I was there for a week in March, and I spent a grand total of 4-5 hours (one afternoon) at Maho beach to see the planes. If you think that there is nothing else to do on the island, you are so mistaken. At the end of my vacation, I felt like I had not even experienced a quarter of what that island had to offer.
As HBIHLtoEZE already said, you can really party your a** off in SXM
if that is your thing. There are quite a few fun beach bars and clubs, which are mostly concentrated in the Maho beach area. I was staying on the French side, about 40 mins away from Maho, but that did not stop me from going there for the nightlife.
Other than Maho, there are 36 (IIRC) other beaches on the island all for you to enjoy. You can choose between a crowded, commercialised beach like Orient, and a quiet and more secluded one like the north shore of Pinel Island, or Happy Bay. You can find whatever suits you best.
If shopping is your thing, you can spend days shopping in SXM
, although I personally find it a waste of time. Philipsburgh is booming during the day with a wide variety of stores. Marigot has many stores too, as well as a very cool looking mall. After all, SXM
is known for its shopping being duty free and all.
Another great thing about SXM
, that you won't find in many other islands is the selection of restaurants and food. SXM
is considered to be the gourmet capital of the Caribbean, and that is one aspect of my vacation, that I truly enjoyed, even though I don't care that much about food. You can find anything in SXM
, (especially in Grand Case) from cheap, but good local food in the Lolos (as mentioned by someone else) to very expensive and elegant restaurants.
The people of SXM
are also very friendly. A few of them might seem a little rough around the edges, but they really are friendly and very helpful. I know that some people find the French rude when they visit France,
but all the French people in SXM
(or even in the highly exclusive SBH
) are amazing.
I would recommend anyone who goes to SXM
to rent a car. It is not expensive to do so, and it enables you to experience so much more, than just staying all day long in your all-inclusive resort. I drove around the island so much and thoroughly enjoyed it. If for some strange reason you run out of things to do in SXM
, or if you simply want to try out any of the surrounding islands, it is extremely easy and quite affordable to take day trips to St. Barts, Anguilla, and Saba. You can even hop on a turboprop to get to some of the more distant islands if you so desire.
In other words, you can find anything in SXM
. You just have to make an effort to explore the island.