Sometimes you want to travel off the beaten path on your vacation and St. Martin has some great spots for doing just this. St. Martin is a beautiful island with some of the best tourist spots like beaches, incredible restaurants and all the watersports activities you can dream of. But what if you want to see something a little different. There are a few spots that the average tourist won't see or explore. Here are my favorite spots to see that are off the beaten path in St. Martin.
La Belle Creole
La Belle Creole was once a beautiful resort on the island of St. Martin, but after Hurricane Luis destroyed it, the property has remained abandoned ever since. The land is currently for sale and could become the next big Caribbean resort.
La Belle Creole is located on the French side of St. Martin in the French West Indies, at a cove at the end of Baie Nettle. It's surrounded by the ocean looking out into Marigot. You'll often find kite-borders in this spot due to the lack of everyday tourist and traffic in the water. The wind here often picks up to great speeds and it's quite a sight to see.
Kiteboarding in Baie Nettle, St. Martin
La Belle Creole closed after Hurricane Luis destroyed it in 1995 and never reopened. Exploring the grounds, you can quickly discover how much damage was caused by Luis. The high winds blew through the resort causing a path of destruction.
The 26-acre peninsula point was a permier resort under the Hilton Worldwide name. The highly acclaimed five-star resort opened in 1985 and operated as a Conrad Hilton International Hotel. La Belle Creole was the pride of the island and featured 162 keys in 22 separate buildings totaling 190,000 square feet.
To get to the resort requires a little bit of adventure. You'll be required to park and walk the secluded beach to get to it.
Is it safe to go to La Belle Creole?
It is recommended to not travel to La Belle Creole alone. It's in a secluded area of the island and due to the damage of the structures, I wouldn't explore it without a buddy. Make sure to wear proper footwear as there is lots of broken glass and other debris from years of winds and storms.
David's Hole (The Devil's Hole)
The Devil's Hole (or Trou David as it's less fun name) is an 80 foot in diameter sinkhole between Baie Rouge and Pointe du Bluffe. The highest peak is around 33 feet. It's quite an amazing place to see.
I was lucky enough to be visiting the house next to it and was able to experience it from the top and surrounding areas. The public can access the area from the rectangular stone at the lowest point or if you're feeling frisky, you can swim around to the two holes to access it from the inside.
Many of the island tours will stop by this location. While I was there, I witnessed two different four-wheel tours come by as the area is easy to get to with an off-road vehicle. By car, you can access it, but there is more walking involved. And you'll need to be careful with the path to it being a little rocky.
So if you're looking for an adventure and want to see some natural beauty...this may just be the spot for you. Or if you want to listen to the waves crashing while you sleep, rent the villa on the property. It's called "Le Mas des Sables" and can be rented through St. Martin Sotheby's International Realty. You'll be able to see it in a way not many people can.
Happy Bay Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches on St. Martin is Happy Bay. It's secluded, has incredible white sand and the water is calm. This beach has stayed gorgeous mostly because no one ever goes to it. And there is a reason for that. It's not very easy to get to.
Happy Bay beach is located on the French side of the island of St. Martin|St.Maarten. The easiest way to get to it is by hiking to it from Friar's Bay, which is a more popular beach with two restaurants.
The hike is very easy and can even be done in flip flops, so don't be concerned about how advanced of a hiker you need to be.
How to get to Happy Bay Beach
There is a path located on the north side of Friar's Bay (right side when facing the ocean) and it's easy to spot. Take this path which follows the coastline for about 10-15 minutes. As long as you stay on the coastline, you really can't go off the path.
After your gentle stroll through the woods while avoiding the inguanas that may fall from the trees, you will reach Happy Bay beach. This beach is completely void of restaurants, chairs, umbrellas and for the most part, people. Here you are free to bare it all and get rid of all those peksy tan lines.
You may notice a few things leftover from the SXM Music Festival, which throws a huge beach party here.
Remember to bring your sunscreen, some water or other beverages and even a snack if you plan on staying awhile. If you're looking for peace and quiet while listening to the ocean, this is the beach for you.
So while there are numerous spots in St. Martin for the every day tourist, maybe try exploring some of the locations that are off the beaten path. You'll never know what you'll find.
Do you know some more "Off the Beaten Path" location in St. Martin? Let me know!