What are the nude beaches of St. Martin/St. Maarten?

Saint Martin is an island in the Caribbean that is not only known for its beautiful paradisaic conditions but also for being one of the top destinations in the Caribbean for naturists or nudists. There is a very relaxed attitude towards nudity on many of the beaches of St. Maarten. Tourists from all over the world travel to the gorgeous beaches in St. Maarten to bask in the warm rays of the sun and swim in the sparkling blue waters all while being unencumbered by clothing.

The only official nude beach in St. Martin is Orient Bay Beach. This is where the highest concentration of nudists or naturists are on the island. However, there are many different beaches in St. Maarten where topless and nude sunbathing is commonly practiced. The best and most popular nude beaches in St. Martin/St. Maarten will be discussed in this article. The most popular nude beaches in St. Maarten are listed below.

  1. Pinel Island
  2. Petites Cayes
  3. Happy Bay Beach
  4. Orient Bay Beach
  5. Cupecoy Beach
  6. Tintamarre Island

1. Pinel Island

Pinel Island is located right off the northeastern coast of French St. Martin. Pinel Island is a secluded tropical oasis and is a perfect location for those who enjoy nude sunbathing. Pinel Island is only accessible by boat or ferry. The ferry to Pinel Island takes between 5 to 10 minutes and costs approximately $12 (€10) round trip per person.

Pinel Island isn’t technically an official nude beach in St. Martin, but nudity is widely tolerated and practiced on the island. Many tourists take a 10-minute walk to the northern side of Pinel Island where there is a small section of the beach that is more secluded, this is where nudists normally frequent, and full nudity is often practiced. On the southern part of the island full nudity is often discouraged but it is okay to be topless. On the southern end of Pinel Island, two beachside restaurants serve delicious and fresh seafood, you can also rent beach chairs and umbrellas for the day on the southern side of the island.

2. Petites Cayes

Petites Cayes is a 4.5 km (2.7 miles) long beach that is located on the northern French side of St. Martin. Petites Cayes is one of the top hidden beaches in St. Martin and can only be reached by hiking 30 minutes through a narrow and rocky yet beautiful nature preserve. The hike is around 2.5 km (1.5 miles) so it is important to bring sturdy shoes, your own beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, and whatever you find necessary to bring for your beach day since there are no vendors on the beach. The seclusion and natural beauty of Petites Cayes make it a nude sunbathers paradise.

Petites Cayes is not considered an official nude beach on St. Martin. However, this private gem of a beach is a place where many nude sunbathers gather to soak in the rays of the sun and work on their full-body tan. Petites Cayes is never usually crowded during the week or even on the weekends, this makes it a perfect location for those who are looking to relax in privacy. The beautiful hike through the nature preserve and the liberal atmosphere will no doubt make for an unforgettable experience.

3. Happy Bay Beach

Happy Bay Beach is located right outside of the town of Grand Case in French St. Martin. Not only is Happy Bay Beach located next to some of the finest gourmet restaurants on the island, but it is also one of the top “clothing optional” beaches on the entire island of St. Martin. This beach is located within private property but not many know that Happy Bay Beach itself is open to the public, this makes the beach a nude sunbathers secret.

Happy Bay Beach is known for having some of the calmest waters in St. Martin, this makes for a pleasant experience for those who want to take a refreshing dip in the water without any clothing. Happy Bay Beach is not an official nude beach, but it is a beach that is frequented by many who enjoy swimming and lounging on the sand without any clothing. This beach is also very popular with the LGBT community and is often referred to as “Gay Beach”. Happy beach definitely lives up to its name and is one of the must-see beaches for all who enjoy nude beaches.

4. Orient Bay Beach

Orient Bay Beach is located on the north-eastern coast of French Saint Martin and is the only official nude beach on the entire island of Saint Martin. At Orient Bay Beach full nudity is expected and even encouraged by all who visit. Orient Bay Beach is a little under 1.5 km (1 mile) in length, the length of the beach leads to it never being fully crowded, there is plenty of space for each nude beachgoer to spread out and enjoy the beauty of the sun and sand unencumbered by clothing.

Orient Bay Beach is home to the popular “Club Orient” which is a naturist resort for nude beachgoers. Club Orient is located on the southern end of Orient Bay Beach and is where most of the nudists gather.  Chairs and umbrellas are available to rent throughout the length of the beach, there are also many amazing restaurants along the beach. Orient Bay Beach is one of the most popular beaches not just in St. Martin but in the entire Caribbean. Many from all over the world come to visit this famous beach and experience what it's like to swim and lounge in the sun without any clothing.

5. Cupecoy Beach

Cupecoy Beach is located on the southwestern shore of St. Maarten on the Dutch side of the island. Cupecoy Beach is one of the few beaches on the Dutch side of St. Maarten where nudity is tolerated on a grander scale. Cupecoy Beach is located near a part of St. Maarten where there are many cliffsides, Cupecoy Beach itself is made up of many different small and secluded beaches that are situated under these cliffs.

Many people who visit Cupecoy Beach feel as if they are the only one on the beach, it is rare to see another person on the same beach. You can even go an entire day without seeing any other people. Although Cupecoy Beach is not an official nude beach, the seclusion of all of the beaches that make Cupecoy beach leads to many people feeling comfortable to sunbathe topless or in the buff. At Cupecoy Beach it is important to remember to bring your own necessary items for the beach such as towels, chairs, umbrellas, etc because there are no vendors on any of the beaches. Entry onto Cupecoy Beach is free.

6. Tintamarre Island

Tintamarre Island is a remote and uninhabited island located about 4 km (2.5 miles) off of the north-eastern shore of French St. Martin. Tintamarre island is about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) long and is a popular tourist attraction for nude beachgoers because of the privacy that the island offers.

Tintamarre island is not an official nude beach but it is a prime location for those who are looking to have a private beach experience while being either topless or completely nude. To reach the island you will need to schedule a boat tour in advance. Usually, these tours cost around $130 (€114) per person. The rugged red cliffs, sparkling blue waters, and the free atmosphere of Tintamarre island will be something all nude beachgoers who visit will never forget.

Which side of St. Maarten has the most nude beaches?

The French side of St. Maarten has the most nude beaches. The reason for this is that the nude beaches on the French side of the island are more private and secluded. French Saint Martin is also heavily influenced by the culture of France and is very laid back and easy-going when it comes to nudity. Many of the beaches in French Saint Martin are reminiscent of the beaches in southern France where nudity is common.

What are the rules about nudism at the beaches in St. Martin?

There is only one official nude beach in St. Martin and that is Orient Bay Beach. On this beach, it is possible to be fully in the nude when enjoying the beach. Certain other beaches in St. Martin are considered “clothing optional”. At these “clothing optional” beaches, being topless or nude is practiced and tolerated in good taste. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and if you wish to be in the nude and to be in a secluded area of the beach where you will be away from families and others that are more clothed.

At “clothing optional” beaches there is a certain etiquette that all beachgoers are expected to follow. It is important to make sure you don’t stare or point at nude beachgoers or take photographs of them while they are relaxing on the beach, this is considered rude behavior. If you intentionally visit an official nude beach such as Orient Bay Beach it is important that you fully commit and undress rather quickly, as this is the point after all of the beach being officially declared a nude beach. Being fully clothed at an official “nude beach” is considered rude behavior and would no doubt turn some heads.

Is nude sunbathing allowed on the beaches in St. Martin?

Yes, nude sunbathing is allowed on most of the beaches in St. Maarten. Nude sunbathing is one of the very popular things to do in St. Maarten and is most common on beaches on the French side of the island. This is because of the laid-back atmosphere that exists on that side which has been inspired by European culture. There are certain beaches on the island that attract more tourists and are considered more family-friendly where nudity is discouraged. Some of these beaches are Friar’s Bay Beach, Maho Beach, Mullet Bay Beach, and Dawn Beach.

Are there nude cruise tours in St. Maarten?

Yes, there are nude cruise tours in St. Maarten that are available for tourists to take. Certain cruise tours offer a “clothing optional” boat tour that cruises around the entire island of St. Maarten and stops at various beaches and coral reefs. One of these nude cruise tours is called “The Captain Alan Clothing Optional Tour”. This tour takes you to different locations such as Creole Rock, Peggy’s Reef, Cupecoy Beach, and Happy Bay. Those who take this tour can take in the magnificent views, go snorkeling, enjoy a delicious lunch, and have a fun day in the sun all while being unencumbered by clothing.

Are there beaches for families in St. Martin?

Yes, many beaches are suitable for families in St. Maarten. Most of the family-friendly beaches exist on the Dutch side of the island, most of the beaches on this side discourage nudity and you are less likely to see nude sunbathers on the beach. Some of the family-friendly beaches in St. Maarten are listed below.

  1. Mullet Bay Beach
  2. Friar’s Bay Beach
  3. Dawn Beach
Last Updated on December 31, 2021