When you imagine your dream vacation destination, there's a good chance that beautiful beaches and warm waters will be a part of your vision. People travel all over the world to visit the prettiest beaches and dip their toes in the most welcoming seas and oceans, and many of the world's most popular touristic cities are situated right on the coastline, with a lot of lovely beaches for residents and tourists to enjoy.
The Caribbean is a very popular touristic hotspot, with a multitude of paradisiacal islands to choose from. These islands are home to some of the world’s most luxurious resorts, lush jungles, and breathtaking beaches, and St Maarten is a fine example. This island country is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and covers the lower 40% of the island of Saint Martin, with the remaining 60% being controlled by France. The island has a lot of history behind it and is a hugely popular tourist destination, with a multitude of tree-lined beaches and crystal clear waters waiting to welcome you in.
Best Beaches of St Maarten
Many of the beaches on the island of St Martin are found in the French-occupied half of the island, but the southern St Maarten section is also home to its fair share of luxury, postcard-style beaches and bays. Swimming, surfing, diving, wakeboarding, and many other water-based activities can be enjoyed on the beaches of St Maarten, and there are plenty of relaxing spots to simply sit or lie on the sand and let the day go by. The island is a veritable haven for beach-lovers, so let’s take a look at some of the very best beaches you might want to check out on your next trip to St Maarten.
- Maho Beach
Perhaps the most famous beach in St Maarten, Maho Beach is known all over the world due to its proximity to the nearby Princess Juliana Airport. The beach is actually situated just off the airport's main runway, leading to some truly impressive photographs and videos that show huge jumbo jets landing and taking off, flying right over the beach itself. Many people visit this beach just to watch the planes and feel the full force of the wind as they speed past, but the beach is also a nice spot to simply hang out and do some swimming and sunbathing too. This beach is found to the west, not far from the border with the French part of the island.
Cupecoy is actually a bunch of little beaches all linked together, separated only by tree-lines cliffs and rocky outcrops. The views at these St Maarten beaches are very special, and this is the most westerly beach on the Dutch side of the island. Many people gather at the Cupecoy beaches to watch the sunset and take in the splendid sights all around them.
- Geneve Bay
If you want to go swimming at St Maarten, Geneve Bay is the place to be. Located on the eastern side of the island where the shoreline curves around itself, this little bay creates a warm, natural swimming space for people of all ages to enjoy. Scenic coastal walks can also be enjoyed at Geneve Bay and you can hike between this beach and nearby Guana Bay Beach, which is another popular surfing and swimming spot.
- Burgeaux Beach
If you're hoping to do some surfing at St Maarten, Burgeaux Beach is a fine place to start. Some nice big waves can gather up around this small rocky cove, and it's also a nice spot for shelling and exploring too. The surrounding scenery helps Burgeaux Beach feel nice and intimate, offering a good degree of privacy and comfort that some of the other St Maarten beaches simply cannot provide.
- Little Bay
Consistently ranked as one of the top beaches anywhere in the Caribbean, Little Bay is located on the central southern part of St Maarten. The reason why this beach is so popular is due to its unique formation. The nearby Fort Amsterdam peninsula actually helps to shield the bay from the current, resulting in some very calm, gentle waters, perfect for families to go swimming in. Wildlife has also taken to this spot, with lots of birds choosing to nest among the surrounding vegetation.
- Mullet Bay
A highly touristic beach, Mullet Bay is conveniently situated right near a local golf course, making it a nice way to spend the day after a long session out on the green. Surfing and swimming are popular this St Maarten beach, with the waves having the possibility to reach some very impressive heights, and the white sands at Mullet Bay are especially soft and silky.
- Cay Bay
For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, Cay Bay is the ultimate St Maarten spot. It's one of the island's little-known treasures, featuring a small and tranquil beach that never really gathers big crowds despite its beautiful views and welcoming waters. There are a lot of nice hiking trails in this area, with pony trekking and mountain biking also very popular. Scuba diving at this St Maarten beach is another super way to spend the day, with some really incredible marine life waiting to be discovered.