A friend kindly asked me if I wanted to join her for a little trip to the Caribbean. . . a question I could not see the logic in saying no to. Having never been, and having an affinity for oceans, I hopped on a plane from Buenos Aires via Panama and we were soon reunited with hugs and excited laughter for the days ahead.
St. Maarten is an island co-owned by the Dutch and the French, hence having a part of the island dedicated to each owner. On the French side you can find delightful boulangeries, restaurants, and oodles of beaches, while on the Dutch side you can satisfy your need for casinos, duty-free shopping, and larger towns. We had a small rental car, which is a highly recommended asset to explore the island. First stop was Marigot, a lovely little beachside town, for some art gallery perusing, window shopping, and lunch. We sat at Le Galion, our table spilling directly onto the marina docks, and enjoyed fresh grilled prawns and salad. We continued driving towards our condo, stopping at Calmos Café for the absolute best drink with a view you can imagine. Cold rosé never tasted so good 🙂
After some pool time we headed to Dinghy Dock in Oyster Pond for dinner, a Dutch-owned bar with an amazing craft beer list, authentic Dutch snacks, and proper fried pub food.
The next days were filled with reading books on the beach, long walks, swimming, and general pure life enjoyment. Orient beach is highly recommended for amazingly clear water, and a little further down, a glimpse at the nude beach. Kakao restaurant serves high quality French food, however without the expected price tag and extremely friendly service. I had an outrageously good salmon and scallop salad.
Later in the afternoon the coconut man strolls down Orient beach, the perfect thirst quencher for the heat and humidity.
Anse Marcel, if you’re willing to brave the steep hill drive to get to it, is another beautiful beach, secluded, quiet, surrounded by flowers, and once again, with the clearest water I’ve ever seen.
On our last day we explored the town of Philipsburg, where you can sample the local island rum, buy some jerk seasoning to take home, and get some killer deals at the duty free shops. There is something to suit everyone’s taste, all the way from Levi’s to Bulgari.
We snapped our last few glorious sunset photos before having another seafood feast at Big Fish restaurant in Orient Bay. The next day at noon, I sadly had to depart for the real world again.
While the trip was short this was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I cannot recommend a visit enough. Direct flights operate from NYC, Toronto, Amsterdam, and Paris, just to name a few.