On the leeward side of the Caribbean Sea, St. Martin is divided into Dutch and French territories. Both boast their own attractions — the Dutch side (Sint Maarten) feels more Caribbean while the French side (Saint-Martin) was inspired by Europeans — but no matter where travelers visit, they’ll find some of the most stunning, quintessentially tropical scenery in the Caribbean. The island is also unofficially known as the “Cuisine Capital of the Caribbean” and is home to an abundance of award-winning restaurants, wine bars, and cafes.

Inspirato Members stay in beautiful villas at the acclaimed Belmond La Samanna resort. With four bedrooms and large private pools, these residences overlook iconic Baie Longue (Long Bay), one of the most peaceful beaches in the Caribbean. It’s easy to understand why many Inspirato Members simply relax at their residence and on Belmond’s lush grounds during a St. Martin vacation, but there’s plenty of ways to stay entertained on the island. Keep reading to see our picks for the best things to do in St. Martin.

We just returned from our trip to beautiful St. Martin. The home was truly amazing. Spectacular views, oversized pool, spacious bedrooms with ample closet space and bathrooms. Wonderful open floor plan and many outside seating areas. The property was well maintained and our concierge was incredible. If we needed anything he was there within minutes and always with a happy demeanor and smile. This was certainly a vacation that will be hard to beat.

Sarah PatrickInspirato Member

Things to Do

Beaches

You won’t have a hard time finding a beautiful place to play and relax. The island of St. Martin boasts 37 breathtaking, white sand beaches where travelers can enjoy diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, or kitesurfing in addition to swimming and sunbathing.

A crescent-shaped, white sand beach hugs the water just steps from Inspirato’s villas, giving members direct access to the pristine seaside. The coastline continues toward Long Bay, one of the longest and quietest beaches on the island. A little further along the coast brings you to Plum Bay, a slightly more rugged but more secluded area that offers great snorkeling during calmer tides.

For a romantic experience, Lovers’ Beach is just big enough for two, making it the smallest beach on the island. Look closely on Pointe Arago’s coastline and you’ll find this isolated enclave.

Nature

Spend some quality time with some of St. Martin’s best-known locals: the fish. A deep-sea fishing excursion immerses you in the seascape and shakes up your vistas of the coastline. Be on the lookout for mahi mahi, tuna, blue marlin and more.

Local

Marigot Market’s spectrum of colors and aromas rivals that of the natural flora and fauna surrounding it. The bustling bazaar features local vendors selling just about everything, from fruits and vegetables to artwork, jewelry, and rum.

Must-Do

Stroll through the idyllic village of Grand Case and its characteristic architecture: intricate carvings and pastel colors make the wooden buildings stand out. The charming area is considered a hub for the island’s dining scene, boasting a high concentration of gourmet restaurants. Visit at sunset for maximum enjoyment.

Adventure

Jet packs aren’t as far off in the future as you might think: Flyboarding turns science fiction into a thrilling water sport. A jet-ski turbine mechanism, attached to the feet, propels users’ up to 45 feet above the ocean – and sends them charging underwater upon descent. After a 20-minute orientation, you’ll be flying high.

Dining

Fine Dining

Trellis – Combining the island’s French and Caribbean heritage, the haute cuisine at Trellis (on-site at Belmond La Samanna) emphasizes freshly caught fish, lobster, and other seafood. The panoramic ocean views make the perfect complement to a bottle of wine from the bistro’s prolific selection.

Local

The Karibuni Beach Bar Restaurant – Casual Caribbean food and a relaxing atmosphere are what draw visitors to this beachfront hangout, where you can sip a cocktail at a table or in the shallow water directly outside.

Family

The Karibuni Beach Bar Restaurant – Casual Caribbean food and a relaxing atmosphere are what draw visitors to this beachfront hangout, where you can sip a cocktail at a table or in the shallow water directly outside.

Romantic

The Karibuni Beach Bar Restaurant – Casual Caribbean food and a relaxing atmosphere are what draw visitors to this beachfront hangout, where you can sip a cocktail at a table or in the shallow water directly outside.

Travel Tips

The 15% charge you may see on some receipts is a service charge. As this fee has already been included in the bill, additional tips are neither standard nor expected. The charge should be clearly visible, so you won’t need to guess if it has already been applied.

St. Martin epitomizes the Caribbean climate with an abundant supply of sunny days and clear blue skies. The mild weather means that, no matter when you visit, you’ll most likely have ideal conditions for windsurfing, snorkeling, sailing and more.

St. Martin is widely known for its wide variety of shopping options. Shopping is duty-free on both the French and Dutch sides of the island. The best values are premium liquors and wines, which you will need to check in your luggage to return home.

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