Nevis: Day 1

April 13, 2014

Throughout all of my travels around the world, I have never once had the oppurtunity to leave the airport during a layover and explore, as I prefer direct flights or the fastest route possible.  While there are direct flights from Charlotte to Saint Kitts and Nevis (our final destination was Nevis), they do not operate every day, such as the date we needed to depart.  Thus, my husband and I decided for a five hour layover in Saint Martin, which was the perfect amount of time for a quick adventure in a new country!

As soon as we landed, we hailed a two-minute taxi to the legendary Maho Bay, a beach on the Dutch side of Saint Martin.  It is famous for being located at the end of the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport.  Arriving aircraft must touch down as close as possible to the beginning of the runway due to its short length, resulting in planes flying over the beach at minimal altitude.  Watching airliners pass over the beach is such a popular activity that daily arrival and departure timetables are displayed in the nearby bars and restaurants.  There is a danger of people being blown into the water, because of the jet blast from aircraft taking off, so most spectators hold onto the fence that separates the beach from the runway.

We chose to spend our entire layover at Bliss, a quiet and chic beach bar that has a fabulous pool and view of the runway.  We immediately ordered some daiquiris and allowed the Caribbean sun to seep into our pores.

If Maho Bay is not on your Bucket List, it should be!  Where else in the world can you get buzzed by 757s and fruity drinks?

Our layover seemed like the fastest five hours of my life and before I knew it we were inside a tiny eighteen-seat propeller plane headed toward Saint Kitts.  The flight was less than thirty minutes and the aerial views were nothing short of magnificent.

We could have continued in the same plane over to Nevis, however we opted for a short boat ride instead.  Our home for the next four nights was Nisbet Plantation Beach Club and we arrived just in time for dinner.  Although, our first order of business was to ask for a bottle of champagne in celebration of being in a new country — a ritual that we started many years ago.  Then we feasted on a gourmet three-course meal.  If this was any indication of how good the food was at this property, we were in for the culinary time of our lives.

Since it was dark when we finally arrived to Nevis, we fell asleep not knowing what our surroundings would look like in the light of day.  The element of surprise only added to the immense excitement we were already experiencing!

65 thoughts on “Nevis: Day 1

  1. Colleen Brynn

    So good! I stayed at a place near the airport on my last night (and for only one night) on St Martin. I remember how loud the planes were, and it was more of a thrill and a rush than a bother. Such an exhilarating feeling to be so close to that kind of power.
    Looks like you’ve had a great time, and glad to see some yummy food!!!

    Reply
  2. Katie @ Domestiphobia

    Ahhhhh! So amazing!!! I made the mistake of drinking too much at the airport in Kauai right before our short, 45-minute hop to Oahu. The stewardess was NOT pleased when I insisted I needed to use the lavatory. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Karisa

    It’s so nice that you were able to get out of the airport and explore a bit of Saint Martin. It was my first ever Caribbean island and it’s probably still my favorite 🙂 And I LOVE your tradition of ordering champagne to celebrate being in a new country! <3

    Reply
  4. Melanie Fontaine

    Wow, that airport is crazy! When I first saw a picture of this airport a couple of years ago, I could barely believe it! So cool that you got to see it in person, I hope I will one day as well! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Brock

    Wow! Check out those shots from your plane window. Truly in awe.

    I had the same experience arriving in Nevis. Landed at night, not fully knowing the breathtaking beauty that awaited us when we woke up the next morning.

    Reply
  6. Kyle

    Dude that plane is SO LOW! How cool! It was like that in Los Roques but the planes were teeny tiny so it was nearly as exciting…nobody getting blown into the water haha!

    Reply
  7. Jessica (Coco/Mingo)

    Wow! I’d take a layover here any day! I’m just like you, though, I like the quickest and fastest way to point B from point A. I never layover anywhere, but when that day comes, I’ll be sure to make the most of exploring the city I’m waiting in! I can’t believe those airplanes get SO low to that beach! I cannot get over that…crazy!

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      I’m glad I’m not the only person that prefers direct flights, because I always see my friends layovering in cities! Isn’t that beach/runway crazy????? I had to pinch myself when we were watching the first plane land!

      Reply
  8. Krista

    I had never done a long layover either until a few years ago when I had a long one in Fiji. I LOVED it!! I’ve been doing that ever since whenever I can. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Eileen

    I’m off to Curacao in a couple weeks and cannot WAIT to see some of these Caribbean colors in person! Fantastic post, loved hearing about your layover adventure!

    Reply
  10. Katie

    Now that is a layover I could deal with! I’m with you on the getting there in the fastest route possible, but somehow I keep picking destinations with multiple stops and long flights… I’ve heard great things about Nevis, can’t wait to see your posts!

    Reply
  11. Camels & Chocolate

    I love those photos of Maho! Funny, we WERE in Saint Maarten for three days and didn’t make it there. You were wise to get in and get out, as the rest of the island was not the nicest place…

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      You were there and didn’t get to Maho? Why not??? It’s so funny that you say you didn’t like the island, because I have met so many people who claim that it’s there favorite island in the Caribbean!

      Reply
  12. Sweet Pea

    I am so in love with St. Martin/Sint Maarten! Your pictures have captured its magical atmosphere! I so want to go back to it…NOW!

    Reply
  13. Emily in Chile

    What a fun layover! I had a 23 hr layover in BA once, which was obviously fun, but I’ve never had a single day mini-adventure like this. And it looks like the fact that you then arrived to a pink sunset would have been worth the stop even if you hadn’t been able to leave the airport.

    Reply

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