Fringed with vibrant coral reefs and home to more than 30 official dive sites, the two neighboring countries of St. Maarten and St. Martin have some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the Caribbean. Whether you want to float along with the tropical fish, enjoy a thrilling open-water dive, or explore a sunken shipwreck, here are your options.
At the western tip of St. Maarten, the warm waters around Simpson Bay offer plenty of snorkeling opportunities, while certified divers can enjoy wreck-diving around Simpson Bay Bridge. Look out for lobsters, sea turtles, stingrays, and even the occasional reef shark hiding within the walls of the wreckages. Just up the coast, Mullet Bay is also great for snorkelers.
Just off the south coast of St. Maarten and a short boat ride from Philipsburg, The Maze makes for an ideal scuba diving excursion; common sightings include sea turtles, stingrays, and giant French angelfish. Nearby, Teigland is another sunken-ship dive spot; the wreck plays host to hundreds of species of fish, as well as a large number of eagle rays.
Baie Rouge and Happy Bay
On the French side of St. Martin, Baie Rouge and Happy Bay are prime spots for a snorkeling adventure. A vast expanse of coral hugs the shoreline, and you can dive in right from the beach.
Located off the north coast of St. Martin, Creole Rock offers calm waters and excellent visibility, making it a snorkeler’s paradise. Look out for pufferfish, barracuda, and maybe even the elusive frogfish; head farther out to explore the deserted beaches and fish-filled waters of Tintamarre Island.