Pinel Island

Pinel Island, Saint-Martin: Hours, Address, Pinel Island Reviews: 4.5/5

Pinel Island
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Topless optional
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

2,535 reviews
Very good

Miramar Beach, FL84 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
If you try to get here outside of a tour group, it's a bit difficult (and expensive if you take a taxi). We used public transportation (3 buses) to get there from Simpson Bay (cost was $12 for 2 of us, but we paid almost $20 with tips. Much less than the $40 we were quoted for a taxi.) The bus took us all the way to the dock at Cul-de-sac. The ferry trip over and back was $12 each. The boats are sometimes crammed (they are like open power boats). The trip over is pretty quick. You get off at the dock and can either choose chairs and umbrellas on either side of the dock, or walk around to the left where there are fewer people. There's a restaurant and beach service and even tables installed in the shallow water. It's a bit expensive, but the food looked pretty good. We didn't eat there. The snorkeling is supposedly pretty good. All that being said, like another reviewer said, I'm not sure what all the hype is about. There are equally (or more) beautiful beaches on St. Maarten. We were just wanting to try and experience different things and thought we would give it a try. Honestly, I wouldn't do it again. Instead, I'll just hang out at Kim Sha Beach or Grand Bay.
Written August 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

19 contributions
Jun 2021
Every google search of St. Maarten tells you to go to Pinel Island. So we did it. We only budgeted the afternoon. We went to Marigot in the morning to have breakfast and shop then headed over to Cul-de-Sac to go to Pinel. If I did it again, I would go for the whole day. There isn't much to do there, but that's the point. It's vacation....just relax and enjoy. Me and the kids took it to another level and rented kayaks from Caribbean Paddling and we paddled over. We stopped on a sandbar, visited another little island only reachable by kayak, then got to Pinel and met up with the wife who took the "ferry" for $12 round trip. We got 4 chairs with umbrellas at Karibuni and Pesh was our answer to everything. This guy was working hard. He was a source of information, brought us our drinks and food, was entertaining, and provided us with some complimentary home made rum as we were packing up at 4pm. We did see some see turtles when we were paddling over. We also walked to the other side of the island just to check it out and take some pics. The food is mostly seafood and it is pricey, but it was worth it for us. Would definitely go again and spend the full day. The kayak part isn't necessary but definitely took it to another level from what the average tourist does.
Written June 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dan K
The Hague, The Netherlands6,626 contributions
May 2021
Beautiful island just off the coast from Cul de Sac. Ferry is €10 or $12 for a return or rent a canoe and DIY. Some reviews mention that island is being discovered as 'a place to party during the day'.

On both of our visits on Sundays we did encounter large groups of certain North Americans who where loud, brought their sound systems and even smoked weed. On our second day there was a scuffle between two French people, because of something their children did to each other. It did not really escalate and they shook hands when everything was cooled down again, but I do think it's quite sad that people are not able to behave civilised. Not sure if tour companies are offering tours that state this is a party island, because it is not. Most visitors, especially on Sunday, are families with children who just want to have a good time and relax in the calm seas.

It is possible to hike around the island if you walk to the sign left of Yellow Beach. You can get some interesting view and do a small climb to the highest point from where you have a nice view on Sint Maarten (behind you) of Tintamarre (in front of you). The beach on the other side is much more quite and tends to attract nudists, who arrive by their own small boats.

Last boat on the island leaves at 5 pm. When my wife lived on Sint Maarten ten years ago, she fell asleep on the beach and eventually needed to swim to the other side at the narrow inlet between Sint Maarten and Pinel, although she does not recommenced it!
Written May 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

norm spencer
Gallatin, TN13 contributions
Nov 2021
We went to Pinel Island mainly because of the snorkeling recommendation. The water is calm on the leeward side of the island but unfortunately the bay is very silted. The coral is all dead and grass has taken over. The snorkeling was terrible. By the time we paid $15 each for the boat ride to the island and $25 to rent the chairs, most of the other beaches were a better deal. One benefit was the restaurant at Yellow Beach where the food was reasonably priced and very good quality.
Written November 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Emina D
Chicago, IL89 contributions
Jan 2021
After 5 weeks on St Martin island, I can understand the desire to get away and do something else. Pinel Island is not “it”. A short ferry ride from Col de Sac neighborhood of SxM island, it is something I wish I had skipped. Small beach gets crowded with both locals and tourists. Locals know to reserve chairs ahead of time, so if you really with to see this small island, consider doing so.

That said, our experience was mediocre at best. We went on a Sunday, and it did not turn into a funday! Crowded with little children and older children (late teens, early 20s), it felt like a kindergarten filled with screams, crying tantrums, and obnoxious sounds (from the teenagers).

Water was murky and not clear.

Service was okay (we were at the Yellow Bar), but prices were ridiculously up-charged. On average, a bottle of wine on Pinel was 25% higher than on SXM. Um, why?

Even though we’ve had plenty of time on SXM, I wish I would’ve skipped Pinel all together.
Written January 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jessica Mesler
Oakboro, NC24 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
This beach is a beautiful beach but not much natural shaded areas. We didn’t get a set of beach chairs this time so we just set our towels out. It costs $12 by water taxi to get to the island. After coming up on the beach, you will see one restaurant that has closed down and one that is still in operation. The beach to the right of the pier that you are dropped off on is shallow very far out and is covered in grass on the bottom. The beach to the left of the pier is deeper but you have to walk out pretty far and is heavily populated as the restaurant and boats are on that side. You can walk over the island near the grassy beach and find a natural rock place that is great for finding sea fans and sea shells. Walk straight back over the big hill and you will follow a path to the beach on the opposite side of the island. Nobody was there and the waters are rougher. There was a decent bit of seaweed on that side as well. Large beach with some small trees and a set up made of trash which looked like someone was trying to camp there. We didn’t swim on this side due to the sea weed and rough waters.
Written June 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Susan R
Frederick, MD19 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
A brief 10 minute ride on a small ferry ($12) is all you need to enjoy a day on this beautiful little island. Once you get there you will have 2 options of beach areas each serviced by bustling beach cafes and offering up for rent beach loungers and umbrellas. Once you are settled in the energetic staff of servers work tirelessly to take care of all your drink and food needs. If you prefer to dine away from the sand the cafes provide ample seating to sit under shade and enjoy menu options you wouldn’t expect from island beach cafes. We visited twice in our week stay on St Martin, each time preferring the Karibundi beach and cafe. Highly recommend Pinel island!!
Written February 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kalisa P
7 contributions
Feb 2020 • Family
After paying $12 for a very short ride per person then $25 for two chairs and expensive food it's not really worth it. The service was great with servers coming to your chairs, they were working very hard and were very friendly. We ordered pina coladas and they were very strong, not really to our liking. We had a fine time it just turned out to be way more expensive when there are plenty other beaches to go to for free.
Written February 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alexandra H
Waterville, NY51 contributions
Jan 2021
Beautiful island with two nice restaurants, restrooms, chairs and umbrellas. There is a little shop on the island with the cutest souvenirs at a great price. White sandy beach, limited shade so recommend bringing sunscreen!
Written January 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ernie W
Westwood, NJ123 contributions
May 2021
Given the expense of going to the island, one may wish to spend the entire day. It costs $12 by water taxi to get there. However, in light of the 2017 hurricanes, a lot of the shade available in past visits was uprooted and time has not yet produced palm trees to take the place of the plants destroyed.

There are two fantastic beaches where the water taxi disembarks passengers on the island. But, in addition, the island is a protected environment and there is a lot of exploration possible. There is a hidden beach on the opposite side of the island along with pathways to other sea access. As one has time to relax, there is a lot to do.

Currently, there are not a lot of sports activities available. One needs to bring what is wanted with them as they go to the island.

It is well worth the trip.
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Pinel Island

Pinel Island is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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