Welcome to the stunning St. Martin’s Island, a tiny jewel tucked away in the northeastern part of the Bay of Bengal, just 9 km south of the tip of the Cox’s Bazar – Teknaf peninsula. This coral paradise forms the southernmost tip of Bangladesh and is nothing short of breathtaking. With its beauty and allure, St. Martin’s has become a must-visit destination for both locals and international tourists. Get ready to be captivated by the charm of this enchanting island, where every corner tells a story of natural wonders and a tranquil escape by the sea.
Winter – The best time to visit St. Martin Island is between October – February when the weather is dry and cool, and the sea is calm. During this period, the day temperature is not so high, so it’s comfortable on the island. This is the high tourist season so expect crowded beaches and sold out accommodations.
Summer – It is too hot and humid on the island, and the sea is rough due to frequent storms and rain. Therefore the island is closed to visitors between Many and August.
There are several ways to get to St. Martin Island. First, you need to go to Teknaf, the southernmost part of Bangladesh, and then get on a ‘sea truck’ or small ship to continue to Saint Martin.
By Bus to Tekanf from Dhaka
There are many bus services from Dhaka Saydabad & Fakirapul that goes to Teknaf. Most of the overnight bus arrives Teknaf early morning to make it a smooth transfer to the 9:00 AM Ferry. Get off at Teknaf port. Don’t forget to tell the bus staff before to let you down at the Teknaf Port Jetty from where all the ships leave.
Or you can take a bus to Cox’s Bazar stay overnight. Enjoy the famous beach town, and then continue your trip towards Tekanf Ferry Terminal early next morning.
From Dhaka by Air to Cox’s Bazar then by Road to Teknaf
There are daily flights available from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar, and the flight time is about 65 minutes. From Cox’s Bazar airport, hire a Car or microbus with a driver to get to Teknaf Ferry Terminal.
Public buses are starting at 6:00 AM onwards from Cox’s bazar Bus Terminal to Teknaf. You need to get on one of these buses before 7:00 AM to catch the 9:00 AM ship from Teknaf to St. Martin. The bus will drop you off right at the Teknaf Ferry Port.
Tekanf to S. Martin’s Island
The only way to get to Saint Martin’s Island is by sea. You can hire a speedboat that is faster but definitely unsafe to cross the deep sea.
Small safer ships (Sea Trucks) are available, which leaves Teknaf at 9:00 AM and returns at 3:00 PM daily. The distance from Teknaf Port to St. Martin’s is about 31 km, and it takes about 3 hours by Sea Trucks.
Getting Around On The Island
It’s a small island about 8 sq km in low tide and reduces to about 5 sq km in high tide so. The tiny island can be explored on foot. There are not motor Vehicles on the island, not even motorcycles, flatbed the wheels cycle-rickshaws are the only mode of transportation apart from walking.
St. Martin’s is a tiny island that can be explored in a day if you plan not to spend overnight on the island. But I highly recommend staying overnight. There are many hotels on the island to choose from. Also, most of the day-trippers leave the island by the 3 pm ferry so you can enjoy the rest of the day peacefully. The beautiful sunset and the sunrise are one of many things that will bring add up to your stay.
So, my recommendation is 3 days trip from Dhaka. One night at Cox’s Bazar, one night on the island and one night in Teknaf.
I was there for two days and found it more than enough to cover my interest.
Here Are Some Tips
- Keep plenty of Cash you many not have access to ATM or Money Exchange at all the places.
- If you are getting off at Teknaf port. Don’t forget to tell the bus staff ahead to let you down at the Teknaf Port Jetty from where all the ships leave.
What Awaits You on St. Martin's Island
Get ready for an escape like no other! St. Martin’s Island beckons those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its crystal-clear blue waters, pristine white beaches, and an abundance of swaying coconut trees, this secluded haven is a tropical paradise waiting to be explored. Not to mention the delectable seafood that adds a flavorful touch to the experience join the vibrant crowd of Bangladeshi locals who flock to this island during the winter peak season and immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of St. Martin’s.
Discovering the Island
St. Martin’s Island is a unique place where there’s no electricity, no cars or motorcycles – just three-wheeled cycle-rickshaws for getting around, aside from walking. In the evenings, hotels rely on generators for a few hours, giving visitors a chance to enjoy the island’s sun, sea, and beach activities. Daytime is bustling with water and beach sports, creating a lively atmosphere. As the sun sets, the island becomes more relaxed, with beach parties and bonfires lighting up the evening sky.
It’s essential to know that things on the island may change, and there could be updates or new information. For the latest details on motorbike rentals or any other services, it’s a good idea to check with local accommodations, guesthouses, or tourist information centers during your visit.
Island Adventures Await!
The excitement on St. Martin’s Island is concentrated in the far north, offering a treasure trove of attractions waiting to be explored. Start your journey from the lively port, meander through a vibrant stretch of makeshift restaurants and shops until you reach a T-intersection. You’ll discover the enchanting eastern beaches if you take a left turn. Alternatively, a right turn will guide you along the bustling main road, home to most hotels, leading all the way to the island’s northwest corner. Whether craving sun-soaked shores or the heart of the island’s hospitality, your adventure begins at this lively intersection. Get ready to discover the best of St. Martin’s!
Naming a Few Things To Do
Enjoy the beautiful view of Sunrise & Sunset.
- St. Martin’s Island offers breathtaking sunrise and sunset views over the Bay of Bengal. The sky’s changing colors against the sea backdrop create a mesmerizing spectacle.
Walk on the white sandy beach and enjoy beach activities.
- St. Martin’s Island is renowned for its pristine and unspoiled beaches with powdery white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The beaches are ideal for relaxing, sunbathing, and enjoying scenic beauty.
Exploring Coral Reefs.
- The island is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs, making it a fantastic spot for snorkeling and diving. Visitors can explore the underwater world, observe colorful coral formations, and encounter diverse marine life.
- St. Martin’s Island is a nesting ground for sea turtles, and conservation efforts are in place to protect these endangered species. Visitors may have the chance to witness or learn about turtle conservation initiatives.
Discovering St. Martin’s Island on Foot
- Exploring St. Martin’s Island by foot is a delightful adventure that allows you to truly immerse yourself in the natural beauty and charm of this tropical paradise.
- Engage with the friendly locals along the way. Their warmth and hospitality add a special touch to your journey, and they might share insights about hidden spots or cultural highlights.
Boat Tour Around The Island
- Boat tours around St. Martin’s Island are a popular and enjoyable activity for visitors. These boat tours offer a unique perspective of the island, providing stunning views of the coastline, surrounding waters, and opportunities to explore nearby attractions.
Experience a peaceful moonlit night.
- Take a leisurely stroll along St. Martin’s pristine white sandy beaches as the moonlight reflects on the calm waters. The gentle sound of the waves and the moon’s soft glow create a serene atmosphere.
Getting to St. Martin’s Island
Getting to St. Martin’s Island in Bangladesh involves a combination of land and sea transportation. From Dhaka, I took a short hour-long flight to Cox’s Bazar, but here’s a general guide on how to reach St. Martin’s Island:
Step 1: Travel to Teknaf
Cox’s Bazar Airport is very tiny, I felt like my private airport. The short flight from Dhaka was comfortable and I was there with no time.
- Fly to Cox’s Bazar Airport (CXB) from Dhaka or other major airports in Bangladesh.
- From Cox’s Bazar, you can arrange local transportation to Teknaf, which is the nearest town to St. Martin’s Island.
- Take an intercity bus from Dhaka or other major cities to Cox’s Bazar.
- From Cox’s Bazar, proceed to Teknaf by bus or other local transportation options.
Step 2: Teknaf to St. Martin’s Island
- Upon reaching Teknaf, make your way to the Teknaf ferry terminal.
- You can hire a local taxi or rickshaw to get to the terminal.
- Ferries and speedboats operate between Teknaf and St. Martin’s Island. The journey takes around 2 to 3 hours, depending on the type of vessel.
- Ferry schedules can vary, so it’s advisable to check in advance. The ferry ride offers beautiful views of the Bay of Bengal.
- Purchase your ferry ticket at the Teknaf ferry terminal. Buying tickets in advance is recommended, especially during peak travel times.
Optional Side Trip – Spend a Night in Cox’s Bazar
One of the highlights of my St. Martin’s Island trip was spending a night in Cox’s Bazar – an absolute must for any traveler. To make the most of your time, grab a bike and cruise along the expansive beach, soaking in the breathtaking views. Don’t miss the chance to witness a mesmerizing sunset, followed by a delightful feast of local delicacies at one of the charming beachfront restaurants.
I highly recommend venturing 18 km south to explore the renowned Himchori beach for a unique adventure. Nestled amidst waterfalls and hills, this hidden gem offers a perfect escape from the bustling crowds. Capture the beauty through your lens, as Himchori is a fantastic spot for photography away from the usual tourist hustle.
To kick off your journey to St. Martin’s Island, hop on a microbus from Cox’s Bazar airport to Teknaf Port Jetty, the gateway to the island’s maritime adventures. The road trip itself is an experience worth cherishing, navigating the bumpy highways and immersing yourself in the scenic landscapes along the way.
Cox’s Bazar serves as a transit point and unveils its treasures, providing an enriching start to your island getaway. Explore, capture, and relish every moment in this coastal haven before embarking on the maritime journey to St. Martin’s.
Cruise from Teknaf to St. Martin’s Island
Get ready for an exciting sea journey to the enchanting Saint Martin’s Island – your gateway to paradise! The adventure begins at Teknaf Ferry Terminal, where the only way to reach this tropical gem is by sea. I opted for the 9:00 am ship, also known as Sea Trucks, offering a leisurely three-hour voyage filled with sea breezes and scenic views.
While speedboats promise a quicker ride, it’s worth noting that they can be a bit daring, especially when crossing the deep sea. For a safer and more immersive experience, the ferry ride allows you to savor the anticipation, soak in the surroundings, and truly embrace the journey to this pristine island retreat. Pack your sense of adventure and let the sea breeze guide you to the magic of St. Martin’s!
Cruising Through Scenic Naf River
Embark on a delightful river cruise along the enchanting Naf River, a prelude to the vast expanse of the deep sea. Picture-perfect views unfold on both sides of the river, offering a captivating panorama that serves as the natural border between Bangladesh on the right and Myanmar on the left. Allow yourself to be immersed in the beauty that surrounds you as you journey through this serene waterway, creating lasting memories of your maritime adventure.
Day Tripper Returning by 3 O’Clock Boat
Most day trippers use ferries or ships for round-trip transportation between Teknaf and St. Martin’s Island. These vessels operate on a schedule, and day trippers usually take an early morning ferry to reach the island and return on an afternoon or evening ferry.
Where Did I Stay In Dhaka, Bangladesh
Fantasy Hotel & Resort, St. Martin’s Island, Bangladesh
Fantasy Hotel & Resort, is a nice hotel located at Dulpara, St. Martin’s Island, not that far from the island ship port. There are a few luxury rooms and family rooms available. It is within walking distance to places of interest.
Sunset Serenity, St. Martin’s Island, Bangladesh
Sunset Serenity hotel is located in Jaliapara, St. Martin’s Island. Facing the beachfront, Sunset Serenity features a restaurant and a garden. They have a private beach area, BBQ facilities, and free WiFi throughout the property.
Have Local Food in St. Martin’s Island
Sea Pearl Restaurant, Shelley’s Restaurant, Chhera Dwip Restaurant, Ocean Paradise Hotel and Restaurant
St. Martin’s Island is renowned for its fresh catch. Try local specialties such as grilled fish, prawns, and crab prepared with flavorful spices
My Favorite dishes are: Coconut Prawn Curry, Kala Bhuna, Khichuri, Chingri Bhorta, Hilsha Fish, etc.
My Opinion and Last Word
Have you been to St Martin Island, Bangladesh? Any cool tips to share?
I loved being in St. Martin, Bangladesh, and want to go back again. Hope my story has motivated you to visit.
Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge.
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