If you’re looking for an amazing bucket list experience, plan a day trip to Maho Beach in St. Maarten! Plane spotting is a popular adventure here, as it’s one of the best places in the world to see airplanes up close. You’ll be able to watch them come in for a landing right over your head – it’s an incredible sight! In this blog post, we’ll give you all the information you need to make the most of your day at Maho Beach so you can have your own plane spotting adventure.
Where is Maho Beach?
Maho Beach is on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. St. Maarten is an island in the Caribbean that is home to two distinct cultures: the Dutch on one side, and the French on the other. The island is just 37 square miles, making it one of the smallest countries in the world. St. Maarten is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, and duty-free shopping. Plane spotting at Maho Beach is one of the most popular things to do on the island. Fortunately, the adventure brings in a lot of tourists, which is lucrative for the hospitality industry of St. Maarten.
What is Plane Spotting?
Plane spotting is the hobby of tracking the movement of an aircraft, and it can be done in many different ways. Some people like to photograph or video planes, while others simply enjoy watching them. Plane spotting at Maho Beach is a bit unique, as you’re able to get very close to the action! We enjoy it from Maho Beach because you can sink your toes in the sand, have a drink in hand, and watch over the bright blue ocean for the shimmer of a plane in the distance to move towards you.
Why is Maho Beach a Plane Spotting Hotspot?
Maho Beach makes St. Maarten one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. The beach has been a popular spot for plane spotting since the 1990s. It’s become well-known in recent years, thanks to social media. Plane spotters from all over the world come to St. Maarten to get a close-up view of the aircrafts as they land at Princess Juliana International Airport.
The beach is located right next to the airport, so you’ll have a perfect view of the planes coming in for a landing. There are also several restaurants and bars in the area, so you can enjoy a refreshing drink while you watch the planes.
Is a Plane Spotting Adventure Dangerous?
While plane spotting at Maho Beach is an incredible experience, it’s important to be aware of the dangers. The beach is located right next to the runway, so you’ll be very close to the planes as they land. It’s important to stay behind the fence and out of the way of the aircraft. You should also avoid standing too close to the fence, as the jet blast from the planes can be very strong. You can see in our photos that many ignore that danger. Experiencing the jet blast standing on the beach can be exhilarating, but heart-pounding as well.
If you follow the safety guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy a safe and fun day at Maho Beach. Plane spotting is an incredible experience that you won’t want to miss!
Getting to Maho Beach
Maho Beach is located on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, and it’s easy to get there. The most popular ways are:
You can take a private taxi from anywhere on the island. Taxis are relatively inexpensive, and they’ll take you right to the beach.
The public bus system in St. Maarten is reliable and efficient. You can catch a bus from Philipsburg or Marigot to Maho Beach.
Rent a car and explore the island at your own pace. This is a great option if you’re staying on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, as it’s easy to get around. There is a parking lot next to the beach that is sometimes free and sometimes charges depending on how busy the beach is.
Where to Stay Around Maho Beach
If you’re looking for a place to stay near Maho Beach, there are plenty of options. There are several hotels and resorts in the area, as well as vacation rentals.
For those on a budget, there are several hostels in the area that offer dorm-style rooms. These are a great option if you’re traveling solo or with a group of friends.
If you’re looking for a more luxurious option, there are several resorts that offer upscale accommodations. These resorts typically have pools, restaurants, and bars on-site, as well as direct access to the beach.
What to Expect at Maho Beach
Maho Beach is a great place to relax and watch the planes. There are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas, as well as several restaurants and bars. The beach is also a great place to people watch, as you’ll see plenty of tourists from all over the world.
When you arrive at Maho Beach, you’ll see a fence that runs along the beach. This is to protect people from the jet blast of the planes taking off. The fence has gaps in it, so you can still get a good view of the planes.
There is no admission fee to Maho Beach, and it’s open to the public starting around 10:00 am every day. Although the beach doesn’t have a hard close time, they require you to bring any beach equipment back before 4:00 pm, but most people leave before that since the mosquitos, sand flies, and noseeums start to come out more at dusk.
You should also know that there are a few vendors who will make several attempts to sell handmade items while you are on the beach. If you don’t want to make a purchase, be firm in your answer of “no, thank you.” If you do want to make a purchase, agree on a price before agreeing to make the purchase.
Planning Your Plane Spotting Adventure at Maho Beach
What to Bring
To make the most of your day, arrive early and grab a spot on the beach. Be sure you’re prepared for a long day by packing plenty of sunscreen, water, and snacks. You’ll also want to bring a camera, as you’ll want to capture the planes taking off and landing.
If you’re planning on spending the day at one of the beach bars or restaurants, be sure to bring cash, as some of them don’t accept credit cards.
When to Go
The busiest times at the beach are typically mid-morning to early afternoon, so if you want to avoid the crowds, arrive early or late in the day. Planes take off all throughout the day, so no matter when you decide to go, you’ll be sure to see some action.
What to Wear
Since you’ll be spending the day on the beach, be sure to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Be sure to pack a hat or sunglasses to protect you from the sun. If you’re planning on swimming, be sure to bring a swimsuit.
Maho Beach Plane Spotting Tours
For those looking to get a closer view of the planes, there are several tour operators that offer Plane Spotting Tours. These tours typically last around four and a half hours, and they’ll take you to the best spots on the beach to see the planes. With this time allotment, you will be able to enjoy yourself on the beach as well.
Whether you’re a plane spotting enthusiast or just looking for a unique experience, Maho Beach is a must-visit destination. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
We do love an adventure. Whether it is walking out on a glass ledge 91 stories up, plane spotting, or walking across a mile high bridge, life is short. We want to experience it. Have you ever been plane spotting? Where is your favorite spot? Or your favorite adventure? Let us know in the comments below!
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This was the most incredible and fun experience of my life. I loved it!