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Visiting Aeroplane Beach: Maho Beach, St Maarten

If you are planning to go on a Caribbean cruise with St Maarten on the itinerary, I would highly recommend taking a trip to Maho Beach, better know as Aeroplane Beach.  A short taxi ride from the cruise port, it is the perfect opportunity to sit, eat, drink and watch the incredible sights of aeroplanes coming in to land, literally just metres above the heads of beach goers.  This Caribbean destination is well-known for thrill-seekers clinging to the fence whilst aircraft take off from Princess Juliana International Airport.

The best place to watch the aeroplanes land over Maho Beach is at the Sunset Bar
The best place to watch the aeroplanes land over Maho Beach is at the Sunset Bar
The Sunset Bar has a list of flight times for the day so you can see when aeroplanes are due to land.
The Sunset Bar has a list of flight times for the day so you can see when aeroplanes are due to land.
View the aeroplanes coming in to land from Sunset Bar & Grill.
View the aeroplanes coming in to land from the Sunset Bar & Grill.
Aeroplane Beach, St Maarten
Aeroplane Beach, St Maarten
An aeroplane getting ready to take off at Maho Beach.
An aeroplane getting ready to take off at Maho Beach.
Aeroplane selfie at Maho Beach, Sint Maarten
Aeroplane selfie at Maho Beach, St Maarten
Aeroplane selfie at Maho Beach
When an aeroplane selfie goes wrong and you just get your forehead in the photo!
Aeroplane Beach is popular with tourists so arrive in the morning to get the best spot. Maho Beach is not very big.
Aeroplane Beach is popular with tourists so arrive in the morning to get the best spot. Maho Beach is not very big.
Maho Beach can get crowded with tourists eagerly awaiting aeroplanes to arrive and take off.
Tourists eagerly awaiting aeroplanes to arrive and take off on Maho Beach, St Maarten

We got to Maho Beach first thing in the morning as we’d heard that it could get quite busy, especially as there were multiple cruise ships in port (six in total) on the day we visited.  Sunset Bar and Grill is a great spot to watch the aeroplanes whilst sipping cocktails and the food was also excellent.

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Sunset Bar and Grill, Maho Beach
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Quesadillas at Sunset Bar and Grill, Maho Beach
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Nachos and guacamole at Sunset Bar and Grill, Maho Beach
Enjoying cocktails at the Sunset Bar, Maho Beach.
Enjoying cocktails at the Sunset Bar, Maho Beach.
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Cocktails and drinks at Sunset Bar and Grill, Maho Beach

Top tips for visiting Aeroplane Beach on a cruise:

  • Get there early, Maho Beach and the Sunset Bar and Grill can get busy as it’s a popular tourist spot on St Maarten, we arrived around 9.30am and got a great table overlooking the beach.
  • If you can, check the arrivals and departures for Princess Juliana International Airport in advance.
  • Arrange a return journey to the cruise port with your taxi driver to avoid getting stranded at Maho Beach.  Our taxi driver recommended that we arranged the return journey with plenty of time to spare as the route back can get busy in the afternoons.
  • Watch the aeroplanes land from the beach or the Sunset Bar, don’t be tempted to hang on to the fence when planes are getting ready to take off.  Unfortunately, there have been injuries and fatalities when people have been blown on to the road and concrete blocks.
  • If you’re planning to swim in the sea, beware of the strong waves that were knocking people over (amusing for those watching but probably not as enjoyable for the swimmers!).
  • Enjoy the atmosphere and tick this amazing experience off your bucket list!

Happy cruising!

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15 thoughts on “Visiting Aeroplane Beach: Maho Beach, St Maarten

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  1. Love this! Watching planes land from that close must be an exciting – and slightly terrifying – experience.. But I guess a few cocktails would put the anxious traveller right at ease 🙂 Great tips too, especially about the strong waves to watch out for.

    1. Thank you, it was an exciting day and the cocktails made everyone happy! I’m so glad that we chose to do this when we visited St Maarten!

  2. I have been on a beach with planes landing in Israel. It was quite an interesiting experience, but cannot tell it was relaxing 😛 I loved the food you had there, it looks really tasty, especially guacamole. You made me hungry.

  3. I like your idea of watching it from the Sunset Bar and Grill instead of up close and personal. Sounds way less dangerous that way! Plus, it might be funnier to watch the crazy people crashing on the sand and in the water when you’ve had a drink or two. I just can’t seem to believe that people have died there and they don’t do anything about it?? I suppose it’s just Darwinism at it’s finest.

    1. Yes, the view from the bar was great, we go to do a bit of people watching too, which I love. Very happy to watch the action from a distance!

  4. Watching planes land from the beach sure sounds exciting! You also provided some great tips on staying safe too. It’s really shocking that people actually died there and they don’t do anything about it.

  5. Not sure if I will enjoy it that close, but for sure watching people knock over by the wave will bring smile, even laugh, to my face. How many orders of guacamole did you get while sitting at Sunset Bar & Grill? It looks delicious! Cocktails and drinks also looks refreshing!

  6. We loved our visit to Maho Beach. You were so lucky to get a table at the Sunset Bar! Checking flight times is a great idea. Isn’t that beach so small to handle so many people? Great tips for a cruise excursion.

    1. Yes we got there early to get a good table with a view. The beach isn’t very deep and as the day goes on more people arrive and fill the beach.

  7. Haha, I have heard of this place before but had no idea where it was. Thanks for the tips on it! This would be an interesting experience.

  8. I loved reading your posts as some parts are really very funny. Aeroplane Beach is again an interesting one as kids would love to see the planes flying over them when they are soaking into sea waves. I really laughed when you got only a part of your forehead when taking a selfie with flying plane. I think you try for adjusting your mobile camera for burst shots when taking photo with speedy stuff.

  9. I have seen a lot of pictures of the beach on the internet it looked like quite a thrill. Aeroplane Beach is definitely going on my bucket list. It sure looks a bit too crowded though. Those guacamole looks mouth-wateringly delicious 😊

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