Plenty of activities

In addition to the plethora of watersports activities available to guests of St. Martin villas, the island offers beautiful scenery for mountain biking, hiking and running, and horseback riding. There are also plenty of activities for families with children, and don’t forget the casinos!

Mountain biking is growing rapidly in the Caribbean. Contact Tri Sport (011-599-54594384) on the Dutch side and Frog Legs (011-590-590-87-05-11) on the French side for rentals. They will do organized rides on request only.

The peaceful Loterie Farm (011-590-590-87-86-16) on the lower faces of Pic Paradis (the island’s highest point) offers organized hikes for novices to experienced hikers in a beautiful, lush, unspoilt forest area. There is also a “Treetop Adventure Park” with zip-lines suspended high above a forest reserve, suspended bridges, swinging ropes, and more for children. The Heritage Foundation (011-599-542-4917) and Musee de Marigot (590-590-29-22-84) also offer organized hikes. Runners might want to call the Roadrunners Club (011-599-556-7815), who have weekly fun runs and frequent special events.

What better way to appreciate the island’s nature than from the saddle? Lucky Stables (011-599-544-5255) allows you to explore the area around Cape Bay, with its breathtaking views, and to enjoy a swim in the Caribbean Sea with your horse! They even have evening rides, complete with a bonfire and champagne. Also try Bayside Riding Stables (011-590-590-87-36-64) and OK Corral (011-590-690-61-08-97).

Families with children might enjoy Galion Beach, nicknamed “Baby Beach” for its calm, shallow water. There is even a big box of beach toys for toddlers at Tropical Wave Restaurant.

Speaking of children, Jill Steinke offers a great service for families with children of all ages. Jill runs Caribbean Kids Club – an exclusive service that entertain children and gives them a variety of enriching activities to enhance their family vacation. Infants, kids, teens and young adults have an opportunity to create, learn, discover and enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean in the privacy of their villa rental or home. For more information, contact Jill at jillsteinke@hotmail.com or visit her website at http://www.caribbeankidsclub.com/.

The Butterfly Farm (011-590-590-87-31-21) right next to Bayside, is one of the island’s prettiest places to visit. It’s open every day from 9 AM to about 3 PM, but the best time to visit is early in the morning, when the butterflies are just coming out of their cocoons. Wear bright colors and bring your camera!

St. Maarten Park (011-599-543-2030), the island’s zoological and botanical gardens, is the place to go to see the tropics come alive. There is a Bat Cave, a Reptile House, a Parrot House, Monkey Island, and a Children’s Zoo, and the largest playground on the island.

Gambling and people-watching are popular activities in the Dutch side’s eight casinos. The casino can be a complete “night out” with fine dining and entertainment combined – many larger casinos have fantastic restaurants nearby, such as Atlantis World Casino with Montmartre and Temptation, two of our favorite eateries. During high season, Casino Royale in Maho hops – you’ll enjoy Latin and Carnival style dancing on the Maho Boulevard, setting the scene for an unforgettable evening of dining, dancing, and gaming.

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