There is a hidden village in the mountainous center of the island, not known to many visitors: Colombier. The narrow road leading to the settlement is opening up in green pastures, with cattle grassing, and one wonders if this is still St. Martin. The region is tropical lush, because Pic Paradise is diverting more rain and moisture to this valley than any other spot on the island. No, there is not much to do in Colombier for the casual visitor, but the little Creole village and the local flora is so different from the rest of the island that its worth the 10-minute detour.

 

Loterie Farm (yes, the spelling is correct) can be accessed from the road leading to Pic Paradise, the island's highest elevation. The 155 acre property is one of the largest undivided properties on our tiny island. Californian BJ Welsh has turned this former plantation into a significant private nature reserve. Over the decades, a tropical forest with majestic palm and mango trees has re-developed and most months of the year, a stream of fresh water is running down the valley.

The “Fly Zone” with zip-lines in the tree-tops is a very popular activity, the restaurant on premises one of the culinary highlights of St. Martin. A spectacular lagoon-swimming-pool, surrounded by cabanas can be booked for events.

Loterie Farm is the “green soul” of St. Maarten – St. Martin and a “must visit” in order to balance the impression of urban over-development on the Dutch side.