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“OK beach....but not really worth the hike”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Happy Bay Beach

Happy Bay Beach
Book In Advance
More Info
$100.00*
and up
Rock 'n Roll Snorkel and Sightseeing Safari of St. Martin
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Denver
Level Contributor
51 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“OK beach....but not really worth the hike”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2012

You have to park at Friar's Bay beach and then hike over a hill...about 1/2 mile to get to Happy Bay. The beach is OK, nothing special...it's secluded, but there were some people camping out on the beach that made it seem kind of sketchy. The only place to escape the sun for a bit is under some trees and that's where all the ants are.

A couple tips if you're going to do the hike...figure out how to get to the Friar's Bay parking lot that is on the far right of that beach...so you don't have to walk all the way across that beach because there is an outlet to a swamp/lagoon behind the beach that smells like raw human sewage is stored there. I'm not joking. It's the worst smell ever. And the hike over the hilltop..I would recommend something other than flip-flops - it's pretty rocky, there's also a lot of trees and stuff that are very prickly - so be careful.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank zivo24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Snorkel!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2012

No restaurants or beach chairs but a good spot to snorkel!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Francesca L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cazenovia, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Secluded, pristine, gorgeous.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2012

On the advice of friends I headed to this beach. I'm not a huge "stay on the beach all day" person, but I think I could live at Happy Bay Beach.

Access is via a walking trail from Friar's Bay Beach, just head north through the wooded area above the beach and keep walking (and following the occasional orange spray-painted arrows) until you reach Happy Bay.

There are no permanent services; when I was there there was one man who made towels and umbrellas available; I think he had drinks too. Since I'd brought my own towels and drinks, I didn't even speak with him.

I'd be surprised If there were more than 20 other people on this very private arc of a beach. The sand was powdery and straw-colored, the water calm and blue, and there were plenty of places to find shade for a while if I needed it.

The beach appears to be popular with nudists, as at least half the people there (mostly couples in their 30's - 50's) were completely nude the whole time. Since the beach was so huge and empty, this was a non-factor.

Note that every guide I've read says to take EVERYTHING with you from your car (if you arrive by car); I've heard stories of broken car locks and windows. I can't verify that as I had no problem with crime while I was in St. Martin, and I walked to Happy Bay Beach from my hotel.

I don't recommend this beach for small kids because of the lack of facilities and the hike it takes to get there. But if you're looking for solitude with a perfect slice of Caribbean sun and sand, I can't imagine a better spot.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank JJJ13035
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Lots of nudies!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2012

Great beach, a lot of naked people so beware! Most people who go to this beach are completely naked!

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Goingplaces11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
72 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Nice secluded beach, a little overrated perhaps”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2012

The best thing about Happy Beach is that it is a little less accessible than most main beaches on the island. You have to walk on a small trail for about 10 minutes to get there. For this reason Happy Bay tends to be less crowded than the main beaches. I was told (unverified!) that this is not true in weekends, when the local residents are off work and turn to beaches such as Happy Bay, less know by tourists.

The beach itself is beautiful and has whiter, finer sand than most other beaches I visited in Saint Martin. But only by a small margin. I think it is definitely worth a visit, because it really is very pretty, yet I did not return, because there are other beaches (such as Baie Rouge) which are more accessible and which, though the sand may be a little rougher, largely meet my suntanning and bathing needs. Baie Rouge, as it happens, also has a nice bar ("Gus") which makes a mean "planter's punch" -- something which I missed in Happy Bay :)

Just a note regarding the "trail" to Happy Bay:
We met some people (I will not disclose the nationality) who were surprised they were not warned of the "dangerous hike" they had to take to get to Happy Bay. Depending on habits, I can see how this may be confusing for some. In California I once took a "trail" which turned out to be a paved path through a forest. In the Alps I once took a "trail" which turned out to require light rock climbing and passing through a small river. The trail to Happy Bay is somewhere in between, closer to the first but lacking the pavement. It is relatively flat terrain, uneven because of roots and rocks, and sometimes overgrown by bushes. For comfort I would recommend wearing shoes (any shoes), yet my friends and I did manage to survive this trail wearing just flip-flops.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
8 Thank Nicolai L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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