Pilot your own watercraft as our veteran guides escort you on a short and exhilarating boat trip through the coastline’s protected waters of the French Side, an offshore rock formation in the French marine park. A must-see destination for any Caribbean vacation, it features some of the best snorkeling SXM has to offer with its diverse ecosystem of coral reefs and colorful fish.
Highlights Of Your Journey
Upon your arrival at the Rhino HQ, you’ll be welcomed by our enthusiastic staff who will outfit you with the latest safety equipment and snorkeling gear, followed by a quick and entertaining operational briefing to provide you with all the information necessary to have a safe and enjoyable Caribbean adventure.
Once you’ve been assigned to your own user-friendly watercraft, our signature Rhino Rider, you will perform a few supervised test spins before following your guide out into the exotic waters of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.
As you follow your guide through the Caribbean’s largest lagoon, you’ll maneuver safely between hundreds of boat anchorages, cruising alongside the mega yachts of the Rich and Famous. Check out luxury vessels owned by the likes of Donald Trump, Michael Kors, U2, the late Steve Jobs, and even catch a glimpse of the world’s top models sunbathing onboard Victoria Secret’s “Limitless” mega yacht. As you take in these extravagant surroundings, jumbo jets will fly overhead, taking off from our iconic Princess Juliana International Airport and headed for the surrounding hills.
Make your way beneath the Dutch causeway, crossing St Martin’s international border, and exit under the French bridge into the clear, sparkling turquoise of the Caribbean Sea. Then proceed forward to discover the tropical bay of the French capital of Marigot.
The first site you will notice dominating Marigot’s skyline is Fort Louis perched on top of the hill, a French military fort built in 1789 in order to protect the warehouses of the city. At its feet is a marina that still carries the fort’s name, serving as a homeport for dozens of luxury sailboats and mega-yachts.
Further along in your St. Martin excursion is Gallis Bay, where the wrecked remains of an old steel cargo ship still lingers offshore, providing shelter to many species of Caribbean wildlife. Some days, you will also find the largest clipper sailboat in the world, the Stad Amsterdam, anchored in this bay. From there, hold on to your sunglasses and push the throttle to the max as you speed towards the next bay!
As you skip and splash from bay to bay along the island’s coastline, you’ll be served panoramic views of the finest St. Martin beaches. Lover’s Beach, the smallest on the island, offers enough sand for just two souls on a same towel. Friars Bay, where locals party the night away during every full moon, also presents two locally-renowned reggae food shacks on its shore’s edge. Happy Bay, which is perhaps the most charming of all the island’s secluded beaches, features hills grazed by goats and shores lined with tall palm trees, making it the preferred spot for honeymooners.
Pressing along to your final destination you will pass one of the island’s longest bays, unveiling the town of Grand Case, a small fisherman village that now serves as the restaurant capital of the Caribbean. You will have a memorable moment sliding your Rhino with ease through the waters of its bay and pulling close to discover the village shore.
Looking out at the horizon, you can see Creole Rock, which is a rock formation emerging from the water at the far end of the bay. Moor your Rhino to the guide’s boat, put on your mask and fins, and jump right into the crystal clear sea to meet the inhabitants of this aquatic paradise. Experience this colorful underwater world as you snorkel under the watchful supervision of your guide.
Enjoy floating on warm tropical waters as the playful sergeant-major fish surround you, watch the colorful parrot fish having a feast among the coral, or look for the lobsters’ antennas peeping out of holes. Conchs, crabs, and starfish starfish can be found inhabiting the ocean floor, and if you are lucky enough, you can also spot stingrays, turtles, barracudas or even dolphins hopping around the surf.
The entire formation and surrounding area is part of La Reserve Naturelle de St. Martin, a protected government marine park. Enjoy! If you’re not a snorkeler, you can relax on the Rhino soaking up the sun rays, swim over to the rock and hit land, or enjoy a complimentary drink under the Caribbean sunshine while listening to one of your guides thousand anecdotes. With Rhino Safari, the Caribbean is at your fingertips.
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$6 per person marine park fee to be paid at the check in
Clix from Previous Tours