St. Maarten offers beautiful beaches, blue skies, warm sun, and a great vacation in the Dutch Caribbean!
How much fun is a vacay in the Caribbean? LOTS! This is one plate spotting St. Maarten adventure you must experience. Jaw-dropping? Yes! Fun. Absolutely.
Plane Spotting in St. Maarten
One of the best free attractions on St. Maarten is right on a beach and it’s a thrill from start to finish!
Are you ready for jaw-dropping plane spotting in St. Maarten?
What exactly is plane spotting?
Basically, few or many people may gather in a spot far enough away from a plane ascending or descending.
For me, it’s about knowing the ‘logo’ of the inbound plane before seeing it too close.
In essence, if you are in a good spot, you will actually see the landing gear, wheels, and more.
Plus, you’ll feel the roar of the engines.
Why Plane Spotting in St. Maarten is Thrilling!
As a young girl, my mom would take me along to the airport with her, as my dad was always flying somewhere for his job. In turn, my mom would take me to a spot where I could watch the planes take off or land.
Now as a travel writer, I am always on the plane and at the airport. However, rarely do I watch a plane take off, other than the one I board. 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.’
And That’s What Makes Jaw-Dropping Plane Spotting in St. Maarten AWESOME!
You are suddenly about to become a kid again.
Go to Sunset Beach.
I will say, get ready for a whole lot of crazy, as there are people, shops, drinks, beach chairs and vehicles + tours everywhere. Plane watching goes on all day long and it’s posted so you will know when commercial airplanes or the island hoppers are inbound and outbound.
Get ready to be ‘giddy’ with excitement over a plane taking off and landing, and hanging with about 1000 of your closest new friends. Plane spotting will b your new fave thing to do.
Things You Can Do While Plane Spotting in St. Maarten
Yes, you will see planes take off and planes land, literally feet above your head. You’ll see the planes take off and land. Yep, they are literally right above you. Will you stand and watch or have a drink? I say do both! Who’s ready to fly away to vacation St. Maarten?
Isn’t plane spotting incredibly amazing? It takes my breath away!
We Are About To Become part of the ongoing Plane Spotting In St. Maarten
Anyone who travels to Sint Martin by air becomes part of the jaw-dropping plane spotting in St. Maarten. How? Crowds gather below at the beach, right at Princess Julianna airport, and watch your plane land.
Landing In St. Maarten at Princess Juliana Airport: Plane Spotting below
The thing is, just like that we landed and suddenly, I entered vacation mode, where the landing was not at terminal disembarkation, rather the tarmac.
Just like that, we were in for a landing on a very small strip and then we were down.
In fact, I understand the runway is about 7500 feet totally insane, and scary and I fly all the time! I’ve got to tell you it’s a nail-biter takeoff and landing. But those at Sunset beach are rippled with the roar of the engines!
Thrilling Plane Spotting Experience in St. Maarten
The whole experience of watching planes take off and the land is pretty fantastic, and it won’t cost you a dime.
Grab a private driver service and head 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.
As noted before there are published schedules of when the flights are inbound and outbound, and all you need to do is get your cameras ready! Are you plane spotting ready? I can’t wait to do this again!
Sunset Beach – Jaw-Dropping Plane Spotting in St. Maarten
Initially, I was ‘on the fence’ with the experience, meaning, not really sure. Plane spotting, do it safely!
There are signs warning you, about jet fuel blasts, you are so close to the landing, the planes are just above your head, so close your feel like you could touch them.
And, in case I didn’t mention it, and not to be ‘Debi Downer’ people have done dumb things and gotten hurt and even lost their lives watching these planes land.
However, you can experience the jaw-dropping plane spotting in St. Maarten safely as most do
Jaw-dropping, thrilling, and insanely cool, plane landings, and only certain pilots can fly in and out due to the nature of the short landing strip.
This is why the planes truly ‘are more hover-like’ when they are descending.
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.
Once we saw the first plane come in for a landing, I was hooked.
Definitely, this was the thrilling plane spotting experience in St. Maarten or anywhere that I’ve traveled to.
What Happens When The Planes Take Off?
WOW is about the best I can say.
Towels fly, sand swirls, and umbrellas are challenged, yet as fast as the experience happens, the plane is about 8000 feet up and the ‘show’ is done!
Bring sunglasses, don’t go too close to the fence, and watch all the traffic, because you can get hit by a car, a bike or anything else moving.
Honestly, everyone seems to go into a different zone when the planes are descending and ascending like zombies staring and entranced.
Traffic Just Stops: Jaw-dropping Plane Spotting Experience in St. Maarten
The wall road is loaded with people, and perhaps the worst place I could have chosen 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.
Everything Stops For the Jaw-Dropping Plate Spotting in St. Maarten
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 Claudia.
I just took pictures, watched, and then enjoyed it.
Stop. Watch. Enjoy!
Watching all the people around me was cool too.
It’s about the reaction of something that we often take for granted, but when you are on 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
As I said, it’s free if you are already in the area, otherwise, it is a small cab fee to get here.
From shopping to food, and of course everything else in between including beach time, there’s a lot to do.
Make an afternoon of it, and enjoy the sun, fun, and planes.
Authentically insane fun, yet, a definite must-see and experience SXM exclusive!
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.