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Beaches of St. Maarten

St. Maarten is blessed with 37 beaches--one for each of the island's 37 square miles. Busy bays are venues for watersports, swimming, and snorkeling, while secluded coves offer private retreats. The dress code ranges from modest (on the Dutch side of the island) to nudist (on the French side). Half-day or full-day sailing excursions to undeveloped beaches nearby are also available.

Some of the more famous beaches include mile-long Mullet Bay Beach, perfect for swimming; Dawn Beach, known for its incredible sunrises; and Little Bay Beach, a favorite of snorkelers, with calm, clear waters that offer excellent visibility.

Maho Beach is one of the island's most dramatic swimming spots. Swimmers splashing in the water can experience the unusual thrill of airplanes passing right over their heads as they head for the nearby runway. The craggy rocks lining the white sand beach add another dramatic touch. There are also wet bikes available for rent.

One of St. Maarten's more private beaches is Simpson Bay Beach, a long half-moon of white sand set between a picturesque fishing village and the murmuring sea. There are no watersports, no resorts, just the sound of water gently lapping at your feet. You can stroll, swim, or simply relax, all the while seeing barely another soul.

Cupecoy Beach is another unspoiled landscape with pure white sand, sandstone cliffs, and shoreline caves as a setting. The surf can be strong, but the wind is blocked by the rocks. Lying near the border with St. Martin, its dress code is influenced by that of the French beaches: clothing is optional.


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