I recently have returned back from another trip to St Martin staying at some of the best beachfront St Martin villas and I just had to write this blog on some of the activities we found while there. After a few days of fun exploring we found some excellent activities that I thought you may be interested in.
I seem to always discover something new every time I visit which is one of the reasons I recommend St Martin as the perfect destination for families with kids.
There is so much to do on the island that I find more families returning every year. St Martin has something for everyone whether it is sunbathing all day long on the beach or ticking a box on your bucket list by watching the huge planes fly over your head on Maho beach (yes I am not exaggerating).
It has been my favorite experience to date and something so different to anything I have done on any of the other Caribbean islands.
Please check out the top activities I have noted below that you can experience while staying at some of the best St. Martin rentals.
1. Jets Landing At Maho Beach
I have mentioned this already (so not very surprising that it makes the top of the list) but watching the plane landing at the airport from Maho beach is amazing.
All you have to do is check the times for when the Boeing 747 planes are scheduled to arrive into SXM Airport and be at Maho Beach in plenty of time (approx 30mins before) and make sure you are a good bit up from the water as it is possible to get thrown into the water from the jet blast of the plane!
Can you believe that? How is this even legal?
I choose to sit on the wall at the top of the beach. There were lots of kids with their parents on the beach and the parents looked terrified – the kids embraced it all… You could see the excitement in their little faces – the beach is packed with old and young alike.
I was absolutely petrified and had to be dragged to the beach by my colleague but as soon as the plane landed. I wanted to experience it all over again.
This experience is one I highly recommend. Maho beach is one of the best beaches in St Martin.
2. The Butterfly Farm
The majority of our St Maarten villas are located in Terres Basses. The Butterfly Farm is a 40 min drive from there and definitely worth the trip.
It is a fun activity that can last up to an hour or two and great for young kids. They provide a great guided tour that lasts around 20 minutes and is included in the price. You can stay at the farm for as long as you like. The entrance fee for adults is $15 and children under 10 are half price.
You can also return as much as you like during the week as they give you a free return pass. The farm has hundreds of exotic butterflies from all over the world and they have the most beautiful colors.
The best time to visit is in the morning as the butterflies are more active at this time. There are snacks available to buy but you are also welcome to bring your own food and eat it at the shaded seating areas that they have outside. It is great fun and young children love it.
I really enjoyed my few hours here and the guides also show you how to hold the butterflies without hurting them.
3. Loterie Farm
I have been meaning to get to Loterie Farm for the last few years. We have had such packed villa inspection schedules that i have never had the chance.
Well it will be a place I am recommending to all my guests staying at any of our villas in St Martin.
I went here not knowing what to expect but, to explain it briefly, it is a private nature reserve which invites people to enjoy its natural surroundings with everything from hiking to zip-lining available. It is a wonderful day out that is full of activity but you also have the option of having total relaxation by sitting by the pool.
The zip-lining is quite physical and not the easiest. I think those who are used to physical exercise would enjoy it but, I must say, not everyone will love it. They do have different levels of courses to suit different ability levels and this is great, especially if you have children in your party.
There were a lot of groups here enjoying everything and I noticed a lot of the ladies relaxing in the cabana by the pool while the men tried out the zip lining and obstacle course so if you want a relaxing day this is totally possible ladies.
There is lots of different options for dining, depending on what you are looking for, from Tapas to burgers to salads etc. You will not be stuck for choice.
I really enjoyed my day here and so glad I finally got experience Lotterie Farm so I can tell all my clients staying at our St Martin Rentals to check it out.
Ok; what girl doesn’t love shopping?
St Martin is completely duty free so you are guaranteed absolute bargains for everything especially jewellery, cigars, and much more. All of our St Martin Villas have a magazine at the villa which shows you all the hot spots for shopping so make sure to check that out when you arrive.
My favorite area for shopping is Philipsburg -you have everything you need here. I spent half a day here and it wasn’t enough. If i had 2 days it still wouldn’t be enough! I am your typical girl that shops until she drop.
I actually got speaking to a couple at Ocean 82 in Grand Case during my trip who came to St Martin to get their engagement ring as she could get a higher grade ring for less in St Martin than the price back home in New York.
Such a smart idea!
I really love Front Street. There are lots of jewellery and high-end brand shops along with the usual souvenirs at great prices. You have brands such as Cartier, Gucci, Chopard and Versace.
Now this is a must for the itinerary.
Read about the best time to visit St Martin
5. Dining in St Martin
Last but not least; one of my favorite activities is eating the amazing food St Martin has to offer.
You are spoiled for choice when it comes to food in St Martin. There are many great restaurants in St Martin. Too many to mention all of them but I will just talk about the new ones I tried on this trip that I would recommend.
I mentioned Ocean’ 82 earlier. It is a gorgeous french restaurant and perfect for a special occasion or if you just want to treat yourselves, like we did.
Ocean 82 is located up in Grand Case which has a strip of restaurants both fancy and casual and I always tell my guests to make at least one trip up here during their stay.
The setting for the ocean front restaurants is fabulous and definitely worth a trip if you can.
For lunch I also tried a lovely Italian Mezza Luna located at Nettle Bay Beach club and it was a great place for lunch with a great selection of pastas on the menu. We sat outside and had the most gorgeous view and even took my shoes off! There was sand right under our feet and the atmosphere was most relaxing.
The food was delicious and we even had a lovely visitor pass the beach (a shy iguana who posed for a quick photo for me- see below)
6. Our Favourite Other Top Activities
For Scuba Diving, we recommend Dive Adventures – they are one of the best operators on the island. They offer a variety of courses to suit all levels – for those who are already certified, those interested in taking their PADI certification or just to experience diving for the first time. Visibility in the waters around the island typically extends for about 100 feet and sometimes even up to 200 feet. The coral reefs offer a wide variety of sea life, and just off the coast of St. Maarten, in the Great Bay, lies the wreck of an English battleship dating back to 1801. Instruction from beginning to advanced is readily available, certified divers should remember to bring their licenses as well as their diving logs.
Deep Sea Fishing
Why not spend a full day or a half day on a fishing charter? Your captain is a fishing expert and he will find the right spot to fish. Guaranteed to be a memorable day!
Spend an action-packed couple of hours on a Rhino Safari Tour. You can pilot your own watercraft along St Martin’s coastline to one of two destinations. A veteran guide will escort you all the way.
Snorkel at Creole Rock Marine Park or soak up at a secluded sunny beach. Or, you can create your own customized tour. Price: from US$75 per adult, double occupancy or US$120 solo rider.
SNUBA is a professionally guided, shallow water diving program available to snorkelers and novice divers of all ages – and it requires no formal training or certifications. The SNUBA program is safe, easy and an appealing introduction to the underwater world.SNUBA is fun and entertaining, but it sparks wonderment in guests, increasing marine awareness and environmental conservancy. Price: from US$95 per person.
ATV or Scooter Tour
This journey by ATV or Scooter begins in Philipsburg and takes you around the island on both the Dutch and French sides of The Friendly island. You will drive past the famous and exciting airport, past beautiful beaches and into the French-side capital of Marigot. Here you’ll make a stop at the local market. From there on the tour continues to Grand Case, an old creole village, then off to Orient Bay (one of the most popular beaches on the island) for a stop and a swim. From there you’ll be guided back to the Dutch side of the island through the heart of the island and then up Cole Bay Hill to a beautiful lookout point; a great place for some pictures. From there the tour continues back to Philipsburg.
Why not spend a day visiting neighbouring islands? You can take either a group charter or your own private charter. Tintamarre Island is an old private island converted to a marine reserve for birds, sea turtles and many other sea and land animals. There are so many ways to enjoy this island that you can easily spend from one hour to the whole day! The Creole Rock is a favorite spot for snorkeling. You can also take a trip to the beautiful island of Anguilla, where you will visit Rendezvous Bay, one of the prettiest beaches. Lunch will be served in Anguilla, and then relax under a shaded tree, swim in the beautiful turquoise waters.
Snorkelling – Grand Case
You can take a 1.5 hour snorkeling trip at Creole Rock. A quick boat ride from Grand Case Beach Club brings you to a colourful underwater world. Your guide, snorkeling gears, soft drinks, life vest
and floating belts are included. Daily at 10am and 2pm.
Treetop Adventure Tour at Loterie Farm
The Treetop Adventure Tour of Loterie Farm is a forest canopy tour, not to be confused with a zip-ride. With guides who educate participants about the ecosystem, history and natural surroundings, this tour offers views of the beauty of the forest from high in the treetops, while zipping from one platform, or traversing a variety of canopy bridges to the next. The experience is intimate. To participate in this tour, you should have an interest in ecology, personal accomplishment and self-discovery. You should be in excellent physical condition with a maximum weight of 115kg and a minimum height of 1.40 metres.
Wellness / Healthy Living
We can recommend a variety of activities to enhance your well-being and enhance your soul. Yoga – Meditation – Hiking – Massage – Pilates – Reiki – Art Therapy
If have any questions on anything please send me an email at [email protected] .
I would be delighted to help you select the best of our St Maarten rentals for your vacation.
About Niamh McCarthy
Niamh is our Caribbean Travel Specialist and has an in-depth knowledge of all of the islands in the Caribbean. Niamh's qualifications are in the area of Business Management and Marketing with a Bachelor degree in Business Management and a Masters degree in Public Relations. Niamh has worked for over 10 years in the travel industry and has also spent time working in the United States.