How to Spend 3 Days in St. Maarten
St. Maarten (and its French counterpart, St. Martin) is considered the melting pot of the Caribbean. Three days are enough time to experience the island’s rich diversity of cultures and activities, and even venture farther afield in the Lesser Antilles. Here’s how to make the most of your time there.
Day 1: Adventures on land
Spend your first day getting oriented on this 2-nation island. Start with a guided tour of the main attractions on both sides of the border. Active travelers might opt for a biking tour, while those who prefer traveling independently might purchase a hop-on hop-off bus pass. In the afternoon, try one of the island’s outdoor adventures: sail down Sentry Hill on the Flying Dutchman zipline (one of the world’s steepest); head off-road on a guided all-terrain vehicle ride to some of the island’s most beloved beaches; or if you’re traveling with kids, check out the aerial obstacle course at Loterie Farm. In the evening, enjoy the numerous restaurants, bars, and casinos at Maho Bay, St. Maarten’s version of Las Vegas.
Day 2: Experiences at sea
Today is your opportunity to savor the white-sand beaches and turquoise waters for which the Caribbean is famous. Spend the day on a small-group sailing excursion along the coastline, stopping to swim or chill on the beach—or take a speedboat to Tintamarre and Pinel islands to explore the underwater world at some of St. Maarten’s top snorkeling spots. Alternatively, go deeper with a beginner-friendly scuba diving experience in Simpson Bay, or parasail above Orient Bay Beach. Wind down your day on the water with a romantic sunset cruise, Champagne in hand.
Day 3: Caribbean island hopping
St. Maarten is a desirable destination in its own right, but it’s also an excellent base for exploring other islands in the Lesser Antilles. A popular day trip takes visitors to Anguilla—known for its long beaches and lively beachside barbecues—with a stop at Prickly Pear Cays for some swimming and snorkeling along the way. Or, hike through the indigenous rain forest on the pristine island of Saba, grabbing lunch afterward in quaint Windwardside. Alternatively, gather your friends or family for a private day trip to glamorous St. Barth. At the end of a busy day, relax with a quiet dinner at your hotel.