What is it like at SXM Maho Beach & the “jet blast” experience? It is so worth a visit to Sint Maarten!

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photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (1)

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I love landing at any Caribbean island but I would imagine the view from the cockpit when landing at SXM is just a wee-bit different than others.

photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (2)

After all you are landing just past the ocean, the beach, a small road and a fence (with tons of people waving and yelling up at you as you fly over).

photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (12)

Oh, and if you don’t stop, or land long, do keep in mind at the other end of the runway you have another fence, a road, then more water! And while on the topic, notice the mountain range in the background? That makes for an interesting takeoff as that is the prevailing wind and the direction most jets take off and then bank hard right.

photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (5)

But back to the beach. If you are an AVgeek like me this truly is one of those bucket list locations you need to experience at least once in your life. One of the best places to do that is at the Sunset Bar & Grill that keeps on a surfboard an up to date list of what times what aircraft should be arriving over your head. Oh, and they have a good rum punch too that is 2 for 1 during happy hour 😉

photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (4)

The beach is not “that” big and when all the cruise ships show up it can get rather packed. Early in the day you will mostly see prop planes. The best time of the day is between about 11 AM and 6 PM. Every now and then you get a takeoff toward the water and that is LOUD and exciting to see. Let’s look at some of my favorite landing shots:

photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (8)

photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (7)

photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (6)

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photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (14)

The last two shots are from @RenesPoints twitter follower @SelenePhoenix who e-mailed me the shots (thanks Nina)!

photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (3)

danger do not stand here at SXM where jets take off renespoints blog

photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (9)

The really fun (and sometimes scary) part is when jets do take off toward the mountain. This results in tremendous jet wash over the beach and they do really warn you NOT to do what so many do that is “fence surf” or try to hang on to the fence as a jet powers up (not a smart idea btw).

jet blast onto beach at sxm

jet blast onto beach at sxm md88

The above two shots may not be that clear as they are from my GoPro video but in the second one notice just how far into the water the jet wash goes. It is just crazy as you will see in the video in the next post.

photos from SXM Maho Beach St. Maarten RenesPoints blog review (10)

Even at night the amazing views do not end. I spent almost all day either on the beach, in the water or at the Sunset bar enjoying all of this and it just never got old.

Lastly, a number of cruise ships do visit the island and it is either a short taxi ride or a few stops on the local bus service (vans) to get to the beach. If you make it to SXM make sure you swing by and take it all in! – René

 

 

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