Besides picnicking at Le Karibuni (order the lobster) and swimming in the warm, shallow waters, visitors can go tiger shark tagging with a company called Wakawa. (No killer whale tricks here!) The company of hot French surfer dudes from France and a few Americans from the Midwest really stress the whole eco tourism angle, which is a good think because they still take groups to "fragile and protected areas [but] in a low impact way."
This makes it all the more exciting that they've recently added the awesomely adventurous yet educational Tiger SharkLab tour. The tour gets tourists up close and personal while also collecting data like length, weight, sex, and age, as well a tagging the shark's dorsal fin with a tracking tag. The Wakawa crew lest tours take pictures and pet the shark while meanwhile taking a DNA sample for genetic fingerprinting. Crazy!
Price is $300 a person and groups max out at six people. Wakawa will take kids six and up.
Insider Tip: When you arrive on Pinel Island you will see a large sand spit. Behind that a stand of Coconut palm trees, and then a small hill that makes up this picture perfect paradise. There are no cars, no roads, (and of course no ATM!) However, you will find three beach bars/ restaurants. One is run by a Frenchman, the other is a local tiki-hut style place serving BBQ food, seafood and grilled fresh lobster as well. The third, called "Up On The Key," is new.
Full Disclosure: Shira Levine was a guest of the Tourism Board of St. Martin aka The French Side.
[All photos by Shira Levine]
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All photos by Shira Levine