We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Beaches that are must-see?

Level Contributor
126 posts
34 reviews
Save Topic
Beaches that are must-see?

Our first trip to SXM will be for 1 week in May. I've read about a lot of beaches, but I'd like to get feedback on some personal favorites. Specifically a beach that has:

1. facilities (restrooms/shower, food, umbrellas), and

2. turquois water and a beach you can stand on barefoot (no sharp rocks), and

3. not built up (hopefully not many/any high-rise hotels, the more trees the better!).

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Johnson City...
Level Contributor
131 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Beaches that are must-see?

Simpson Bay beach at Karakter will fit the bill nicely. My favorite is Orient. There are sections that are built up but lots of open space as well. Both have facilities.

Level Contributor
126 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Beaches that are must-see?

Dustin - Thanks. I've seen conflicting info on Simpson Beach...one said there were no amenities on the beach and that you'd have to bring your own food, chairs, etc. Is there a bathroom?

We'll definitely go to Orient. My expectation was that it was kind of "built up" but that's ok for a one of a kind excursion to people watch and experience the activity of SXM.

It's our first trip to the Caribbean, so we also want to find a beach with turquois water and gentle waves to just relax under an umbrella with a cold drink. :-)

Johnson City...
Level Contributor
131 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Beaches that are must-see?

Karakter has nice bathrooms (for a beach bar) as well as loungers and umbrellas if you get there early enough. I would get there by 9:30-10 at the latest.

http://www.karakterbeach.com/

Mullet Bay is one of the most beautiful as far as water color but sorely lacking in facilities

Dustin

Caracas
Level Contributor
700 posts
166 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Beaches that are must-see?

I won't talk about facilities because that never matter for me, but if you want nice, beautiful, quiet beaches, please don't miss: Pinel, Le Galion, Great Bay, Mullet and Anse Marcel. Trust me, you will enjoy them a lot. Also, I recommend you take the ferry to Anguilla and go to Shoal Bay, maybe the most beautiful beach I have ever saw. Flr me, Karacter is far from being one of the best beaches.

Level Contributor
126 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Beaches that are must-see?

Adgapa - thanks for your recommendations. We are planning on doing a snorkel trip that includes Pinel, and Le Galion was on my short list (very close to where we are staying). We also wanted to go to Angiulla to Shoal Bay, so you just helped make me feel better about that day trip!

However, I thought Great Bay was very crowded...isn't that the one that all the cruise ships go to?

Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
463 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Beaches that are must-see?

We go to SXM almost every year and (in order) these are our favorites with comments. All have facilities and rentals on some level:

1. Friars-quiet beach, some all sand, some small pebble areas. GREAT lunch (cash only) at Friars Beach cafe. If you lunch there they will give you a free chair and umbrella for the day. We go almost every other day when we are there. Decent snorkeling to the right by the rocks.

2. Pinel-beautiful, serene. Has food & chair/umbrella rentals with a few cafes. Relatively shallow and calm.

3. Galeon-one food shack, chair/ umbrella rentals . A good place to bring a picnic. Very calm and shallow> you walk out 100 yards or so to be up to your chest.

4. Orient-small rolling waves, no snorkeling to speak of. Muiltiple water activities along the long beach. Many options for lunch.

5. Mullet-can get crowded if a ship brings a tour there otherwise not so much. BBQ shack is a good lunch option.

6. Rouge- good snorkeling to the right on the rocks. Another picnic option though food is available.

Hope this is helpful. Looking forward to our trip in July.

Level Contributor
126 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Beaches that are must-see?

jvr - thanks! so glad that I'm getting feedback from people who are familiar with the island.

If I can fit everything into our week, I've shortlisted Orient, Galeon, and Rouge. We are staying right by Dawn beach, so that's an easy one too. Day trips to Pinel/Tintamarre (snorkeling tour), and Anguilla/Shoal.

I'll have to look at Mullet, Simpson, and Friars.

I'm surprised no one had Grand Case on their list, it was one that I was considering, but if it's similar to Orient in terms of the festive/busy beach 'vibe', then maybe visiting one is good enough?

PL3
CT
Level Contributor
239 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Beaches that are must-see?

Grand Case is always our fav.

Long beach, soft sand, usually calm sea.

NO crowds, lunch at tables on the sand @ Rainbow & Calmos.

Snorkeling @ Pinel is overrated.

Shoal Bay is one of the best beaches in the world...

Rare coral sand that never gets hot on the feet.

Level Contributor
126 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Beaches that are must-see?

PL - thanks for your list! From my reading Grand Case sounded like a nice / active beach (my impression from 3,500 miles away, is that it would be similar to Orient for an overall experience). We'd like a mixture of some 'fun' beaches and some 'relaxing/scenic' beaches.

Shoal is a definite now. :-) Pinel comes as part of a boat tour that goes to Tintamarre and Green. I think Tintamarre more for snorkeling and PInel for beach time.

Ideally we'd like to fit 2 "beaches/towns" into each day (morning/lunch, and another town for dinner/shopping). Would going to Grand Case during the day, and then Marigot at night be good....or vice-versa. I know safety at night is something to be aware of, so if there's a better option, please let me know!

Thanks everyone!

PL3
CT
Level Contributor
239 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Beaches that are must-see?

Grand Case beach could not be more different from Orient.

If you like wall to wall beach chairs 3 deep go to Orient.

Great cruise ship "sheeple" watching.

Very few folks on the beach @ GC

Grand Case is dead during the day, most restaurants are dinner only.

Be sure to check Tuesday night carnivals,

Marigot is kind of a big messy town.

Go during the day, good luck parking.