Part two of our weeklong adventure on the unique and tiny Caribbean island of Saint Martin (French side)/Sint Maarten (Dutch side).
Part two of our Saint Martin adventure started after dropping Al off at the airport. 🙂 Since it was like 7am and my dad wanted to check out Philipsburg, we drove there to walk around and explore.
It was definitely the most “touristy” area we encountered, likely because it’s a cruise ship port of call. The (many) vendors were just starting to set up, as we walked along the boardwalk. So, I’m glad we didn’t come any later.
From Philipsburg, we drove back toward the airport to Karakter Beach Bar. It’s kind of tucked away in a more residential area, but it was well worth the time spent trying to find our way. Because it was still pretty early (like 10am), we were some of the only people there. So, we got first dibs on beach chairs and umbrellas (which were free to use with a purchase from the bar or restaurant).
Done! Who doesn’t want a pina colada at 10am? 🙂 We ended up spending the rest of the day here because we had AWESOME service, the beach wasn’t crowded (even though all of the Karakter chairs were occupied by noon) and it was such a beautiful, sunny day!
The next morning we woke up with the birds chirping and whipped up our daily breakfast in the beautiful outdoor kitchen! Seriously, I want this kitchen set-up in my house. I LOVED cooking here!
After breakfast, my dad, being the science-y guy he is, suggested we hit up a nearby butterfly farm. I’ll be honest, at first I was a little skeptical, but it ended up being one of my favorite experiences!
There were thousands of butterflies in all kinds of shapes, colors and sizes! Some of them would just land on you as you were walking around. Others, you could coax onto your fingers with a little nectar. It was a really neat experience and I would highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever on Saint Martin. Plus, you pay flat fee (I think $15 pp) and you can come back as many times as you want during your stay. (We actually went back the following morning to check it out again 🙂 )
For lunch we drove the short distance back to Anse Marcel for reservations at the Anse Marcel Beach Hotel. The food was exceptional! I had an amazing tropical fruit salad with shrimp (below). The service was okay. I think it would have been helpful had one of us been able to speak French at this hotel/restaurant, as they clearly catered to primarily French-speaking clientele.
We had originally planned to spend the rest of the day on the Anse Marcel beach, but it was really crowded with guests staying at the Hotel and the next door RIU resort. So we packed up our things and drove back to the Dutch side (Sint Maarten) to Maho Beach for round two.
Not only did we really enjoy the entertainment of planes flying directly overhead, but we also enjoyed the set-up of the beach. It was pretty protected in a little harbor/cove, so the water was pretty clear and calm.
The one thing you did have to watch out for was planes taking off, which kicked up tons of sand. You could easily find areas where you wouldn’t be affected by it, however, lots of people (above) liked to intentionally stand in front of the sand blast. 😀
Once we had our fill of sun and sand, we drove back to Grand Case for one last meal at Ville Royale. Those Creole Beans and Rice (top right) where sooooooo good! In fact, I’ve tried recreating the recipe several times since with no avail. I should have asked them for their secret. Next time! 🙂
On our last morning, we packed up our things and said goodbye to our little Anse Marcel bungalow apartment. Although it might be a little rustic for some (limited usage of electricity, one bathroom, no shower, and a tub in the middle of the room 😉 ), we made it work and overall, I really enjoyed staying at this AirBNB.
We had a late afternoon flight back home, so we unanimously decided to spend the rest of our time back at Karakter!
It was the perfect way to wrap up our weeklong holiday in Saint Martin!
Or so we thought 🙂
Long story short, our flight ended up being cancelled. So, we ended up getting to spend another night in beautiful Saint Martin and woke up for a beautiful sunrise on Dawn Beach. THE perfect way to end our holiday!