Lauded by regulars as St. Maarten’s most picturesque stretch of coast, the three sandy beaches that make up Cupecoy Beach are quiet and peaceful. Unlike many of the bigger beaches on the island, Cupecoy is a little difficult to reach due to the surrounding limestone cliffs, but this only adds to its charm and sense of seclusion. During the high season the “clothing optional” beach is great for anybody seeking some time away from the crowds on the Dutch part of the island.
Carefully make your way down the cliff by following a series of carved steps. As you descend toward the beach you’ll forget you are just minutes away from the indoor shopping, tourist villas and busy bars and restaurants of St. Maarten. Walk along the beach, explore the caves and rock formations behind it or take a dive in the warm water.
While the entire beach is frequented by nudists, the area closest to the steps is a little more conservative due to its proximity to a public mall. Families come here because of the patch of sand for children to play on. A small beach shack rents out chairs and umbrellas and sells refreshments. The far end of Cupecoy Beach has become a gathering place for the gay and lesbian population and visitors of the island.
Cupecoy Beach waters can range from gentle rolling waves to rough surf, which makes it good for swimming or surfing depending on the day’s conditions. Rent equipment elsewhere on the island or bring your own. The beach becomes more popular at dusk as it has a reputation for one of the best sunsets in the area. The top of the cliff is regularly lined with photographers and many make their way down to the water’s edge to enjoy the sunset from the soft sand.
Cupecoy Beach is located just south of the French/Dutch border, on the St. Maarten side. The nearby Blue Mall shopping center can easily be reached by taxi or car. In front of the mall, steps lead to the cliffs. You can park in the Blue Mall parking lot for a fee.