We parked our jeep in the village of Cul-de-Sac, located just past the spectacular Orient Bay, and mingled with the friendly wild donkeys roaming around in the parking lot.
We caught the small boat to the island around noon – I wish we had caught the first boat so we could have spent a full day! The shuttle boat leaves every 30 minutes from 10am to 5pm and the ride costs $7. The ride takes about five minutes and the water is very calm.
Once on the island, paradise! We checked out our surroundings on this tiny little island lined with sandy beaches; the calm, crystal clear, sparking water was absolutely stunning!
The view of St. Martin in the distance, with its hills, was just amazing.
We brought our own snorkel gear and explored the reefs along the snorkel trail.
We found a trail and took a small hike to the other side of Pinel Island, which offered sea grape trees and a completed deserted beach and enjoyed the tranquil silence and scenery.
The island offers three little restaurants, Le Karabuni, the Yellow Beach restaurant and Up on the Key, as well as a small gift shop. Since we had already had lunch, we didn’t try any food but Pinel Island sparked my never-ending love for pina coladas.
We bought a couple rounds and drank them on the beach, savoring the tasty treats topped with just enough delicious ground nutmeg. After a couple drinks, we relaxed in the shade of some umbrellas on the beach. To this day, I have never tasted a pina colada as tasty as the ones I drank on Pinel Island.
Around 5pm, we reluctantly caught the last boat back to the mainland with the rest of the stragglers on the island. Seems we were not the only folks who wanted to spend more time there – the boat back to St. Martin was packed!