Having a dream vacation to the Caribbean with the kids isn’t as much of a pipedream as parents think. If you choose the destination carefully, the whole family will have the time of their life. St Martin, divided between the French side on the north and Dutch Side on the south, makes for an enjoyable family vacation. Several St Martin vacation home rentals are available or you can opt for the more family-friendly resorts. Here are a few family-friendly activities in St Martin.
Watching the Planes at Maho Beach:
Maho Beach is next to the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport on the Dutch Side of St Maarten. Planes take off and land on this runway at an altitude of just 30 meters above the ground. A thrilling activity for tourists is to hang onto the fence as large jumbo jets take off to feel the blast of wind. Despite it being a dangerous activity, watching the planes land so close to the ground is a fun thing for the kids to watch. But, don’t let them get too close as the jet blast can blow you into the air. As this is a popular activity, flight schedules are displayed in bars along the beach.
Spend the Day at Loterie Farm:
Loterie Farm in Rambaud on the French Side of Saint Martin is a place with many activities to suit everyone. The 150-acre private nature park specializing in eco-tourism, gastronomy, and offers zip-lining down the hills. Trails stretch up the hill for various levels of hiking from easy strolls to strenuous two-hour treks. Monkeys hang from the trees to the delight of the kids. Parents can enjoy the restaurant or relax in the pools and Jacuzzi at L’Eau Lounge. And to complete the day, head to the top of Pic Paradis, the tallest point of Saint Martin to enjoy the views. Be aware that the drive to the top has a few steep slopes.
Take a Trip on The Sea World Explorer:
One of the best ways to enjoy the marine life with younger kids who are too young to snorkel is to take a trip on The Sea World Explorer. Departing from Grand Case, a small village on the French Side, this glass bottom semi-submarine dips about 1.5 meters below the surface of the water. Passengers can view the coral reef, fish, and seabed from the comfort of the air-conditioned boat. The trip lasts about an hour and sails to Creole Rock where a diver goes under to feed the fish causing millions to surround the boat. Kids of all ages love this experience and it’s a great way to spend the afternoon with your family.
Go on a Snorkeling Trip:
Older kids who are more confident in the water will appreciate the chance to go snorkeling themselves. You can either join a tour with Octopus Diving or charter your own boat and head out to Creole Rock or Turtle Reef. Tours provide all the equipment and give a detailed safety briefing before heading into the sea. If you go alone, make sure you’re with confident swimmers. Masks, snorkels, and fins are available to rent from shops along the coast. Pinel Island is another good spot for snorkeling with the family and is easily accessible with your own boat.
Spend the Day at the Beach:
When you take a trip to the Caribbean, nothing can be better for the family than spending a few hours on the beach. Saint Martin has a whopping 37 beaches around the island providing everything from shallow water to pristine landscapes. A favorite spot for families is at Galion Beach, which is located in the French part. Expect shallow water and gentle waves for paddling.
However, be aware that a number of beaches on the Dutch side have a clothing-optional policy. This means people will be walking around with everything hanging out, which isn’t a pretty sight for anyone. Do your research to find out the best places to take the family. Stay away from Happy Day Beach and Club Orient – two of the more notorious nudist beaches!
Check Out Butterfly Farm:
The Butterfly Farm, as the name suggests, has thousands of butterflies fluttering around. A large garden with waterfalls, local fauna, and photogenic surroundings house the butterflies. You can learn about their lifecycle and how it progresses from a tiny pupa into in an adult in an interactive way. One of the highlights for children is the sheer number of butterflies that land on you. The kids will love this and it’s a good way to spend a few hours for a bit of educational fun. Butterfly Farm is on Le Galion Beach Road.
Get the Adrenaline Pumping with the Rhino Safari Excursion:
This activity is for older kids and teens. A small yellow boat that holds only two passengers zooms around the Saint Martin coastline at breakneck speeds in a yellow boat. The two and half hour tour rides the water and visits a shipwreck, the reefs at Creole Rock, and passes the expensive yachts in the marina. Not everyone will like this trip, especially if they’re prone to falling seasick. But, the older kids will love being out on the open water and zooming around the island at such fast speeds.