Nature & Hiking

(Header photo courtesy of EPIC)

Nature

Be it arriving by airplane / Maho beach, cruise ship or sailing boat, the first thing visible of St Maarten & St Martin is its majestic green hills. Though better known for its close to 40 beaches , St Maarten / St Martins inner natural beauty is well worth exploring.

From amazing multi-island views from the top of its hills to the mangrove forests below and from the pink cliffs of Cupecoy to the unique natural arch of Pointe du Bluff, St Maarten / St Martin has highly different landscape treasures often off the beaten track.

When in nature, look for St Maarten’s national symbols the brown pelican and the sage flower as you can find in the Dutch side flag. Just as special a national symbol is the red flamboyant tree.

Various active nature tours are available; take a look below ! Also, see our event calendar if any nature hike is planned soon! 

SIMPSON BAY LAGOON

Stretching from the Simpson Bay area towards the Lowlands and Marigot, one finds the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Next to a recreation, this area has a mangrove forest area near Mullet Bay Beach.

ROCHER CREOLE / CREOLE ROCK

This protected rock is one of the best places on island to go snorkeling. You will find various sailing boats anchoring at this eye catching rock just off Grand Case.

TINTAMARRE

Once a disputed island between the Netherlands and France and home to some farms, Tintamarre now is the largest uninhabited island within reach from St Maarten. A beautiful sandy beach can be found on its western tip, whereas its eastern rock formations are just as spectacular. The island temporarily had the function of airport, and remains of both the aforementioned farms and airplanes can be found in its middle.

ILET DE PINEL / PINEL ISLAND

You might know Pinel Island as an outstanding beach with great bars. When you take a ten minute strawl to the back (Atlantic side) of the island, you will understand why this island is a protected nature reserve. You are prone during your 5 minute strawl to have run into at least two iguanas, and very possibly a tortoise.

ILETS DE BAIE DE L’EMBOUCHURE / L’EMBOUCHURE BAY

Baie L’Embouchure near Oyster Pond is a unique nature area on St Maarten. From its European Union supported tower with panoramic view, you see mangroves to the left, shallow sandy islands right in front of you, Tintamarre, Anguilla and St. Barths are visible from this bay at sea.

SENTRY HILL

Sentry hill is one of the highest point on the Dutch side (341m). Sentry hill preserves a variety of flora and fauna with different species. To reach this impressive viewpoint, indulge yourself in a challenging Sentry hill trail, or take an easy ride of the elevator within Rainforest Park. At the top, a magnificent view is offered of St Maarten and the surrounding islands.

MANGROVE

Mangrove ecosystems have significant ecological, environmental and socio-economic functions and values. Mangrove forests usually come into existence in sheltered shores the like of Simpson Bay Lagoon and Baie de l’Embouchure and in areas where sediment is gradually trapped forming mudbanks.

There are different species of mangroves. The Mullet Pond / Simpson Bay Lagoon mangroves are of the Red Mangrove type.

Some of St Maarten’s landmark animals and flowers are:

IGUANAS

During any visit to St Maarten’s nature, you are prone to see an Iguana. Large colonies can be seen on the road from Oyster Pond to Dawn beach near the Dawn Beach Club, on Pinel Island, and on the road from Oyster Pond towards French Quarter.

BROWN PELICAN

The Brown Pelican is a national symbol of St Maarten. For large colonies,    visit Fort Amsterdam where you are guaranteed to see these        magnificent birds in full action, scooping fish from Great Bay and Little Bay.

SAGE FLOWER

This beautiful yellow flower is depicted in the national emblem of Dutch  side St Maarten, and in the logo of the St Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association – whose members are likely to be your host these holidays!

FLAMBOYANT  TREE

The Flamboyant tree can be found on many locations throughout the Caribbean. Its red flowers blossom from June to September and signify paradise flower. Some fine examples of the Flamboyant tree can be found in Emilio Wilson!

_____________________________________

HIKING

St. Maarten’s fame derives from its nature – a combination of transparent light blue seas, lagoon, pristine beaches and last but not least its towering hills with magnificent views on may other Caribbean islands close by.

NGO EPIC designed various hiking trails to explore the green hills of St. Maarten. See below for a listing of choosing, level of difficulty and route!

Look at the Billy Folly brochure:

Look at the Fleming Property brochure:

 

Look at the Fort Willem hill brochure:

Look at the Little Bay Cay Bay brochure:

Look at the Naked Boy Hill brochure:

Look at the Natural Pool brochure:

Look at the Point Blanche brochure:

Look at the Sentry Hill brochure:

Look at the Vineyard brochure:

Look at the West Coast brochure:

Translate »