Natural Attractions in Sint Maarten

Explore all that Mother Nature has blessed St. Maarten with

Photo credit: © Felix Francois

There is more to do in St. Maarten than shop, gamble, and swim. This half of the dual-nation island of St. Maarten and St. Martin features a handful of great natural sites, on land and in the sea, which you won't want to pass up a chance to see.

St. Maarten spans 21 miles of the southern half of the island, featuring low lands that surround a lagoon. Mangroves, evergreen shrub land, rocky shores, and sandy beaches typify the nation's topography. Making their home on this half of the island is a huge number of species, most of which are native, but some that were introduced by humans over the years.

Of interested to tourists, there are eight different species of bats, over 100 species of birds, a handful of different turtle, lizard, and iguana species, and over 100 species of insects including butterflies. In and around the sea, you'll find the Black Land Crab, Caribbean Hermit Crabs, and Ghost Crabs; and 40 different species of colorful mollusks.

Nature Preserves and Hiking

Do you want to spend time outside? You might be happy to find out that the area has several enjoyable nature preserves in and nearby.

Sint Maarten Marine Park is a popular nature preserve located in southern Sint Maarten. Visitors looking to explore the natural ecosystems of Sint Maarten will definitely want to look around the Sint Maarten Marine Park. The park is a breeding ground for countless fish, the home to a growing coral reef, and a designated Important Bird Area where migratory birds often stop to rest during their long journeys.

Check the chart below for more information about your options.

Nature Preserves and Hiking In and Around Sint Maarten
Name Type Location
Sint Maarten Marine Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.4 mi. Southeast of Central Marigot
Sint Maarten Marine Park Eastern End Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.4 mi. Southeast of Central Marigot
Sint Maarten Marine Park Western End Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.4 mi. Southeast of Central Marigot


Visitors can spend some time in a few parks in Sint Maarten.

Wathey Square is found within Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. Within the square, which is picturesque with its palm trees, Dutch style buildings, and view of the sea, has a tourist booth were visitors can gather information about the island, peddlers hawking their wares, and an 18th century courthouse.

Another attraction in this category is Seaside Nature Park. At Seaside Nature Park, guests will be able to hike down trails, swim in at the beach, or even ride horses along the miles of trails and even through the water. Although horseback riding is the main theme of this nature park, hiking, kayaking, camping, and kids birthday parties are options activities as well.

The parks worth considering are summarized directly below.

Parks In Sint Maarten
Name Type Location
Emilio Wilson Historic Park Park 2.3 mi. Southeast of Central Marigot
Seaside Nature Park Park Central Sint Maarten
Wathey Square Park Philipsburg, Southern part of Sint Maarten

Zoos and Aquariums

St. Maarten Zoo

If the idea of passing some time surrounded by animals sounds like fun, consider visiting St. Maarten Zoo. In December of 1991, the St. Maarten Zoo opened its doors to the public, and today it is the largest zoo and playground in the Caribbean. Families love to explore the hundreds of animals that live on property, including birds, reptiles, and mammals.

Zoos In Sint Maarten
Name Type Location Island/th>
St. Maarten Zoo Zoo 3.3 mi. Southeast of Central Marigot the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten

Land Formations

Another fun idea is to visit some of the more interesting area land formations. Fully natural attractions like these in Sint Maarten are summarized here:

Land Formations In Sint Maarten
Name Type Location
A.C. Wathey Pier & Port Facility Harbour 0.8 mi. South of Central Philipsburg
Baie Lucas Bay 0.7 mi. Northeast of Central Oyster Pond
Great Bay Bay Central Sint Maarten
Great Salt Pond Pond 3.4 mi. Southeast of Central Marigot
Lay Bay Bay 3.2 mi. South of Central Marigot
Little Bay Bay 3.9 mi. South-Southeast of Central Marigot
Oyster Pond Harbour 1.4 mi. Southeast of Central French Cul de Sac
Point Blanche Point 5.2 mi. Southeast of Central Marigot
Simpson Bay Bay 1.6 mi. Southeast of Central Point Pirouette
Simpson Bay Lagoon Lagoon Cole Bay, Central Sint Maarten

Luckily, there are plenty of other kinds attractions available. For more about other attractions, navigate to this page.

As you explore these natural sites, keep in mind that the land is home to many species and should be respected as if you were visiting a friend's house. As such, so not disturb the animals, destroy local vegetation, pollute, or participate in various watersports or hunting activities where they are not permitted.  

Take a break from your typical vacation activities while you're in St. Maarten and explore all that the natural side of the island has to offer. You may just find a sense of peace and tranquility that you weren't expecting to experience.


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