St. Maarten Zoo
The St. Maarten Zoo features hundreds of reptiles, birds and mammals in interactive viewing enclosures and is one of the best family activities on the island. Let the kids run wild on the island’s largest playground after meeting all the animals.
The zoo has been presenting the animals of Central and South America to visitors since 1991. Today, the St. Maarten Zoo is the largest zoo in the Caribbean, but you will need only a few hours to take in the intimate animal park.
Join a guided tour of the zoo, which leaves from the main entrance. The animal caregivers will introduce you to the capybara, the world’s biggest rodent. Another awe-inspiring animal on display is the caiman, which belongs to the alligator family. Enter the reptile house to see deadly snakes from a safe distance; these include the Burmese python and the rainbow boa with its strangely patterned skin. Adjust your eyes to the dark in the bat house, as hundreds of the nocturnal creatures dart above your head.
Goats and peacocks roam the park. Buy food to feed the huge lizards that run around. It wouldn’t be a zoo if it didn’t have monkeys; watch them throw apples at each other...or at you! Have your picture taken with a parrot and admire some of the other tropical birds. The Caribbean is known for its exquisite birdlife, and the St. Maarten Zoo’s aviary is full of these colorful local species such as macaws, lovebirds and toucans.
After the excitement of the animal encounters, unwind as the kids play on the zoo’s pirate-themed playground. Children can clamber over a ship and pretend to be pirates of the Caribbean.
St. Maarten Zoo is located on the northern edge of the Great Salt Pond in Philipsburg, near the Madame Estate shopping center. Free on-site parking is available, but there is no guard, so take your valuables with you. The zoo is open daily and children pay half price for admission.