15 Best Day Trips in St. Maarten: Tours & Excursions

By - This article contains compensated links. Read our disclaimer for more information.

The beautiful and tropical Caribbean island of St. Maarten is known for its breath-taking scenery and its wide array of activities for tourists to engage in and enjoy. Many who travel to St. Maarten decide to take day trips while visiting the island such as visiting historical sites, going hiking up lush green mountains, going to nature parks, visiting the beaches, and taking trips to neighboring islands.

There are many day trips that are available for visitors to take while they are on their vacation in St. Maarten. These can either be booked in advance or booked when on the island. Some of the best day trips that can be taken while visiting the island of St. Maarten are listed below.

  1. Anguilla
  2. Fort Amsterdam
  3. Tintamarre Island
  4. Mullet Bay
  5. Sugar Mill Plantation
  6. Pic Paradis
  7. Border Obelisk
  8. Saba
  9. Orient Bay Beach
  10. Barth
  11. Baie aux Prunes
  12. Seaside Nature Park
  13. Anse Marcel Beach
  14. Maho Bay Beach
  15. Hope Estate Archeological Site

1. Anguilla

The tropical island of Anguilla is a popular destination for tourists visiting St. Maarten who want to get a taste of some of the other local islands in the Caribbean. Anguilla is a British overseas territory that is located 12 miles (19 km) north of the island of St. Maarten. Anguilla is a relatively small island that measures 16 miles (26 km) long and 3 miles (5 km) wide at its widest point, the total land area of the island is 35 square miles (91 km2).

Anguilla is an island with a ruggedly beautiful natural landscape. Many who visit enjoy the mesmerizing tropical views that the island has to offer such as white and powdery sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and a lush green landscape. There are many activities that tourists enjoy while visiting Anguilla such as hiking, snorkeling, taking sailing tours, trying the delicious local cuisine, horseback riding, and more.

Anguilla is known to be an island that is a great destination for families. Anguilla is known for being a safe island and the people of the island are very hospitable and helpful to tourists. Tourists can visit the island of Anguilla by ferry.  There is a ferry that leaves from the town of Marigot, the ferry ride takes approximately 20 minutes. The departure times for the ferry from St. Martin to Anguilla are 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, and 6:00 pm. The price of the ferry from Marigot, Saint Martin to Anguilla is $10 (€ 9) per person for a one-way ticket.

viatorDay Trips atViator

 

2. Fort Amsterdam

Fort Amsterdam is a popular historical site on the island of St. Maarten that many tourists enjoy taking a day trip to soak in the island’s rich history. Fort Amsterdam is located near the Dutch capital of Philipsburg and is located atop the peninsula separating Little Bay and Great Bay on the southern coast of the island.

Fort Amsterdam was built in 1631 by Dutch colonists in an effort to protect Sint Maarten from competitive colonial forces such as the Spanish and British armies. Nowadays, tourists can take a guided tour and see the entire fort. The architecture of Fort Amsterdam is a unique blend of Dutch and Spanish designs that makes it a captivating historical monument for visitors. Fort Amsterdam also features rusting cannons that are from the 19th century as well as informational maps and signs that highlight the history and development of the fort over the years.

Access to Fort Amsterdam is free of charge. Fort Amsterdam is a private property of the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort that is open to the public.

viatorDay Trips atViator

 

3. Tintamarre Island

Tintamarre Island is a small island that is located in the Atlantic Ocean about 1.8 miles (3 km) off the north-eastern coast of Saint Martin. Tintamarre island is considered part of the French overseas collectivity of Saint Martin. Tintamarre island is the perfect day trip for those who love adventure and want to experience a rugged and natural landscape with minimal people around.

Tintamarre island is known for being an uninhabited tropical oasis. Tintamarre island has golden sandy beaches, and beautiful glistening water and is teeming with wildlife on land and undersea. Tintamarre is a popular destination for snorkeling, hiking, and enjoying a day lounging on the warm sand.

There is no regular ferry service to Tintamarre Island. The only way to get to the island is to book a boat tour in advance. Depending on the size of the group a boat tour to Tintamarre island usually costs around $25 to $40 (€23 to €37) per person.

viatorDay Trips atViator

 

4. Mullet Bay

Mullet Bay is a popular beach on the island of St. Maarten that is located on the southwestern coast of the island near the town of Simpson Bay. Mullet Bay is an ideal day trip to take while visiting St. Maarten to be able to experience the golden sand, majestic palm trees, and crystal blue waters. Mullet Bay is located 1.3 miles (2.1 km) from Princess Juliana International Airport.

Mullet Bay is also situated near the popular Grand Casino, a famous golf course as well as many restaurants and bars on the island. This is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon at the beach and then get some delicious food, play golf or try your luck at the casinos afterward. Mullet Bay is also popular for those who enjoy water sports such as surfing and jetskiing.

Entry onto Mullet Bay Beach is free. There are many local vendors on the beach selling refreshments such as burgers, drinks, coconuts etc. There are also chair and umbrella rentals available at Mullet Bay Beach for around $15 per day.

viatorDay Trips atViator

 

5. Sugar Mill Plantation

The Sugar Mill Plantation is a historical site that is a must-see while visiting the island of St. Maarten. The Sugar Mill plantation is located near the town of Marigot, Saint Martin. Tourists who walk throughout this plantation will learn about one of the main sources of commerce for the island of St. Maarten in the 18th century.

The Sugar Hill Plantation features a large chimney made of limestone and a mill that was used to crush the sugar cane. There is also a lovely view that can be seen from the Sugar Hill Plantation which shows a panoramic view of the ocean. Many tourists come to the Sugar Hill Plantation not only to learn about the history but to see the beautiful mountainous views that can be seen from the plantation. Entry into the Sugar Mill Plantation is free.

6. Pic Paradis

Pic Paradis is the highest mountain in St. Martin and a popular tourist destination on the island. Pic Paradis is located on the French side of the island of Saint Martin and is a height of 1,391 ft (424 m) high. Many people enjoy hiking the different trails of the mountain, taking in the beautiful views, and exploring nature on the mountain.

Pic Paradis has a cooler climate than most locations in St. Martin which gives this area a nice contrast for tourists looking to add variety to their trip. Pic Paradis is free to enter, however, different expenses may be incurred depending on the different activities that tourists decide to do on and around the mountain.

At the bottom of Pic Paradis is Loterie Farm which is a must-see location for those visiting St. Maarten. Loterie Farm is a former sugar plantation that has been turned into a tropical resort that people can visit for the day. Loterie Farm is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Prices for the different activities can vary.

7. The Border Obelisk

The Border Obelisk is a monument that is located at the French/Dutch border between the Dutch town of Philipsburg and the French town of Quartier d’ Orleans. The Border Obelisk is a symbol for when the island of St. Maarten was divided between the French and Dutch territories on March 23, 1648.

Visiting the Border Obelisk is free of charge and one of the main things to visit while in St. Maarten. It defines the unique culture of Saint Martin that has Dutch and French influence. Tourists and locals alike are able to move from the Dutch side to the French side freely and vice versa. There are also many other things that tourists can do when visiting the Border Obelisk such as take photos, go shopping, and visit the local beaches.

8. Saba

Saba is an island located in the north-eastern Caribbean Sea that is located 15 miles (24 km) southwest of the island of St. Maarten. Saba is the smallest Dutch-owned territory in the Caribbean. Saba has a land area of 53 sqft (5 sqm).

The island of Saba is home to a volcano called Mount Scenery. Mount Scenery is 2,910 ft (887 meters) in height and is the highest peak on the island of Saba and the entire territory of the Netherlands. Saba is known as the “unspoiled queen of the Caribbean”. Saba is known for its gorgeous natural surroundings and delicious local cuisine. This is the perfect place for a day trip when visiting St. Maarten to get a taste of another island in the Caribbean.

Tourists can easily visit Saba via ferry or plane from St. Maarten. The flights from St. Maarten to Saba are usually around 20 minutes. There are 4 flights that are scheduled each day through the WinAir airline that leaves from Princess Juliana International Airport and land in Saba. The price of the flights from St. Maarten to Saba range from $57 to $100 (€52 to €91) one way and $100 to $200 (€91 to €183) round trip.

The ferry to Saba from St. Maarten takes around 2 hours depending on weather conditions. There are different restaurants and activities available in Saba for tourists to enjoy such as hiking Mount Scenery, going to the local beaches, engaging in water sports such as jet skiing and surfing, and more.

viatorDay Trips atViator

 

9. Orient Bay Beach

Orient Bay Beach is one of the most popular beaches in St. Maarten and is located on the north-eastern coast of French Saint Martin. Orient Bay Beach is known by many as the “Saint Tropez of the Caribbean” and is famous for its gorgeous crystal blue water and white powdery sand. The length of the beach spans 1.5 miles (2.4 km) so there is usually no crowding and plenty of privacy.

Orient Bay Beach is perfect for a day trip because along with enjoying the beautiful scenery of the beach there are many beach clubs, bars and restaurants near the beach for tourists to enjoy. Those looking for some action will also enjoy the plethora of water sports available to engage in on the beach such as banana boating, parasailing, jet-skiing, and more.

Entrance onto Orient Bay is free.  Depending on the time you decide to visit, the water can be a bit rough. For calmer water, the best time to visit Orient Beach is between the months of April and September. The beach is easily reachable by car, taxi, and bus.

viatorDay Trips atViator

 

10. St. Barths

St. Barths or as it’s also called “Saint Barthélemy” is an island that lies 22 miles (35 km) off the coast of the island of St. Maarten. St. Barths is part of the French overseas collectivity of Saint Martin. The French influence can easily be seen and felt on this island which is why it is a perfect day trip activity for those who are looking to get a taste of French culture.

St. Barth’s is an island that is adored by many, even celebrities. Many love the 22 pristine beaches that are available to explore on the island and the incredible natural scenery. There are many activities for those visiting St. Barths to enjoy such as snorkeling, sailing, enjoying the beaches, hiking, and more.

Tourists can reach St. Barths by taking a 45-minute ferry ride from the city of Philipsburg for $64 (€60) per person round trip. Tourists can also take a 15-minute flight via Princess Juliana International Airport to get to St. Barths.

11. Baie aux Prunes

Baie aux Prunes, or as it is also called “Plum Bay” is one of the most secluded and naturally beautiful beaches on the entire island of St. Martin. Baie aux Prunes has crystal clear waters, shady palm trees, and white fluffy sand. Baie aux Prunes is located in the Terres Bases area of French Saint Martin and has two “sister beaches” located nearby called “Baie Lounge” and “Baie Rouge”.

Baie aux Prunes is popular among those who are looking for a relaxing beach day with minimal crowds, many tourists say when they visit Baie aux Prunes that they feel as if they are the only ones on the beach. Baie aux Prunes is even popular among celebrities who visit the island of St. Martin for vacation because they can enjoy their beach day in solitude.

Along with soaking in the beautiful views some other activities to do at Baie aux Prunes beach are snorkeling, jet skiing, surfing, and more. Baie aux Prunes is free to enter. Since the beach is so secluded there are no vendors selling food, drinks, or renting chairs and umbrellas. It is best for each beachgoer to bring their own beach day necessities.

12. Seaside Nature Park

Seaside Nature Park is a unique destination on the island of St. Maarten that is a must-see for those who enjoy nature and beautiful scenery. Seaside Nature Park is 30 acres of unspoiled natural beauty that is located in Cole Bay, Sint Maarten. Seaside Nature Park is located 3.3 miles (5.3 km) away from Princess Juliana International Airport.

Seaside Nature Park is full of activities for tourists to engage in such as horseback riding, lounging on the nearby beaches, visiting the petting zoo, hiking, playing on the playground, and more. Seaside Nature Park is a place where the whole family can visit, and each member of the family can have an incredible time.

Seaside Nature Park is open 7 days per week from 8 am to 5 pm. The entrance fee for Seaside Nature Park is $5 (€4) per person.

13. Anse Marcel Beach

Anse Marcel Beach is located on the northern coast on the French side of the island of St. Martin. Anse Marcel Beach is located 10.9 miles (17.5 km) away from Princess Juliana International Airport.

Anse Marcel Beach is known for being a calm and tranquil location that has magnificent views of the turquoise blue water and lush green hills of St. Maarten. Anse Marcel Beach is tucked away in a small, sheltered bay in Saint Martin called Anse Marcel Bay and is a destination that is famous among beachgoers for its seclusion and privacy.

Anse Marcel Beach is generally less populated than other beaches in St. Martin and is an ideal location for those who enjoy sunbathing and lounging on the beach. Some other activities to do on Anse Marcel Beach are scuba diving, snorkeling, beach volleyball, sailing, kayaking, jetskiing, and more. The waters at Anse Marcel are calm and manageable for inexperienced swimmers and children.

There is no entrance fee to Ansel Marcel Beach. Anse Marcel Beach is accessible to the general public through any of the hotel entry points along the beach. The parking at Anse Marcel Beach is free and securely gated.

viatorDay Trips atViator

 

14. Maho Bay Beach

Maho Bay Beach is easily the most famous beach on the entire island of St. Martin. Maho Beach is unlike any beach in the world. This is due to Maho Beach being located directly at the end of the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport. From this vantage point, it is easy to see airplanes flying directly overhead and landing on the nearby runway.

Maho Bay Beach is a thrilling experience for all who visit St. Maarten and is truly a must-see when visiting the island. Many tourists who come to St. Maarten schedule a day trip to Maho Beach to capture photos of the airplanes, admire the incredible sights and feel the force of airplanes and jets taking off into the sky one after the other.

Maho Bay Beach is free to enter. Maho Beach is small and often gets quite busy and full of tourists and is not the ideal spot for relaxing and lounging on the beach. Most who visit Maho Beach usually spend 30 minutes to an hour here. Be careful to secure loose items on the beach because the wind from the airplanes and jets could blow them away. Also, be sure to remain in the safe zones marked by signs on the beach.

viatorDay Trips atViator

 

15. Hope Estate Archeological Site

The Hope Estate Archeological Site is a historical site that is located in the town of Grand Case, Saint Martin. The Hope Estate Archeological Site is the perfect place to learn about the history of the island of St. Maarten. The Hope Estate Archeological Site is the remains of an Arawak village that is situated on a 1-acre (80 meters) plot of land that overlooks the Grand Case Plain.

The Hope Estate Archeological Site tells the story of the natives who arrived at St. Maarten from South America in the year 550 BC and established a village that they occupied until the year 450 AD. The Arawaks left many artifacts such as pottery items, petroglyphs, and more that can be seen at this historical site.

The Hope Estate Archeological Site is located 7.6 miles (12.2 km) from Princess Juliana International Airport and is free for tourists and locals to enter. The Hope Estate Archeological Site is the perfect place for families, couples, and anyone who is interested in the rich history of St. Maarten.

What should you know about day trips in St. Maarten?

There are many day trips that are available to take while visiting St. Maarten. Some of the things that tourists should know about the day trips in St. Martin are listed below.

  1. Scheduling day trips is an excellent way to explore the island of St. Maarten and the surrounding islands in a short period of time.
  2. Different day trips allow you to engage in different activities such as surfing, diving, jet-skiing, kayaking, and more for a discounted rate.
  3. Many of the day trips that are available to take in St. Maarten have meals included in the package.

Which side of St. Maarten has the best day trips?

The French side of the island of Saint Martin is known for having the best day trips that are available on the island. The French side of the island of Saint Martin is near many of the surrounding islands such as Tintamarre Island, Pinel Island, and Anguilla and can be reached from the French side of the island by ferry.

St. Maarten is an island that is dually owned by France and the Netherlands, these sides of the island are called Sint Maarten (Dutch) and Saint Martin (French). Many people who visit St. Maarten enjoy both sides for different reasons. The French side of the island of Saint Martin is known for its peaceful and tranquil nature and its ruggedly beautiful natural beaches. The Dutch side of the island of St. Maarten is known for its plethora of fun and exciting activities for tourists to engage in such as going to casinos, clubs, bars, and more.

What months are the best for taking day trips in St. Maarten?

The best months for taking day trips on the island of St. Maarten is between the months of January and June. The reason for this is that the weather in St. Maarten during this time is optimal for taking day trips. The weather is warm and sunny with a daily average temperature of 77 °F (25 °C). It would be better to avoid traveling to St. Maarten during the months of July to December to avoid hurricane season.

What are the greatest day trip activities in St Martin / St Maarten?

The island of Saint Martin is known throughout the Caribbean for being full of fun and amazing activities for people of all kinds to participate in such as snorkeling, ziplining, sailing, surfing and so much more. With all of the amazing activities available in St. Maarten, it can be challenging to decide what exactly to do with your time during your visit. Listed below are some great activities to do in St. Maarten/ St. Martin.

  1. Snorkeling and scuba diving at the beaches
  2. Ziplining down the steepest zipline in the world in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten.
  3. Relaxing at Loterie Farm: Marigot.
  4. Trying Samples of rum at Topper’s Rhum Distillery in Cole Bay
  5. Making your own perfume at Tijon Parfumerie in Grand Case
  6. Taking a sunset sail along the coast in Simpson Bay
  7. Watching planes land and take off at Maho Beach
  8. Visiting historical sites and museums

Which areas in St. Maarten offer the greatest day trips for kids and families?

There are many places in St. Maarten where families can enjoy themselves. The regions in St. Maarten that are optimal for family daytrips are located on the French side of St. Maarten in towns like Grand case and Marigot. Some of the best areas in St. Maarten that offer the best day trips for families with kids and small children are listed below.

  1. Butterfly Farm: Located on Le Gallion Beach Road, in Quartier d’ Orleans, Saint Martin this butterfly farm is small in size but a perfect place to capture beautiful family memories surrounded by butterflies. The Butterfly Farm has beautiful surroundings that include waterfalls, exotic plants, and many species of butterflies. Admission costs $14 for adults and $7 for children.
  2. Loterie Farm: A former Sugar Plantation, that is the home of the largest nature reserve on the Island of St. Maarten. Families can enjoy viewing the beautiful wildlife such as monkeys, lizards, butterflies, and more. There are also wonderful activities for families to enjoy such as hiking, ziplining, and more. There is even an obstacle course designed for children from ages 5 to 7. The prices of Loterie Farm can vary from $6 to $50 (€5 to €46) depending on the activity chosen.
  3. Grand Case: A wonderful destination for families with inexpensive food and kid-friendly beaches. There is a wonderful pier along the beach with white sand and turquoise waters, as well as restaurants featuring kid-friendly foods. The prices at these kid-friendly restaurants are usually $10 to $15 (€9 to €14) per person.
  4. Rhino Safari Excursion: An exhilarating 3-hour tour of the gorgeous coastline of St. Maarten. The Rhino Safari Excursion is recommended for families with teenagers or children that are older. The cost of this tour is $75 (€70) per person.
  5. Fort Louis: A historical site in St. Maarten that offers a gorgeous view of the island of Anguilla and Marigot Bay. Fort Louis was built in 1789 in order to protect Marigot Bay from invaders and has old cannons on site. Families will love seeing the amazing historical artifacts and seeing the beautiful scenery. Fort Louis is free to enter.

What are the best day trips in St. Maarten for couples?

There are many places in Saint Martin that couples who are on a romantic getaway can enjoy. Some of the best places for couples looking to take a day trip are listed below.

  1. Grand Case: A beautiful destination for couples looking for a lovely romantic day. Grand Case is known as the culinary capital of St. Martin and has a plethora of delicious restaurants featuring authentic French cuisines and wines. Couples can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of the beach and the pier at Grand Case Beach.
  2. Catamaran Tour in Simpson Bay: Couples can enjoy taking a catamaran ride around Simpson Bay with Random Wind Tours. They can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, diving, swimming, and enjoying the sunset. The tour also includes a gourmet meal. The price of the tour ranges from $119 to $2,460 (€110 to €2,282) per person depending on the activities chosen.
  3. Pinel Island: Pinel Island is an uninhabited island off the north-eastern coast of Saint Martin. Couples can take the ferry from the town of Cul de Sac to Pinel Island for $6 (€5) per person for a one-way trip and $12 (€10) per person for a round-trip ticket. Couples can spend the whole day lounging on the beach, hiking, and eating at one of the two delicious restaurants.
  4. Front Street: Located in Phillipsburg St. Maarten, front street is a popular tourist destination. At Front Street couples can walk throughout the markets and take in all of the beautiful scenery as they engage in shopping and trying different delicious foods together.
  5. Baie Rouge Beach: Baie Rouge Beach is a gorgeous beach that is located in Terres Basses on the French side of the island of St. Martin. Baie Rouge Beach is known for its gorgeous pink sand as well as its seclusion. Couples can enjoy their time together in privacy as they soak in the beauty of the beach.

What are the best day trips in St. Maarten for travelers on a budget?

There are many activities available for tourists to do while they visit St. Maarten. Some tourists might be looking for activities that are less expensive to do during their trip. Some of the best budget trips in St. Maarten are listed below.

  1. Maho Beach: The most action-packed beach in St. Maarten that is completely free for visitors to enter. At Maho Beach, tourists can see planes taking off and landing right above their heads. A truly affordable and exhilarating experience.
  2. Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit: A museum in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten that shows special effects props and costumes from different famous movies such as Star Wars, Superman, and more. This museum is an inexpensive treat for all the movie buffs visiting St. Maarten. The Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit is open from 11 am to 4 pm every day of the week and is $15 (€14) per person.
  3. Fort Louis: A historical site in St. Maarten that offers a gorgeous view of the island of Anguilla and Marigot Bay. Fort Louis was built in 1789 in order to protect Marigot Bay from invaders and has old cannons on site. Tourists will love seeing the amazing historical artifacts and seeing the beautiful scenery for free. Fort Louis is free to enter.
  4. Front Street: Located in Phillipsburg St. Maarten, Front Street is a popular tourist destination. Tourists can walk throughout the markets and boardwalk and take in all of the beautiful scenery for free. They can also engage in duty-free shopping and try delicious foods at an inexpensive price. Entry onto Front Street is free.
  5. Eating at the Lolo’s in Grand Case: The Lolo’s or open-air restaurants in Grand Case, St. Martin are some of the most popular eateries on the entire island of St. Maarten. Lolos are known for being inexpensive, the average price of a meal costs from $10 to $15 (€9 to €14) per person. Lolo’s has delicious foods such as chicken, seafood, and BBQ ribs.