St. Maarten’s longest beach has all the ingredients of a perfect Caribbean paradise: soft white sand, clear and calm turquoise water, and gently waving palms. Though located just behind the Princess Juliana Airport, Simpson Bay is surprisingly quiet and unpopulated.
Travelers have many options to explore Simpson Bay as part of half-day or full-day tour in a speed boat, a self-drive inflatable boat, or even a dinner cruise combined with visits to beautiful beaches to sunbathe, swim, and snorkel. Additional stops may include the Dutch capital of Philipsburg, the Creole Rock nature reserve, swimming with sea turtles off Tintamarre Island, or dinner at a beachfront restaurant on Pinel Island.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Simpson Bay tours may include round-trip hotel transfers, marine park fees, food and drinks, use of snorkeling equipment, towels, and guides. Check tours for specific details.
- Adventure tours may have minimum ages.
- Remember sun protection, swimwear, and water for hydration.
How to Get There
Simpson Bay is located along the island’s southwest coast next to the main airport, which is about a 10-minute drive from both the French capital of Marigot and the Dutch capital of Philipsburg. Parking is available at any of the small beachside hotels and restaurants.
When to Get There
The best times to visit St. Martin/St. Maarten are the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, when cheaper rates are offered and rains less likely. The weather is pleasant year-round, with summer months being the hottest. Humpback whales can be observed from February to June.
Carousel and Gelato
A must see for the family while at Simpson Bay is the charming historical carousel. Inside a unique 16-sided structure, the gentle amusement ride is surrounded by beautiful and fragrant gardens, but the main attraction is the delicious creamy gelato, available in an array of flavors.