Photo: Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock

Fly to This Caribbean Island and You’ll Land Right on the Beach — Almost

Airports + Flying
by Matador Creators Jan 12, 2023

If you’re the type of flier whose eyes are always glued to airplane windows, book a trip to Sint Maarten, the Dutch half of the Caribbean island that also hosts French Saint Martin. ASAP. The flight into Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) will make your whole vacation.

One of the most scenic landings a passenger can experience — or the scariest airports to fly into, depending on how you look at it — arrivals at SXM pass so close to Maho Beach that you could practically count the spots on an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini.

@matadornetwork Pro tip: look up flight times at SXM airport before you go 😉 🎥 IG: @ssparks #MahoBeach #planetok #SaintMartin ♬ original sound – Matador Network

Hands down, the most unique feature of SMX, which services both Sint Maarten and Saint Martin, is the fact that its runway is located mere feet from one of the most popular beaches on the island, Maho Beach. It’s a thrill for fliers and beachgoers alike. As planes take off and land, sunbathers have front row seats to marvel at the stunning aircraft, which get so close that the people below can actually feel the wind from their engines. This phenomenon has made Sint Maarten a popular spot for both Caribbean vacationers and aviation enthusiasts who come to witness the Maho Beach plane landings.

Now, you might be thinking that a beach so close to the airport would be a drag once the spectacle has worn off. But Maho Beach is a true beauty with dazzling white sand and impossibly turquoise waters. It’s also a great place to go for a splash due to the calm waters and shallow depth. On the sportier side, you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and other beach gear to explore nearby coves and bays. There are also plenty of local bars and restaurants nearby where you can grab a bite while catching an encore of the epic plane landings.

Of course, there’s one reason to fly into SXM that trumps the Maho Beach plane landings: The joint island of Sint Maarten and Saint Martin is a cultural melting pot that’s brimming with great food, better nightlife, unbelievable sunsets, and tons of natural appeal. It’s an impressive Caribbean island for every type of traveler, and you’re guaranteed to start making memories the moment you touch down.

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