We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A beach that changes its personality daily”
Review of Happy Bay Beach

Happy Bay Beach
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Self-Drive Boat Tour and Snorkel from Simpson Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed February 4, 2014

My wife and I have an apartment in St. Martin/Maarten, and have gone to Happy Bay numerous times. It is one of those places that truly changes from day to day. On a Friday, you can walk out onto the beach from the trail and you would think it is the "new Cupecoy" with almost everyone nude. On a Sunday, you might judge it as very much a family beach, and unless you're quite bold you would be unlikely to want to bare it all.

The charm of the place is that it is definitely unrefined, like a walk-in campsite. But that also means you won't have any security people to stop peeping toms/"bushwhackers" from getting their jollies in the bushes, or someone else happily taking photos with their zoom lens. (By the way, security personnel and the "strength of numbers" is what makes Orient such a great place to try going nude for the first time. Unless you're as white as a ghost or acting strangely, you will definitely not be noticed. The only people who get noticed are the stupid prudish cruise ship people who have to get their jollies walking in their shorts, t-shirts and running shoes to Papagayo's at the end of the beach and back. You guys are laughable!) One other thing: sometimes you'll encounter cattle in your hike in, but not to worry. Stay calm, stop, and they will soon move on. You will also be likely to encounter numerous cow pies on the trail, as well as on the beach.

All of that said, Happy Bay can be a great day at the beach, especially if you start by arriving before 10 a.m. For the trail, be sure to wear sandals or other footwear, and be careful. Parts of the trail are quite rocky and uneven, although not steep. Watch your step!

5  Thank CanadaCouple2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (412)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"friars bay"
in 32 reviews
in 8 reviews
"flip flops"
in 16 reviews
"music festival"
in 4 reviews
in 15 reviews
"trees for shade"
in 4 reviews
"min hike"
in 4 reviews
"bring food and drinks"
in 3 reviews
"rocky path"
in 4 reviews
"nude sunbathers"
in 6 reviews
"grand case"
in 18 reviews
"rough surf"
in 3 reviews
"piece of paradise"
in 3 reviews
"hiking shoes"
in 3 reviews
"au naturale"
in 3 reviews
"bring water"
in 3 reviews
"turquoise water"
in 3 reviews

223 - 227 of 412 reviews

Reviewed February 4, 2014 via mobile

Happy bay is a short 15 min hike from the right side if friars bay. Bring your own provisions and chairs as this is a secluded beach without a cafe. The hike is beautiful and the beach is breathtaking. The crowd is a mix of nude sunbathers and couples. The water is not so good for swimming (rough and rocky), but many tour groups and boats park offshore for the snorkeling. We enjoyed the views of the cliffs and even had a baby sea turtle siting. Great day!

Thank krbennett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

We had a hard time finding Happy Bay Beach! Once we got to Friar Bay Beach, we parked and hiked up to a path through the woods and through a field (alot of animal droppings) to make our way to Happy Bay Beach. The hike was actually really nice...a single walkway above the bay separating Friar Bay from Happy Bay. Once there, the beach itself is very secluded and lovely, but there was no food, or beverages available and we were hungry, so we didn't stay long. Because it is so secluded, it is a great place for the nude beach--which it is...and we did not know...most of the women were topless, and the men were naked. Since I like to walk around taking pictures wherever I go, I was not inclined to stay because I did not want to make anyone there uncomfortable. I'm glad we went and checked it out, but we will not go back.

Thank nairb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2014

Surprised how highly rated this destination is. It's nice and the snorkeling was the least impressive on the island. The fun part is the hike in.

Thank bookreadermom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Nice sandy beach. Not overly crowded. to get there park at the end of the bars at friars bay beach then follow. The marked trail. After going through the gate make sure you stay left other wise you will walk to grand case.(ps you are walking around a field with cows ) to beach its about 15min.not a path for people with unsure footings. No amenities there other than a picnic area. Water has some rocks getting in. Good amount of shade trees.some nudity too

Thank sunsandlover77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Happy Bay Beach also viewed

Orient Bay, Saint-Martin
Saint-Martin, St Martin / St Maarten
Grand Case, Saint-Martin
Sint Maarten, St Martin / St Maarten

Been to Happy Bay Beach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing