Pinel Island Day Trip

sailing to Pinel island

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Anchorage map Pinel island SXM

If you are , Pinel island is one of the unmissable place to visit. It s not the most simplest place to anchor. There is some informations to know there to don’t be stock on shallow water or worst on the rocks.
There is 2 differents entrances for pinel. You can have a look to the picture to see them. The small entrance can be use only by quiet weather (forget it in case of swell, it can be really dangerous) by this small pass you will arrive by the front of the Anchorage of cul de sac. The water is shallow there (around 1.80 meters) so be careful that your an cross. The big pass is a lot more simple cause the entrance is larger, there is less current and the water is also deeper (around 3 meters) you should pass between Pinel and green cay. Just be careful to dont turn to close of the islands and everything should be fine. You will see there yellow mooring than you can use (up to 10 tons). If you boat is less than 33 ft you can throw the ancre but only on sand to limit the damage of the floor plant (turtles and conch love it)
The village of Cul‐de‐Sac is easily accessible by dinghy, it s about 10 minutes walking. You will find a grocery shop and a pharmacy.

What to do in Pinel island ?

Baby turtle


You can enjoy in Pinel island a beautiful moment and a nice snorkeling, there is a little underwater trail with submarine panels informations, you can follow this path to discover the wildlife. This is a marine park, so of course fishing is prohibited. There is 2 restaurants there and as gift shop, if you want a good place at the restaurant, it s better to reserve one day in advance (otherwise it can be a bit long before to get your meal cause it s really often full). The beach is the perfect picture view, with fine white sand and crystalline water. You can ask for a table directly in water to enjoy eating with your legs into the crystal water (such a perfect moment)
You also should have a walk on the, to see the land turtles, iguanas and hermits crabs living there, there is a little path with observation point and some tree shade, it will bring you to the other side of the island in 15 minutes, where is an other beach more wild, facing the ocean.

History of Pinel island 

Tintamare king initials


There is differents story and rumor about this island and why it s named “Pinel”.
For the first story, we have to go back at the period of the high Caribbean piratery
The legend said, than a buccaneer with the name of Pinel was trying to make a stop on Saba island with is boat, but the population of Saba decided to fight them by throwing some stones from the cliffs of their high island. The legend said than the boat was severally injured and had to go back at sea and hide, they found a refuge to in a little desert island that they named “Pinel island” in homage of the captain.
An other story said than before Pinel island was use to keep the people with psychological problems, and it s why it call Pinel, cause in Portuguese it mean “crazy”
Today, we still don’t know why Pinel island is named like that, because we dont have evidence of this 2 stories, but they are still nice ⁹to know and to read to kids.
Before the start of tourism in 1960 Pinel island was used only by fishermen, to clean fishes and conch, fix engines and nets, and raise goats..

Little Key


Little Key is a small little island half way between cul de sac and Pinel island, this little island don’t have much visitors, only some local people come here, and this is curious cause this little island is really charming. To visit little key you need a kayak (or a swim) from Pinel or cul de sac, when you will approach the island you will discover shallow water which make you able to walk half way to little key. Be careful to the traffic when making the crossing and also beware of the numerous kitesurfers around when it s windy. They can arrive really fast.
There is a lot of wildlife around Pinel island, you can appreciate to watch them with snorkeling equipment cause this fishy place is not allowed to fishing anymore


If your not a good swimmer, be careful of the Pinel water, this shallow water and the abundant wildlife around invite to don’t stay by the shore, and follow a turtle or a ray, but there is some current and sometimes it can be strong.
Also there is some fire coral and some people already saw scorpion fishes by the rocks. (They are beautiful but don’t touch them they have poison on what look like to be feather)

How to go to Pinel island ?

8There is differents way to go to Pinel island. It will depend of your expectations for the trip and your budget.
Here, are various solutions for all budget:

* Pinel island cheap price 10 € by pers :

The ferry departure is in French Cul-de-Sac, every 30 minutes, a Saintoise (kind of lancha) will pick up people and bring them to Pinel island. The trip is a five minutes ride, it s definitely the cheapest way to go to pinel, then you can rent a sun lounger and a parasol for 20 €.

* Pinel island Private catamaran Lagoon 38 for 1250 € up to 6 pers :
You don’t want to stay on the beach and want some comfort, this is the option for you. Take family and friends and have a day trip on a sailing catamaran to Pinel island. ,shower, toilet, shade and good meal prepared by a cook on board. kayak, snorkeling equipment and paddle board at your disposal. 

* Pinel on a small Private Charter 125€ by pers (minimum 4 persons max 10) :

Make the day unforgettable. This is a private charter, lunch stop at grand case.  Reservation and informations here.



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