Monkeys at Oyster Pond
At first glance Sint Maarten looks extremely busy. Have a second look and drive to the Oyster Pond area, about 5 miles from Philipsburg. Beside a very picturesque yacht harbour, splendid Dawn Beach next to it, and a few restaurants on the Dutch and French side, you may find surprising wildlife. Some escaped monkeys may cross your path. They are fed by residents, and live somewhere on the trees. The sun and the continously blowing breeze with temperatures around 80 degrees (26 C.), plus the spectacular views onto the ocean.
Make sure you go to Marigot and have a look around. Being able to experience two different "countries" on the same island. On the French side, it really feels like France. The street signs are different, the language is different...everything.
Not sure but....
This may not a local custom but its a custom when we are there. There is (was in 1994 and 1996) a 4 story building on a cliff. It started innocently enough with cliff diving. But our hero Steve-o took it all the way up. Jumping off the building roof. And we never looked back from there.
I really don't recommend this. It was a stupid thing to do but was SO SO fun.
kitesurfing cruises are a new great way to experience St Maarten/St Martin (and its surrounding islands).
Kitesurfing seems to have become quite popular these past years and after watching them repetitively in Orient Bay, we decided to give it a shot!
We didn't feel like taking lessons on land as we're quite familiar with the island (and thought Orient beach was overcrowded), so we ended up joining a kitesurfing cruise to learn the sport (and discover the island from a different angle).
We loved it: not only the sport is much easier than it looks to learn, but we also got to discover spots we didn't know and get hooked on a new hobby. Kitesurfari Sxm, we booked with, usually organises kitesurfing cruise for experienced riders, but they can, under special request, do instruction as well.
If you're a kitesurfer, you can come on board with your own gear, if you're a beginner, they will supply the equipment for the lessons.
I'm not sure if they offer equipment rental....
Destination wise, we were in St Maarten but they work with partners all over the Caribbean (we're thinking of trying the Grenadines next time!)
We took a day trip to Anguilla, the British neighbouring island. Only 20 min. by boat, this island is so different from St. Maarten. Where St. Maarten is green, has hills and a rainforest, Anguilla is dry and flat. It's famous for its beautiful beaches (you have to go to Shoal Bay, in the North, and check out Gwen's Reggae Bar) and lots of rich and famous people spend their holidays here in luxurious resorts.