Answers from Our Experts (1)
St. Martin/St. Maarten is small enough that the island’s main points of interest can easily be explored in a day, and the best way to do so is to hire a taxi driver to show you the sights. Starting in Philipsburg, you’ll pass the Great Salt Pond, a great brackish pond that’s played an important role in the island’s history. From there, you’ll see Fort Amsterdam. Built in 1631, it was the first Dutch military outpost in the Caribbean. Then, ask your driver to stop at Harold Jack’s lookout point for an impressive view of several beautiful bays. At this point, a stop at Simpson Bay is in order, and if you’re lucky, your visit to this beach might just coincide with a plane landing at the Princess Juliana International Airport, which is right across the street.
When you’re finished at the beach, make a run for the border — the French-Dutch border. St. Martin/St. Maarten is one of the world’s smallest islands that’s home to two different countries, France and the Netherlands. No passport is required as you enter the French side of the island in the blink of an eye. Make a stop in the French capital of Marigot for some shopping, and grab a bite to eat at one of the city’s picturesque sidewalk cafés. On your way to the island’s famed nude beach, Orient Bay, ask your driver to pass through Grande Case, which is both a small fishing village and home to the island’s — and perhaps the region’s — best restaurants. At Orient, half of which welcomes nude sunbathers, don’t be afraid to strip down and frolic in the waves. Grab a beach chair and a sweet tropical drink, because this is the perfect place to end your island tour.