Dutch Side – St Maarten
St Maarten Beaches – A Few of The Best
All with their own unique characteristics, the beaches of the Dutch side (St Maarten) may be made of the same sand as the French side (St Martin) but can be quite different in their offerings…..
Going from border to border East to west –
- Dawn Beach
- Guana Bay
- Great Bay
- Cay Bay
- Kim Sha
- Simpson Bay
- Mullet Bay
Predictably, this beach on of the the first to see dawn on the island and faces out to St. Barths on the eastern side of St Maarten.
Until a few years ago when the Oyster Pond road was surfaced, this beach was not easy to get to and remained pretty much a locals hangout – I remember well the old spit and sawdust Scavengers Beach Bar and the wide open desolate nature of the beach, A few bbq partes round a beach camp fire were had there!
Nowadays, it’s more popular with tourists for two main reasons –
- The road is paved and therefore easy to access especially for cruise-shippers coming from the port who don’t have to wait in ‘traffic over the hill’.
- The proximity of Westin and Oyster Pond hotels means the beaches are secure and free of the harrassment of hawkers and barkers.
Taxi drivers like to offer this beach as a good option for these reasons and because it’s easy to get to from Philipsburg and they can get back quickly to make more trips.
Busby’s Beach Bar is a favorite here, or if you want a little luxury you can always dine at The Westin hotels’ restaurants.
Still on the eastern side, Guana Bay is one of the more wild beaches as they sand bank rises very sharply here and can cause some huge waves!. If you like body surfing this is a great spot. Be careful though – there are no lifeguards here and even strong swimmers have been known to drown in strong tides.
If you like a little bit of wilderness then this is the right beach for you – there’s very little on the beach with no umbrellas, chairs, beach bars, hawkers or pretty much anything else there! Great for those quiet moments.
You may be lucky and find the one small bar at the start of the beach by the car park, is open for business – but don’t count on it!
If you’re coming into St Maarten on a cruise ship Great Bay is one of the first beaches you will see up close – and it makes quite an impression!
The wide crescent bay is the cruise gateway to St Maarten and one of the most spectacular in the Caribbean (see our TOP 15 Cruise tips for some great suggestions).
St Maarten’s Great Bay Beach is a couple of miles long with a variety of great features:
- Just 10 minutes walk from the cruise terminal
- The capital of the Dutch side
- The boardwalk runs right along it
- Philipsburg shopping is just through one of the many alleyways off the boardwalk
- Water sports of all kinds
- Great seaside restarants and bars including the Hard Rock Cafe, Taloula Mangos & the Ocean Lounge
- Some great deals on chairs, umbrellas, drink and food! (click here for ideas)
If you’re thinking about spending a day that involves something to suit EVERYONE in the whole family AND still be close to the cruise ship so you won’t miss the last boat, then this is the spot! Granny can go shopping, mum and dad can lounge on the beach, the kids can ride jet skis or play on the beach whilst the newlyweds can go for a romantic stroll and enjoy a fine lunch!
What’s even better is we’ll give you a bunch of discount coupons that will make it all affordable and save you a ton of money! Find out more about our popular and much sought after book by clicking on this icon…
Although generally no used as a sunbathers beach, which can easily be understood when you realize it’s right next to the power station!, this is also ironically regarded as a bit of a nature spot at the far end away from the power station.
Horse riding takes place down here and there are trails leading up and over the rocks to more deserted areas waiting to be explored, There is a small bar & grill at the end but only open according to demand.
Kim Sha Beach
Located behind the Atrium Hotel in Simpson Bay (it’s the white multi-story building on the way to Pelican), Kim Sha Beach is popular with locals and tourists alike and has some interesting events going on regularly.
You may see kayakers paddling up and down. There are two large ‘flame balls’ that are lit up on a night time to illuminate the beach right next to the popular Buccaneer beach bar and grill.
As this beach is the closest to the major hotels in the area such as Royal Palm, Flamingo, Atrium and Pelican, there can be a lot of activity whilst remaining calm and peaceful. Also a great place for kids – the waves are calm.
Simpson Bay Beach
One of the longest beaches on St Maarten, Simpson Bay beach stretches from the bridge at Royal Palm though Simpson Bay village and alongside the length of the airport runway to Beacon Hill.
Consequently there are many different features but it still remains relatively unspoilt with average waves and some great little cool beach bar restaurants like ‘Karakter’ which is a great place for unusual snacks and cocktails.
This narrow stretch of beach is probably the most renowned due to it’s location right at the start of St Maarten airport and location of Sunset Beach Bar where you can watch jumbo jets flying in low over your head.
A favorite of locals, Mullet Bay beach is right next to the golf course and is one of the most stunning in color on the island.
The waves can be a little rough here at times and it is renowned for it’s sometimes dangerous undertow – so if you’re not a strong swimmer it may be best to either go to the calm end or stay close to shore.
This small stretch of beach is known for it’s natural beauty as it is one of the few beaches set against the cliffy backdrop.Check out our book to discover the perfect lovers’ romantic hidden cave!
This beach has constantly shifting sands so depending the time of year you might find the beach is wide, or virtually non-existent! It is close to the French border on the western edge of the island
Cupecoy Beach also considered as an adult beach and might not be appropriate for kids.
So, if it’s St Maarten Beaches or St Martin beaches you’ll discover the best in the Ultimate St. Maarten Island Guide…..