One of the things that St Martin / Sint Maarten is most famous for is the legendary Maho Beach. Located at the west end of the runway at the Princess Juiliana International Airport, it is renowned for the very low flying aircraft over the beach and the jet wash from departing aircraft.
The one and only place to start your plane spotting session is at the Sunset Beach Bar. It is perfect, as it has cheap drinks, free wifi and free parking.
To get there, just drive past the end of the runway and take the first right – go through the barrier and take a ticket. All you need to do is buy a drink and get it validated at the bar.
The free wifi is great as you can track the arrivals on FlightRadar24 to see what is coming and what is going.
Whilst I sat in the sun, drinking a cold beer, I saw some fantastic planes coming and going.
Here is an AirFrance A340-400 on the way back to Paris.
A couple of Sunwing Boeings (?) were also off back home.
As was this WestJet up to Canada.
This American 737 was seen from the boat on our trip round the island, which gave a very different perspective.
We also saw a lot of incoming aircraft, although not any ‘heavies’ that we saw going out – this is partly because we arrived a little later in the afternoon after all the main arrivals had touched down.
I also ventured out onto the beach, although not up to the fence, for the departure of an Amerian Airlines Boeing 737, the same aircraft that we flew in on. It was an incredible feeling to feel the power of the engines but, being of sturdy build, I was not blown away.
To put it simply, if you are an aviation enthusiast, a bit of a geek, or just in St Martin, you have to stop by Maho beach for a fly over!