biking seems pretty popular here. But make sure you are in biking shape because the hills here are killer. Tri sport rents bikes, as do several other outfits.
Equipment: A bike, of course, and with all the hills and turns, a helmut would be a great idea here.
With the calm waters, and lagoons, Sint Maarten is a perfect place for kayaking. The best deal we found was at Tri Sports in Simpson Bay. They offer tours, but you can also rent and go out on your own. They also rent bikes, and do hiking tours as well.
They have a launch dock right out back that will drop you into the inner harbor. We paid about $25 per kayak.
Equipment: if you aren't experienced, it's a good idea to grab a life vest from them.
Wow! the water here is beautiful. The only place I've been with more perfect water was Boracay in the Philippines. crystal clear and warm as a bath. Plus, in most areas, it's calm. We played in the water every single day we were here. Chairs and umbrellas can be rented everywhere for $10-20. Some places even give you a bucket of beer.
Equipment: swimsuit (but if you go to the French side, you can leave that at home ;) )
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.
Equipment: 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!)
The boat was the Sanddollar which was much smaller than I though, no head, little shade. But this is a 3 hour snorkle trip. We left Pelican Marina, went though the lagoon, to the rocks for nice snorkeling. The captain said it was 80 degree water, but I was really cold after about 30 minutes. We had plenty of time in the water and easy swimming. Very shallow so you could see the bottom well. Not very colorful or abundant coral. Saw barracuda, squirrelfish, a few parrotfish, wrasses, etc. Lots of fish and very pretty. Coming back we had drinks and some crackers and cheese.
Equipment: They can provide all of the gear.
Good winds on Orient beach all the time, perfect for kite-boarding and windsurfing. There are few places that do lessons and rent gear as well.