Everyone has visited the Caribbean island of St. Maarten/Martin. It is the only island shared by two European countries. St. Maarten/Martin is shared by France and the Netherlands. Whether visited by airplane or cruise ship, St. Maarten/Martin welcomes visitors by the millions. The beaches, the shopping, the wide range of dining choices, and friendly locals put St. Maarten/Martin atop the list of the great Caribbean destinations. While St. Maarten/Martin continues to impressively recover from Hurricane Irma, tourists are beginning to make their way back to the island. Beaches are starting to look beautiful again. More importantly, the duty-free retail stores are opening up one by one. So, what are the driving forces behind St. Maarten/Martin? What is the secret to this island being so resilient and so popular? Most of all, what makes St. Maarten/Martin so unique as opposed to her Caribbean counterparts? It comes down to three great iconic locations.
3) Maho Bay, an aviation fan’s paradise: Every major Caribbean island has a well-run airport. Many of them are fed by air traffic out of U.S. cities including New York, Newark, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Miami. Princess Juliana International Airport is among the great tourism magnets on St. Maarten/Martin. Princess Juliana International Airport is located on the Dutch side, in Maho Bay. Every day, in the height of the afternoon, flights from every major airline are taking off and landing. At Maho Bay, beach goers can’t get enough of the incoming and outgoing air traffic. Cameras are rolling, capturing every aircraft coming and going. The air traffic is experienced each and every passing hour, without warning. Maho Bay has a smorgasbord of hotels along the edge of the beach, facing the airport runway. The airplanes are approximately one hundred feet above the water before touching down. When the airplanes land, beach goers wave hoping the passengers on board wave back. It’s even believed that the ladies on the beach take off their bikini tops off and flash their breasts at the planes. Young women have also been seen mooning the planes while landing. Maho Bay is the place to be. Maho Bay is the welcoming mat for beach goers and aviation fans like.
2) Phillipsburg, the cruise ship capital of the Caribbean: Despite the heavy damage done by Hurricane Irma, the cruise industry is once again running full speed ahead. The cruise ship pier in Phillipsburg is the busiest cruise pier in the Caribbean. It has two long piers. Both piers together accommodate up to nine cruise ships at one time. That includes Royal Caribbean’s massive Oasis, Allure, Harmony of The Seas. Each of these monster vessels hold six thousand guests. Aside from Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class ships, Princess, Disney, Celebrity, and Carnival sail into St. Maarten/Martin on a weekly basis. Just beyond the pier, cruise ship passengers help themselves to a wide assortment of duty-free shops. From clothing, to jewelry, to every day necessities, the Phillipsburg pier is buzzing with activity. It is the gateway to island fun and adventure. Even those staying on island pause to watch the cruise ship action. It is a daily show not to be missed. Phillipsburg provides plenty of people watching and cruise ship watching for everyone. It’s among the great hot spots that St. Maarten/Martin is well-known for. Cruising anytime soon? Phillipsburg is truly an experience that “floats anyone’s boat”.
1) Orient Beach, the nude beach goer’s dream-come-true: Everyone’s been to a nude beach in their lifetime. There’s no need to be bashful. The New Jersey Shore is home to Sandy Hook’s famous Gunnison Beach. Miami Beach is home to Haulover Beach, the nude beach in near the Broward County border. In San Diego, tourists and locals flock to Blacks Beach in nearby La Jolla. On St. Maarten/Martin, tourists (including cruise ship passengers), flock to Orient Beach. Orient Beach is approximately twenty minutes from the Phillipsburg cruise ship pier. It is the most famous nude beach in the Caribbean. Orient Beach is viewed as being among the busiest nude beaches in the world. Young adults, couples, and families visit Orient Beach on a daily basis. The ocean is as calm and enjoyable as ever. The salt water cannot be enjoyed more than at Orient Beach. It is where the naturist lifestyle is experienced for the first time. After being coupled up on board, cruise ship passengers don’t mind stripping down, stretching out, and going for a refreshing dip in the ocean. Orient Beach is where sand castles, refreshing Caribbean cocktails, and sun tan lotion paint the perfect picture. Whether playing paddle ball, going snorkeling, or just letting the ocean waves work their magic, Orient Beach provides unique opportunities for everyone. It is the nude beach that provides the warmest of welcomes. The nude beach is one of the healthiest of destinations anyone can appreciate. With body shaming now a thing of the past, Orient Beach is the perfect place to try on that much beloved birthday suit.
St. Maarten/Martin, is the perfect Caribbean getaway, the home to great vacation experiences, and a perfect hideout for the traveling bug. There is indeed so much for a vibrant island to make it the ultimate getaway. From a commercial aviation fan’s paradise, to a cruise ship hot spot, to a nude beach that welcomes everyone to enjoy her crystal blue ocean water, St. Maarten/Martin is the jewel of the Caribbean. Maho Bay, Phillipsburg, and Orient Beach are the top three go-to locations for the would-be traveler. From commercial jets landing, to cruise ships dropping anchor, to nude beach goers colliding with calm and gentle breeze, there is no island destination in the world that provides all of these experiences at the same time. What drives St. Maarten/Martin? It’s the heart of every traveler….the aviation fan, the avid cruiser, and the free-spirited nude beach goer. St. Maarten/Martin is the Caribbean’s impression of heaven, in three-fold.