The planes’ flight path makes Maho Beach one of the island’s most notable attractions, but this stretch of sand would be a lovely spot even without its low-flying attractions. In addition to plane watching, you can enjoy great swimming and snorkeling. Many tours of the island include a stop at the beach along with other popular sites on both the island’s French-Dutch border, including spots like Orient Beach and Cole Bay Hill.
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Things to Know Before You Go
- The best spot for watching the planes is by the fence closest to the airport.
- Flight schedules are posted everyday at the Sunset Bar and Grill on the beach.
- Don’t forget to pack sun protection, swimwear, and bottled water.
- Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available for rent.
How to Get There
Maho Beach is located on the Dutch side of St. Martin (Sint Maarten) on a spit of land near Simpson Bay Lagoon, right next to Princess Juliana International Airport. If arriving on the island through the cruise terminal, you can take the free shuttle bus from the dock to the beach. Taxis are also readily available. If driving to the beach, you can park around the corner from the Sunset Bar and Grill.
When to Get There
For the best plane watching, come during early afternoon, when the larger planes typically land. The beach tends to be crowded all day long. The weather on St. Marten is pleasant year-round and warmest in July and August. From February through June, you may be able to spot migrating humpback whales off the coast.
Mullet Bay Beach
Before or after watching the planes, walk about 10 minutes—or take the free shuttle or a taxi—to Mullet Bay for a serene (and less jet-fueled) beach experience. Low-hanging sea grape trees and palms provide shade, and snack bar-style restaurants serve barbeque (chicken, ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers) and drinks. Beachside huts rent out chairs, umbrellas, towels, and snorkeling gear.