There are a plethora of incredible attractions to take in on the dual-nation island of Saint Martin and Sint Maarten. The French side of the island, St. Martin, has been through a great deal, giving it a rich history and plenty of landmarks to visit when you're not exploring its natural beauty.
One can't forget the number one reason tourists visit the Caribbean islands on their vacations: the beaches! Fringing both sides of the island are 30 beaches, each with a distinct personality. No matter which beach you visit, you will experience breathtaking vistas, particularly at sunrise and sunset, and find plenty to keep you occupied. Active visitors will find opportunities to swim, wind surf, parasail, and scuba dive among other water sports; while the more relaxed vacationers can lie in the sand baking in the sun, or spend some time combing the beaches for a natural souvenir. For a real treat, plan on a diving excursion to see the wreckage of the HMS Proselyte, which sank just south of Great Bay in 1801.
You'll find a large number of beaches to choose from in the area. Regardless of whether you enjoy people watching, or you enjoy relaxing in a secluded area, you can find a beach that fits your preferences. You can click on each beach name to read a detailed article concerning that particular location.
A beach where snorkeling is a popular is Orient Beach. Orient Beach is one of St. Martin's most laid back beaches. It might be because it is a clothing optional beach.
Another top pick for snorkelers is Ilet Pinel. The Ilet Pinel beach is located on one of St. Martin's uninhabited offshore islets and can only be accessed by boat. Many boats from St. Martin offer charter service here for tourists.
Grande-Case Beach: Known for it's fine dining and stunning views of Anguilla, hungry tourists flock to this beach to sample island fare.
These examples are merely a few of your choices. To learn more about beaches available, click this link.
Die-hard history buffs will find plenty to explore on this island, which changed hands quite a bit during its colonial history. For example, both the French and Dutch occupied Fort Louis, which was named for the French Emperor Louis XIV. Meanwhile, sandwiched between Orient Beach and Quartier d'Orleans is The Old House, a historic sugar plantation that is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday.
Musée de Saint-Martin is a museum The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Another landmark that often intrigues visitors is The Old House. It is located in St. Martin. The Old House Museum takes visitors back to the early days of Saint Martin's colonial history where they will learn of the culture, politics, and economics that have led the island to where it is today.
Musee Des Coquillages: One of the largest shell museums in the world, Musee Des Coquillages has over 5000 shells. They feature shells from extinct animals, general sea shells, as well as art made from some of the shells they have found.
These examples are merely a few of the available options. To see our page about other enjoyable places to visit in this area, visit this page.
Do you like being outdoors? You may be pleased to know the area has a popular nature preserve available.
Loterie Farm Nature Reserve is a popular nature preserve situated in the heart of St. Martin. The park itself offers guests the ability to explore the natural wonder of Saint Martin's forest. The hiking trail is relatively short at two miles, though goes up steep inclines, through ruins, and twists and turns that lead to side trails that can make the hike a little longer. You will have the choice of hiking with or without a tour guide.
|Loterie Farm Nature Reserve||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||Central St. Martin||the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten|
Although most tourists have heard about the beautiful water and coastline, that isn't the only way to enjoy the natural wonders available. Areas near St. Martin some interesting options, including a couple of caves.
The chart right below provides more information on the caves.
|Cave||10.0 mi. North-Northeast of Central St. Martin|
|Cave||14.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central St. Martin|
Guests can experience the local park, as well as a botanical garden in and around St. Martin.
If you'd like to see some beautiful tropical vegetation, consider visiting The Butterfly Farm, which is found within St. Martin. The most important part of your visit at the Butterfly Farm will be a guided tour, which shows the evolutionary cycle of the butterfly, how they live, and what they do. Tours last for 15 to 20 minutes are are available all day.
The parks and gardens you'll be able to find are displayed here:
|Park||The Valley, 9.9 mi. North of Central St. Martin||Anguilla|
|The Butterfly Farm||Botanical Garden||Orient Bay, 2.9 mi. East of Central St. Martin||the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten|
If the thought of spending part of a day at the zoo tickles your fancy, you should visit The Butterfly Farm. Explore the beautiful colors of the Saint Martin butterflies and plants at this unique and magical attraction. You will find the enclosed area full of caterpillars, cocoons, and butterflies of all sizes.
|The Butterfly Farm||Zoo||2.9 mi. East of Central St. Martin||the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten|
Another fun idea is to visit some of the more interesting area land formations. Other types of natural attractions in St. Martin are listed in the following table.
|Bay||3.3 mi. North-Northeast of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||3.4 mi. West of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||Las Terres Basses, 5.2 mi. West of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||1.9 mi. North of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||Sandy Ground, 2.7 mi. West of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||Las Terres Basses, 4.1 mi. West of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||Marigot, 1.8 mi. West of Central St. Martin|
|Rock Formation||3.1 mi. North of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||French Cul-de-Sac, 3.6 mi. Northeast of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||Grand-Case, 2.0 mi. North of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||1.8 mi. North of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||Marigot, 1.8 mi. West of Central St. Martin|
|Point||2.0 mi. North of Central St. Martin|
|Bay||Griselle, 3.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central St. Martin|
|Mountain||Central St. Martin|
With so many varied choices of activities, you're sure to find a way to spend your vacation on St. Martin doing exactly what you'd like. Spend a day in the sun, or stay out all night - the choice is yours.
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