My husband and I booked a tour with Twin Islands Excursions for our port stop in St. Maarten on January 28, 2013. The tour was "Sightseeing, Shopping and Sand". We were met by the friendliest tour guide! Jose (pronounced Joe-Say) met us with a hug and a huge smile. After the rest of the tourists joined us, Jose told us that his bus is called "The Party Bus" and thus began our excellent tour experience! As we drove through the Dutch side of the island over to the French side (St. Martin), Jose told many interesting stories about the history of the island, pointed out many beautiful and interesting sights and had lots of stories about some of the people on the island.
When we reached Marigot the shopping portion of our tour began. The most important part of that stop was the shop that allows anyone to make a free 2 minute call to anywhere. It was very nice to be able to speak with our son/business partner since we thought we would only be able to correspond by email. When I asked the clerk about making a call and told him that Jose recommended his shop, his response was "The Party bus?" It appears that many people on the island know and like Jose!
After the shopping portion of the tour, Jose asked how many people on the bus wanted to go to the beach and how many wanted to continue shopping. My husband and I were the only ones that wanted to go to the beach. Jose asked us if it would be OK to leave us at the beach for an hour and a half to two hours while he took the rest of the group back to the shopping area on the Dutch side. We thought that was a great idea!
He took us to Orient Beach and introduced us to some of his friends at one of the bars on the beach where you can also rent chairs/umbrella. Two chairs and an umbrella right where the sand met the water were ours for $7.00 with free drinks! Orient Beach was gorgeous! We had a wonderful time there and are looking at places to rent for a week next year!
About 90 minutes later Jose came and picked us up. Since we were now the only people on the bus we had Jose the tour guide all to ourselves. During the drive over earlier during the day, he pointed out all the iguanas in the top of the trees and bushes. My husband asked if we could stop to see one up close. Jose then took us to a construction site for a future wildlife refuge. My husband calls it "the iguana farm" now because there were lots of them there and you can walk right up to them. Very exciting!
We had a wonderful time on St. Martin/St. Maarten thanks in large part to Jose and "The Party Bus"!
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