Couples Retreat: St. Maarten
by Sameena Haque
St Maarten is a wonderful island that caters to all ages and all interests. There is something for everyone from those looking for an adventure to those who may prefer a more relaxing vacation.
General travel rules that apply to any destination also apply to travel on the island: lock your car, don’t leave valuables inside, don’t wear flashy jewelry, and keep a close eye on your handbag and personal belongings. For women traveling alone, I would suggest staying away from the more remote areas of the island after dark.
Crime is generally lower on the Dutch side of the island and it is more developed. The French side of the island is beautiful but be sure to stay at a reputable hotel. Other than that, the island is safe and women traveling alone should not be afraid to get out of their comfort zone and explore. Also, don’t be afraid to drive on the island, renting a car is a great way to get around and see everything. It is not too challenging.
1. VISIT ORIENT BEACH
Visit Orient Beach on the French side of the island. The beach has a clothing optional section but both sides are lively and have tons of water sport activities. On weekends and special occasions, many of the restaurants on Orient Beach have theme parties.
2. DOWNTOWN PHILIPSBURG
Visit downtown Philipsburg and see the local crafts. Philipsburg also has great shopping with designers from all over the world.
3. MAHO BEACH
Visit Maho Beach and watch the planes take off and land.
4. SWIM WITH SEA TURTLES
Hop on a powerboat and visit Creole Rock, Tintamarre Island, and Pinel Island. On Tintamarre Island, you can swim with sea turtles and cleanse your skin with the natural clay mud baths. Companies I recommend are Tender Rentals & Tours (Captain Tim) or Soualiga Destinations Boat Tours (Captain Bob). This trip will take a full day of your time (9AM-4PM) but its worth every hour.
5. EXTREME ZIP-LINING
Do the Extreme Zipline Adventure at Loterie Farm. It will take you around 2 hours to complete the activity. As you whizz through the trees, keep an eye out for monkeys, iguanas, and other animals.