We went to every nude beach in Saint Martin, we think… It kinda depends on how you look at it. Saint Martin is home to Orient Beach, one of the few official nude beaches in the Caribbean. This is also the only official nude beach on the island, so technically speaking, just setting foot on Orient Beach would be sufficient to claim that we’ve been to every nude beach on Saint Martin.
But that would make for a very short blog post, so we took it one step further. We asked around and identified three more beaches that are known to be frequented by naked people. Time was not on our side, our visit to Saint Martin was already short, and a hurricane that was coming our way kept us inside our resort for several days. Long story short, we had one full day to visit all 4 nude beaches on our list.
When we got back to The Paradise Peak in the evening, we told the owners how we went to every nude beach on Saint Martin. Their response was: “Oh, but there are several other beaches where you can easily go naked”. Our day suddenly seemed much less like an accomplishment, but we looked at it from the bright side: We now have a very good reason to return to Saint Martin one day, and until then, here are the beaches that we did visit.
A word about distances on Saint Martin
One of the questions we had before visiting Saint Martin, was what would be a good base to easily get to the beaches. We had read somewhere that all nude beaches are on the French side of the island, so this eliminated the south. The Paradise Peak resort seemed like our perfect headquarters because it’s right in the center of the French side on almost equal distance to each nude beach.
Little did we know that this would not matter much. You see, Saint Martin is about the size of any major city in Europe or the USA and has fewer traffic jams. One rainy day we decided to drive around the whole island. By noon we were back. Baie Longue beach was probably the furthest away from our resort and yet the drive was just 45 minutes. It could have been 30 if we had the instructions that we’re going to give you below. So no need to wake up early. Remember, we visited 4 nude beaches in one day, made video about them, took notes, had a couple of beers, and still made it back to the resort for sunset drinks.
This is the only official nude beach on the island and is quite famous in naturist circles. Largely because it was the home of Club Orient Resort, considered one of the world’s top nude resorts, until September 2017 when Hurricane Irma completely destroyed it. What’s left of the resort is just ruins, but the beach is as beautiful as it probably has been forever.
No matter when you visit Orient Beach, you’ll always find a naked crowd. Most times, they are on or around the sunbeds with the yellow umbrellas. Except when it rains, then you’ll find them in the bar. A clothing-optional bar, by the way, and as far as we know the only one on the island. If you know about other clothing-optional bars on Saint Martin, do let us know for next time! Considering this, the prices are very reasonable and the food is pretty good.
Orient Beach is also the easiest to get to. Just follow your GPS and you’ll end up at something that looks like a large parking lot. If you keep following your GPS, you’ll find a smaller parking inside what used to be the gates of the resort, right next to the bar. That’s where you want to park, because this whole zone is clothing-optional so you can just leave all your stuff in the car.
At the end of the day, when we tried to decide which beach we liked the most, we couldn’t choose between Orient and Happy Bay, although they are very different beaches. Eventually, we concluded that it’s all about how we feel at a certain day. If we’re looking for a busy vibe, if we want to meet people and drink beers in a bar where we don’t need to wear clothes, Orient it is. If we rather want to chill, read a book and soak up nature, we would definitely go to Happy Bay.
The advantage for us, and a disadvantage for many others, is that there’s no parking right next to Happy Bay. The walk is short, but it’s a walk nonetheless, and this is why Happy Bay manages to maintain a quiet vibe. It’s said that the nude sections are at the sides of the beach, but when we got there, there was a naked guy right in the middle. Really, it was as if he had measured it. So we joined him, but on busy days, you may need to move more towards the edges.
There are two ways to get to Happy Bay, one is to drive to Friar’s Bay, park there and walk up the trail that starts in the north of the parking lot. The other one is to take Rue Happy Bay road, drive as far as you can and park where you find a spot. The latter option is easier, the first is more scenic.
This was the first nude beach we visited on the island, but it was a bit of a strange experience. First of all, because it’s inside a gated community. We drove around looking for an entrance but couldn’t find any without a barrier. When we eventually asked a security guy, he just lifted the barrier and let us in. So that’s the way to get to the beach.
Secondly, this is not your everyday neighbourhood. Most houses look as if they’re owned by the Bezos family and the most impressive ones are seafront. It’s hard to imagine that these people would enjoy the sight of our nude butts passing by the window when they’re at the breakfast table.
Lastly, the beach was completely deserted when we got there. No naked people, no bathing suits, if Wally had been there, we’d spotted him right away. Later, someone would tell us that the nude sections are at the ends of the beach, but we didn’t have a clue. So we just stripped down wherever we entered, went for a swim, and moved on.
This is where we went terribly wrong, but we didn’t know that at the time. If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably follow your GPS to Cupecoy, you’ll probably park your car somewhere after you passed by the roundabout. You’ll probably end up at a resort that has a big sign saying that nudity is prohibited on the beach and you’ll probably spend some time staring at the distance, wondering what just happened.
But you won’t give up so easily, you’ll wander along the coast and not much more than 2 minutes later, you’ll find some old stairs. You’ll wander down, think that it’s a rather small and quite rocky nude beach, wonder what all the fuss is about and move on.
If you are actually us, many days later, you’ll regret that you didn’t listen to your friend Gerardo, who had drawn you a map to get to the beach but you chose to ignore it because you’re world travellers who figure things out on their own.
Basically, we can’t tell you much about Cupecoy because apparently, we weren’t at the right beach. Except that from the resort, just keep walking up the dirt road, DO NOT go down the first stairs but continue your walk and you should end up at a much nicer nude beach than where we have been. We hear that you can also drive up the dirt road and park nearby. The one thing we did do right was stop at Dany’s bar for a beer… At least we’re good at something!
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