Many stories have been told about the history of Pinel Island. The word Pinel means crazy in Portuguese, so the story goes. Many years ago they used the island to house the islands lunatics. For that reason a Portuguese captain called it Crazy Island, others claim to be an ancestor of a certain Mr. Pinel who gave his name to the island, as far as we know. No proof of carrying documentation is available which tells us the real origin.

Pinel Island is used for many years to bring tourists over. In fact the late ferryman Freddie used to row his people over in the seventies. However in those days Pinel was used a lot by local fisherman for their fishing activities, cleaning conq shells, repairing nets etc. No tourist like business was found in those days on the island. Also the island was dirty and full of debris. One had to really be careful walking on bare feet. Goats were the main population, used for milk and meat by locals. When the businesses came a lot changed. The owners started to take good care of the beach, the animals and nature.

tour & Excursions

Thanks to the 3 restaurants and especially the gift shop, Pinel became a popular day trip for tourist.

The French government owns the island, although local families claim it as theirs. The beach area is a commercial zone; the rest of the island is exclaimed to be a green zone. It is not allowed to build in any way in the green zone. It is allowed to walk to the other side of the island, where you find a couple of more beaches however they are very rough and rocky and it is nearly impossible to swim due to corral reefs.


There are beautiful sandy beaches on the island and it is also worth to take some hiking to the two deserted beaches on the opposite side. There are three beautiful restaurants on the island, Up On The Key, The Le Karabuni, and The Yellow Beach restaurant, there is also the island style paradisio gift shop that specialize in beautiful pareos. Pinel is often called St. Martins best kept secret and always been popular with locals. The main beach is not clothes optional. Although it is a different story if you hike over to one of the deserted beaches.


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