When taking a day trip to St. Maarten, the highlight of the day was visiting Loterie Farm. Loterie Farm Nature Reserve and Sanctuary sucked me in even before I arrived in St. Maarten with its promise of providing rainforest hiking and beautiful views. I’m a sucker for a beautiful view.
I’ll be honest though I was close to not visiting Loterie Farm because of their web appearance. As you can tell from the name of this blog, I enjoy visiting places less populated. And when I heard about Loterie Farm and started investigating, I found pictures on their website and Facebook page that looked like a college, pool party – people everywhere! Luckily I kept reading and felt confident enough that it wouldn’t be the norm as long as we got there early and didn’t show up for a local event, but I was still worried! Looking back I think I’d seen pictures from an event and they were trying to promote it as a booming place, but it almost backfired. I found it interesting that today when I search their website, it is much different. It portrays the relaxing oasis of a place I found when I visited last year.
As you head off to your hike, you’ll first encounter this stop. They sell clothing and décor along with bottled water. You may want to stop here before or after your hike for water, as it gets quite humid in the trees.
You have the option here to take either a guided hike or a self-guided hike. Activity prices are €5.00 per person for the self-guided hike and €26.00 for a guided hike. If you do the guided hike, you’ll want to make a reservation at least a day in advance. We opted for the self-guided hike. They gave us a map and circled where we should go. The hiking level is moderate to hard. I’d allow between an hour and a half to two hours to complete the hike. I’d also suggest wearing hiking boots or shoes. Because we were on the island all day with no storage, we only had regular shoes (also why you’ll see I’m carrying my purse!) but shoes with traction on the bottom would have been quite helpful.
You’ll see that much of your path at least in the first part of the hike involves rocks. You’ll climb over a good number of them as you head up the mountain. This hiking trail is very well labeled. Many of these yellow hike signs can be found lining the trail. There was never a time when I questioned if I was still on the trail or not. As you climb further up, there will be places where you’ll use the guiding ropes.
There are two main spots where you’ll want to stop and enjoy the view once you get to the top. The first is lower and you’ll be viewing the landscape through some trees.
The next stop is my personal favorite, as you can see for miles and miles. You’ll even be able to see Anguilla from your location. I could have stayed up here looking around forever.
We continued on our hike for a while longer, but the view was best at these two lookout spots. If you keep going, the walk will be fairly flat with no additional look out spots. We decided not to continue much further, as it was getting to be lunchtime and also getting super hot. You’ll simply turn around and go back the way you came when wanting to head back.
We did encounter several monkeys swinging from the trees! I just love the picture of the monkey walking across the trail with his tail kinked.
It was crazy how many mangoes were on the ground!
I was excited to try the tapas restaurant here, as the atmosphere was depicted to be amazing. Treelounge is perfectly named, as that is exactly how you feel – as though you are relaxing amidst the trees! Glancing across the area you can see both another lounge area and the area you just hiked. You are sitting in luxury as you chill on a super comfortable couch with lots of pillows, listening to the sounds of birds chirping from nearby trees. Definitely one of the most comfortable meals I’ve ever eaten. And one of the most enjoyable views.
Ordering from the tapas menu is an ideal way to get to try lots of different food! Our waitress was also super helpful. She told us that each tapa item was different in size so to just keep ordering and she’d tell us when we hit enough for two people. After much debate we tried coconut shrimp, chili chicken lettuce wraps with a peanut chili dip, and cumin lentil balls served with a tamarind sauce. All were equally delicious. A mango smoothie was a perfect way to hydrate after the long hike. We were in no hurry to get moving after a long, hot hike; so we definitely took our time eating here and enjoying the view here in the Treelounge.
Although I went to Loterie Farm for their hiking and tapas restaurant, I won’t forget to mention that they also have an area called the Fly Zone, where you’ll soar over 35 feet in the air between the trees using ropes, cables, and suspension bridges. It looked very exciting! They have a smaller version that doesn’t go nearly as high for kids or those who just don’t enjoy heights.
Loterie Farm also offers swimming pools and garden areas perfect for renting out for a time with family or friends if you have a larger crowd. They offer great food options so you can just sit back and not worry about a thing. It truly does feel like a tropical paradise.
Paths Less Traveled Ranking: 2 footprints
Paths Less Traveled Ranking Explanation: Loterie Farm did have people but it wasn’t crowded. I would rank this with 2 footprints. You will encounter others hiking and at the restaurant, but it doesn’t feel packed at all. When you sit in the Treelounge on your comfy cushion with stunning views, you won’t think about anyone else.
*In each of my articles I will provide a Paths Less Traveled Ranking. This ranking system is from 1 footprint to 5 footprints with 1 footprint being very remote and off the beaten path and 5 footprints being very populated.