Crystal Kayaking at Maho

Crystal Kayaking at Maho

I channeled my inner Cinderella and spent the day in a glass carriage on Maho Bay.

My Prince (not his real name) and I ventured out in search of an adventure. While strolling through Love.Maho, the charming boutique shop at Maho Crossroads, we happened upon the coolest kayaks we’ve ever seen.

Thanks to modern advances in technology, you can now rent an entirely transparent Crystal Explorer Kayak, allowing you to explore the ocean directly underneath the comfort of your seat, without ever getting wet.  Given that one of us is the outdoorsy type, and the other is a bit of a princess, the two-hour, $30.00 tandem rental seemed like a perfect fit for us both.

Crystal Kayaking at Maho 1

We crossed the road to Maho Bay with our crystal carriage in hand, and without any effort or comedic relief, easily inserted ourselves into it – and off we went, into the wild blue yonder.

While I was fawning over the sheer beauty of our vessel, My Prince was expertly pointing out all of the less exciting but equally important features, such as the sturdy, stable nature of the kayak itself, ease of paddling, and 100% Lexan construction.

I have been snorkeling in Maho Bay for over 30 years, but enjoying it from this perspective was quite unique.  This clear kayak allows you to fully experience life under the water from above, with entirely unobstructed views from every angle.  The visibility is comparable to that of a snorkel mask.  We watched through the clear surface of the kayak walls and floor as the fish circled, and the turtles glided effortlessly below and then surfaced directly next to us.  As a bonus, I got a two-hour work-out without even realizing I was exerting any effort!

Crystal Kayaking at Maho 2
While we floated above in our kayaks, this remora was enjoying his own ride on a turtle.
Crystal Kayaking at Maho 3
This school of blue tang was an exciting splash of color!

Besides the unique transparency feature, what sets this apart from the other watersport rental options is that it is technically a canoe-kayak hybrid, which provides the best features of both:  An open cockpit, unparalleled stability, high sides, ultra-comfortable ergonomic padded kayak-style seats, and ample room to store your gear – including a picnic lunch and frosty beverages.  Additionally, the low draft of these kayaks allows for traversing in very shallow water.

Crystal Kayaking at Maho 4
The crystal clarity of the kayak allowed us to see the true colors of this purple sea fan and Flamingo Tongue in all their glory.

Whether you’re a novice kayaker like me, or a seasoned adventurer, you’ll love this kayaking experience.  I lost count at the number of people who stopped us in the water to inquire as to where they could rent one.  And now YOU know!

I can’t wait to do it again.  It was a perfect fairytale afternoon.

18 thoughts on “Crystal Kayaking at Maho”

  1. Makes me want to get over there again & do this ! The pictures are amazing & since Maho is my favorite & I love the turtles there, , this is already on my agenda for when I get to come again !
    Thanks for such an informative article !

  2. What a great idea. Do the boats scratch if you hit a rock? $30 for two hours seems a little bit too inexpensive considering its Saint John. Not complaining but I think the price should be higher. This is a home-run business idea.

    • I get where you’re coming from (being a home-run business)…but…hopefully they will get a higher volume of business because it is affordable. If it’s too high, it knocks a lot of people out of renting. I’m thankful there are a few things on STJ that are doable because it is affordable.

  3. Thanks for all the info. I have a question for you. I’ll b there in December and am wondering what kind of sunscreen is acceptable for the waters? I used sun bum on my last visit but was told it wasn’t one that was good.

  4. do you happen to know if there is a minimum age for riding in one? I am traveling with my 7yr old and 3yr old in a few weeks and this would be amazing! I would like to snorkel but with the 3yr old not sure that will be possible. This seems like a good compromise!

    • I don’t believe there’s an age limit as long as a parent is with the child. I’m sure your kids would love the experience! You probably want to rent a life vest for your little one – Island Baby VI rents them for infants and toddlers.

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