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Why You Need to Visit Pinel Island

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - October 17, 2015

By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor

Ever felt like you need a vacation from your vacation? A place where you can skip the sightseeing, paddleboarding, and zip-lining that’s cluttering your to-do list and simply sit?

If you’re in St Martin there is such a Paradise, and its called Ilet Pinel.

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Hop the 30-person ferry from the French-side village of Cul-De-Sac ($12 roundtrip; every half-hour between 9:30am and 5pm) and in five minutes you’ll arrive at the tiny spit of sand, a nature preserve where locals flock to escape the everyday and in-the-know visitors join them.

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Yellow Beach, one of a pair of restaurants here, might be your base for the day. With chaises and umbrellas for rent; lobster pizza on the menu; and drinks served to high-top tables in the surf, it’s a no-brainer. Or you might venture a few steps further to Karibuni for equally good food but with a more tranquil vibe. Feeling energetic? Make the 10-minute hike to the island’s far (northern) side, where the shore is more rugged but swimwear is optional.

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Whatever you chose to do (or not do), the only distraction from this idyllic interval will be the souvenir stall between the two restaurants, where colorful sarongs and coconut-shell trinkets may tempt you to drop a euro or two.

Just don’t be tempted to stay the night. No one lives on the island (restaurant staff commute from the mainland); camping is prohibited; and the overnight security patrol will surely discover you.

Nothing – not even Paradise – lasts forever. So enjoy it while it lasts.

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