One of Sint Maarten's many attractions is to equip yourself with hiking equipment to immerse yourself in the heart of the island's beautiful natural landscapes. There are many developed trails along the Atlantic coast, such as the one along the Caribbean Sea. With around 17 hikes to be made on the island, some of the footpaths also go inland to the Mornes. From there, the view is spectacular or pass through picturesque villages. Put your bag on your back and follow the guide!
1- Froussards Trail
The Cowardly Trail wanders through the woods between Anse Marcel and Grandes Cayes.
This hike takes 4 hours on average for a total duration of 11.33 km (difficulty: average). The path runs along the coast around the beautiful site called Red Rock: this massif is home to a great diversity of fauna and flora. Beware in case of falls, the cacti are very present there. Very protected, this exceptional site has 182 plant species and a large number of bird and reptile species.
At the entrance of the hike, there is a rubbish dump with a small car park. The hike takes place in a very protected nature reserve; signposts give instructions that it is important to respect. At the first crossroads, the path splits in two: the beach on one side of the land on the other.
At the arrival, the two paths lead to the "Baie de Petites Cayes", a paradisiacal natural site where swimming is easy. The hike continues in a more wooded landscape to separate again. You have to go towards the Pointe des Froussards which offers a beautiful panorama of the island of Anguilla. The path then leads to the Anse Marcel Beach and then back to the parking lot.
2- Naked Boy Hill
The path is in the Dutch part, Sint Maarten. Its peak rises to 296 meters. The total distance of the hike is 1.6 km (about 2 hours walking).
The "naked boy's hill" amuses families a lot because of its name. The hike is accessible quite easily for children, it is a pleasure to go there together. If it makes the happiness of all, this path is also the place of predilection of the iguanas. Be careful not to get too close to them so as not to disturb them in their natural habitat. After a few efforts on a long but not too difficult path to climb, the arrival on the top of the hill offers a breathtaking view of Saint-Barth and Guana Bay; the turquoise waters stretch as far as the eye can see for the greatest pleasure of the eyes and allow taking spectacular pictures.
Parking is available at the beginning of the route, the Pen Shell Road, at Guana Bay.
3- Douaniers route
A very nice hiking trail, the Chemin des Douaniers is rather easy to follow with a slightly more arduous rock climb towards the end. It is about 2.5 km long and starts from the small port of Galisbay to Friar's Bay. The promise is great with a breathtaking view over the bay of Marigot.
From the Galisbay Commercial Port, it is possible to park your car and then put on your shoes. As you go along, the view of the port of Galisbay becomes panoramic and superb.
On the way is the Beach of Lovers, an ideal spot to relax along the way. Continuing the route, walkers discover the Anse des Pères, a pebble beach that is also pleasant and little frequented. On arrival, the Col de la Batterie requires a bit of climbing. Not difficult but to be taken into account, especially for families. At Friar's Bay, at the end of the route, comfort makes you forget the effort with two restaurants that offer delicious meals based on fresh fish and local fruits and other specialties: Friar's Bay Beach Café (FBBC for the intimate ones!) and Kali's Beach Bar.
4- Pinel Island
A small island 170 meters from the island of Saint Martin and 950 meters from Cul de Sac, Pinel islet is an incredible natural area. Savannah landscape where frangipani trees are numerous, these beautiful white and yellow flowers typical of the Caribbean. Birds but also crabs and, as in many places in Saint Martin, iguanas and lizards are numerous.
A 1.5 km trail connects the beaches of the islet. A real immersion in nature among the many plant species that are listed on orientation tables along the trail. This hike also gives an overview of the other surrounding islets.
The islet is easily accessible for families who wish to discover it; a shuttle bus runs daily from Cul de Sac. The last departure from the islet is at 4:30 pm. The trip takes about 15 minutes. On the islet, which has become relatively touristy with its white sand, there is plenty to eat and drink (two restaurants and small souvenir shops). The lobsters are delicious there.
5- Tintamarre Island
Covering an area of 100 hectares, Tintamarre islet conceals wonders of all kinds.
From Cul de Sac (where you have to park your car) boats drop off families of holidaymakers and hikers on the deserted strip of land. There, idleness begins for lovers of the (very beautiful) beach, while hiking enthusiasts venture inland. Within this nature reserve, there are no shops or restaurants, so you should think about coming equipped with sandwiches, but especially water. Through the walks on the paths of the islet, children and their parents go from discovery to discovery: formerly inhabited the place preserves some vestiges, such as an old airfield, an old railway, a farm, and a mini quarry.
6- BONUS: Mount Scenery on the island near Saba
Mount Scenery is actually a lava dome. The view is superb on the horizon where the clouds, the sea, and this dome merge. It is the highest point of the Dutch part with 887 meters of altitude.
From Saint Martin or from Saba a boat takes hikers and visitors to the island. The hike climbs a lot (there are steps) but is still relatively easy. It takes between 30 minutes and an hour to reach the top of Mount Scenery. In the heart of the rainforest, the trail is really one with nature. It is advisable to choose a day with sunny weather, as the panoramic view is less spectacular in foggy conditions.
It is also possible to take the boat from Saint Martin (about 1h30) to visit the Dutch island of Saba during a weekend. On the program: discovery of the island with its tropical forest, its Gate of Hell, its very friendly inhabitants, and its paradisiacal beaches.
17 hikes are listed on the island of Saint Martin. Each of them reserves magnificent discoveries for those who explore it. The climate on the island being mild all year round, hiking enthusiasts know that they have at their disposal a playground unique in the world, which they can enjoy at their leisure.