The island of St. Maarten/St. Martin, commonly known as the “culinary capitol of the Caribbean,” is also a popular cruise destination that is visited annually by numerous cruise lines. What guests don’t know is the wealth of activities that are available to “day-trippers” when they visit this beautiful tropical paradise.
With its numerous dive/snorkeling sites, miles of sun-swept beaches, unparalleled shopping and dining, over a dozen action-packed casinos, it’s no wonder that more and more people are calling to St. Maarten/St. Martin’s port in search of adventure. For those with only a few hours to spend, St. Maarten/St. Martin offers visitors a wide variety of attractions and activities for a rare and exciting travel experience. Here, visitors to this friendly English speaking country will never be disappointed when it comes to choices.
Below are a few of the more popular options that are available to guests:
Test your sea legs and race like you’re part of the America’s Cup in the 12-Metre Challenge. This action-packed sea adventure pits first-time sailors and salty skippers alike in a race modeled exactly like the real America’s Cup. Be part of the crew and sail famous 12-metre boats, such as the Stars and Stripes and True North I, that were custom-made and used in the actual race. For more information on the 12-Metre Challenge, please visit www.12metre.com or call +599-542-0045.
Harleys in Paradise
Imagine a warm tropical breeze flowing through your hair as you cruise the meandering coastline of St. Maarten/St. Martin with its azure blue waters on one side and lush tropical vegetation on the other. Now, take this one step further and imagine yourself straddling a power-packed Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Interested guests can contact Super Bikes St. Martin at +599-544-2704 or visit their website at www.h-dstmartin.com.
Tall Ship Adventure
Set sail on a traditionally rigged, 72 foot tall ship, armed with three black powder cannons just like you’d find on a true pirate ship. Once aboard, the course is set for Little Bay where guests can enjoy snorkeling amongst historic wrecks, lost cannons from past battles in the island’s 350 year history, and abundant aquatic life. Next, the anchor will be weighed and the sails set as the tall ship sails towards Simpson's Bay. After an hour, the ship will strike all sails and head back to the cruise pier and the bustling capital of Philipsburg where guests can spend the afternoon on the beach or perusing the wonderful shops that line Front Street. For more information, guests can contact Lord Sheffield Tall Ship Adventures at (599) 552-0875 or visit their website at www.Lordsheffield.com.
No trip to St. Maarten/St. Martin is complete without a visit to the Butterfly Farm. Here visitors can learn about hundreds of magnificent butterflies while you wander through the “Butterfly Sphere” complete with waterfalls, coy ponds, and foliage vital to butterfly development. Guides will identify different species, point out courtship and mating displays and tell butterfly facts and stories. Guests will also witness the various stages of the butterfly's life cycle, from butterflies laying their eggs to caterpillars hatching, growing and forming their chrysalis. For more information, guests can contact the Butterfly Farm at +599-544-3562 or visit their website at www.thebutterflyfarm.com.
Mountain Bike Adventure
When was the last time you biked across two countries in one day? How about biking from sea level to the top of St. Maarten/St. Martin’s highest mountain and back in time for a great dinner at a fine restaurant on the coast? Guests of this biking adventure can do just that. This heart-pounding tour begins at the waterfront, extends along the island’s breathtaking coastline, tops the island’s tallest peak and passes through quaint villages that are steeped in history. Guests interested in this unique tour of St. Maarten/St. Martin can contact TriSports at +599-545-4384 or visit their website at www.trisportsxm.com.
SNUBA & Snorkel Adventure
This unique “SNUBA and Snorkel” combo tour allows guests to explore the hidden depths of St. Maarten/St. Martin at three exciting locations. The first is a sunken submarine that sits approximately 20 feet below the surface and offers guests the opportunity to discover a sunken piece of history. The second stop is “Shipwreck Cove.” Here, guests can explore numerous shipwrecks that detail three centuries of the island’s past. The third and final stop is the breathtaking coral reef where guests can interact with the Caribbean’s most “colorful” inhabitants - - its tropical marine life. For more information, guests can contact Aqua Mania Watersports at +599-544-2640 or visit their website at www.aquamaniawatersports.com.
St. Maarten Park
Guests of this distinctive zoological, botanical and floral garden will gain a new-found understanding of plants and animals that are indigenous to the Caribbean and the American tropics. Here, discover over 80 different species of animals, including the largest display of exotic parrots in the Caribbean. Take a stroll through the reptile house, come up-close and personal with tropical birds in the walk-through aviary and behold an endless variety of tropical flowers in the Park’s botanical gardens. For more information, guests can contact the St. Maarten Park at +599-543-2030 or visit their website at www.stmaartenpark.com.