Snorkeling in St. Maarten/Martin
Snorkeling in St. Maarten/Martin
Snorkeling in St. Maarten/Martin allows visitors to explore some of the richest waters that the Caribbean Sea has to offer. This famous body of water is renowned for consistently wowing tourists, and the waters surrounding St. Maarten are of no exception. It's an island split in two, with the southern 40% being part of the Netherlands and known as St. Maarten, and the northern 60% French owned. Each government has been careful to protect it's underwater treasures, which has resulted in thriving reefs able to support an incredibly biodiverse ecosystem. St. Maarten/Martin snorkeling trips take guests to the best of these sites, ensuring that any trip here will live long in the memory.
Marine Life in St. Maarten/Martin
The huge quantities of shallow reefs mean that snorkeling in St. Maarten/Martin is a great way of viewing the unbelievable diversity of marine life living in these rich waters. Over 700 species of fish exist here, swimming in and amongst hard and soft corals displaying every shade of the colour spectrum. Reef fish are present in abundance, joined by Eagle Rays, playful Dolphins, and Octopus. Many sites are home to Green and Hawksbill Turtles, commonly seen gliding elegantly through the blue, and occasionally Loggerheads. In certain months snorkel trips will allow those on board to see the huge but friendly Humpback Whale, especially during their mating season.
Best Snorkel Sites in St. Maarten/Martin
There are several sites offering fabulous snorkeling opportunities from both the French and Dutch sides. St Kitts is a quiet island rarely visited by tourists, with some lovely calm snorkel spots giving great conditions for easy underwater viewing. Reefs and sponges form a large part of the landscape here, with every shape and colour imaginable. Like St Kitts, Saba is a tiny island but not small in terms of great snorkeling sites. There's a great mix of calm waters and open water sites, home to a variety of life. Because it's not on the tourist trail, the underwater environment is natural and undisturbed, allowing marine life to thrive. In the open water areas pelagics such as Dorado are commonly seen.
Snorkeling in St. Maarten/Martin has no shortage of shark action, in particular a high population of Caribbean Reef Sharks at Big Mama's Reef. These are graceful predators, extremely efficient swimmers, and regularly reach 3 metres in length. Charlie's Shoal is perhaps the quietest site for snorkeling in St. Maarten/Martin, with a multitude of spectacular marine life, including Stingrays, Barracudas, Grouper and Turtles.
Best Time To Snorkel St. Maarten/Martin
Due to it's tropical location, snorkeling in St. Maarten/Martin is good throughout the year. Water temperatures often hover around 30 degrees Celsius, giving pleasant conditions for easy snorkeling. If you visit between February and June then there's a good chance of viewing Humpback Whales. Being in the tropics of Central America, there is a hurricane season (June to November), but it's extremely rare for this to affect water based activities. If you are unsure, then check out the National Hurricane Center website which has some excellent information.
How Do I Get To St. Maarten/Martin?
A great way to explore the variety of snorkel sites on offer throughout St. Maarten/Martin waters is by liveaboard tour. These often last for several days (commonly eight), giving ample time for snorkeling, relaxing, and sailing. Many snorkel trips will leave from St. Maarten itself, and end their journey on the island of St. Kitts. There's several other itineraries on offer so do check this with your operator before making travel plans.St Maarten international airport, otherwise known as Princess Juliana International Airport, is the most likely place that visitors will arrive at from overseas. Flights arrive here from all over the world, including directly from the US, Europe, North America and other parts of Central America. From the airport it's easy to get around the island as it's fairly small, but if you contact your tour operator it's likely they'll arrange a transfer for you.