During this half day Nature Tour for all ages we will visit and enjoy the wildlife and beautiful views of least five different landscapes from summit to sea, including life on the ocean bottom – we will snorkel off a beach at the end of the trip.
For a detailed description of this eco tour see below.
|When||Every week on several mornings|
|Pick Up 1||From Dock Maarten in Philipsburg – a 10 minute walk from the cruise ship pier|
|Pick Up 2||From all hotels in Philipsburg and Oyster Pond|
|Start Time||08:30 AM|
|End Time||12:30 PM|
|Rate under 12:||$50|
What to bring: Wear your swim clothes and suntan lotion. A hat and a (small) towel will come in handy. Wear shoes that are comfortable for walking and can’t slip off easily, sandals or sport shoes are best.
Included in this trip are: We’ll have cold water and you’ll be offered Iced Tea and Iced Coffee and a slice of homemade banana bread. Upon making your reservation please let us know whether there are any specific dietary requests.
Also included is the use of our binoculars, wildlife identification cards, rain coats (only for the rare occasion), snorkel gear, noodles and fish identification cards. Upon making your reservation please let us know what your shoe sizes are.
Detailed description of the Peak, Pond & Snorkel Tour
The Peak, Pond and Snorkel tour is a full island tour, we’ll cross the Dutch-French border twice and you’ll have great views of both Saint Martin and Sint Maarten.
The first stop is at the highest peak of the island, the green and tropical Pic Paradis at 424 mtr/ 1390 ft. A 20 minute slight sloping and easy walk past lush vegetation, impressive rock formations, vibrant bird sounds and scurrying lizards will bring us to the top where a wide vista of the Eastern side of St Martin spreads out in front of us. While you rest and enjoy the view, your guide will tell the story of 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 a dollar if you want him to shut up ;-).
After the downhill walk back, we hop in the van for a short ride to the viewpoint on the Westside of the peak where we’ll enjoy Iced Tea and Iced Coffee with a nice slice of homemade cake with a Caribbean twist.
Our second stop will be at Étang de la Barrière, a salt pond in the Northern part of St Martin. Here we’ll make a short and level walk over the boardwalk and enjoy the view of wading birds foraging in the pond and on mudflats. In between the mangroves crabs and iguanas can be spotted.
Depending on the waves and weather we’ll choose the best snorkeling site for the day, preferably from a quiet beach. Our favorite sites are the wreck of M/V El Maud which sank during hurricane Lenny in 1999 and in calm seas we like to show you the underwater world of Baie Lucas. We’ll find a shady spot or put up our umbrellas and go for a nice and refreshing snorkel off the beach.
Both our guides are trained dive professionals, they will make sure you are comfortable with the snorkel gear before heading off for some underwater sight seeing. Expect at least Sargent Majors, Blue Tang, Chromis, Trumpet Fish, Brain Coral, Sea Fans and more. We do NOT feed the fish, as regular feeding would harm the natural balance of the ecosystem.[Order of the stops as described above might vary, depending on the snorkel site we choose.]
When we’ve dried up a bit, there’s sadly only one thing left to do: we’ll drop you off safely at your starting point: your hotel, the cruise ship terminal or Dock Maarten.
For an overview of which wildlife we’re likely to be seeing on our tours, check out the What to Spot section.