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French St. Martin / Saint Martin / Oyster Pond

A game of beach volleyball near the dock in Philipsburg, Dutch St. Maarten


Land Sports

Land sports options are similar on both sides of the island. Most hotel tennis facilities are open to the public with advance reservations and payment of a fee, and there are also a number of public tennis clubs available. The 18-hole Mullet Bay golf course on the Dutch side is open to the public, although the area has never fully recovered from previous hurricanes. There are horseback riding facilities offering trail and beach rides. Bicycle and mountain bike rentals are available and local clubs organize rides and races. Those who prefer exploring on two legs will find miles of hiking trails and can either go it alone or contact one of several companies offering guided hikes with a focus on local flora and fauna.

Please click
here for Dutch side land sports options.

Please click
here for French side land sports options.

Water Sports

The island’s beautiful, long stretches of beach and clear, warm waters make it a paradise for swimmers and water sports enthusiasts of all kinds, regardless of whether visitors choose the Dutch or French side.

Snorkelers enjoy the calm waters ringing the island’s shallow reefs and tiny coves as well as the offshore reefs. Gear can be rented at local hotels and dive shops. On the Dutch side, the waters around Dawn Beach, Maho Bay and Mullet Bay can be particularly rewarding to explore. The waters around Orient Bay, Green Key, Ilet Pinel and Tintamarre on the French side have been classified as a regional underwater nature reserve where sea life abounds and using spear guns is illegal.

There is excellent scuba diving all around the entire island. Most diving is done from boats since many sites are some distance offshore. Types of diving include reef, wreck, night, cave, and drift dives; depth of dives average 15 - 20m (40-60 ft). The HMS Proselyte, sunk in Great Bay in the early 19th Century, is among the most popular dive sites on the Dutch side, where most dive operations are centered in Simpson Bay and Great Bay. On the French side, Northeast area dive sites include Ilet Pinel (for good shallow diving), Green Key (a prolific barrier reef) and Tintamarre (for quiet coves and subsea geological faults). Along the north shore, Anse Marcel is also a good choice.

Water-skiing, jet skiing, kayaking, windsurfing and sunfish sailing can be found in various locations including the Simpson Bay Lagoon, Kimsha Beach, Mullet Beach and Great Bay on the Dutch side and Baie Nettlé, Orient Bay and Friar’s Bay on the French side. Sailing is popular everywhere with mini-regattas all year round. Every March, the island hosts the famous Heineken Regatta.

Please click
here for Dutch side water sports options.

Please click
here for Dutch side boat rental and yacht charter services.

Please click
here for French side water sports options.

Please click
here for French side boat rental and yacht charter services.

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