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Wish You Were Here: Plane Spotting at Maho Beach, St. Maarten

February 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM | by | ()

Tease! A group of guys in town from a cruise ship pose before an American flight from MIA zips into SXM

A huge hello from the Dutch/French Caribbean island of St. Maarten/St. Martin, perhaps better known as aviation geek paradise. Taking a little of our own sage advice, we pounced on one of the 80% off JetBlue #NYCFlightWeek airfare specials released last week, to find ourselves now transported 3.5 flying hours south of New York City. It may be 34 degrees on the East Coast, but it's 84 where we stand—which just happens to be right underneath arriving aircraft, at the famous planespotting destination of Maho Beach.

Joining us on Maho Beach? Oh, just about 1,000 others on this extremely busy day. We'd say about 90% are here for the adrenaline rush of having a Boeing 747 charge you straight-on, only to zoom some 100 feet overhead as it lands at the island's Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM).

For those who don't fly into SXM, there's a hugely popular cruise port in the city of Philipsburg. Yesterday saw three mega cruise ships dock—the Celebrity Reflection, Independence of the Seas, and a Norwegian Cruise Line ship we couldn't ID—each depositing around 3,000 people onto an island numbering 77,700-ish in population. So it's no wonder it took so long to get our JetBlue pizza we ordered from the beach's landmark Sunset Bar & Grill.

Stay tuned, because later in the week we'll bring you the the stunner photos of SXM and tips on how to cross St. Maarten off your bucket list without dropping a bucketload of cash.

The airline-themed pizza menu at Maho Beach's Sunset Bar & Grill

[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]

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