Saint Martin Happy Bay Beach Guide

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Happy Bay Beach is one of the most private beaches on the entire island of Saint Martin. Happy Bay Beach is located on the north-western coast on the French side of St. Martin between the towns of Friar’s Bay and Grand Case. Happy Bay Beach is a hidden gem on the island of St. Martin, many people who visit don’t even know it exists. There are often never any crowds at Happy Bay Beach, for this reason, many who visit Happy Bay Beach decide to sunbathe completely in the nude. Happy Bay Beach is mostly an “adult beach” where toplessness and even full nudity are often practiced by beachgoers.

Happy Bay Beach is a small beach that offers a very tranquil and calm atmosphere with its calm crystal-clear waters, soft breeze, and warm golden sand. Many who visit enjoy sunbathing, having a picnic on the beach, or swimming in the glistening waters. This is one of the most romantic beaches on the island of St. Martin, it is an ideal spot for couples looking for a romantic getaway. The beautiful surroundings and the seclusion of Happy Bay Beach are why the few who find this beach love it so much and keep coming back to return.

Happy Bay Beach is just a short 10-minute walk from Friar’s Bay Beach and is a wonderful and scenic excursion from the beach. Many visitors to Happy Bay Beach enjoy the beautiful hike from Friar’s Bay Beach because of the gorgeous natural surroundings, the path to Happy Bay Beach is a narrow pathway that is marked by orange arrows, the terrain on the pathway is easy to walk across. The hike to Happy Bay Beach is definitely worth the trip, this is one of the most picturesque and iconic hikes on the entire island of Saint Martin.

What is the location of Happy Bay Beach in Saint Martin?

Happy Bay Beach is located on the north-western shore of St. Martin near the famous town of Grand Case. The coordinates of Happy Bay Beach are 18.0992° N, 63.0732° W. Happy Bay Beach is about a 21-minute drive away from Princess Juliana International Airport.

How to go to Happy Bay Beach?

When traveling to Happy Bay Beach it is important to note that there is no immediate road access to Happy Bay Beach. Happy Bay Beach is a secluded beach that can only be reached by taking a 10 to 15-minute hike from Friar’s Bay Beach. This is one of the most scenic hikes on the island that has a narrow pathway that guides you with orange arrows from Friar’s Bay Beach, it is a short hike, and the terrain is quite easy to walk across which makes it accessible for all types of people.

Getting to Happy Bay Beach will require you to first travel to Friar’s Bay Beach. There are many methods of transportation that are available for those who want to travel to Friar’s Bay Beach. The different methods that are available for tourists to travel to Friar’s Bay Beach are listed below.

  1. Taxi: Taxis are readily available throughout Saint Martin and are a form of transportation that a lot of tourists rely on when they visit St. Maarten. Usually, these taxis are vans that can carry up to 10 people. Taxis are especially available at the arrival section of the cruise ship port in Philipsburg, at major hotels on the island as well as at Princess Juliana International Airport. Drivers usually only accept cash in both Euros and U.S Dollars. The prices of each taxi ride can range from $4 to $45 (€3.5 to €40) depending on the distance and timing of your trip to Friar’s Bay Beach. It is important to agree on a rate with the driver before entering the taxi. There are no Lyft or Uber services available on the island of Saint Martin.
  2. Rental Car: Most travelers choose to rent a car during their stay in Saint Martin. This is a good option if you are planning to stay in St. Maarten for an extended time and would like to explore more parts of the island independently, including Friar’s Bay Beach. Renting a car would not be very practical if you are traveling to St. Maarten via cruise ship. Several car rental companies are available for tourists at both Princess Juliana airport in Dutch Sint Maarten and at Grand Case airport in French Saint Martin. These rental car companies usually charge around $30 (€25) per day.
  3. Public Transportation: In Saint Martin, the main method of public transportation is the bus, it is also the cheapest form of transportation on the island with the cost of a one-way ticket ranging from $1 to $3 (€0.86 to €2.50) per person. This is a method of transportation that many tourists rely on during their stay in St. Maarten. The buses in Saint Martin have frequent routes that stop at major cities on the island including areas near Friar’s Bay Beach such as Grand Case and Marigot. From these locations, it is possible to take a taxi to Friar’s Bay Beach. Each bus has an identifying marker that states the driver’s route which is usually a sign in the front window that indicates the starting and ending point of the route. Tourists disembarking their cruise ship at the port in Philipsburg can walk for approximately 10 minutes to the center of Phillipsburg to catch a bus to either the towns of Grand Case or Marigot, these buses pass by every 15 minutes or so. The ride to Grand Case or Marigot from the center of Phillipsburg is about 30 to 40 minutes one way. The same route should be followed on your way back to the cruise ship port from either Grand Case or Marigot. Make sure to leave plenty of time for travel to board the cruise ship before its departure if you are traveling to St. Maarten via cruise ship.

Is it possible to walk to Happy Bay Beach from Friars Bay?

Yes, it is very common for people to walk to Happy Bay Beach from Friar’s Bay Beach. The walk from Friar’s Bay is a short 10 to 15-minute walk over easy terrain. If you walk to the northern side of the beach by Kali’s Beach Bar and Friar’s Bay Beach Bar you will see a path that is marked by orange arrows that point the way to Happy Bay Beach. Once you arrive at Happy Bay Beach you will see a sign that designates you’ve arrived. This short hike is very scenic, many people who visit Happy Bay Beach love the beautiful surroundings of the hike and feel it enhances their experience.

Is there local transit from the cruise port in Philipsburg to Happy Bay?

No, there is no local transport from Philipsburg to Happy Bay Beach directly. The reason for this is because Happy Bay Beach is secluded and there are no roads that lead to the beach. However, it is possible to take public transport from the cruise ship port in Phillipsburg to one of the nearby towns to Happy Bay such as Grand Case or Marigot, and from there take a taxi to Friar’s Bay Beach which is a short hike away from Happy Bay Beach. Another option would be taking a taxi directly from the cruise ship port in Phillipsburg to Friar’s Bay Beach, this will be about a 30-minute drive and prices can vary depending on what you and the driver agree upon before the trip.

When is the best time to go to Happy Bay?

Tourists can feel free to visit Happy Bay Beach at any time during the day or year. There is no wrong time to visit this beautifully secluded and happy beach that definitely lives up to its name. One reason for this is because Happy Bay Beach is not normally crowded by tourists, so visitors can feel free to visit at any time knowing that they will have plenty of space to themselves to bask in the warm sun and enjoy the waves of the beach. Another reason tourists can visit any time is because the weather in Saint Martin is usually warm and dry throughout the entire year. These are the ideal situations for enjoying a fun day at the beach.

What are the things to do in Happy Bay Beach?

Happy Bay Beach is especially known for its privacy and seclusion, people travel here to get away from the crowds and relax. So, there aren’t many activities available to do on the beach. However, there are certain fun and free activities that many like to do at Happy Bay Beach. Some of the things to do at Happy Bay Beach are listed below.

  1. Snorkeling
  2. Sunbathing
  3. Hiking
  4. Surfing
  5. Boat Tours
  6. Picnic on the Beach

Are there lounge chairs for rent at Happy Bay Beach?

No, there are no lounge chairs available to rent on Happy Bay Beach. A few reasons for this are because Happy Bay Beach requires a 10 to 15-minute hike through natural terrain to reach and there are really no large crowds at this beach. Happy Bay Beach is a place where many tourists go to relax and get away from the crowds. For these reasons, there are no vendors on the beach selling or renting lounge chairs. So it’s best to bring your own chairs and other beach day necessities such as towels, umbrellas, drinks, and snacks.

How to snorkel in Happy Bay Beach?

Since Happy Bay Beach is a very secluded beach with no crowds, there are no vendors on the beach that rent or sell snorkel gear. For this reason, those who wish to snorkel at Happy Bay Beach have to rent or buy their snorkel gear elsewhere and bring it themselves to Happy Bay Beach. The south end of Happy Bay Beach is the most popular spot for snorkeling.

Snorkel gear is available to rent at the nearby Friar’s Bay Beach, at a local scuba shop, or possibly at a local hotel. The cost of snorkeling in St. Martin varies depending on how you decide to acquire the gear needed. Purchasing snorkel gear normally costs between $40 to $110 (€34 to €94) per person, renting snorkel equipment for the week can cost from $18 to $42 (€15 to €36) per person, and renting snorkel gear for a half-day snorkel tour can cost $38 to $160 (€32 to €138) per person. Snorkel gear is available to rent on most hotels and beaches throughout St. Martin.

Is Happy Bay Beach a nude beach?

Yes, Happy bay is one of the most popular nudist beaches on the island of St. Martin. Although Happy Bay beach is not an official nude beach, topless sunbathing and full nudity in certain secluded areas of the beach is something that is commonly seen. This is a gathering place for many of the nude beachgoers on the island of Saint Martin. Some other beaches on the island where nudity is commonly seen are Cupecoy Beach, Orient Bay Beach, Pinel Island, Tintamarre Island, and Petites Cayes.

Is nude sunbathing allowed at Happy Bay Beach?

Yes, nude sunbathing is allowed on Happy Bay Beach. Nude sunbathing is one of the favorite pastimes of many who visit Happy Bay Beach. Although Happy Bay beach is not an official nude beach, there are many beachgoers who like to take advantage of the seclusion of the beach and go without a top or any clothing at all while they soak in the golden rays of the sun.

What are the nightlife activities in Happy Bay Beach?

There isn’t much nightlife at or nearby Happy Bay Beach. This is because Happy Bay Beach is a very private and secluded beach that requires a hike to reach. Happy Bay Beach is also located on the French side of the island of Saint Martin and there are not many nightlife activities such as clubs, bars, and casinos on this side of the island.

The French side of St. Martin is known for its calm and serene atmosphere, many people who enjoy the nightlife go to the Dutch side of St. Maarten. On the Dutch side of St. Maarten, there are many more casinos, bars, restaurants, beach parties, and nightclubs.

Is Happy Bay Beach safe to visit?

Yes, Happy Bay Beach is quite a safe place to visit. In order to reach Happy Bay Beach, there is a short hike from Friar’s Bay Beach down a narrow pathway with stones, so it is important to watch your step as you venture down the path. However, the trail to Happy Bay Beach is over easy terrain and the hike is only 10 to 15 minutes. Saint Martin as an island is a very safe place to visit there is not much crime on the island at all.

Did Hurricane Irma affect Happy Bay Beach?

Yes, Happy bay beach was affected by Hurricane Irma. The entire island of St. Martin was heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma in 2017, including Happy Bay Beach. Many noticed that the lush vegetation that surrounded Happy Bay Beach was blown away by the storm and the spots many people relied on for shade from the sun were destroyed. The path from Friar’s Bay Beach to Happy Bay Beach was not badly affected. Happy Bay Beach has since been rebuilt and restored since this devastating storm.

What are the best places that are located in Happy Bay?

Happy Bay Beach is a hidden beach off of Friar’s Bay Beach, there are no places such as restaurants, hotels, and malls right on Happy Bay Beach. However, there are places nearby that tourists frequent after or before their trips to Happy Bay Beach. The best places to visit near Happy Bay Beach are listed below.

  1. Friar’s Beach Cafe
  2. Kali’s Beach Bar
  3. Loterie Farm
  4. Friar’s Bay Beach
  5. Grand Case
  6. Marigot
  7. Parrotte Ville
  8. The Butterfly Farm
  9. Minguet Art Gallery
  10. Silk Cotton Grove Art Gallery

What are the best clubs in Happy Bay?

There are no nightclubs at or nearby Happy Bay Beach. Happy Bay Beach is a secluded beach that is located on the French side of St. Martin. The French side of St. Martin is known for being quieter and more serene than its Dutch counterpart, there isn’t much nightlife on the French side of St. Martin. The best clubs in St. Martin are located on the Dutch side of the island.

What are the best restaurants in Happy Bay?

Happy Bay is a secluded beach in St. Martin that doesn’t have any restaurants on the beach. There are, however, restaurants nearby Happy Bay Beach where many tourists frequent and enjoy. Some of these restaurants are even considered the best restaurants in St. Martin. The best restaurants near Happy Bay are listed below.

  1. Friar’s Bay Cafe
  2. Kali’s Beach Bar
  3. Bistrot Caraibes
  4. Gutside Bar & Restaurant
  5. La Villa Restaurant
  6. L’Auberge Gourmande
  7. Le Cottage
  8. Rainbow Cafe

What are the best hotels to stay at in Happy Bay?

There aren’t very many hotels at Happy Bay Beach because the beach is a private beach near Friar’s Bay Beach. The nearest hotels to Happy Bay Beach are in the nearby towns of Grand Case Case and Marigot. Some of these hotels are the best hotels on the entire island of St. Martin. Some of the best hotels near happy bay beach are listed below.

  1. Grand Case Beach Club
  2. Hotel L’Esplanade
  3. Les Temps des Cerises Beach Hotel
  4. Fantastic Hotel
  5. Hevea Hotel

What are the best photos from Happy Bay?

The 10 best photos from Happy Bay are listed, explained and shown below.

  1. Snorkeling
  2. Friar’s Beach
  3. Hiking
  4. Marigot
  5. Ziplining
  6. Picnic on the beach
  7. Sunbathing
  8. Loterie Farm
  9. Minguet Art Gallery
  10.  Boat Tours

Young girl snorkeling in the waters of Happy Bay, Saint Martin

A young girl is snorkeling in the waters of Happy Bay, Saint Martin

Friar’s Beach, Saint Martin

Beautiful scenery at Friar’s Beach, Saint Martin

hiking near Happy Bay Beach in Saint Martin

A beautiful hiking trail near Happy Bay on the island of Saint Martin.

Marigot town, Saint Martin

The town of Marigot, which is the capital city of the French part of Saint Martin island.

ziplining in Saint Martin

People are ziplining on the island of Saint Martin, near Happy Bay Beach.

family having picnic at Happy Bay Beach

A family is having a lovely picnic together at Happy Bay Beach, Saint Martin.

Young woman sunbathing at Happy Bay Beach

A young woman is sunbathing at Happy Bay Beach in Saint Martin.

Nature preserve Loterie Farm, Saint Martin

Beautiful nature preserve Loterie Farm in Saint Martin.

Minguet Art Gallery - The Bay of Grand Case in Saint Martin
© minguet.com

Painting of “The Bay of Grand Case in Saint Martin” which can be seen at the Minguet Art Gallery.

boat tour in happy bay, saint martin

People snorkeling and are enjoying a boat tour in the waters of Happy Bay, Saint Martin.

What are the things to consider at Happy Bay Beach?

There are a few things to consider before visiting Happy Bay Beach. Happy Bay Beach is one of the most popular “clothing optional” beaches on the island of St. Martin. Many nude sunbathers gather at Happy Bay Beach to relax and work on their tan, for this reason, Happy Bay Beach is not the most suitable for families with young children.

Happy Bay Beach is also one of the most popular LGBT+ friendly beaches in St. Martin. Many members of the LGBT+ community gather at Happy Bay Beach to enjoy the lovely surroundings, so much so that Happy Bay Beach is often referred to as “Gay Beach”.

Happy Bay Beach is a small beach that requires a small 10 to 15-minute hike to reach from the nearby beach of Friar’s Bay. Many enjoy the privacy they experience at Happy Bay Beach. There are no vendors at Happy Bay Beach, so it is important to bring your own supplies such as towels, umbrellas, lounge chairs, drinks, and snacks.

Are pets allowed at Happy Bay Beach?

Yes, pets such as dogs and cats are allowed at Happy Bay Beach and on all the beaches in St. Maarten. St. Maarten is a very pet-friendly island.