Maho Beach, Airport Beach, Saint Maarten, Caribbean

How to get to Maho Beach (the Airport Beach) from the Saint Maarten Cruise Port

Updated January 2024, How to get to Maho Beach (the Airport Beach) from the Saint Maarten Cruise Port was originally published in March 2023

The Airport Beach in Saint Maarten, also known as Maho Beach is a popular destination for plane spotters and beach-goers visiting Saint Maarten on a cruise stop. What made Maho Beach so famous is that it’s located just off the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport. While it’s not my typical destination, I will say watching the planes take off and land just barely above your head and the people watching did not disappoint.

So, if you’re headed to Saint Maarten, here is a quick little guide to help you find your way to the famed Airport Beach.

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How to get to Saint Maarten’s Airport Beach

Maho Beach is located on the Dutch side of Saint Maarten and the cruise ship port is located right in Philipsburg, the capital of Dutch Saint Maarten.

Once off the ship and into the parking lot, you’ll quickly find vans loading up with passengers to various destinations including the Airport Beach. Just ask for Maho or Airport Beach and you’ll be pointed to a van headed in that direction.

These shuttle vans will set you back about $15 USD per person for a return ride. Once you’re on board and have paid you’ll be given a wristband, this is essentially you’re ticket back to the port. 

The van will drop you off at a parking lot near Airport Beach and from there it’s just a short walk over. When you’re ready to leave head right back to this parking lot and you’ll be able to board a van headed back to the port.

Expect the journey to take anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes depending on traffic.

Maho Beach, Airport Beach, Saint Maarten, Caribbean

What to do at Maho Beach

The main thing you came for is to watch jets take off from Saint Maarten just mere meters away on the beach. The beach is sandwiched between clusters of beach bars and restaurants, so there is plenty to eat and drink should be hungry.

The area to avoid when planes are taking off is well marked, so unless you want to potentially get hurled into the sea, get off to the sides when a plane is taking off. I watched one lady get rag-dolled down the beach, losing her hat and top as she was blasted into the ocean… but she didn’t lose her beer. 

Had Enough People Watching at Maho Beach?

Mullet Beach, Saint Maarten, Caribbean
Mullet Beach

Maho is definitely worth a visit on your Saint Maarten trip because it is pretty unique after all, but if you’re looking to get away from the big wild crowd, make the short walk over to nearby Mullet Beach.

Have any questions about visiting Saint Maarten’s Airport Beach?

Ask in the comments section below.

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