Our most recommended things to do in Philipsburg

St. Maarten Half-Day Tour of French & Dutch Sides

1. St. Maarten Half-Day Tour of French & Dutch Sides

Enjoy a 4.5-hour circular tour of the French and Dutch sides of St. Maarten (St.Martin), and experience a true Caribbean welcome. You will drive northeast to Dawn Beach and Oyster Bay, crossing one of the symbolic borders before stopping at Coralita Bay Natural Reserve for breathtaking views of the tropical wilderness. Next we head to one of the most stunning and popular beaches, Orient Beach where you can stroll along the pure white shore, swim or sunbathe, stretching out on the soft sand as you marvel at the turquoise water that sparkles in the tropical sunlight. Orient Beach has over 30 bars, restaurants and all the facilities to make you feel at home. Orient Beach lies next to a naturist resort and sometimes those guests may wander over to the clothing section of the beach. Now it’s time to shop in Marigot, the charming capital of St. Martin, where a lovely French atmosphere unfurls along colonial streets and the open-air bazaar. Next, explore the upscale area of Lowland, crossing another border back to the Dutch side to reach Maho Beach. Watch as the jumbo jets fly low over the sand to land at Princess Juliana International Airport. Your tour ends with a drive past Simpson Bay, stopping at Cole Bay Hill for one last picturesque view. If you wish, you can be dropped off in Philipsburg to explore on your own, instead of returning to the port.

St. Martin: 3-Hour Rhino Safari Excursion

2. St. Martin: 3-Hour Rhino Safari Excursion

A 4-time winner of the prestigious Tour of the Year award, Rhino Safari Excursions is a St. Martin original. Experience on-the-water excitement piloting your very own Rhino Rider on this 3-hour tour. These zippy 10-foot inflatable motorboats are yours to commannd for a thrill-of-a-lifetime ride on a vessel that’s safe, sturdy, reliable, and tons of fun! Unlike some other tours, you won’t be driving around in circles. Following your friendly guide, you'll cruise safely alongside mega-yacht marinas and boat anchorages before exiting Simpson Bay Lagoon to the French-side capital of Marigot. On the way to a snorkeling site, you'll admire the spectacular tropical coastline of St. Martin. Pass by the beautiful beaches of Galisbay, Friars Bay, Happy Bay, and Grand Case. Experience the breathtaking beauty of the best snorkeling site on the island, located within a protected marine reserve. Immerse yourself in the underwater world and meet its amazing inhabitants. Afterwards you’ll enjoy a complimentary drink in the dazzling Caribbean sunshine.

Philipsburg: Extreme Plane Spotting at Maho Beach

3. Philipsburg: Extreme Plane Spotting at Maho Beach

Feel your adrenalin soar as you focus your camera on jumbo jets just feet above your head, coming in to land at the Princess Juliana International Airport. Experience five hours at the beach with some extreme plane spotting! Start out with a drive from the St. Maarten cruise port along the Great Salt Pond. Take in aerial views of the island from Cole Bay Hill. See the nearby islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, and Anguilla as well. When you arrive at Maho Beach, the Sunset Beach Bar & Grill has the flight arrivals listed on a surfboard so you don’t miss a landing. A live feed of the communication between the airport control tower and the arriving aircraft is aired as well.

Simpson Bay: Lambada Sunset Cruise of Sint Maarten

4. Simpson Bay: Lambada Sunset Cruise of Sint Maarten

Enjoy a perfect ending to a beautiful day in paradise on an evening cruise around the coastline of Sint Maarten. This coastal cruise on board the Lambada catamaran is truly spectacular and a tour that you will remember forever. Enjoy sightseeing as the Lambada sails from Pelican Marina on Simpson Bay up the coast to Long Bay, straight into the setting sun. Great music and an array of tasty snacks and drinks are provided for your enjoyment aboard the boat. Enjoy the spacious decks of the boat and relax on the nets set up on the front of the bow while the experienced crew provide excellent service and cater to your needs.

St. Maarten: Orient and Maho Beaches Half-Day Tour

5. St. Maarten: Orient and Maho Beaches Half-Day Tour

Following pick-up from the cruise port at Philipsburg, transfer to Orient Beach to discover the longest beach in St. Maarten. Orient Beach boasts a wide range of beach bars and restaurants, all within easy reach of the sand. Take advantage of water sports facilities (own expense) such as jet skis, sailboats, paragliding and kids activities. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the pristine, clear blue waters. You will have 2 hours at Orient Beach before the transfer to Maho Beach. Arrive at Maho Beach at approximately midday, just in time to see the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 come into land at nearby Princess Juliana International Airport. The huge planes will fly just a few meters over the beach for a thrilling spectacle. With 2 hours at Maho Beach, you will automatically become a guest of the Sunset Beach Bar and Grill. Here you can enjoy a cocktail or tasty lunch (own expense). Listen to the live feed of the control tower communicating with the approaching aircraft. Sit back and relax and feel the cool breeze of the Caribbean Sea. Stroll along the pure white sand and get lost in the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks.  Then transfer back to your hotel or the cruise port, having achieved the official status of a St. Maarten beach bum!

St. Maarten: Full-Day Catamaran Sail to Prickly Pear Cays

6. St. Maarten: Full-Day Catamaran Sail to Prickly Pear Cays

Enhance your St. Maarten holiday with a full-day sail to the gorgeous and unspoiled islands of sun and sand – Prickly Pear. The Lambada has a long history of boat fun, family gatherings, and an outstanding crew. This is always a top-ranked excursion. Departing from Simpson Bay Resort, the Lambada sails down the coast of St. Maarten and across the Anguillan channel with a heading bound for Prickly Pear Cays. The 16-mile trip from St Maarten is about an hour and 45 minutes. After snorkeling the reefs at Prickly Pear, enjoy a tasty buffet of chicken and ribs served with tasty sides right on board the catamaran. Have a dip after lunch before we move onto the second stop of the day. On the way back to St Maarten, anchor off Mead's Bay for a refreshing swim before pulling up the sails for the trip back to Simpson Bay. During the nice leisurely sail back you’ll be treated to foot-tapping Caribbean rhythms and a tasty rum punch.

Sint Maarten: Luxury Catamaran Day Sail with Lunch & Drinks

7. Sint Maarten: Luxury Catamaran Day Sail with Lunch & Drinks

Spend the day aboard a luxury catamaran touring Sint Maarten’s coastline. Sail past gorgeous beaches and watch the planes taking off at Maho. Have fun in the water with kayaks, snorkels, and floating mats. Relax on the sunny deck with fine food and cold drinks. Set sail from Dock Maarten in the morning for a day of sunshine and sea. Snack on fresh fruit and cake and pause at one of the island’s picturesque beaches to dive into the refreshing Caribbean water. Continue to either Maho or Sunset Beach to watch the planes taking off and landing.  Enjoy a cold drink and lunch on the sunny deck. Get back in the sea to play on the floating mat, paddle a kayak and explore with a snorkel. End the luxurious day trip back at the dock.

Philipsburg: St Maarten Beaches Tour with Transfer

8. Philipsburg: St Maarten Beaches Tour with Transfer

Explore all of St Maarten's highlights in a short time with this insightful tour, perfect for cruise ship passengers. Enjoy a drive to the island's most beautiful beaches in the company of your guide. Learn about local history and culture as you discover each site. Get picked up from your accommodation or the cruise port and begin your island adventure. Stop by Bell's lookout point to marvel at panoramic views of the town and snap incredible photos. Head over to Mullet Bay and Orient Beach and enjoy plenty of time at both locations. Stroll through the town of Marigot and end your journey with more free time at the stunning Maho Beach. At the end of your tour, you can choose to get dropped off at your starting place or stay in downtown Philipsburg to take in its fun attractions, museums, casinos, and shopping areas on your own.

From Philipsburg: St. Maarten Island and Beach Tour

9. From Philipsburg: St. Maarten Island and Beach Tour

Discover St Maarten’s highlights on this guided day trip from Philipsburg. Pass one of the island’s beautiful reefs on your way to an iguana farm, relax on the popular Orient Bay and Maho beaches, and explore the capital, Marigot. Enjoy a comfortable transfer to and from your accommodation. Begin the island adventure at your hotel, where you will be picked up. On your way out of Philipsburg, stop to admire a stunning reef before you arrive at an iguana farm, where you can get up close to the striking lizards. Next, spend some time relaxing at Orient Bay, a sweeping white sand beach and the island’s most popular. Head to the fishing town of Marigot, the island's capital, and explore its shops, museums and casinos. Continue to Maho beach, a popular plane-spotting location where you can watch them up-close as they come in to land. Finish up at Bell's Lookout Point where you can enjoy the view of Simpson Bay Lagoon. Your driver will then transfer you back to your hotel.

St. Maarten: Sentry Hill & Flying Dutchman Zipline Adventure

10. St. Maarten: Sentry Hill & Flying Dutchman Zipline Adventure

The most exciting new thrill rides in the Eastern Caribbean in one tour! This is the ultimate package which will allow you to experience all the attractions the park has to offer. Experience both our zip lines; The Sentry Hill which takes you across the mountain ridge and the steepest line in the world; The Flying Dutchman! Consisting of two lifts the Sky Explorer brings you to the top of one of St. Maarten’s highest peaks while the scenery unfolds below you. Each adventure begins in this restored plantation house originally built in the 1700s. The Museum tells the powerful story of Trace Wilson who was born into slavery on the property in 1818 and her direct descendant Emilio Wilson. You will see depictions of what life was like on a plantation and learn about the customs, traditions, lifestyle, and stories that earned Sint Maarten the nickname The Friendly Island. After your orientation at the transfer station, you will put your safety equipment and harness system for your Sentry Hill Zip Line flight over the mountain ridge. You will then board Lift 2 to the top of Sentry Hill; a brief orientation will prepare you to fly down the mountain on the world’s steepest zip-line, The Flying Dutchman. You’ll be attached to a flight line in a securely harnessed chair, launching you on the 1050-foot drop in elevation over 2800 feet to experience the ride of a lifetime. To complete your thrill ride, enjoy a final trip on the Sky Explorer to see the panorama of the beautiful Emilio Wilson Estate unfolding as you glide over the mountain to the base area. After your fun-filled adventure, souvenirs, attraction, and photos are available for purchase in the gift shop. Emilio’s Restaurant, nestled among authentic antique colonial walls, offers a menu of classic favorites with a new twist. Food and beverages are available for purchase.

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What people are saying about Philipsburg

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 303 reviews

Great crew and the Phoenix (62 feet long) is a beautiful vessel with plenty of room to sit wherever you please to experience amazing views. Crew had a great song playlist and we had fun snorkeling and jumping off of the catamaran into the water. Highly recommend for relaxing day!!

This trip was a mazing. The boats were so Much fun and swimming at happy bay was awesome. The guides were great at communicating via hand signals and keeping us all in the know

This tour gives you both history and also cool tips for activities on the entire island (both dutch and french sides). Well worth the money.

Great tour! Wellington was excellent and funny! Great way to explore the island and see where you might want to revisit on another day!

The cruise was a wonderful experience. The staff was great and I believe a great time was had by everyone.