Enjoy this private tour of both sides of St. Martin. Departing from Marigot, you will drive to the Dutch side of St. Maarten via Cole Bay and Belle Vue, making a photo stop at the Harold Jack lookout point, located high on a hill overlooking the sea where (clouds permitting), you will have fantastic views of the neighboring islands of Saba (the home of Kong in the original King Kong movie) and St. Eustatius to the south, and British Anguilla to the north. Upon arrival in Philipsburg, you will make a short stop at the Rima shop. There, you will find a cornucopia of resort and island fashions, from peasant skirts to pareos, bonnets to bags, Caftans, tunic pants, beach accessories and much, much more, all in luscious tropical colors.
Now that you are in the true tropic frame of mind, you will continue with a drive through the main street of the Dutch capital. There you will see some of the famous St. Maarten shops as well as the restored courthouse, originally built in 1793. Drive past the Great Salt Pond and through the rolling country as you make your way back towards the French side of the island, via a different route.
Continue your St. Maarten excursion on to the famous Orient Bay, perhaps as well known for its relaxed dress code as for its white sand beach and aqua blue water. Here you will have approximately one hour to swim, stroll, soak up the sun or purchase a tropical drink in one of the many local beach cafes and bars.
After the beach, you will travel along the French side of the island to Grand Case, a seaside town known as the "gourmet capital of the Caribbean," with its gingerbread houses and sidewalk bistros. A drive through the main street will give you an up-close look of this quaint little town.
Arriving back in Marigot, which started out as a fishing village, you will feel a truly European ambiance with a touch of Creole. Your driver guide will point out the main shopping areas where you will find the boutiques, as well as the open-air markets, which specialize in bright fabrics and souvenirs. You may choose to end your tour in the shopping area or be taken back to the pier. Those guests wishing to end the tour in the shopping area are responsible for their own transportation back to the pier. From the shops at the Marina Royale it is approximately a 15-20 minute walk back to the ferry pier. The open-air market and West Indies Mall can be seen from the ferry pier. Ships docked at the Galis Bay cargo facility are an additional 10-15 minute walk beyond the ferry pier (on the other side of Fort Marigot).
Due to the short time at the beach, a chair is not included in the price of the tour. Chairs are available for rent at the beach. Be advised that European-style (clothing-optional) sunbathing may be observed throughout beaches in St. Maarten. This excursion may operate in reverse due to traffic conditions. On Sundays, most shops and restaurants on the French side are closed.