As a little girl, we would go to our airport to watch the planes take off and land. You see, my Dad was always on one. Now as a travel writer, I am always on the plane and at the airport. However, rarely do I watch a plane take off.
It’s funny how something so simple is such a large joy. Kids get excited to see this epic moment and yet as adults it seems to fade away as just ‘something else our world is capable of.’ However, when you are jet set, and head to St. Maarten for a vacation, you are suddenly about to become a kid again.
Get ready to be ‘giddy’ with excitement over a plane taking off and landing, and hanging with about 1000 of your closest new friends. Here’s where to take in the best plane watching experience in St. Maarten.
You’ll see the planes take off and land, right above you, and coming ‘right at you’ if you really get the good position. Who’s ready to fly away to vacation St. Maarten?
Best Plane Watching Experience In St. Maarten
We are headed for our destination, and the plane tracking system is my proof in the formula. Albeit a dirty screenshot, it was the best way to show you, I am landing now.
Yep, the wing of our plane, getting ready to land in St. Maarten. Really, that’s about as exciting as plane watching is as an adult now. You look out the window of the plane, snap a pic and call it a day.
It used to be so much more, when time kind of stood still and I could just enjoy things for what they were. You gotta grow up, life moves fast and those small treasured moments are gone.
The thing is, just like that we landed and suddenly, I entered vacation mode, where landing was not at a terminal disembarkation, rather the tarmac. Just like that we were in for a landing on a very small strip and down.
Getting out was a lot like a trip I was just on in Durango, Colorado, the tarmac was the entrance and offered me a chance to fall back into loving watching planes land and take off. I was so close to all the action and I knew we were going to have our chance to watch the planes take off and land while we were here in St. Maarten.
Soon it would be our turn to watch travelers coming in and out of the airport from the beach. But you have to know which beach to go to and when. Keep reading.
THE TRUE EXPERIENCE OF PLANE WATCHING
The whole experience of watching planes take off and land is pretty fantastic, and it won’t cost you a dime. Well, I guess it will cost you if you are not staying on Sunset Beach or close to the area. Grab a private driver service, and get to Sunset Beach.
This beach has the hands-down best view of take off and landing of planes at the Princess Juliana Airport, St. Maarten. It’s not all commercial jets either, some are private planes.
In fact, there are planes of every size coming in and out day long. There are also times that there is no activity, so you gotta find someone who knows when the flights take off and land.
I was ‘on the fence’ with the experience, meaning, not really sure. There are signs warning you, about jet fuel blasts, you are so close to the landing, and yes people have done dumb things and gotten hurt and even lost their lives watching these planes land.
However, you can do this safely and it is done everyday. We did it, it’s a blast. The whole beach is abuzz with a party to begin with. There are chairs and umbrellas, bars, music, people and shopping all in one clustered area.
Our private driver, totally handled dropping us off and then reconnecting with us, while watching out for each of us.
Traffic Just Stops
The wall road is loaded with people, and perhaps the Worst place I could have chose to film. People bump, and push, yet, they all just want their minute with the landing and all the coolness. From here, you can feel the landing of the plane, ripple right on through your body. The force is incredible.
When the planes come in or take off, the 2 lane road in front of the landing strip, just comes to a halt. Not by choice or necessity, but because everyone watching is paralyzed by the ‘awe factor’ and stop in the road, on the cement blockers.
Honestly I’ve never seen so many phone cameras out at one time and so much excitement for a plane landing, but how cool it is. You also realize how skilled your pilots are when you see the ‘lack of’ runway for better words to describe. Clap when they land, they deserve it. LOL.
Getting Lost In The Moment
I’ll be the first to admit, I got totally lost in the moment, and separated from my kids, my husband and Klaudia. I just took pictures, watched and then enjoyed. Watching all the people around me was cool to. It’s about the reaction of something that we often take for granted, but when you are in vacation in St. Maarten, it’s a ‘trendy’ thing to do.
Once I got my wits about me again, and decided to really see what was happening, there was another plane coming in. Pretty much in 15 minute bursts seems to be the recurrence factor time of arrivals and landing.
Free, Fabulous and Totally Captivating
Like I said, it’s free if you are already in the area, otherwise its a small cab fee to get here. There’s shopping, bars, and beach too. Make an afternoon of it, and enjoy the sun, fun and planes. Truly an experience meant to be seen by everyone.
It’s one I won’t stop talking about for a while. ~ Dana XO
Thank you to Vacation St. Maarten as I was a guest of the country this day.