Tourists beg for easy access to Cupecoy beach

POSTED: 04/22/13 12:24 PM

Beach Cupecoy

A sign points towards the beach bar on Cupecoy Beach. To the left the boulders are visible that block access to the adjoining property and that make it impossible for the bar-owners to bring their supplies in. Photo Today / Hilbert Haar

CUPECOY, St. Maarten – Access to the beach in Cupecoy has not been blocked entirely, but the owners of the land opposite the Blue Mall have made it more difficult for tourists and service providers to get close to their favorite strip of sand by car.

Jeff Berger has sounded the alarm over the boulders that have been places along the property’s perimeter and that make it impossible for cars to pass in his online newsletter St. Maarten’s Weekly News, a part of
The land opposite the Blue Mall belongs to the Princess Group of Companies – the owner of Port de Plaisance and the Princess Casino. At the end of January the soon forgotten controversy erupted when bulldozers cleaned up the property, razing the last Amerindian archeological site on the island.
Princess’ Managing Director Hakan Unal told this newspaper at the time that the company has no plans for development on the site and that he was unaware that the property is a registered archeological site.

In September of last year the location became part of the gruesome murder of Michael and Thelma King: this was where the criminals parked their car before hopping down to the beach and then onto the premises of the adjacent Ocean Club.
But tight now, the frustration of vacationers and other beach lovers focus on the boulders that block the entrance to the property for cars.
“I am writing to beg you to permanently restore easy public access to Cupecoy Beach,” Joe van Blerck wrote in an email to this newspaper. “You may not know it but Cupecoy Beach is the major attraction for many tourists traveling to St. Martin. Not having access to it means that other islands become an option as vacation choices and I’m sure you want to do everything you can to increase tourism – not lessen it.”

Another tourist, Susan Schenker wrote that Cupecoy is her favorite beach on the island. “Please do not deny us the enjoyment of the beach and the entry to it. John and Dany (who operate the beach bar and provide beach chairs and umbrellas – ed.) have done business with those of us using the beach for years. Please do not deny them their trade. They need to have their equipment with them, so if you can see that the boulders that deny them vehicular access be removed, all will fare better. The island has been wonderful for the past 20 years, please keep it that way.”

Access to beaches is free to everyone on the island. Civil law attorneys tell Today that, while this is true, this does not mean that landowners (like the Princess Group of Companies) have to give third parties the right of way – meaning they do not have to allow people to cross their property to get to a beach.

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Comments (7)


  1. shame says:

    know that people around the world is reading your newspaper and news about the blocking the entrance of what use to be one of our favorite beach on the dutch side of the island for 20 years is not not exciting us the come for a visit.Over building the island and not taking care of what make st maarten the beauty it is is not the answer

  2. Jack Rinaldi says:

    Tourism is the only busines of the Island…and beaches are the major attraction.

  3. Gary says:

    If one of the most popular beaches on the island is going to be blocked I will use my vacation time to visit someplace that is more “tourist” friendly. The government of St. Maarten needs to pay attention to the folks who come and spend their money.

  4. Cecile says:

    Please put some clothes on, and may be EVERY TOURIST, that includes families with kids, will be able to enjoy the beach too. This beach has been made exclusive to most nude bathers for as long as can remember, and I am glad it is blocked. I would like to use this beautiful beach too with my kids but we can’t because of the crude nudity and behavior. So please don’t use the tourist trick, because nude bathers have excluded most of the other tourists!!!

    • Jason says:

      Cecile, for one, there is nothing crude about nudity. Nudity does not equate to sexual activity. There is also nothing wrong with going as a family to a clothing optional beach. If you feel it’s shameful to be naked, you are entitled to your opinion, but you should not impose your view on everyone. Should you continue to feel that way, there are many other beautiful beaches you can enjoy with your family on Sint Maarten. Part of being a tourist is to pay respect to the place you are visiting. You are a guest, and should be prepared to encounter things you may not agree with, but you should be respectful to the people you are visiting. You and your family have many options. The people who wish to not wear clothes, however, do not.

  5. Jackie says:

    There are many beaches other than cupecoy, to take your children too. Some places need to be adult only, or teach your kids the human body is ok .

  6. Willie says:

    I went to Cupecoy beach yesterday for the first time (I am a tourist from Puerto Rico) and I need to say the it is one of the best beaches of the world. I can’t believe how close the properties are to the beach, this should not be happening on any beach. Cecile, if you and/or your family doesn’t like the human body, I think you have a really big problem. Go somewhere else on the island, there are plenty of non nude beaches to go. Skinny dipping is one of the best experiences.