There are countless gorgeous tropical islands in the Caribbean Ocean, and I have traveled to most of them. So, what’s so special about St. Maarten?  This island is the smallest landmass in the world to be shared by two different nations. It’s only 37 square miles and is governed by France and the Netherlands. There are endless pristine beaches, lagoons, mountains, luxury hotels, elegant villas, and over 300 restaurants with chefs from around the world.  Shopping on the island is duty-free, and casinos, discos, and nightclubs stay open till dawn.

We stayed at Simpson Bay Lagoon, the Caribbean’s largest lagoon. St. Maarten has become the yachting center of the Caribbean and home port to some of the world’s most outrageous mega-yachts — which are mostly in Simpson Bay.

My favorite beaches: Cupecoy Beach on Mullet Bay has to be one of the most scenic regions on the entire island. The water is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The Dutch’s Mullet Bay is the quintessential Caribbean beach and runs along the island’s only 18-hole golf course.

Orient Beach has long had the reputation as the most famous beach. It’s on the French side and is a fun experience. It is clothing optional and has a variety of upscale beach restaurants. Here you will see wind/kite-surfers and many other sporting activities. And yes, the participants are fully clothed.

Maho Beach is one of the area’s most famous attractions and is literally at the end of the SXM Airport runway. Nowhere else in the world can you witness take-offs and landings of jumbo-jets so closely. No wonder aviation fans from around the world go here for the very exciting “Maho Beach Airplane Experience!” We loved it.

Other fun experiences: At Seaside Nature Park, we took a breathtaking horseback ride. The ride ended with us going to the beach where our horses went for a swim to cool off as we stayed in the saddle!

And the highlight of our trip was Pyratz Gourmet Sailing. It was the ultimate catamaran experience! This is a gourmet cruise that offers intimate catamaran day cruises around the island.

I think this is the perfect Caribbean vacation destination!

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