Feeling fit and ready for some action? Or perhaps you want to walk and paddle off the extra sumptious food you ate during your vacation? Then this is the tour for you.
We will hike to a mountain top with gorgeous views of St Martin, chill and watch wildlife at a fresh pond and have a healthy lunch at the super local and vegan Freedom Fighter’s Ital Shack. Then it’s time for some action again: a two hour paddle trip on a Kayak or Stand Up Paddle Board to an offshore key where we’ll snorkel.
For a detailed description of this active eco tour see below.
|Pick Up 1||From Dock Maarten in Philipsburg (a 5 minute walk from the cruise ship pier)|
|Pick Up 2||From all hotels in Philipsburg and Oyster Pond|
|Start Time||09:00 AM|
|End Time||04:00 PM|
|Rate 4-12 year*||$80|
*Make sure your children are truly motivated to do this trip. Otherwise it might be quite a battle for them and a drag for you.
What to bring: A hat, suntan lotion, swim clothes and a (small) towel will come in handy. You can change into your bathing suit at our lunch spot. Wear shoes that are comfortable for walking and can’t slip off easily, sandals or sport shoes are great.
Included in this trip are: drinks, snacks and lunch.
We’ll have a cooler stocked with water and tropical juices. In the morning you will be offered Iced Tea and Iced Coffee and a slice of homemade cake with a Caribbean twist. Before the tour ends we’ll have a tropical fruit snack.
During this tour we’ll spend the morning on the Dutch side of St Maarten. While we could have lunch at the typical Dutch snack bar with its mainly deep fried foods – we’ll tell you where to find it, we have chosen to visit the lovely healthy and vegan Freedom Fighter’s Ital Shack, run by a local Rastafarian family. Lunch of the day depends on what came from their organic vegetable gardens, you’ll have the choice between a tasty roti, a filling soup or the ‘Menu of the Venue’ also known as the dish of the day. A refreshing homemade juice is included, not your average apple or orange juice, but wonderful Caribbean ones made from ginger, tamarind and other locally grown fruits.
Also included is the use of our binoculars, wildlife identification cards, rain coats (on a rare occasion), kayak or Stand Up Paddle board (SUP), snorkel gear, fish identification cards and one of our dry bags so you can safely bring your wallet, camera and other items along on the paddle trip.
Detailed description of the Peak, Pond & Paddle Tour
This tour for the young at heart starts half way up one of St Maarten’s highest hills: Sentry Hill. From here we’ll walk and climb to several peaks on the mountain ridge where we’ll have wonderful views of the Lagoon, Caribbean Sea and Dutch Sint Maarten. Your guide will serve you a tropical fruit snack on the highest point of the hike and he will tell you all about how St Martin came to be and what it is you see from the top.
Your guide will point out more highlights of St Martin’s natural and cultural heritage throughout the tour. Give him $1 if you want him to shut up ;-).
Down from the hill and out of the bush we’ll drive to the only birding hut on Dutch St Maarten where we’ll watch the birds on and around the peaceful fresh pond and in between the mangroves. It is here we’ll enjoy iced coffee and iced tea while cooling down a bit.
Then it is time for lunch! This all natural food shack showcases important rasta freedom fighters and is filled with posters and newspaper clippings celebrating St Martin’s unique cultural events.
After lunch it is time for our next adventure: a paddle trip from the Northern part of St Martin to an offshore overgrown rock called Little Key. Choose your vehicle of preference: a single or double kayak or a Stand Up Paddle Board. Before we go we’ll fit you a set of snorkel gear which we’ll strap onto your kayak and we’ll put your belongings which can’t handle water in a dry bag. The paddle trip offers a lovely view of Pinel Island, St Martin, the bay and the birds.
Once at Little Key we put on our snorkel gear and go for some sightseeing below sea level. Both our guides are trained scuba dive professionals and they will make sure you’re comfortable with your gear and they’ll guide you under water too. After enjoying the colourful reef fish and corals, we’ll head back to shore by kayak to have juice and a slice of cake with a Caribbean twist.
After the refreshments we’ll make a short and level walk around part of a salt pond to watch wading birds foraging in the shallow water and on the mudflats. We might spot iguanas and crabs here too.
Then depending on the time left and which wildlife we have spotted so far we’ll make one more stop at a viewpoint for a last look at St Martin’s wonderful landscapes and fauna.
For an overview of which wildlife we’re likely to be seeing on our tours, check out the What to Spot section.
Sadly the only thing that is left to do now is to drop you off safely at your starting point: your hotel, the cruise ship pier or Dock Maarten.
Book this trip now, we’re sure you’ll have a great time touring St Martin’s wonderful and varied nature sites with us while having a workout at the same time.
Our other full day tour called Peak, Pond & Snorkel visits a different peak, a different fresh pond and a completely different lunch spot on the French side. The snorkeling will also be elsewhere and off a beach. Check out more Seagrape Tours here.