One Way to do St. Maarten – Maho Beach and Philipsburg

On a separate visit to the island of St. Maarten, this time on board Queen Mary 2, we decided to take in another of the island’s  equally famous beaches. On this occasion we decided on the Dutch side of the island, Maho Beach.
This again necessitated a taxi ride and our early start paid dividends in getting ourselves a pretty good position to one side of the beach. Maho Beach is of course world famous because it is adjacent to the Princess Julian International airport.  Arriving aircraft touch down as close as possible to the beginning of the runway resulting in aircraft on their final approach flying over the beach at absolute minimal altitude.
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Maho Beach isn’t that large a beach and it does experience some pretty heavy swells. For all its size it never seems to get too crowded, that is except the Sunset Bar which has a popularity all of its own…
There is a great atmosphere to be found in the Sunset Bar and flight information is readily available to help plan your stay and see some of the bigger beasts arrive. There is also a comprehensive menu available for those who may not want to utilize the beach and just wish to witness the aircraft approaches.
Maho beach aircraft landing
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Maho Beach St Maarten ©Solent Richard
and one courtesy of Wikipedia
Apart from the popular Sunset Bar,  the Caravanserai Resort and many other bars and restaurants catering for all budgets and tastes are located nearby.
Prior to returning to the ship a call into Philipsburg is recommended if not already visited. It is a  colourful town,  the main island town and also the capital of St. Maarten.  It is situated on a narrow stretch of land between the Great Bay and the Great Salt Pond.
St. Maarten’s jewelry shops are amongst the most competitive in the world and line Philipsburg’s fabulous Frontstreet along with a variety of camera and electrical stores…
There are a selection of quirky bars and the Philipsburg Boardwalk, running  along the glorious Great Bay Beach also has  many bars, restaurants, shops and landmarks…
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…and of course the beach – which does tend to get a little crowded…
While close to this point is the jetty served by the water taxis…
In summary St. Maarten is an excellent Caribbean island to visit with great beaches, excellent  shopping and very good food. In a nutshell there is something for everyone and all relatively inexpensive.
Enjoy your visit.

One response to “One Way to do St. Maarten – Maho Beach and Philipsburg

  1. St Maarten is a fun visit but be warned it can be crowded with cruise ship visitors who all arrive and depart within an hour of each other.
    One will normally see at least five – six cruise ships all moored side by side. Day we were visiting , the taxi and van drivers blocked the buses from coming in by taking up all the spaces reserved for the buses as they felt the harbour authorities were not allowing them sufficient access to cruise passengers. It was settled in about two hours 🙂
    The shops are like many shops In the Caribbean at the berthing area , same products, same prices, various sales and we found getting a roti intown was much less then at the port plus they love to price all in US $. The best shop we have found for watches and jewels is ‘Little Switzerland ‘ and this apples to all their shops, central database, trained staff and good prices.

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