The beach isn’t a place for the fully clothed. Whether looking to get some sun or wade in the surf, less material makes for better times. And in certain cases, for certain individuals, clothing may just seem unnecessary.
Whether you’re just looking for a day at the beach or hoping to spend some time in the buff, plan a day trip to Îlet Pinel.
Located to the northeast side of the French island of Saint-Martin, Îlet Pinel is a tiny piece of land representing a big day out. The island known by many names (Pinel Island, Isle Pinel, Ile de Pinel) offers all the features that make for a quality Caribbean destination. Sandy beaches make a perfect base for a day in the sun.
Though the island doesn’t offer anywhere to spend the night, the ease of transportation ensures that you won’t need to. The short distance across the water is covered by ferry from 9:00am to 4:00pm. And with a price of around $6US round-trip, you can ill-afford to miss out.
But now that you’ve decided to head over to Îlet Pinel, what exactly can you expect to see?
On the Beach
Probably the least-surprising sight on your voyage over to Îlet Pinel will be the beaches. The main beach is set up for those who aren’t afraid of the crowds. Close to features such as restaurants and snack shacks the beach is a veritable hotbed for umbrellas and lounge chairs. Those with children will appreciate the shallow waters, which provide the ideal setting for a swim or snorkel.
Should you be seeking a little more isolation, make the short trek over to the island’s northern beach. Again suitable for swimming, the northern beach allows those with a penchant for exhibitionist to strut their stuff. The clothing-optional stretch of sand is a little ways from the island’s eateries, so those who plan to spend the day may prefer to bring along a picnic.
Grabbing a Bite
Set up for the hordes of tourists who invade the shores on a daily basis, Îlet Pinel has a couple obvious choices for restaurants.
The first eatery to draw the visitor’s attention is the ever-popular Karibuni. The restaurant offers a diverse menu, however the prefered meal for guests in the know is the lobster lunch. Beyond food, the beach-front establishment boasts a collection of colorful drinks which can be served to guests who are wading in the area’s shallow waters.
The other obvious choice for a lunch on the sands is the Yellow Beach Restaurant, which is easily recognizable due to its abundance of yellow lounge chairs and umbrellas. Gorge on their barbecued goods which include ribs, tuna, and lobster.
When To Go
For those looking to avoid hurricanes on a visit Îlet Pinel, consider travelling between December and May. While most of the rainy months aren’t all that severe, it’s safe to expect that there will be a reasonable amount of precipitation.
Year-round temperatures on the island will range somewhere between 75°F (24°C) and 88°F (31°C). There is no significant changes in temperatures between winter and summer months.
Getting There & Around
Those who are looking to fly into Saint-Martin should aim to fly into the Dutch region of Saint Maarten, to the Princess Juliana International Airport. From there, catch either a taxi or minibus up towards Orient Bay, where you will be able to catch a ferry to Îlet Pinel.
- Mid-range accommodations: $140-200
- Meal: $20-30
- Beer: $3.50
- Head there on one of the earlier ferries to get a full day out at the beach.
- Enjoy your meal in one of the restaurants’ private thatched huts.
- Grab yourself a pareo from the island’s gift shop.
- Try camping on the island. It’s against the law.
- Expect world-class snorkeling. It’s more of a fun activity.
- Forget a decent pair of shoes if you’re looking to get to one of the island’s smaller beaches.
- Saint-Martin was discovered by Columbus in 1493.
- The island of Saint-Martin has been occupied by the Spanish, British, French, and Dutch.
- Due to its storied history, the island has three official languages: English, French, and Dutch.
Feature Image Credit: Sirsnapsalot