Some of the best snorkeling on the Dutch side can be found around the rocks below Fort Amsterdam off Little Bay Beach, in the west end of Maho Bay, off Pelican Key, and around the reefs off Oyster Pond Beach. On the French side, the area around Orient Bay—including Caye Verte, Ilet Pinel, and Tintamarre—is especially lovely and is officially classified and protected as a regional underwater nature reserve. Sea creatures also congregate around Creole Rock at the point of Grand Case Bay. The average cost of an afternoon snorkeling trip is about $45 to $55 per person.

Dutch Side

Blue Bubbles. This company offers both boat and shore snorkel excursions as well as Jet Skiing, parasailing, and snuba for beginner divers. 153 Front St., Philipsburg, n/a St. Maarten. 721/556–8484 ;