Planespotting at Maho beach in Sint Maarten

Planespotting at Saint Martin/Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten is one of the paradise islands in the Caribean sea. Here’s a few facts:

  • The island consists out of a French part and a Dutch part, divided by a 10 km border (free traffic possible).
  • spoken language is English (as most inhabitants stem from English slaves).
  • The island is approx. 87 m2 big.
  • st. Maarten used to belong to the Dutch Antilles island group, but is a separate country of the Netherlands since 10 October 2010.
  • Saint Martin became an overseas division of France under independent power since 2007.

The island is famous for the plane-spotting possibilities from the beach. Are you a plane-lover? Then this may be a perfect holiday island for you!


Maho beach

Maho beach is world famous because of the low flying aircrafts and the beach neighbouring airport. The runway is relatively short, about 2300 meters, and so the planes fly very low over the beach.

Picture: Maho beach

If larger aircraft leave, people can be blown away by the so-called: “jet blast”. Aircraft use the short runway at full capacity at the start of the track (beach side). Because the jet blasts have such enormous power, people often go to the airport/beachside fence, and hang from it. Although it initially may sound like fun, it can be very dangerous too.

Our tip: Do not go hanging on the fence at departures, but look from the beach to the landing planes. This is already very spectacular because you feel like you can almost touch them! If there is a departing airplane, admire the departure from the side.  Already several people got injured just from hanging on the fence, and even deaths occurred (unfortunately the last death took place very recently, on July 12, 2017). The government has therefore put up several warning signs that the jet blast of aircraft can be very dangerous.

Picture: View from Moha beach Picture: Sonesta Maho beach resort

Near Maho Beach there are several hotels, casinos and beach bars where you can dance until late in the evening. Sunset beach bar is very popular with locals as well as with tourists! A fun day, for example especially, if you are staying in the French part of the island.

Picture: Plane spotting Picture: Plane spotting

If you like plane-spotting, Sonesta Maho beach resort is the recommended resort for you!


Simpson beachclub tip

If you want to combine it with another beach, you can walk to Simpson beach. Walk down Beachon Hill road (roadway, just past the sunset beach bar), you walk a bit parallel to the right of the runway and past the Alegria hotel turn right. Here is Simpson beach. If you want a nice and laid back beach club then walk to the left some more. The first beach club you will see is called: “Karakter” (Character): Free beach beds, good service and delicious dishes on the menu!

Picture: Simpson beach


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