Ilet Pinel (Pinel Island)(beach) — this small paradise island lies just off the east coast of Saint Martin, at the heart of the Nature Reserve. Legend has it that in his attempt to capture the island of Saba, the buccaneer Pinel was driven back by the island’s inhabitants who hurled great rocks down on the pirates from their mountain refuge. As they fled, the invaders ran aground on Pinel Island, which has since borne the name of the defeated captain.
Two breathtaking beaches await visitors here: the first, facing Saint Martin, is a very sheltered sandy strip with shallow waters. Ideal for children, the beach here is postcard perfect, with clear waters and white sand. There are two beachside restaurants here and the area is a superb shallow-water dive spot. The second beach, which is stony and exposed to the forces of nature, is a 10-minute walk away on the other side of the island.
To get to Pinel Island, take a traditional boat known as a Saintoise from the pontoon at Cul-de-Sac. The 10-minute boat ride costs around $6.