Enchanted Isles

Every trip to these miniature islands gives you more opportunities for lifelong memories and grand exploration.


By D.A. Robin


Craving even more peace on your Caribbean getaway? Perhaps a day trip to one of the smaller islands in and around St. Maarten/
St. Martin might be precisely the experience you’re looking for. Each island is a unique masterpiece of tranquility and natural splendor, away from the main thrills of the more adventurous Caribbean experience.


Set sail for the brief but wonderful boat rides to these fantastic escapes and immerse yourself in an unspoiled paradise. Among the uninhabited are quiet delights of Anguilla’s Dog Island and Prickly Pear Cays, St. Martin’s Creole Rock, and St. Maarten’s Tintamarre and Pinel Island.


These islands remain undeveloped due to concerted efforts from neighboring governments to preserve their natural splendor. That’s good news for you, as you can experience the Caribbean as it was long ago — when life and living were simpler.


St. Martin’s Creole Rock

Just off the coast of French St. Martin lies Creole Rock, a rocky formation rising from the sea. While rock climbing is prohibited, explorers have unrestricted access to the treasure trove of underwater beauties surrounding Creole Rock. There, divers and snorkelers can frolic amid the beauty of the deep while glimpsing the vibrant, kaleidoscopic world beneath the gentle waves. The rock, a sanctuary for marine life, is a must-see. Creole Rock’s proximity to St. Martin makes this site a wondrous gateway to underwater excitement.


To reach Creole Rock, charter a boat from the St. Martin marina, and within a short sail, you’ll dive into the enchanting waters around this natural wonder.



East of St. Maarten/St. Martin, Tintamarre — or, as it’s sometimes called, Flat Island — stands as evidence of nature’s pristine majesty and the sheer natural beauty of the Caribbean. This uninhabited island is a canvas of unspoiled wonders, revealing its natural beauty to visitors. Its beaches, kissed by gentle, azure waves, provide a sanctuary for diverse life and can become your own utopia. The island’s greenery complements the cerulean backdrop of the sea, creating a naturally picture-perfect effect that will remain with travelers forever.


To experience the tranquility of Tintamarre, take a guided boat tour from St. Maarten’s harbors in Point Blanche. In under 30 minutes, you’ll be stepping onto the serene shores of this paradise.

Pinel Island

Pinel Island has a quiet, exquisite charm that echoes across its uninhabited landscape. This island lies southeast of St. Maarten/St. Martin and requires a brief yet thrilling boat ride, ending in the tranquility only undeveloped paradise provides. As the island’s shores come into view, the inviting beaches and swaying palm trees promise an enchanting and serene day. The clear waters around Pinel Island invite snorkelers to discover marine life, while the shores provide a backdrop for leisurely picnics and walks. There is much to enjoy for visitors who want to step away, escape, and explore in relative solitude.


To embark on this idyllic journey, catch a water taxi from the French Cul-de-Sac area in St. Martin. In just about 10 minutes, you’ll be stepping onto the pristine sands of Pinel Island.


Anguilla’s Dog Island and Prickly Pear Cays

North of St. Maarten/St. Martin, Anguilla’s Dog Island and Prickly Pear Cays rise like gems. The close proximity to St. Maarten/St. Martin makes these natural wonders attractive and easily accessible, perfect for travelers seeking a transformative mini vacation. Dog Island, a wildlife sanctuary, is an unspoiled paradise where marine birds, such as brown pelicans and boobies, nest on the cliffside, overseeing the carefree dance of the deep inhabitants. In a single day, you might see crabs, lobsters, and barracuda swimming in these waters.


Prickly Pear Cays, twin islets, beckon visitors to explore the trails and terrains, stroll along the picturesque shores, and admire the serenity of these lands removed from time. As you approach the rocky, verdant shore, you immediately feel the cool, charming embrace this heavenly bit of solitude grants. These tiny islands are protected bits of territory and remain largely untouched, but they also welcome the adventurous traveler.


Board a local ferry from St. Maarten, and in about an hour, you’ll arrive at the pristine shores of Dog Island and Prickly Pear Cays. Aqua Mania Adventures also offers day trips to Prickly Pear Cays and Anguilla.





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