I remember back in flight attendant training they showed us a video of what would happen if you were behind the planes whenever they were taking off. You would get completely blown away. We traveled to Sint Maarten (The Dutch side, if you didn’t know France and The Netherlands both share this roughly 35 miles.) to do exactly that.
Maho/ Sunset beach is known to aviation enthusiasts and people who are thrill seekers around the world. I’ve visited the beautiful island of Sint Maarten only one time before on a cruise. This time we really got to see both The French and The Dutch side. Maho Beach is right next to runway 10 on Princess Juliana Airport (SXM). Maho Beach is a very small narrow beach, and from my observation is not a beach where people go swimming in, though there were a couple of swimmers. Maho Beach gets deep very quickly and has only a small amount of sand for sunbathing as well. Maho Beach waters are sure not to disappoint, as with the rest of the island the water is turquoise blue.
We got to our Airbnb which was literally the closest Airbnb to the beach. There were several stores and casinos near our room. Also, oceanfront! (Click here to get $30 off your first Airbnb stay!)
We arrive to our room, drop everything off and walk on over to the beach. There is a new hotel The Morgan being build right next door to the Airbnb as well, so can’t wait to go back and check it out!
We walk right down Beacon Hill Road to the beach. To our surprise we missed all the jumbo jets taking off for that day, except for one Air Caraibes flight taking off to Paris’ Orly Airport. There were still a ton of flights, including propeller planes to watch. The best time to view the planes is from noon to mid afternoon, though it varies on the flight schedules. We did end up seeing a lot of planes landing though, mostly smaller planes. The planes are only about 30 feet above you.
I don’t quite remember the kind of aircraft we saw taking off, but it was an Airbus 320, or 321, something similar of that size. It was nothing like what you expect. When the plane taxis over to the runway and the engines turn on sand is blowing everywhere, and people scream and make a lot of noise. I had my clothes on the wall, and they blew away so as seen in my video I’m trying to pick them up!
As seen in the video, people hold on to the fence so they won’t get blown away. I want to warn you all that this can be extremely dangerous and may cause sever injury and possibly death. Please be aware and be careful when visiting. You can be blown into the water, or worse, blown into the concrete fencing that separates the street from the beach area. A couple years ago I did read that a woman was killed by hitting her head on the concrete, so please be mindful of the risks you are taking when standing behind an airplanes jet blast. This is one of the few places in the world that give bystanders and opportunity to see the planes up this close!
We went on a perfect day because the beach wasn’t too busy. In my opinion, it’s better with fewer people around. We leave the beach for a while and then eat at the closest restaurant Sunset Bar and Grill. This is where we get to see the final plane take off. The plane takes off facing the beach. I’m sure this would have been one hell of an experience to see the plane racing toward the beach with just a small fence in the middle. It was about 6:30 pm so it was dark and by then the beach had cleared out.
If you ever get the chance to visit this island definitely make it a priority to visit Maho Beach, and the Simpson Bay Area. A bucket list item, for sure. The locals are extremely friendly and helpful. They are very appreciative of the tourism on their island. There are a ton of restaurants, hotels, Airbnbs, casinos and so much more! The great thing about Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is that it is very easy to get around the island. While there is not Uber and Lyft the taxi drivers are knowledgable and charge fare wages. There are also many other attractions I would recommend like Orient Bay Beach, the Main Street where all the duty free stores are, and much more! What’s your favorite thing to do in Saint Martin/Sint Maarten?
Overall Nena’s Rating: 5/5
*All opinons are my own*
*This post is NOT sponsored*
*Disclosure: Some of these links may be affiliate links, at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission*