Plane Spotting in St. Maarten: An Insanely Memorable Stopover

Sunset Beach Bar St. Maarten

Don’t you just hate long airport layovers? One flight lands at 8:30 am and the next flight takes off at 5:30 pm??? Boooo! Well usually. But plane spotting at St. Maarten was the best layover I have ever had. All airports should be beside beaches!

On my way home from the beautiful British Virgin Islands, we landed in St. Maarten for an 8 hour layover. We enjoyed yummy coffee, quiches and fruit for breakfast at Princess Julianna Airport in St. Maarten and I started to chant “beach, beach, beach!”

There was another family at a table playing cards (one of my favourite past-times) and a lady came around and handed us flyers with some very inviting massage and spa services inside the airport. But I spotted the beach when landing and it was looking good! We were all tired from a long night before and the thought of laying out was very appealing.

The cab charged us the tourist fare as the beach is literally steps away but we had our luggage so I just went with it. We were dropped off at a spot called Sunset Bar and Grill which boasts that it was selected the number 3 sexiest beach bar by the Travel Channel. I was digging the ambience. The bar was just opening up and we took the opportunity to catch some well-needed snoozes while the staff wiped tables and watered plants around us.

Around lunchtime, the bar really started to fill up. A band came in to play some reggae covers and the vibe of the place was really kicking! We went to take a stroll on the beach and then I remembered that this particular airport was featured on this list of the world’s most dangerous airports! How cool!

Wanna know why? Because while you’re out catching some rays on the absolutely gorgeous beach, aeroplanes are landing a mere few feet up above….

plane spotting at st. maarten

Danger Sign at St Maarten Airport Beach

People ignored the signs of danger all along the St Maarten airport beach and were totally lining up whenever the big jets were preparing to take off so that they could feel the powerful jet blasts. It was crazy. I felt as if I were at some sporting event. I did not partake in the jet-blast party as Maho Beach accidents have surely been reported (yes, death) but I do have video

At some point in the day the air traffic really picked up and they were coming in back to back. You could see the planes circling up above waiting their turn. It was a totally awesome day plane spotting in St Maarten!

There was supposed to be a plane in the background here but our kind photographer missed the mark. ’tis all good.

This lady was positively pink by the time we decided to head back to the bar for lunch…too much sun, not enough skincare.

Speaking of lunch..the Sunset Bar gets 2 thumbs up from me! We ordered the “Air France” Pizza and it was positively delicious!

Much more pics in the gallery below. I had an awesome time and can’t wait to travel again through the Princess Julianna International Airport. Have you ever been plane spotting in St Maarten? Anywhere else? Do share!

Plane spotting in St Maarten for an 8-hour layover there. The beach is right by the airport so the planes land insanely close to the sunbathers right below!

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