Maho Beach

Watch powerful jumbo jets fly low overhead and land just a short distance from this popular beach, the ultimate plane-spotting experience.

While this incredibly popular beach does feature the white sands and blue waters that the Caribbean is famous for, many visitors venture to this area for a more unusual reason. Maho Beach is located at the end of a runway; throughout the day jumbo jets make their final approach passing less than 100 feet (30 meters) above the heads of beach revelers. Between takeoffs and landings the beach is a beautiful place to soak up the sun. It is lined by a number of popular bars and restaurants.

Announcements coming from the beach bars will tell you when planes are approaching. Large displays providing information about the size of the jet and the name of the airline help watchers to get into position. Most people photograph the aircraft approaching just above the sand from a safe distance. Daredevils can find a spot beneath the flight path to experience the jet blast that comes from the plane. If you do so, be cautious before you decide to get “up close and personal” with a jet. It has led to serious injury in the past when people have been blown over.

Once you’ve seen this spectacle, walk further along the beach to enjoy the cool water and lively local atmosphere. Smell the sizzling barbecues that are regularly cooking on the beach or rent your own grill from a vendor. Maho Beach is regularly visited by local food hawkers and souvenir vendors. It is one of the most popular beaches with the people of the island. The beach is also a well-liked destination for watersports; a range of equipment can be rented from vendors on the beach.

Maho Beach is located next to the Princess Juliana International Airport and is best reached by car or airport taxi. The parking lot is located above the beach and is free of charge. There is no guard at the parking lot so it is recommended to take your more valuable belongings with you or leave them at your hotel.

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