At once French and Dutch, lively and laid-back, graced with pretty beaches and rising to palm-studded hilltops, famed for its shopping and sweet guavaberry rums, seaside beach bars and casino-lead nightlife, there are many sides to little St. Martin.
It’s hardly a wonder that so many cruise ships opt to drift into the harbours of Marigot and Philipsburg on their way through the currents of the region.
It means a whole host of things to do and see for travelers, from lofty lookout points with sweeping views across to Anguilla to beautiful sands on Orient Bay.
There are also opportunities to hit the jet skis and see multi-coloured butterflies, to sail across to untrodden islands and unravel the history of colonial conflicts between The Netherlands and Spanish sailors, to talk to macaws and see bearded monkeys, finishing off with a medley of tasty rums and haute foods courtesy of the Parisian influence.
Here are the best things to do in St. Martin:
1. Enjoy the views from Fort Louis
While there’s not much left of the historic bulwarks and towers of the French colonists who once commanded the ports and straits over Marigot Bay, it’s still worth making the trek up the winding paths that start at the end of Rue du Fort Saint Louis to see this crumbling historic site.
One of the largest forts on the island, Louis was once the site of armed battles between the major European powers of the Caribbean, and today some rusting cannons can still be seen peppering the lookouts.
But it’s the panoramas that really draw the crowds, sweeping out for 180-degrees across Marigot harbour and the hills above Bellevue, encompassing the deep-blue ocean and even the silhouette of Anguilla Island in the distance when the skies are clear!