St. Maarten: The Maho Beach Experience

St. Maarten The Maho Beach Experience

Tourists flock by the hundreds to take pleasure and plunge in its aquamarine waters, amble on its white sand beach, unwind on a bench under the sun or feast in its local food and beverage from the restaurants nearby.  But it has something more than that, something that is peculiarly seen in St. Maarten. Something called the Maho Beach Experience.

What makes it unique is that it is located just right at the end of Princess Juliana International Airport’s runway, thus the moniker Airport Beach came to be.  So, I took on a 25-minute journey going to this beach to do some birdwatching; not your Egrets or Pelicans but the metal birds coming in and going out of the island.

Maho Beach Marker
Maho Beach Marker
Maho Beach
Princess Juliana International Airport

I was looking straight ahead, not minding the scorching midday sun, unwearyingly staring and waiting for something to emerge from the horizon.  The anticipation that started for a few seconds have turned into minutes then to an hour, but my determination and of the others who were with me in this endeavor didn’t wane until something flickered from the skyline.

Maho Beach
The waiting game
Maho Beach
It's in here somewhere

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Maho Beach

Maho Beach

Everyone got excited, people were on their feet and we were all looking towards the same direction.  The tiny speck from the sky grew bigger and bigger as it moved in high-speed headed to my location, and in no time, it revealed its true form.

Maho Beach
It's a plane
Maho Beach
Coming our way fast

It was the spectacle that I have been looking forward to witness. I moved around to look for a better vantage point to capture its advent.  People who were swimming, eating and drinking had to take a break at what they were doing and focused on its arrival.  Arms were held up in the air, cameras aimed to the arriving plane and in no more than 5 minutes when it appeared, suddenly it was already passing over our heads.

Maho Beach
It has arrived

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I can hear its engines reverberating in my ears, it was so close that I could almost touch it, tourists started to cheer and scream until it completely touched down on the runway.  Then and only then that everyone went back to what they were doing until the next scheduled flight came in.

Maho Beach
This is the biggest plane I've seen so far, passing over our heads
Maho Beach St. Maarten
Watch the planes as they land passing over the beach

There are more or less 120 flights arriving and departing in this relatively small international airport.  Most planes of different types and sizes, from chartered flights to the ginormous commercial 747 carriers, arriving to the airport pass above the beach.

Maho Beach
Sail Boat at Maho Beach
Maho Beach
Air, Land and Sea

Those flights leaving blow people away, literally, as its jet engines power up (check here).  This is in spite of all the warning signs and additional barricades that were put up to stop thrill-seeking tourists from getting closer to the airport’s perimeter fence to feel the jet blast.

Maho Beach
Danger - Jet Blast
Maho Beach
Tourists waiting at the end of the runway to watch the planes as it take off
Maho Beach
Get your cameras ready!
Even with the warning, there are some that wanted to get really close
Maho Beach
Ready for take off
Maho Beach
See those people holding on to the fence
Jet blast all the way to the sea
You can just imagine how strong the blast is from the plane's engine

I had seen the small and medium-sized planes come and go but those were just like appetizers, it would be better if I can have a taste of the main course as well.  To see those huge commercial planes would be the highlight of the Maho Beach trip but unfortunately I was running out of time and had to leave.  But hey, maybe on my next visit I can already see those colossal 747s up close.

Tips:

  • Though the restaurants has it posted on their boards, it is better to Google the flight schedules for the day and save a screen shot on your mobile device or print it out if you can. So you have a guide to what type of plane is coming and going at a specific time.
  • Most of the bigger planes are arriving and leaving in the afternoon around 1PM onwards.
Maho Beach
Sunset Bar and Grill Flight Info board

Are you ready for the Maho Beach experience?

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St. Maarten The Maho Beach Experience Portrait

I have always yearned to try out new things but I tend to procrastinate or too reluctant to take that first step to making it happen and being an introvert only made it even harder. When In My Journeys is all about stepping out of that comfort zone and bringing all those aspirations come to life while exploring different places, trying the not so familiar things and meeting new souls.
Seize the moment! Let us all Go Out, Travel, Enjoy and Live Life!

8 Comments

  1. Rashmi Gopal Rao
    2016-12-01

    Looks beautiful!

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-12-02

      Thanks.

      Reply
  2. Wow! just wow… i guess this is in all the sense of the word, ADVENTURE.

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-11-29

      Yes! a different kind of adventure. Even the “seniors” are trying to experience what the Jet Blast feels like. 🙂

      Reply
  3. shybackpack
    2016-11-29

    What a strange past time, haha, but the pics are so worth it. This post was really interesting.

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-11-29

      Strange it is. Believe it or not, there are more people who enjoyed waiting for the planes to arrive and leave than swimming in the clear blue waters.

      Reply
  4. Adrenaline Romance
    2016-11-26

    What a beautiful beach! And this would be paradise for me because I loooooove spotting aircraft. In fact, one of my hobbies is building model aircraft. 🙂

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-11-26

      If that’s the case, this would be perfect for you! You can have fun swimming or have a fill while you wait for all sorts of planes to arrive.

      Reply

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