The white sands of Orient Bay Beach are no secret in St. Maarten. This clothing-optional spot is a top attraction in the area, and sun worshippers come for its views of the bay, clear water, snorkeling opportunities, and many beachside restaurants and bars.
Protected from the Atlantic waves by a reef, this 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) long, white sand beach has gentle waves. Lined with tiki huts, colorful beach chairs, and restaurants, Orient Bay Beach thrums with action, giving it the reputation as the Saint Tropez of the Caribbean. Visit independently or explore Orient Bay Beach as part of half-day or full-day St. Martin tour that might include sightseeing adventures on both the French and Dutch sides of the island.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Orient Bay Beach is suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families—but do expect some nudity.
- Tours may include roundtrip hotel transfers, food and drinks, use of snorkeling equipment, towels, and guides. Check tours for specific details.
- Remember sun protection and water for hydration.
- Clothing is optional in front of Orient Bay Beach Club. Other parts of the beach tend to attract sunbathers wearing a bit more clothing.
- Umbrellas, beach chairs, and snorkeling equipment can be rented for a fee.
How to Get There
Orient Bay Beach is on the east coast of the French side of the island. If not on a tour, take a taxi or drive—parking in the area is accessible and free of charge. Expect a 20-minute drive from Marigot and about a 20- to 30-minute drive from Philipsburg on the Dutch side.
When to Get There
For fewer crowds, the best time to visit St. Maarten is spring or fall when cheaper rates are offered and rains are less likely. The weather is pleasant year-round, with the warmest weather in summer. Humpback whales can be observed from February to June.
Nudity and Nature
Orient Bay Beach is a favorite among nudists and naturalists. The entire marine area is a protected marine reserve, making the snorkeling the best on the island. Travelers may rent gear at the beach or go just a bit farther afield to Pinel Island, Greey Cay, and Tintamarre Beach, all reachable by a short boat ride or by paddling in a kayak or canoe.