Focus on the National Nature Reserve of St. Martin
Over the last decade, the island of Saint-Martin has adopted ecotourism by developing a wide range of alternatives for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers to discover the secrets and surprises of its fauna and flora.
Ten years ago, the island has emerged as a forerunner as far as ecology and sustainable tourism are concerned.
In 1998, the National Nature Reserve of Saint-Martin was inaugurated in the northeastern part of the island, with the aim of preserving the biodiversity of the three ecosystems that it contains. It was also intended to educate the general public to protect this rare environment.
The reserve covers 3.060 hectares, with some land and surrounding waters.
On land, many species of sea birds, iguanas, raccoons and the mongooses move freely in a beautiful landscape of rocky coastlines, beaches, ponds and mangrove where the red mangrove grows.
At sea, it is possible to observe sea turtles, and further large humpback whales between January and May, sea grass and reefs are home to find a variety of mollusks and fishes, to the delight of divers.
Different ecosystems are easily discovered through well marked hiking and diving paths for both the safety of visitors as to protect the site.
During the summer of 2009, the “Sentier de Froussards” has been opened. It connects Anse Marcel to Grandes Cayes beach making discover the wildest part of the island through a xerophytic forest, and a journey through the mangrove pond of the Barrier in Cul-de Sac, as well as a submarine path in Pinel and a botanical path.