Cupecoy Beach

Natural Splendors

Discover the many natural treasures on this island, including unique flora and fauna.


If you’ve visited even one of the 37 spectacular beaches on St. Maarten/St. Martin, you know this popular holiday destination well deserves its reputation as an island rich in natural beauty. But this Dutch-French jewel of the Caribbean offers more than sandy shores, so be sure to get out and explore your surroundings.


Beyond the beaches are wetlands, forested hills, rugged coastline and vibrant flora and fauna. You’ll see tree lizards scurrying about if you follow any of 12 hiking trails crisscrossing the hills. Birds twitter, butterflies flutter and the views of the ocean through the trees are amazing.


Speaking of views, set your sights on forested Pic Paradis, the island’s highest hill. Pick up a trail map — or zipline down its slope — at Loterie Farm.


The island as well boasts about a dozen wetlands teeming with wildlife. Mangroves are home to crabs, egrets and iguanas; freshwater ponds beckon to ducks and herons; and salt marshes provide a haven for migratory birds.


Take a guided kayak tour with TriSport and build up your paddling stamina to support local conservation efforts.


Despite its abundance of sparkling beaches, not all of the island’s shores are sandy. The stretches of rugged, pristine coastline on the Atlantic side are impressive. Coastal hiking here will introduce you to a wide variety of plants and shrubs, including the Pope’s Head Cactus, with its bright red “cap.”


TriSport will take you on a guided coastal hike from Guana Bay to Pointe Blanche. Along the way, you’re apt to encounter more goats than folks.