Phillipsburgh St Maarten was our 2nd stop of the cruise. This was the only island where we actually booked a proper tour, mostly because it was so inexpensive and there didn’t seem to be a lot of things to do, or at least not stuff we could do on our own. By taking the tour we ended up seeing a lot more than we would have on our own. In the end it was the best visit we had due to a combination of the amount of things we were able to see and the ginormous family we shared the tour bus with. There were 20 of them plus us, and they were so awesome that they helped make our day.
We went with Jo Junie tours. The cost was $40 per person and that included all you can drink refreshments. The tour was a little different from what was advertised but none of us were complaining. We hopped on the bus, got our drinks, got to know the others a little. I must say again, what a fabulous group! I was a little worried about being surrounded by such a large group that we didn’t know but they made us feel right at home. Our first stop was at an iguana farm which was totally Chelsea’s thing. Growing up she had geckos and always wanted an iguana, so she took about 50 pictures. It was neat to see them all running around in their natural environment. The largest was over 15 pounds!
The next stop was Orient Bay where we were treated to the site of the most beautiful ocean view I’ve ever seen along with some coral and sea animals that had been brought up for us by a local. I actually got up the nerve to hold one of the animals and wow, was it weird. In the picture it looks sort of soft and fluffy, it wasn’t. More prickly, and the thing was constantly *moving.* You can see Chelsea’s reaction in the picture. After that we headed in to Marigot for a short shopping trip. Marigot was beautiful. It is called the French Riviera of the Caribbean, and I can totally see that. We were under a bit of time constraint at that point so we all quickly hopped out to grab a souvenir or two then hopped back on for our last stop.
Our last stop was Maho Bay/Sunset Beach. Stunning, just absolutely stunning. Not only was the beach downright gorgeous but it’s draw is that it’s so close to the airport that the planes get so close you can practically touch them when they come in for landing. I’m told you can see the pilots, although I didn’t try. By the time we were set to go I think we were all exhausted and ready to head back to the boat, that is the sign of a good day if you ask me.
St Martin seemed to be the least commercialized for tourists, and I really enjoyed it all the more for that. I think I mentioned once before that seeing what a place wants to show me isn’t really what I’m looking for when I visit. I want to see who and what they really are. Hopefully experience the day to day lives of the locals even just a tiny bit is more exciting to me than going to a full blown luxury resort. I felt like I got a tiny glimpse in St Martin, and if I had to choose one island to spend more time on it would be this one.
Some of my fav pics that we took on St Marten.