One of my family’s favorite parts of our Caribbean cruise was a visit to the famous Maho Beach on the island of St. Martin. It is easy to visit and be closer than you can imagine to large and small planes as they take off and land. Maho beach is located on the Dutch side of the island. To learn more about how to spend your time on this wonderful Caribbean Island, be sure to read How to Make the Most of a Cruise Stop in St. Martin. Here are my tips for visiting Airport Beach in Sint Maarten.
What to Expect at Maho Beach:
Airplane Beach is a public beach located across a small two lane street at the end of the Sint Maarten International Airport’s runway. You can rent beach chairs and sit on beach, swim in the water or enjoy a meal at Sunset Bar while small and large aircraft land over you, often being within a hundred feet of the bottom of the aircraft.
Sunset Beach Bar
This bar overlooks the beach and is a perfect place to relax and watch the planes land. It has a pool, music and tables overlooking the water. Best of all, it has an arrival and departure board, so you know when to expect the planes. It even tells you where the plane is coming from!
How long should I plan to spend at Airport Beach?
I could spend all day watching the planes take off and land. But this beach is crowded… and the planes are loud… and the music is loud… and jet fuel is being dumped in the water. Obviously, it is up to your preferences, but a few hours was more than enough for my family.
When should I arrive?
The international flights are the most interesting to watch and they don’t start coming in until 1 pm. The beach and bar will be much less crowded earlier and you can catch smaller airplanes.
Is it safe?
I can’t say that I felt it was totally safe. The planes are landing really close to where crowds are congregated. But the world isn’t totally safe and, I think, it is a waste to let this stop us. My best friend died when he was 30 in a motorcyle accident. The year before he had dropped out of the police academy because he thought the job would be too dangerous. Now don’t get me wrong, I take every precaution to stay safe, but still live my life.
Why should this be on my bucket list?
This experience is so cool. In a beautiful location, you will be so close to huge planes and the experience will stay with you. My kids loved it! 747 are already not landing here anymore and rumors constantly circulate about this beach being closed, so get here before its too late!
Be sure to check out all of my articles about the Caribbean.