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Fort Louis, St. Martin | SBPR
St. Maarten, St. Martin

On-Site St. Martin: Scaling Off Lolo Lunch Fun at Fort Louis

On-Site St. Martin: Scaling Off Lolo Lunch Fun at Fort Louis

The sweetly sedentary experience of lunching at one of the many fine lolo’s in Marigot comes with a cost.

Yes, the food is all kinds of crazy amazing; a given, really, seeing as you’re in the capital of French St. Martin. Le rhum and cocktails further encourage lingering, maybe even lounging.

Whether it’s the food, the booze, or some combo of the two, before long you’ll likely need to walk off a bit of your lolo fun. I know because it happened to me just a few short months ago.

My salvation: Fort Louis.

Fort Louis from just outside Cisca's in Marigot, St. Martin | SBPR
Fort Louis from just outside Cisca’s in Marigot, St. Martin | SBPR

From the street just outside Cisca’s Delicacy (where I’d obviously overdone it) the ancient ramparts stood stoically above the city, tempting exploration with what appeared to be imposing stone walls along the lines of El Morro in Old San Juan, though on a much smaller scale.

Built in 1789 after years of apparent consternation on the part of the French Crown and local residents over who would pay for it, Fort Louis was constructed, in large part, to keep British marauders from persistently raiding French settlements and plantations in the Marigot area.

Info signs along the path up to the fort laid out much of the history, though in my condition I was more concerned that this cross was a sign that I should turn back…

Cross on the way up to Fort Louis in Marigot, St. Martin | SBPR
Cross on the way up to Fort Louis in Marigot, St. Martin | SBPR

Nevertheless, I pressed on, enjoying progressively more inspiring views of the city and surrounding seascapes as I made my way ever higher along a climb that seemed to just keep getting steeper…

Path up to Fort Louis in Marigot, St. Martin | SBPR
Path up to Fort Louis in Marigot, St. Martin | SBPR
Marigot, capital of French St. Martin, as seen from atop Fort Louis | SBPR
Marigot, capital of French St. Martin, as seen from atop Fort Louis | SBPR

From the top of the hill, Fort Louis seemed much less imposing; much more ruins than the stalwart structure I’d spied from the street. Only a few random walls remained semi-intact, providing precious few hints as to the original layout of the place.

Peeking out at the sea and approaching ships from Fort Louis, St. Martin | SBPR
Peeking out at the sea and approaching ships from Fort Louis, St. Martin | SBPR
Cannons facing the sea and the city atop Fort Louis, St. Martin | SBPR
Cannons facing the sea and the city atop Fort Louis, St. Martin | SBPR

Canons of varying size and state were scattered about filling in some of the structural blanks and fueling my imagination over historical events that happened here…

Fort Louis cannon | SBPR
Fort Louis cannon | SBPR
Little cannon atop Fort Louis in Marigot, St. Martin | SBPR
Little cannon atop Fort Louis in Marigot, St. Martin | SBPR

In the end, though, the real attractions here were the amazing views…

Marina Fort Louis as seen from atop Fort Louis, St. Martin | SBPR
Marina Fort Louis as seen from atop Fort Louis, St. Martin | SBPR

Marigot, Simpson Bay Lagoon, Sandy Ground, Potence Bay, and the iconic Marina Fort Louis just below – all of it, together with the setting sun, made for a wonderfully scenic spot to catch my breath before heading back downhill to a cab, dinner back at Riu Palace St. Martin, and, eventually, this even more protracted hilly trek to walk off even more fun.

Fort Louis is impossible to miss from most anywhere in Marigot. If you make the climb, be sure to bring some water, especially if you’re in anywhere near the state I was in…

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  • Shanny DeLioness

    Visiting Fort Louis was definitely one of my favourite parts of my trip to St. Martin.