St. Martin at First Glance

Hiking Pinel Island

Beautiful St. Martin is divided in two, half French (St. Martin) and half Dutch (St. Maarten). For me there is only one; St. Martin is a Caribbean/Parisian paradise – my kind of paradise. A European feel with an island twist; delicious French fine dining with an oceanside cafe culture that is also home to the some of the most beautiful (clothing optional) beaches on the island.

If you’d prefer to sacrifice the beautiful beaches and elegant dining for a more spring break style party scene, gambling,and night clubs.. then the Dutch side is your cup of tea. You should probably stop reading here, and book a trip to Florida to save some dough.

We stayed on the French side, spending our evenings along the Marigot marina indulging in copious amounts of wine, cheese, moules, frites… life.

Our villa, Libellule, was perched high on the rocks overlooking Baie Rouge, a long stretch of pink sand and calm waters – the perfect sunset canvas. Libellule is a rare villa with the best of both worlds. Typically, if you want to be walking distance from the soft Caribbean sands, you sacrifice the view that hillside villas provide. Libellule has a spectacular view, and you are just a short walk from one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.

Libellul - St. Martin

Baie Rouge is breathtaking and requires a visit regardless of your accommodations. While there is a ‘semi-busy’ area of the beach (just near the Eastern-end entrance), each step further West down the beach brings you further into this unpolished and beautifully remote beach.

Bay Rouge

Pinel Island is an exciting day trip during any trip to St. Martin. Make your way to the northern part of the island, towards Anse Marcel, to the Pinel Island Ferry dock. Catch a quick ferry to the sparkling waters, sandy beaches, and quaint restaurants on the water. Virgin beaches await around the undeveloped hills, all begging to be explored. After heading away from the main beach to hike through the remote areas of the island, we returned for a spectacular lunch at Le Karabuni – Seared Tuna covered in a deliciously unforgettable mint sauce.

Le Karibuni Pinel

The tropical allure, beautiful beaches and fabulous food of St. Martin will keep me coming back. I plan to return to this world as much as possible.


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