Pinel Island is one of St. Maarten’s best-kept secrets and a favorite snorkeling spot. Travelers can visit independently or explore Pinel island as part of tour that might include the island with other coastal stops such as Creole Rock or Tintamarre Island for relaxing, snorkeling, and swimming with sea turtles.
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Things to Know Before You Go
A trip to Pinel Island is suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families who want to get away from it all.
Tours may include roundtrip hotel transfers, food and drinks, use of snorkeling equipment, towels, and guides. Check tours for specific details.
Remember to bring sun protection, swimwear, and a towel.
The island has two restaurants, both with plenty of fresh seafood.
No cars are allowed on island.
Bring cash or credit cards; there is no ATM on the island.
How to Get There
Pinel Island is just off the west coast of St. Martin, easily accessible by ferry boat, kayak, or paddle board. Take a taxi or drive to French Cul de Sac, just across from the island where you can rent snorkeling gear and watersports equipment. The ferry boats run frequently during the day and take about 5 minutes to reach the islands.
When to Get There
Popular with locals, the island is more crowded on weekends. Visit St. Maarten in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall to find fewer crowds and cheaper rates, with rain less likely. The weather is pleasant year-round, with summer being the hottest. Humpback whales can be observed from February to June.
A Hidden Beach
Walk to the ocean side of Pinel Island to get away from the merrymaking crowds. Follow a path behind Le Karibuni bar that leads up and over the top of the hill to reach a quiet and isolated beach where seashells wash up on the shore.