The Island of Saint Martin is a unique destination in the Caribbean that’s divided between the French Side and the Dutch Side. The French Side is called Saint Martin and covers approximately two-thirds of the 87km2 landmass. Sint Maarten is owned and administered by the Dutch and is characterised by more development, casinos, and shopping facilities. Visitors can find luxurious St Martin vacation home rentals around both parts of the island and is becoming a popular place to spend a relaxing two week holiday in this tropical paradise.
Taking a Holiday to St Martin:
Tourists have several ways to take a holiday to St Martin. Some fly into the island whereas others will come for a few days as part of a cruise tour. Island hopping through the Leeward Islands between Antigua, Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis is also a possibility.
The island itself makes a perfect destination for a holiday combining the laid-back Caribbean lifestyle with a more European feel to the island. Tourists typically return from their break with one complaint, which is the amount of weight gain and lack of exercise. Just because you’re relaxing in a tropical paradise, it doesn’t give you permission to let yourself go and become a couch potato. This is easier said than done with the enticing beaches and it takes more than a little effort to get yourself up and to stay healthy and active.
Staying Healthy and Active in St Martin:
Eating healthy is a little challenging. Delicious food is in abundance with world-class dishes, a range of international cuisines, and local snacks. You can find anything from burgers to French dishes and everything in between. Vegetarian options are also available at a few of the restaurants around the island. Expect to eat and indulge more than you usually would back at home
But, the good news is that staying active is very easy in St Martin if you’re willing to drag yourself off the sunbed. The dozens of beaches make for a perfect place to walk or jog and there’s a wide selection of water sports to take part in. Or why not go on a cycling tour around the island or spend the day hiking?
Despite the relatively small size of the island, Saint Martin has a total of 37 beaches. A great way to stay active is to go for a jog along one of the beaches in the early morning or late evening as the sun sets over the horizon. Cupecoy Bay on the Dutch Side makes a beautiful area for a jog in the cool morning air without having to jump over the other tourists. Visitors can enjoy long strolls around the island and it’s quite easy to get your recommended daily 10,000 steps.
Get Involved in the Water Sports:
Water sports are also a very popular activity. Why not spend a few minutes swimming in the warm tropical waters or join a snorkelling tour? This combines a little exercise whilst experiencing the diverse marine life. Other options include signing up to take surfing lessons, learn to paddleboard or join a sailing trip. All are strenuous activities, which is both fun and burns the calories.
Scuba diving is also available for tourists with a diving licence and takes you out to Saba Island. Swimming with the sea turtles is another fun activity at coral gardens. The more adventurous rent kayaks and paddle from the Yacht Harbour into the Mangroves.
Away from the beaches and resorts is a rugged landscape surrounded by lush green hills. It’s quite easy to get yourself a guide and head out into the wilderness for a few hours and hike along the trails. A popular route is from Guana Bay to Pointe Blanche on the Dutch Side. Finding a guide is a good idea to give you an overview of the environmental, ecological, and historical context of the trek. Expect to be feeling the burn as you ascend up and down the hills along the coastline.
If you want to have your own adventure without a guide, the northeast part of the island has the National Nature Reserve, which covers 3060 hectares. Hiking here will expose you to 25 types of animal species including iguanas and brown pelicans as well as more than 180 types of plants. Between January and April, it’s not uncommon to see dolphins, turtles, and even humpback whales swimming around in the waters. Trails vary in length from a short 2 kilometres up to a total of 6.5 and are physically demanding. Don’t forget to take plenty of water to stay hydrated and to avoid the midday sun if possible.
Join a Cycling Tour:
Cycling tours starting in Philipsburg take you around the major historical sites and landscapes. A typical tour with an experienced and knowledgeable guide lasts the best part of 6 hours and covers a total distance of 18 miles. The terrain is quite hilly, which will be great for maintaining your fitness on your holiday. Expect to see the Grand Salt Pond, Oyster Pond Bay, Galion Beach, and Orient Bay. You’ll also be cycling along the coastline and get great views of St Barths. This is a favourite way to see the island whilst combining it with exercise.
Having a Dream Holiday Without the Weight Gain:
Saint Martin is a place for relaxation and indlugence. But, it’s also a great place to stay physically active whilst enjoying the many sites and wonders of the island.