The Allure of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, pulled up alongside ours when we were in Sint Maarten. One would think that it can't be too cheap to book a balcony room on that baby, right?
If so, then you can afford to either pack enough granny panties or have the few that you own washed on board.
Your neighbors, across the way, do not want to see your grundies!
The second statue is of Peter Stuyvesant and it's not that bad, but what about that first one? It reminds me of some creepy dictator.
Sure, I could've read the plaque and found out, but what fun is that?
For some reason, I did not check on lighthouses that I could see in the various ports we visited, or I would have known that Sint Maarten had a lighthouse. The light station was established 1876. It is not active now, but it consisted of a post light mounted on a short square tower atop the ruins of Fort Amsterdam. Findlay's 1879 light list describes a "small light on old Fort Amsterdam."
Fort Amsterdam was the site of the first Dutch fort in the Caribbean. It was built in 1631 on the peninsula between Great Bay and Little Bay. My photo from the ship shows the fort located atop a narrow promontory on the west side of the entrance to Philipsburg harbor. By the 1950's, it was no longer used as anything except a signaling and communications station and it isn't even used for that now. All that remains are a few walls of the original bastion and some cannon. I didn't get to visit it on this visit, but I understand that there are a few informational signs at the fort.
You can drive there (or take a taxi) from Philipsburg, but there is limited parking. It is open 24 hours, and is free.
We were warned constantly of the nudity in St. Maarten's French side. I didn't really see much except for some co-workers who got int he spirit. This was taken on our boat that took us to a nice little beach on the French side. The waters are amazing to dive into. So clear and pristine.
You can reach this quiet bay (the water may be a litte rough...) after a short 5 - 10 minute hike. Leave your car on the back parking lot on friar's bay and follow the foot-pad it is worth it. Again you will cross a little hill with pretty wild grass that can have the most beautiful shades of green and yellow,... see some hotel ruins (must have been and over-enthousiasm with time-share building some yers ago and now they can't sell it anymore as it is not in fashion anymore)...
Still you will arrive at the bay where you have a deserted kiosk (gret if short rain showers) and some palm trees and bushes for shade. You will see the island of Anguilla which is not far from here..
Pinel is a little island that you must travel to by boat from the French side. It is always busy and breathtakingly beautiful.
It gets extremely hot - so bring pleantly of sunscreen. You can rent chairs and umbrellas on the island.
There is a restaurant, although i have never eated there. The shops are very cute but very expensive.
Just hire a care and explore the island by yourself. You´ll drive around the island in about 2 hours without stopping, so it isnt that big. But with a car it gives you the opportunity to see the whole island, the inland, all the more secluded beaches etc.
Do visit the butterfly farm!
When you visit the farm you'll get the famous "guided tour"!. Visitors are shown the evolutionary cycle from microscopic eggs, to strange and exotic caterpillars, pupae resembling exquisite designer jewelry and (early in the morning) the wonder of the birth of a butterfly. The tours are also very amusing and an amazing source of butterfly facts and stories. Wear bright colors and perfume if you want the butterflies to land on you!
With you ticket ($ 10) you're able to visit again later in your holiday.
We drove up to Pic Paradis. We did get some warnings not to wander around because sometimes people get robbed in this area. Since we didn't see anyone else around we didn't make a long hike around the mountain. Better be safe than sorry. What really surprised us was that the road up there is so bad, while big houses are situated near the road. Why don't these rich people get together and build a good road?
If you don't feel lik egoing up Pic Paradis, go visit Loterie Farm, a peaceful 150-acre private nature preserve opened to the public in 1999 by American expat B. J. Welch. Designed to preserve island habitats, Loterie Farm offers a rare glimpse of Caribbean forest and mountain land. The Hidden Forest Cafe is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday
One of the highlights of our holiday was the trip to Anguilla, where we had a swim with the dolphins. Beautiful creatures, and really smart. It was a lot of fun. Even though we're usually not the kind of people to go with a group, we enjoyed it a lot and had a great time with some of our "fellow swimmers".
With most hotels and resorts it's possible to book this or other tours.
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.
Typical scenery that you will fiond when driving all around the island through local villages.
This was on the dutch side, somewhere near french quarter...