I mentioned last week that I was going to post some articles regarding the ports we will be visiting and what there is to see there. With only 4 days left before we leave I figured I better get a move on. I’ve decided to start with St Martin as it’s the island that has me most undecided as to what to do there.
It seems the most efficient activity would be a tour through the government endorsed Jo Junie tours. With a safety first attitude for this trip, being government endorsed is a huge plus. I found out yesterday while trying to book a hotel for Fort Lauderdale that pre booking stuff in a place you know nothing about really takes a lot of trust. The itinerary for Jo Junie tours is:
A sightseeing visit to Oyster Pond, a marina located between the Dutch and French sides with spectacular views.
A 2 hour visit to Orient Bay which has a clothing optional side, not that me and my 17 year old daughter will be visiting that side! (***careful prime bits exposed on link. Although it’s a govmt site)
Hilltop at Orient bay for more prime views
A shopping excursion to Marigot, the French open market.
A stop at Sunset beach/Maho Bay where you can see the plane’s underbelly 2 inches from your nose.
The price for the tour is minimal, includes all you can drink refreshments, and it gets you back to Philipsburg with plenty of time to look around there as well. On the plus side, it sounds like you get to see a little bit of all the highlights St Martin/St Maartin has to offer. I like the idea of being able to see both sides of the Island, which we might not be able to do on our own and get back in time. On the down side is, will I want to leave when we need to, or are there other things along the way that I would prefer to see instead? Apparently I hate making these kinds of decisions.
While looking around for other things we might want to do though, it seems our decision is made for us, as there really aren’t any other highlights. From what I can tell the tour really is the best of St Martin/St Maarten. Unless you want to while your day away on one beach, which isn’t really my thing, plus we’ll have three days to do that in Florida. There are too many cool things to see in the Caribbean to lay around all day.
One thing that is missing from the tour that I might suggest to the owner is Loterie Farms. All of our family are avid naturists, we love to hike, and commune with the outdoors. I also love history. Loterie Farms was formerly Loterie Plantation, established some time in the 18th century. They offer hikes through a beautiful tropical forest, as well as zip lines, and an obstacle course. They also have several exotic outdoor cafes and restaurants that look like once in a life time treats.
Another highlight of St Martin is Fort St. Louis. If you’ve ever looking into the history of the Caribbean you will know that it is rife with pirates and countries battling for control of what was considered the ‘best’ islands. Various countries always had easy trade in the forefront of their minds during battle considerations, thus it was imperative for those who currently controled those islands to properly defend them. Most islands you will visit will have some sort of historical monument to those defenses and Fort St Lous is St Marin’s. Thankfully this Fort is located at Marigot so we will be able to have a quick look if we can forgo a little shopping to do it.