If you’re familiar with Sint Maarten, you have likely heard of Pinel Island.
If you haven’t yet, you’re seriously missing out!
Pinel key is a little uninhabited island about a 5-10 minute boat ride off the shores of French Saint Martin.
To get there is easy, there’s a huge sandy parking lot where you board the ferry, which departs every 30 minutes.
Be sure not to leave anything valuable in your vehicle though, as the parking isn’t supervised.
Once you park your car, you’ll head down the wooden pier to hop on the ferry to Pinel. A ride to and from is about 12$. You’ll need to pay cash, so be sure to walk with enough money!
Once you reach the curve into open waters, and spot Pinel island, it’s guaranteed to take your breath away, so at this point, you will want to take your camera out! The views are as picturesque as can be: turquoise waters, white sandy beach and a beautiful green backdrop!
Once on this gem, you’re free to roam around and explore. Pinel is so much more than meets the eye!
The most obvious is of course the beautiful beach. With its sheltered position, it’s always calm with no waves, and shallow. Because of this perfect calmness, this beach is awesome for families with younger kids! There’s no fear of waves pushing the kids around, or any sudden drop in depth as the water is so incredibly clear, you can see the bottom under your feet.
Lounge chairs with umbrellas are available for renting, with no time limit to its use.Cost is 10$, which is to be paid as you sit down.
Or just spread a towel onto the sand and enjoy your connection with the beach itself!
For more adventures, rent a paddleboard or a kayak and make your way to the smaller, neighboring island that’s not accessible by boat, called Little Key. Because it’s more harder to access, its coral reefs are more preserved and thriving in beauty and marine life. Do make sure to wear water shoes here as sea eggs tend to lounge around the coral as well!
Back on Pinel island, feel free to follow the hiking trail to the top and take in the breathtaking views from there! Don’t worry, it’s a friendly hike and nothing too hard, though you’ll be happier if you’re wearing shoes!
From up there you can see the “wild” beaches (clothing optional here), which are more secluded in comparison with the main beach where you arrive.
When you get hungry (or thirsty… for a nice rum punch or 2), there are 2 restaurants to choose from on the main beach. You can eat your lunch right on the beach, or have a seat at the restaurant where you can enjoy some shade.
At times there is an ice cream boat that makes his rounds as well!
Iguanas love the island as well and provide lots of picture opportunities and like to be fed.
So in a seashell, Pinel Key is definitely an experience you need to put on your to do list while in Sint Maarten!
Go by ferry, rent a kayak, or a paddle board and make your way over there! You won’t be disappointed with the experience here!
If you’re looking for the ultimate experience, join our Ultimate Eco Powerboat Tour in St. Maarten as Pinel island is one of our stops during the excursion!