Sint Maarten Simpson Bay Guide

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Simpson Bay is a picturesque fishing village that is located on the southwestern coast of St. Maarten on the Dutch side of the island near Princess Juliana International Airport. Simpson Bay is one of the longest beaches on the coast of St. Maarten spanning 4.48 km (2.78 miles). Simpson Bay is considered to be an entertainment hub on the island of Sint Maarten, it is one of the most populated areas on the island and is very popular among tourists because of all of the incredible tourist attractions such as beaches, casinos, fine restaurants, nightclubs, bars, water sports, shopping and more.

Simpson Bay is a town that holds a lot of history on the island of Sint Maarten. Before Simpson Bay was considered one of the top tourist attractions on the island it was home to the island’s fisherman who used to make their living fishing in the Simpson Bay Lagoon. The fishing that took place decades ago was once a main source of commerce for Simpson Bay as well as the entire island of Saint Martin. Nowadays, although St. Maarten’s economy is centered around tourism there is still a lot of fishing that takes place in Simpson Bay along in the surrounding waters of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Simpson Bay is the perfect tourist destination for all who are looking for an unforgettable vacation. Many amazing beaches, spas, restaurants, and clubs are within walking distance of many of the resorts in Simpson Bay. Those traveling with their family, significant other, or friends will find that Simpson Bay can satisfy all of their needs while on vacation. Whether tourists are looking for an action-packed vacation or a relaxing getaway, Simpson Bay is the perfect spot to enjoy it all.

Where is Simpson Bay?

Simpson Bay is located on the southwestern coast of St. Maarten on the Dutch side of the island. Simpson Bay is located approximately 4 minutes or 1.6 km (1 mile) away from Princess Juliana International Airport. The coordinates for Simpson Bay are 18.0386° N, 63.1163° W.

Is Simpson Bay on the Dutch or French side of St. Martin?

Simpson Bay is located on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten.

Is Simpson Bay close to the airport?

Yes, Simpson Bay is located very close to Princess Juliana International Airport, which is the main airport on the island of St. Maarten. Simpson Bay is located approximately 4 minutes or 1.6 km (1 mile) away from Princess Juliana International Airport.

Simpson Bay is located approximately 30 minutes or 16.4 km (10.19 miles) away from Grand Case-Espérance Airport, which is a local airport located in the town of Grand Case on the French side of Saint Martin.

How to go to Simpson Bay?

Simpson Bay is one of the most heavily visited towns by tourists on the entire island of Saint Martin. It is quite easy to visit the town of Simpson Bay from any point on the island of St. Maarten through several different transportation methods such as a rental car, public transportation, or taxis. Whether visitors are coming to St. Martin via cruise ship or are planning on staying for an extended time on the island there are many options for transportation available. The different transportation options available to travel to Simpson Bay are listed and explained below.

  1. Rental car: Many 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 Simpson Bay. 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. The ride to Simpson Bay should take about 40 minutes at most from any point on the island of St. Maarten.
  2. 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 Simpson Bay. 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.
  3. Public Transportation: The main method of public transportation in Saint Martin 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 Simpson Bay and towns nearby. 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” this bus route passes Simpson Bay, this trip will take around 20 minutes. These buses from Philipsburg pass by every 15 minutes or so. The same route should be followed on your way back to the cruise ship port from Simpson Bay. 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.

When should you go to Simpson Bay?

The best time to go to Simpson Bay is during the months of May and June. The reason for this is because there are more hours of sunshine, less chance of rain, and the weather is not too hot and is usually around 82°F (27°C) during these months. However, St. Maarten as an island has a tropical climate and is generally a nice place to visit at all times of the year.

What are the facts about Simpson Bay?

Simpson Bay is one of the most popular towns on the entire island of St. Maarten. This town is full of history as well as exciting activities for tourists to do. There are many interesting facts about Simpson Bay that are good for tourists to know before they visit. Different interesting facts about Simpson Bay are listed below.

  1. Simpson Bay is known as the entertainment epicenter of the entire island of Saint Martin. There are exciting activities for all types of people who visit to do such as going to nightclubs, bars, fine restaurants, casinos, spas, beaches, and trying out water sports such as snorkeling, jet-skiing, banana boating, and more. Many of the exciting things to do and places to visit are within walking distance from many of the resorts in Simpson Bay, this makes Simpson Bay the perfect location to stay in Sint Maarten to enjoy all the action.
  2. Two of the most famous beaches in Simpson Bay are Simpson Bay Beach and Kim Sha Beach. Both Simpson Bay Beach and Kim Sha Beach are known for being beaches full of action-packed activities such as jet skiing, banana boating, parasailing, snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving, surfing, and more. Simpson Bay Beach is one of the longest beaches on the coasts of St. Maarten and has a length of 4.48 km (2.78 miles).
  3. The Simpson Bay Lagoon is an inland lagoon that is 12 square miles (3 square meters) and is one of the largest lagoons in the entire Caribbean. The Simpson Bay Lagoon is connected to the Caribbean Sea by two small channels that are under lift bridges. One lift bridge called the Sandy Ground Bridge is on the north-western side of the lagoon and flows into Baie Nettlé Saint Martin, the other lift bridge is called the Simpson Bay Bridge and is located on the south-eastern side of the lagoon and flows into Simpson Bay in Sint Maarten. This drawbridge usually opens around 6 times per day to allow yachts and other boats to enter and leave the lagoon. The French/Dutch border runs across the center of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.
  4. Decades ago, Simpson Bay was considered a fisherman’s village in St. Maarten. Many fishermen lived, worked, and sold their catches in markets along the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Fishing was at one time the main form of commerce in Simpson Bay. Although tourism is now the main source of commerce for Simpson Bay, many tourists enjoy fishing on and taking tours of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.
  5. The Simpson Bay Lagoon generates 12.5% of the commerce in Saint Martin. The Simpson Bay Lagoon is a hotspot for sailboats and mega yachts because the lagoon has calm waters which makes it a safe location for sea vessels that need repairs and protection from hurricanes. Many tourists enjoy taking fishing, yacht, and mega boat tours in the Simpson Bay Lagoon.  Along the Simpson Bay Lagoon is a marina with 122 docks owned by different businesses that offer fun activities for visitors to do on the lagoon.

How is the weather in Simpson Bay?

The weather in Simpson Bay is warm and sunny and has very little variation throughout the year. The temperatures in Simpson Bay range from around 28°C to 31°C (82°F to 88°F) throughout the year. The warmest months of the year in Simpson Bay are the months of July, August, and September. The temperatures during these months are usually around 31.6°C (88°F). The coldest months in Simpson Bay during the year are January and February the average temperature during these months is 25°C (77°F).

The months with the most rainfall in Simpson Bay are September and October, the average rainfall during these months is 13.2 cm (5.2 inches). The months with the least rainfall are March and February, the average rainfall during these months is 4.3 cm (1.7 inches). Simpson Bay has an above-average amount of humidity throughout the year, the least humid month is March with 62.5% humidity and the month with the most humidity is October with 68.2% humidity.

The level of wind in Simpson Bay is relatively moderate and can be considered a gentle breeze. The windiest months in Simpson Bay are July, August, and January with an average wind speed of around 10.1 knots (11.6 mph). The sunniest month in Simpson Bay is the month of August with 14 hours of sunshine per day. St. Maarten has a tropical climate, so it is sunny and warm throughout the year, which makes it a great place for tourists to visit at any time of the year.

Do hurricanes affect Simpson Bay?

Yes, Simpson Bay has suffered extensive damage from many hurricanes that have hit St. Maarten in the past and in recent years such as “Hurricane Irma” (September 2017) and “Hurricane Maria” (September 2017). There was a lot of damage that resulted from both hurricanes in Simpson Bay including damage to the local hotels, restaurants, businesses, homes of the locals, and the boats and the marina along the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Many buildings in Simpson Bay had their roofs blown off by the rough winds of the storm, the water and power only functioned sporadically across the town and the famous Simpson Bay Resort was extensively damaged.

Since both of these hurricanes occurred in Simpson Bay there have been successful efforts to restore the town of Simpson Bay. Most of the restaurants and hotels that were damaged have been reopened and tourists are once again lounging on the beaches of Simpson Bay.

How safe is Simpson Bay?

Simpson Bay is a safe area to visit in St. Maarten. Simpson Bay is considered by many as a safe area because of the low crime rate in the area. There have not been many crimes reported in Simpson Bay except for cases of “petty theft”. As when traveling to any other tourist destination, safety precautions should be taken such as being aware of your surroundings, traveling in groups, and traveling around the island with a minimum amount of jewelry, cash, and other valuables.

Simpson Bay is a well-lit and highly populated city in a residential area that has streets that are lined with retail shops, restaurants, bars, casinos, and more. Even families with young children who visit Simpson Bay feel safe. Simpson Bay has a police station near the Simpson Bay Bridge that is usually not very active.

What are the things to do in Simpson Bay?

The best things to do in Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten are listed below.

  1. Visit Simpson Bay Beach: Have a fun day in the sun at one of the longest and most popular beaches in St. Maarten. Tourists have the option of having either a relaxing day at the beach, an action-packed day full of activity or a mixture of both. There are also amazing restaurants and nightclubs along Simpson Bay Beach.
  2. Visit Kim Sha Beach: Enjoy the various water sports that are available at this popular and action-packed beach such as snorkeling, banana boating, jet skiing, and more.
  3. Visit the Hollywood Casino: Have a thrilling evening at this charming casino which features a full range of table games and the latest and best slot machines.
  4. Eat at the Palapa Lounge & Grill: Enjoy the experience of dining at one of the most exquisite restaurants in Saint Martin. Some of their many delicious dishes are the prime Angus rib eye and the lobster pasta.
  5. Sail the Simpson Bay Lagoon: Soak in the gorgeous sunset while sailing or fishing on a yacht on this famous lagoon.
  6. Take a tour of Topper’s Rhum Distillery: Explore learning about the process of how rum is made and enjoy a variety of flavors of locally made rum with friends and family.
  7. Relax at the Vita Flora Body Spa: Enjoy this lovely spa and melt the stress of the day away with their many relaxing treatments and massages.
  8. Visit the Carousel Gelateria & Bar: Enjoy the various flavors of gelato at the Carousel Gelateria & Bar. A great place for families with young kids.
  9. Visit the Soggy Dollar Bar: Dance the night away at this exciting nightclub with DJs playing the latest lively tunes.
  10.  Visit the Simpson Bay Market: Explore different cuisines, fresh seafood, and produce at The Simpson Bay Market, which is located on the waterfront next to the Simpson Bay Bridge.

Is Simpson Bay good for fishing?

Yes, Simpson Bay is one of the best spots on the island of St. Maarten for fishing. Many different kinds of fish can be caught in Simpson Bay such as tuna, mahi-mahi, barracuda, and marlin. Locals and tourists can fish in Simpson Bay at any time of the year. Residents of St. Maarten do not need a fishing license for recreational fishing on the island of St. Maarten. Tourists can go fishing if they are using a service or tour that has a legal fishing charter with the proper permitting.

Decades ago, Simpson Bay was home to the island’s fisherman and was the main source of commerce for the town of Simpson Bay and also one of the main sources of income for the island of St. Maarten. Although the main source of commerce for Simpson Bay is now tourism, fishing is still one of the activities that many locals and tourists like to participate in when visiting Simpson Bay. There are many deep sea fishing tours such as “Coconut Reef Powerboat Tours” and “Billy Bones Fishing Charters” that are available to tourists to take that cost around $1,000 (€898) for a group of 2 people for a duration of 8 hours.

In Simpson Bay, there is a popular market called the “Simpson Bay Market” that is located on the waterfront next to the Simpson Bay Bridge. This market was founded by the local fisherman of Simpson Bay as a place to sell their fresh catches of fish. There are also a plethora of restaurants and eateries that feature local seafood that are in the Simpson Bay Market as well that make it a very popular tourist destination.

How to snorkel in Simpson Bay?

Snorkeling is one of the most popular and exciting activities that people of all ages can enjoy in Saint Martin. Simpson Bay offers many opportunities for vacationers to snorkel and enjoy viewing and interacting with colorful undersea life. The popular beaches for snorkeling in Simpson Bay are Simpson Bay Beach and Kim Sha Beach.

Snorkel equipment can be rented either directly on these beaches in Simpson Bay or at a local scuba shop or hotel. The prices of snorkeling gear can vary 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. There are also snorkeling tours that are available for tourists to take such as “Coconut Reef Fishing & Snorkeling Tours” and “Tropical Catamaran Snorkeling” that cost around $135 (€121) per person.

A popular snorkeling spot in Simpson Bay is called “Simpson Bay’s Wreck” this is located at the western end of Simpson Bay Beach just before the entrance of the Simpson Bay Marina. Simpson Bay’s Wreck is a wrecked boat that has become an artificial reef and habitat for a variety of reef fish, corals, sea sponges, gorgonians, and other interesting organisms. It is important for those snorkeling at Simpson Bay’s Wreck to Snorkel close to the wreck.

Are there any shopping centers in Simpson Bay?

Yes, there are a variety of shopping centers that are located in Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten. Some of the most popular shopping centers in Simpson Bay are listed below.

  1. Paradise Mall
  2. Sunrise Gift Shop
  3. Simpson Bay Fish Market
  4. En Vogue
  5. The Point
  6. Shipwreck Shop

The shopping centers listed above are some of the most popular shopping centers in Sint Maarten. Places such as the Paradise Mall, En Vogue, and The Point are the perfect places to buy clothing that is the latest in island fashion. The Shipwreck shop and the Sunrise Giftshop are wonderful places where tourists can either buy souvenirs for themselves or for their loved ones, in order to remember their lovely trip to St. Maarten. The Simpson Bay Fish Market is a bustling place where tourists can buy delicious fresh seafood and other locally harvested goods.

What are the best places to visit in Simpson Bay?

Simpson Bay has a lot to offer tourists who visit. There are many exciting as well as relaxing places that visitors can enjoy that will make them plan their trip to return to the lovely island of St. Maarten. The best places to visit in Simpson Bay are listed below.

  1. Simpson Bay Beach
  2. Kim Sha Beach
  3. Hollywood Casino
  4. Simpson Bay Lagoon
  5. Visit Topper’s Rhum Distillery
  6. Soggy Dollar Bar
  7. Carousel Gelateria & Bar
  8. Palapa Grill & Lounge
  9. The Art Box Gallery
  10.  Pete’s village

What are the best clubs in Simpson Bay?

Simpson Bay is one of the hustling and bustling cities of St. Maarten that many gravitate toward in order to experience the vibrant nightlife of St. Maarten. The best clubs in Simpson Bay are listed below.

  1. The Red Piano Lounge
  2. Lotus nightclub
  3. X Lounge
  4. The Q Lounge
  5. Rusty Rocket Rum & Reggae Bar
  6. Mykonos
  7. Nowhere Special
  8. Bar Bamboo
  9. Pink Iguana
  10. The Refuge

The nightclubs listed above can be considered some of the best clubs on the entire island of St. Maarten. These clubs are known for their incredible and lively nighttime scene that includes music, dancing, and delicious drinks. Some of the most popular drinks that can be had at these clubs are Guavaberry Coladas, Mojitos, Cuba Librés, Dark and Stormys, and Piña coladas.

How is the nightlife in Simpson Bay?

Simpson Bay is one of the best places tourists can go to experience the thrilling nightlife that St. Martin has to offer. Simpson Bay is often considered the epicenter of entertainment on the island of St. Maarten. The streets of Simpson Bay are lined with fine restaurants, casinos, nightclubs, bars, and more. Some of the annual festivals and beach celebrations are held in Simpson Bay. Simpson Bay is definitely the spot to be for all who want to experience a thrilling time that they’ll never forget while visiting Sint Maarten.

What are the best restaurants in Simpson Bay?

There are many amazing restaurants to eat at when traveling to Simpson Bay. Some of the restaurants in Simpson Bay are considered the best restaurants on the island of St. Maarten. The best restaurants in Simpson Bay are listed below.

  1. The Palapa Grill
  2. The Boon Beach
  3. The Palms
  4. Lagoonies Bistro & Bar
  5. Jai’s Contemporary Indian Cuisine
  6. Mandarin Pan Asian & Sushi
  7. Pollos Hermanos
  8. Nowhere Special
  9. Pineapple Pete
  10.  Avantika

There are many amazing dishes that are offered at each of the delicious restaurants in Simpson Bay that are listed above. Delicious meals such as lobster pasta, mango salad, certified Angus ribeye, sushi, and pan-seared duck breast are a few of the dishes that can be ordered at several of these fantastic restaurants.

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

There are many fabulous hotels all over the island of St. Martin. Some of the best hotels in Saint Martin are located in Simpson Bay. The best hotels in Simpson Bay are listed below.

  1. The Morgan Resort Spa & Village
  2. Simpson Bay Resort & Marina
  3. The Villas at Simpson Bay Beach Resort & Marina
  4. Villa Bianca

What are the best photos from Simpson Bay?

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

  1. Simpson Bay Lagoon
  2. Hollywood casino
  3. Simpson Bay Beach
  4. Kim Sha Beach
  5. Snorkeling
  6. Boat Tour
  7. Carousel Gelateria & Bar
  8. Surfing
  9. Simpson Bay Resort Marina & Spa
  10. Fishing

Simpson Bay lagoon

Beautiful aerial view of the Simpson Bay Lagoon in Sint Maarten.

Hollywood Casino
©hollywoodcasino.info

The Hollywood Casino at night which is located in Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten.

Simpson Bay Beach

Stunning view over Simpson Bay Beach, Sint Maarten.

Kimsha Beach, Sint Maarten

Wonderful panorama view at Kimsha Beach, Sint Maarten.

Girl snorkeling at the waters of Simpson Bay

Girl snorkeling at the amazing waters of Simpson Bay, St. Maarten.

Group of friends on sailing boat in Simpson Bay

Group of friends are enjoying a boat tour in the waters around Simpson Bay, St. Maarten.

Carousel Gelateria & Bar
@facebook.com/carouselsxm

They are rebuilding the Carousel Gelateria & Bar after the devastating Hurricane Irma destroyed a big part of the island of Sint Maarten in September 2017.

Standing group of surfboards at Simpson Bay Beach

Standing group of surfboards at Simpson Bay Beach, St. Maarten.

Simpson Bay Resort Marina & Spa
©simpsonbayresort.com

The amazing Simpson Bay Resort Marina & Spa is also located in the Simpson Bay area in Sint Maarten.

Row of deep sea rods on a boat near Simpson Bay

Row of deep sea rods on a fishing boat in the waters of Simpson Bay, St. Maarten.

What are certain things to consider when visiting Simpson Bay?

When traveling to Simpson Bay there are certain things to consider. Things to consider when visiting Simpson Bay Beach are listed below.

  1. Simpson Bay is a highly populated area in Sint Maarten that is known for being a family-friendly place, the beaches in Simpson Bay are not considered “clothing-optional” so if tourists are looking for a nude beach it is best to head elsewhere on the island.
  2. Simpson Bay is a great location on Saint Martin to enjoy everything from a short distance away. Many of the resorts are located within walking distance of major tourist attractions.
  3. The prime form of currency in Simpson Bay is the Antillean Guilder or Florin which is the currency of the Netherlands. The U.S. Dollar and credit cards are also widely accepted at most establishments. There are many ATMs available as well as currency exchange offices and banks in Simpson Bay.

Are pets allowed in Simpson Bay?

Yes, Simpson Bay is very pet friendly. Pets are allowed in Simpson Bay in many hotels and even restaurants. There are also many pet-friendly activities available for dog owners and their pets to do in Simpson Bay such as playing fetch on the beach, going on hikes, and more.

The entire island of St. Maarten is generally pet-friendly. In order for your pet to be allowed in St. Maarten, it must be at least 13 weeks of age and be vaccinated against Hepatitis, Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, and Leptospirosis.  If you are traveling with a cat, it needs to be vaccinated against Feline Leukaemia, Feline Calicivirus, Feline Rhinotracheitis, Feline Pneumonitis, and Feline Panleukopenia.