Island Circle Tour

We'll meet you anywhere and return you to the same spot, but most trips start and end near the cruise ship terminal. The island circle tour goes past the Great Salt Pond which was the reason the island was settled and up the coast road past Fort Amsterdam which protected the valuable salt pond. A little further along is the high point of the hill between Philipsburg and Cole Bay. The lookout point affords views of Saba, Statia, St Kitts, and maybe Nevis if you look south and a panoramic view of the lagoon if you look south. We descend into Cole bay and head through Simpson Bay. What was once a sleepy Danish fishing village is now the center of nightlife on the Dutch side. Nightlife decreases a bit as the airport crowds all other users off one of the few level spots on the island. At the far end of the airport is the Maho complex and Maho Beach where huge airliners come in only a few feet over the heads of sunbathers. We head north along Mullet Beach, one of the islands best beaches, next to the only golf course and arrive at Cupecoy, home of several large resorts. We pass the Dutch side shopping mall and as the road rises up past Porto Cupecoy we cross over the border into France. Don't blink or you will miss it.
We are now in the French lowlands. This is in fact the higher ground around the lagoon, but these hills are much lower than the central hills on the main part of the island. We'll go past another salt pond and go by Bay Rouge (photo on left) and Nettle Bay before reaching the residential section of Sandy Ground. We take the French Bridge over the canal from the sea to the lagoon and reach the outskirts of Marigot, capital of the French side. They have a lively market six days a week, a shopping mall, lots of small restaurants serving local cuisine and Oizeau Rare, a lovely French bistro nestled into a hillside with a cascade. This may be the spot to stop for shopping and lunch (right).
Leaving Marigot we climb some rather steep hills as we approach the road leading to Peak Paradise, the island's highest at 424 meters, not quite 1400 feet. As we head down toward Grand Case, the culinary capital of the Caribbean, we stop for a fantastic photo of Grand Case Bay in the foreground and the British island of Anguilla about five miles away (below). In Grand Case there is a mini-shopping mall, several boutiques, many lolos (small restaurants serving local food), and some of the finest restaurants in the Caribbean. This may be the spot to stop for shopping and lunch.

We drive out of Grand Case and approach Orient Beach, regularly voted one of the ten best beaches in the world. We can drop down to the beach and find plenty of shopping some fine restaurants (notably Kakao Beach and Palm Beach Restaurant), and some beach bars serving grilled goodies plus some pizza (Orange Fever). This may be the spot to stop for shopping and lunch. We can also stay on the high road and stop at Paradise View Restaurant for a nice lunch, some fabulous views of Orient Beach and Green Cay (below), some shopping, and some rum sampling at Local Rums & Spices. This may be the spot to stop for shopping and lunch.

As we head south, we pass the turnoff for Galion Bay, frequently voted the best spot for children on the island. It has a very well-protected, shallow bay with a very gentle slope - perfect for children. Tropical Wave rents watersports equipment and serves lunches. Also in this area is the famous Butterfly Farm. We continue south and have a choice in French Quarter. Heading straight will take through the hills on the north side of Philipsburg and back to shopping on Front Street and at the market (right) or the cruise terminal. A left turn takes us to Coralita Beach, a windswept beach with nothing but a lookout tower. Continuing will bring us to Oyster Pond. The approach affords the opportunity for some nice photos of the pond and surrounding resorts. Eventually this side road rejoins the main road and heads into Philipsburg.

Home | Island Circle Tour | Capitals Tour | Mountain Tour | Custom Tour

Email | French cell 011-590-690 77 31 26
Dutch phone/fax 1 (721) 524 8920

Tour Passengers Cost Passengers Cost Passengers Cost
Circle Tour 1-2 $110 total 3-4 $40 each 5-7 $30 each
Capitals Tour 1-2 $85 total 3-4 $30 each 5-7 $25 each
Mountain Tour 1-2 $100 total 3-4 $45 each 5-7 $38 each
Customizable Tour 1-6 $250 total 7 $40 each x x

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