The Best Things to do in St Maarten / St Martin
By Kerry Biddle on 21st April, 2020
There is so much to do on the beautiful Caribbean island of St Maarten / St Martin besides soaking up the sun. Being surrounded by water, many activities and excursions are water-related, however, there are also hikes, ziplining, horseback riding and so much more for those who want to do something land-based. Read on to discover some of the best things to do in St Maarten / St Martin.
1. Diving & Snorkeling
St Maarten / St Martin has a lot to offer on land and the beaches are stunning, but the most intriguing attractions are the beautiful fish, shipwrecks, and corals hidden beneath the surface. Snorkeling can be done around the rocks right off most beaches and there is always something to see.
If you fancy giving scuba diving a go, Dive Safaris’ Discover Scuba Diving course is perfect for beginners. The only requirements to participate are that you are healthy and at least 10 years old. You don’t need to be a really strong swimmer – in fact you don’t need to have even snorkeled before.
Most Discover Scuba Dives begin with an introduction to the gear and the basics of diving, either with an Instructor or by watching a video. Then it is time to get wet! During a skill session, you will try out the gear and learn the basic skills required to make the dive safe and fun.
Once you are comfortable with the gear and skills it is time to head out on your very first scuba dive. This shallow, easy dive is the perfect introduction to the sport of scuba diving. You will be able to see a huge variety of fish, moray eels, stingrays, and hopefully much more. There are several dive sites around St Maarten / St Martin that can be the location for your first dive. You might end up exploring a coral reef or a shipwreck on the bottom of the sea.
2. St Maarten Zip Line – Rainforest Adventures
Take a breathtaking and exhilarating ride on the Flying Dutchman, the steepest zipline in the world, from the top of Sentry Hill. How to get to the top? Luckily it’s not a strenuous hike, but a slow, gentle ride up on a ski lift with close up views of the old stone walls that crisscross the estate, and the natural bush and trees that cloak the sides of the hill in a layer of green. For amazing views of the island, there is no better activity to try!
3. Horseback Riding
There are horse riding stables on both sides of the island, offering lessons, treks and beach trails. If you dream of riding a horse down a beautiful beach and cooling off in the Caribbean surf, then you’ve come to the right place!
4. Hiking Adventures
For keen walkers and adventure seekers, hiking is one of the best ways to see St Maarten / St Martin. There are at least 17 well-known trails that crisscross the island, with three hours to spend, you can hike along beaches, hillsides, cliffs, and ravines that immerse you in island history, flora and fauna – with panoramic views. Several popular hikes begin at Loterie Farm, in French St Martin, while others scale the antennae-topped ridges along the island’s spine. From the Cole Bay roundabout at the Causeway, you can follow the construction road toward the UTS Tower, with non-stop views from St Peter’s to Simpson Bay Lagoon.
5. That Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit
Named by TripAdvisor as the #1 most popular individual activity in the country, 7 years in a row, the Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit is the brainchild of Hollywood creature effects wizard Nick Maley. Nick is known as “that Yoda Guy” for his contribution to the creation of Yoda for Star Wars. He worked on over 50 movies, including the Superman and Highlander sagas. A must-see for art and movie fans, the exhibit is described by many as the most surprising enterprise in the Caribbean and recommended on every major cruise line. This is not your average Star Wars shop. Here you buy the real thing… rare original movie relics, scripts, props, behind the scenes photos and storyboards, hand signed by Star Wars celebrities, slices of movie history to pass on through the family.
6. Self-Drive Mini Speedboat Tour
Four times winner of the prestigious “Tour of the Year” award, this innovative tour company, Rhino Safari, has a fun interactive tour for adventurers of all ages. Imagine piloting a safe inflatable watercraft in a guided 2.5-hour tour that’s tons of fun!
After a brief introduction to the basics of this wonderful water wanderer that takes a maximum of two people, it’s off on a delightful jaunt upon the tropical waves to follow a personal guide, from bay to bay along the coastline to a splendid snorkeling spot. Experience the breathtaking beauty of St Maarten’s underwater world and its amazing inhabitants, then enjoy a complimentary drink under the beautiful Caribbean sunshine. The perfect family-friendly excursion, with the largest boat accomodating up to three people.
7. Topper’s Rhum Distillery Tour
Topper’s Rhum is a family-owned distillery, which handmakes and bottles rhum in St Maarten. Ninety-minute distillery tours are available daily from 9:00am to 4:00pm. A knowledgeable guide will give a hands-on tour, tell a little about the history of rhum, and afford a behind-the-scenes look at how the rhum is fermented, distilled, and filtered. After that, the blending process is shown and how they expertly bottle their handcrafted rhums and ensure their products meet the highest quality standards. Visitors will even get to try flavors that are in development.
Next is the invitation to the tasting barrels to enjoy unlimited samplings of Topper’s six signature rhums and famous rhum cake. Lastly is a trip to their barrel aging room to experience how to properly nose and taste rhum.
8. Amuseum Naturalis
Perched on a hilltop above Galion Beach, Amuseum Naturalis offers some of the best views on St Martin. To the east, the salt pond where many once worked now sits idle behind Orient Bay. To the south, French Quarter blends invisibly into Dutch Quarter. Rugged nature stretches out in all directions.
If you ever wanted to learn more about St Maarten / St Martin, Amuseum Naturalis is the right place. Stories about the island’s nature, history, and culture unroll across dozens of exhibits.
Get to know the little lizard that lives only on St Maarten/St Martin and nowhere else in the world. Find out how bush tea and bush medicine grew from African and Caribbean plants and traditions. Learn how local designs and techniques give homes their unique look. Watch St Martiners share the stories of their lives and their island in oral history films. Discover island plants and animals with fun games and activities for all ages.
9. St Maarten 12 Metre Regatta
Sail aboard the legendary 12 Metre racing yachts from the 1987 America’s Cup Regatta for a true vacation highlight. Grind a winch, trim a sail, punch a stopwatch, or site back and relax in a race for the world’s oldest continuously contested trophy in sports. No previous sailing experience is necessary and is suitable for children aged six and up.
10. Caribbean Brewing Company Tour
St Maarten’s beer scene has always been dominated by international companies with no local beer that has truly represented the island. That’s until the Caribbean Brewing Company opened in the early part of 2019, providing St Maarten with the highest quality of local beers.
Take the unique brewery tour and follow the entire beer-making process from milling the ingredients, brewing, to bottling the beers with the latest state-of-the-art technology. To top it off, enjoy tasting all of their island beers during an all-you-can-drink session in the Tap Room.
11. Jet Ski, Parasailing & Kayaking Excursions
There are several water sports companies on the island the offer brilliant on-water excursions, from surfing and kayaking to jet ski and parasailing adventures. The dependable trade winds provide perfect conditions all-year-round.
Read more: Best Beaches in St Maarten / St Martin