I honestly did not know what to expect when it came to visiting St. Maarten/St. Martin, but it blew away my expectations. I visited St. Thomas in 2011 and I truly did not think another Caribbean island could steal my heart like St. Thomas did, but on this trip, St. Martin was the clear winner in the battle between St. Thomas x St. Martin. It was BEAUTIFUL. Kayaking in St. Martin was even better – let me give you all the details!
When I first started planning our trip to St. Maarten, which is the Dutch side, I knew that 1. I really wanted to see the French side (St. Martin) and 2. I was not visiting for the shopping. Apparently St. Maarten is known for the amazing shopping, which is great, just not my cup of tea.
So, I began searching and I came across Caribbean Paddling. They would pick us up from the St. Maarten post, drive us to the French side, and we would take off in our kayaks from there. Perfect! So, we booked our kayaks and were very excited for the trip.
During our paddling trip, we were able to stop at a sandbar, which was really cool. We ‘docked’ our kayaks and walked around there for a bit. Then, went to a uninhabited island and then, we finally made it to Pinel Island, which was paradise.
When we arrived to Pinel Island, we saw that there were two restaurants. We heard both of them were amazing, but we chose Karibuni because I had been following them on Instagram and all of the food looks amazing. We picked out two lounge chairs, pulled up our kayaks on the sand, and laid back. The kitchen was not open at first, so we ordered a couple of drinks and had fun talking, sun bathing, and splashing in the crystal clear water.
Once the kitchen opened up, we ordered the antipasto platter, which was the best antipasto platter I’ve ever tried – honestly. AMAZING.
Then, we ‘hiked’ Pinel Island, to the other side. There was some hurricane damage and we had to hop over trees, etc. but the view at the other side was worth it. In fact, I actually wrote this caption on Instagram:
“While we in St. Martin, we walked from one side of Pinel Island to the other. There was a path some of the way, but then we had to walk through bushes & hop over fallen trees (I assume from the hurricane?). I even walked through a huge spider web and I’m pretty sure the entire island heard my screams as I was ripping off my clothes in search of the spider 😱🕷🕸 #spidersaretheworst ,but at the end of our hike, we stumbled across the most GORGEOUS, secluded beach. I literally ran out and started twirling around in happiness…until I saw a naked old guy sitting at the end of the beach 😂😂😂😂. Even so, it was still amazing & it just goes to show that sometimes you have to take the road less traveled to be rewarded with the best views (the beach, not the old guy – just in case you lost me).👌🏽👌🏽”
Hahahahah. It was great!
We got lost on our way back, but finally made it just in time to handpick fresh lobsters from the trap. They cooked them up for us with some delicious and unique sides and we feasted on the gourmet meal in front of us before playing in the water one more time before we kayaked our way back to the port in St. Martin.
It was a day for the books – one that I cannot wait to tell our kids about! But, more importantly, kayaking in St. Martin was probably the highlight of our trip. We had an absolute blast and cannot wait to do it again sooner rather than later.