Pinel Island is located on the French Side of the island. We drove from Simpson Bay towards Marigot and then North. Other reviews mention signs along the way but I didn't see any signs. We used the map that the rental car company gave us and were able to find the national park where the ferry dock is located to get to the island. It was confusing when we first arrived. There were no other waiting passengers and no signs indicating we were at the right spot, but there was a trailer set up selling snacks in the parking area and I confirmed we were in the right spot
THE ISLAND ITSELF .....
The island itself is small but not overcrowded on the day we visited. We rented chairs and umbrellas for $10 for the two of us. This isn't a place for long strolls on the beach, but does offer a peaceful day and something different to do. Because the island is located on a sand bar you can walk in the water for almost a mile and still not be in over your head. This island would be good for children, because the water is calm and shallow. One thing guests should keep in mind - Pinel Island is a protected park with a "what's found on the island stays on the island" - so collecting shells is not allowed.
There are two restaurants located on the island. One serves classic grill items, such as hotdogs and hamburgers, and the other is a more expensive restaurant serving more classic Caribbean dishes. We ate at the latter restaurant. The meal was good but not memorable. I had a palm salad, my husband had chicken, which was very small. We completed our meal with tasty pineapple and the waiter brought us a complementary shot of their homemade rum. It had olives in it. I didn't try it but my husband did. It wasn't something he would buy.
THE END OF THE DAY .....
When we were here the ferry returned to St. Martin every hour on the hour. It runs more frequently during the busy season. We took the last ferry (at 4pm) which was completely full, and ended our enjoyable, peaceful day on Pinel Island. In reflection, this trip is good to do near the end of your vacation, when you are tired of the more adventurous excursions, as there isn't a lot to do but relax in the sun.
Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
July 22, 2012
From journal St. Maarten in December
March 14, 2006
From journal Bachelorette Party in St. Martin
July 6, 2004
Bring own equipment (provided on cruise trips). Walk down path on left side to end. Walk or swim to left of point. GREAT SNORKELING along edge of roped-off reef.
ONLY place on St. Martin with good shore snorkeling.
From journal snorkel St. Maarten
July 4, 2004
From journal Must do activities on St. Maarten
St Simons Island, Georgia
February 10, 2004
From journal St Maarten Paradise
December 12, 2003
The island itself has a beautiful beach and is very shallow and clear--great for kids. At one end there is a rocky area, which you can reach by a path along the coast, then go down a small pier right into the water for some great snorkeling. The area is sort of fenced off by some buoys. We saw a variety of fish and a little bit of coral. Just being in the water is wonderful--it is so clear and warm. Be careful around the point--the water can be rougher.
Pinel Island has chairs and umbrellas to rent as well as jet skis, paddle boats, kayaks, and banana boats. There are also two places to get drinks and food. The island is quite small and there are a few paths you can follow to climb to the top of the hills so that you can see for miles around.
From journal Two Countries--One Island
by Wild YellowRose
September 24, 2003
Pinel is basically a sand bar island where you can walk out and enjoy the water protected. It's great for children. Chairs and umbrellas are for rent, outdoor johns, and a restaurant. Spend the day and relax. Also up the hill on your way back look for the sign for the Ma Doudou Factory. Our favorite local liquor, the banana vanilla, is wonderful. It packs a punch, so sip only.
From journal The Friendly Island
Scarsdale, New York
January 4, 2002
From journal St. Maarten - a Dutch/French paradise