St. Martin is known for its half-French, half-Dutch culture, the Sint Maarten – Heineken-Regatta, and its picturesque beaches (with famous views of the planes approaching and leaving the Caribbean island).
5 years after Irma and rebuilding is far from being completed. Hurricane Irma struck the island of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin on September 6th, 2017. Irma was a category 5 storm with strong winds that reached a peak intensity of 177 mph (285 km/h).
Hurricane Irma had a devastating effect on the infrastructure of the island, entire marinas on the French side of Saint Martin were left in ruins due to boats colliding with each other as a result of the strong winds. Approximately 95% of the buildings in Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin were damaged and 60% of those buildings were totally uninhabitable. 5,5 years later and the destruction caused by Irma is still visible.
Orient Bay: 5 years after Hurricane Irma and rebuilding is far from being completed.
Don’t miss Pinel Island, a charming small island just a 5-10 minute boat ride from Orient Bay. Clear turquoise water and white sand beach. A slice of heaven! There are two restaurants on the island. We visited Karibuni. You can go for a hike, see iguanas, snorkel and stay the night ⚓️, sometimes some swell coming over the reef.