Sint Maarten Maho Beach Guide

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Maho beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island of St. Maarten. Maho beach is situated on the western shore of St. Maarten, this beach is not only known for its gorgeous sunsets, white powdery sand, crystal blue water, and colorful coral reef but for being situated at the western end of the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport. This beach provides tourists with the exhilarating experience of seeing airplanes landing and taking off only a few yards above their heads. Maho Beach is indeed one of the most unique beaches in the entire world.

Maho Beach is a relatively small beach in St. Maarten that is very popular with planespotters, photographers, and anyone looking for a thrilling experience. Along with watching jets and airplanes land and take off, Maho beach and the surrounding town have many wonderful activities for tourists to enjoy such as going to nightclubs, casinos, restaurants, bars, hotels, shopping centers, and more. Maho Beach is also known for being one of the best vantage points on the island of St. Maarten to catch a gorgeous sunset. A far cry from the more quiet and serene beaches in St. Maarten, Maho Beach is no doubt one of the most exhilarating experiences to be had in St. Maarten.

Where is Maho Beach?

Maho beach is located on the western shore of St. Maarten, on the Dutch side of the island and is famous for being in close proximity to Princess Juliana International Airport. Maho beach is located at the following coordinates: 18.0401° N, 63.1209° W.

Which side of St. Maarten is Maho Beach on, Sint Maarten or Saint Martin?

Maho Beach is located in Sint Maarten on the Dutch side of the island. Maho Beach is located close to Princess Juliana International Airport. The Dutch side of Sint Maarten is known for attracting more tourists throughout the year than French Saint Martin. There are many exciting things to do in Sint Maarten (Dutch) such as visiting clubs, enjoying the beaches, dining at fine restaurants, visiting casinos, duty-free shopping, and more.

How to go to Maho Beach?

There are a few different ways to get to Maho Beach, some of those ways are by taxi, renting a car, or by public transport. Since Maho Beach is a popular tourist attraction it is very easy to get there from any location on the island of St. Maarten. Many who visit Maho Beach are coming from the cruise port in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten. Whether you are disembarking a cruise boat or staying at one of the local hotels for an extended time on St. Maarten there are different methods of transportation that can be accessed to get to Maho Beach.  The different methods that can be used to get to Maho 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 Maho 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. 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 Maho 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 Maho Beach. Buses to Maho Beach pass by every 15 minutes or so. The ride to Maho Beach from the center of Phillipsburg is 30 minutes back and forth. The same route should be followed on your way back to the cruise ship port from Maho Beach. 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.
  3. Renting a 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 Maho 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.

When should you go to Maho Beach?

The best time to visit Maho Beach is early in the morning or in the evenings. Between the hours of 11 am to 3 pm Maho Beach is very crowded with many tourists coming from various cruise ships. After 4 pm many of the tourists have re-entered their cruise ships and there are fewer crowds and more space to watch the planes land and take off against the backdrop of a lovely sunset.

Due to the tropical climate that exists in Saint Martin throughout the year, Maho Beach is a tourist hotspot at all times of the year. Many tourists prefer to travel here during the off-season, which is from December to late March because there are fewer tourists on the island in general. It is also possible to find the landing schedules of the planes online to avoid the huge crowds.

What are the facilities in Maho Beach?

There are many facilities and amenities available in Maho Beach and the surrounding town that many tourists find enjoyable. Some of the amenities are access to the beach, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, pavilions to rent for weddings and special occasions. There are also drink vendors and vendors renting kayaking gear, snorkel gear, beach chairs, and umbrellas as well as a beach bar called the Sunset Bar & Grill where tourists can enjoy refreshing food and drink. There are public restrooms located on the western end of the beach that are accessible for all. There is also 0.3 miles (482 meters) of beach available for all to walk along and soak in the sights.

What are the reasons for the popularity of Maho Beach?

Maho Beach is a very popular tourist destination in Sint Maarten and is a unique experience for all who visit. Maho beach is popular for being close to Princess Juliana International Airport and having an amazing vantage point of planes landing and taking off. People from all over the world enjoy the thrilling experience of watching the planes rush by over them while enjoying the beautiful scenery that Maho Beach has to offer. There isn’t anywhere on earth where you can have this exact experience. Maho Beach is popular with plane spotters, photographers, and anyone looking for a thrilling experience.

How close is Maho Beach to Princess Juliana International Airport?

Maho Beach is located approximately 2 min (850.0 meters) away from Princess Juliana International Airport. Maho Beach is within walking distance from Princess Juliana International Airport, the walk is about 15 minutes one way. The airport is in such proximity that the planes sometimes fly around 50 feet over the heads of tourists.

Is Maho Beach safe?

Yes, Maho Beach is considered by many as a safe place to visit and is a popular tourist destination for people of all ages. There have been very few injuries reported at Maho Beach, this is because there are signs and fences placed in front of the runway and other dangerous areas to prevent people from being injured. When the safety precautions are observed correctly Maho Beach can be a safe and fun experience for all who visit.

Have there been any accidents or deaths due to airplanes on Maho Beach?

Yes, over the years some have gotten injured by the sheer force of the planes on Maho Beach. These incidents have mostly been due to tourists exhibiting dangerous behavior such as hanging onto the fence at the end of the runway and not following the caution signs on the beach. It is very important for visitors to Maho Beach to remain in the safe zones marked by signs on the beach and be careful to secure loose items on the beach because the wind from the airplanes and jets could blow them away.  As long as you remain in the safe zones you have nothing to worry about.

Some of the injuries that have occurred at Maho Beach were experienced by two circus performers from Kiev, Ukraine who were balancing on the fence that was prohibited for visitors to enter. This was an extremely dangerous stunt that resulted in injury for these two travelers. Unfortunately, in 2017 there was one death that occurred on Maho Beach, a 57-year-old woman from New Zealand was injured after one of the jet blasts knocked her into concrete in a prohibited area of the beach. She later died at Sint Maarten Medical Center due to complications from the injury.

Do hurricanes affect Maho Beach?

Yes, due to its location in the Caribbean Sea, Maho Beach is often affected by hurricanes. Some of the hurricanes that have hit Maho Beach have been quite devastating and destructive. One of these hurricanes was hurricane Irma in 2017, this hurricane left Maho Beach completely submerged in water and surrounding buildings were destroyed and washed out to sea. Since this time, Maho Beach has been rebuilt and restored to its former glory, so all tourists have an opportunity to visit and enjoy the thrilling sights.

What are the things to do in Maho Beach?

Maho Beach and the surrounding town is one of the top tourist attractions in Sint Maarten with many different activities for visitors to do. Out of all the things to do and see in St. Maarten, visiting Maho Beach is a must. Some of the most popular activities for tourists to participate in at Maho Beach are listed below.

  1. Snorkeling
  2. Windsurfing
  3. Duty-free shopping
  4. Visiting Casinos
  5. Going to Nightclubs
  6. Dining at Restaurants
  7. Taking Pictures of the planes at Maho Beach

Is surfing possible on Maho Beach?

Yes, surfing is possible on Maho Beach, but it is not a popular beach for surfers on the island of St. Maarten. Most people come to Maho Beach to marvel at the planes landing and taking off from the nearby Princess Juliana International Airport and don’t spend too much time here. Maho Beach is relatively a very small and narrow beach with water that is usually quite shallow. The most popular form of surfing on Maho Beach is windsurfing because of the high waves that are created by the jet blasts from aircrafts that fly over the beach.

Are there high waves on Maho Beach?

Yes, occasionally Maho Beach does have moderately high waves because of the wind from the planes that land and take off over the beach from the nearby Princess Juliana International Airport. This makes Maho Beach a popular destination for windsurfers who like to take advantage of the high waves on the beach. The height of the waves at Maho beach averages around 4 ft (Metric).

Is snorkeling possible at Maho Beach?

Yes, snorkeling is possible at Maho Beach. Maho Beach has a very vibrant coral reef where you can see many different types of sea creatures such as schools of fish, sea turtles, stingrays, sea urchins, and more. The water at Maho Beach is very calm and clear so it is easy to see all of the colorful sea life swimming by. Snorkeling equipment can be rented on the beach for $18 to $42(€15 to €36) per person. Snorkeling is an activity that many travel to Maho Beach to enjoy.

What are the places to visit in Maho Beach?

Maho Beach and the surrounding town are some of the top places to see in St. Maarten. There are many places to visit and activities here for tourists to engage in and enjoy. Some of the best places to visit in St. Maarten are listed below.

  1. Casino Royale
  2. Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and Spa
  3. Tortuga Maho
  4. Sunset Bar & Grill
  5. Natural Elements Gift & Speciality Shop
  6. Jewels and Beyond Beach & Specialty shop
  7. J.N. Jewelers Gift & Specialty Shop
  8. Mykonos
  9. WE Lounge
  10.  The Hole in the Wall

Many of the places listed above are some of the top-rated places on the entire island of Saint Martin. These include restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, jewelry stores, and more! All of these places can make your time in St. Maarten a lovely and unforgettable experience.

What are the best clubs in Maho Beach?

The Dutch side of the island is especially known for its amazing nightclubs. Many of the best nightclubs in Sint Maarten are located in Maho Beach. At these nightclubs many enjoy the live entertainment, dancing and meeting new people from all backgrounds. The best clubs in St. Maarten are listed below.

  1. Mykonos
  2. WE Lounge
  3. The Hole in the Wall
  4. 3 Amigos

These nightclubs also provide visitors with deliciously crafted drinks. Some of the best cocktails and alcoholic beverages can be found at the nightclubs in Maho Beach. Many of the drinks served are native to St. Maarten such as the guavaberry colada. All of the nightclubs specialize in providing the exact drink you need for a night full of fun.

How is the nightlife in Maho Beach?

The nightlife in St. Maarten is something that many people travel from all over the world to experience. There are many things to do for all who are looking to explore and have an enjoyable evening. Sint Maarten, especially the Dutch side of the island is known for having a wide array of casinos and nightclubs where you can meet new people, try delicious foods and cocktails, watch live entertainment, and dance the night away. Maho is one of the entertainment hubs of the island and is especially known for having some of the newest and most popular nightclubs on the entire island of St. Maarten.

What are the best restaurants in Maho Beach?

St. Martin is an island that is known for its delicious cuisine. The restaurants in Maho Beach add to the culinary prowess of St. Maarten. The best restaurants in Maho beach are listed below.

  1. The Sunset Bar & Grill
  2. Jax Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar
  3. Tortuga Maho
  4. Spices of India
  5. Moulin Fou

These are some of the most highly rated and best restaurants in all of St. Maarten. They all have gourmet dishes including grilled beef filet mignon with fresh sea scallops in a creamy cognac sauce, mahi-mahi filet, crispy shrimp po boys, and more.

What are the best hotels and resorts to stay in Maho Beach?

Saint Martin is known in the Caribbean as a hospitable and friendly island. This is reflected in the resorts and hotels on the island, especially the ones in Maho Beach. The best hotels and resorts to stay at in Maho Beach are listed below.

  1. Sonesta Ocean Point Resort
  2. Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
  3. Oyster Bay Beach Resort
  4. The Morgan Resort & Spa

These are some of the best hotels on the entire island of St. Maarten. All of the listed make it their aim to accommodate all of their guest’s needs. There are many facilities in the hotels such as casinos, restaurants featuring live entertainment, spas, and more that are located inside the hotels. Many hotels also have airport shuttle services and rent out beach chairs, umbrellas, and snorkel equipment.

What are the best shopping stores in Maho Beach?

St. Maarten is famous all over the world for being entirely duty-free. Some of the best shopping in Saint Martin can be done in Maho Beach.  The best stores in Maho Beach are listed below.

  1. Penha Duty Free St. Maarten at Maho Beach Plaza
  2. Jewels & Beyond
  3. J.N. Jewelers
  4. My Way Store
  5. Radisson Jewels

Many who visit Maho Beach like to go to these stores because of the fine jewelry that is available to purchase. These stores are some of the most highly rated jewelry stores on the entire island of St. Maarten. There are items of all kinds such as women’s and men’s jewelry. They have items for sale such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, and more!

What are the best photos from Maho Beach?

The 10 best photos from Maho Beach are listed, explained and shown below.

  1. Maho Beach
  2. Sonesta Ocean Point Resort
  3. Sunset Bar and Grill
  4. Mykonos
  5. The Hole in the Wall
  6. Casino Royale
  7. WE Lounge
  8. The Good Life Spa
  9. Princess Juliana Airport
  10. Snorkeling

Airplane flying over Maho Beach in Sint Maarten

A plane flies over the popular Maho Beach in Sint Maarten.

Sonesta Ocean Point Resort - Sint Maarten

The Sonesta Ocean Point Resort & Spa, one of the most popular hotels in Sint Maarten.

Sunset Bar and Grill - Sint Maarten

Tourists get a front-row seat watching the planes fly over Maho Beach at the nearby Sunset Bar & Grill.

Mykonos - Nightclub in Sint Maarten

Mykonos, located in Maho, Sint Maarten is one of the newest and most popular nightclubs on the entire island of Saint Martin.

The Hole in the Wall - Nightclub in Sint Maarten

The Hole in the Wall is one of St. Maarten’s most famous nightclubs and is located in Maho Beach.

Casino Royale - Casino in Saint Martin

Casino Royale, one of the hottest tourist attractions in Sint Maarten and one of the biggest casinos on the island.

WE Lounge - Club in Sint Maarten

The WE Lounge is one of the best places to party and dance the night away in Maho Beach.

The Good Life Spa - Spa in Sint Maarten

The Good Life Spa is located in Maho Beach and is one of the top-rated spas on the island.

Airplane flying over Maho Beach and entering Princess Juliana Airport

A plane lands at Princess International Airport, feet away from Maho Beach.

Boy snorkeling in the waters around Maho Beach in Sint Maarten

Snorkeling and exploring the vibrant coral reef is one of the fun activities tourists can do at Maho beach.

What are the things to consider in Maho Beach?

Maho Beach is an exciting and thrilling destination that many tourists from all over the world come to experience. Some things to consider during your trip to Maho Beach are listed below.

  1. The usual time spent by many people who visit Maho Beach is around 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Maho Beach tends to get crowded in the afternoons due to the passengers from Cruise ships disembarking their cruise terminals from Phillipsburg around that time.
  3. It is very important for visitors to Maho Beach to remain in the safe zones marked by signs on the beach to avoid possible injury/and or death.
  4. Visitors should be careful to secure loose items on the beach because the wind from the airplanes and jets could blow them away.
  5. Electronic devices such as phones, cameras, tablets, etc should be protected or kept in plastic bags to avoid any damage by sand or water that is blown around the beach due to the planes flying overhead.

Is Maho Beach a nudist beach?

No, Maho Beach is not a nudist beach. Maho Beach is considered to be one of the top family-friendly tourist attractions on the island of St. Maarten. Most of the nude beaches in Saint Martin are located on the French side of the island.

Are pets allowed in Maho Beach?

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