who come with family and friends. A car is essential to get around easily and quickly. As distances are not long, it is possible to visit each of these 5 secret places, as well as the dream beaches, the mountains, and the various historical sites. The reservation of a car rental to be picked up at the arrival terminal allows you to enjoy all the beauties of the island. Nevertheless, do not leave any valuables inside your rental car, so as not to risk it being stolen.
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