Day tripping on St Maarten, Baie Rouge, French side beach


By Alita Singh


Why not get to know some of the island’s fascinating but least-known locales? Spend a fun-filled day or spread out your adventure over several days. Then round off your time with a refreshing visit to a nearby beach.


Between Oyster Bay and the French side is the Rotary Lookout Point. Climb the stairs to the wooden platform for sweeping views over a wide expanse of the St. Martin Nature Reserve. Take a walk along the rocky beach. Be sure to wear water shoes to wade over to offshore islets at low tide.


Plan to see some of the beaches in Cupecoy and the Lowlands. This area covers what is often referred to as the island’s Gold Coast. Lots of villas are behind high walls. Getting to Baie Rouge is a sure way of getting a closer look. No villa hunting for you? Seek out the caves on Cupecoy Beach. Explore Jordan Village, a little university town of sorts. It’s home to the American University of the Caribbean Medical School. All the attractions and restaurants cater mostly to students. It’s a good place for an excellent on-a-budget meal.


Colombier Village is one of the oldest settlements on the island. It was one of the places where freed slaves lived after emancipation. Descendants of those freed people still uphold their traditions, some stretching all the way back to Africa. In late February or early March, the villagers host the Arrowroot Festival. The tuber is harvested and prepared to render arrowroot starch, which is used to thicken sauces, stiffen fabrics, and more. You can drive through this little Creole village on any day to enjoy the scenery. Check out the Association Nature Valley Colombier Facebook page to see current events.


Did you know the island is home to a set of natural pools carved out of the coral by time and the waves? A short hike from either Point Blanche or Guana Bay along the hillside and through some cactus patches will bring you to the pools. Don your swimming gear and climb down into the pools. Let go of your cares and listen to the waves. Dry off and continue your hike or stay awhile and enjoy a picnic.


Anse Marcel Bay is a hidden gem. You can access it by car or take a boat. The tranquil location features breathtaking views of lush green vegetation. The beach is less populated than others on the island and is ideal for sunbathing or lunch with cocktails. The waters at Anse Marcel Beach are shallow enough for inexperienced swimmers and children to enjoy time in the sea.



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