A trip to Saint Barthelemy, otherwise known as St. Barts, could be just what you need for the ideal vacation. This Caribbean island boasts a number of fantastic beaches and other vacation spots that you don’t want to miss out on.
In this guide, we’ll go over some St. Barts basics and look at the top ten things you can do in this amazing Caribbean nation. Keep reading to find out how you can make your next vacation the best you’ve ever had!
Where is St. Barthelemy?
St. Barts is located in the Less Antilles in the French West Indies and is an overseas territory of the French nation.
Is St. Barts Safe?
Let’s answer an important question: how safe is it in St. Barts? Fortunately, you have no reason to worry. Safety in St. Barts is second to none in the Caribbean, making this one of the safest destinations in the region. By exercising normal travel precautions, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without incident.
Best Time to Go to St. Barts
In general, the best time to visit the island is from November to June, when the sun is highest and outdoor activities are the most viable. If you plan on going during December, peak season on the island, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to book at least six months in advance.
To get to St. Barthelemy, you’ll likely have to fly into St. Marteen first and then transfer with a short shuttle flight to St. Barts. The St. Barthelemy airport code is SBH, for Gustaf III Airport. The island operates on Atlantic Standard Time (AST), so be sure to prepare before taking your trip.
Best Things to Do in St. Barts:
With all this in mind, it’s time to take a look at the top things to do in Saint Barts:
1) Visit Baie de St-Jean
Alternatively known as the Bay of St. Jean, these stretch of coastline offers some of the most brilliantly blue waters in all of the Caribbean. As such, it’s become a popular destination for both snorkelers and windsurfers. Nearby are a number of restaurants and shops you can frequent after you tire of the beach. The Bay of St. Jean is a great place to spend an entire afternoon in St. Barts.
2) Have fun at Anse de Grand Cul de Sac
Looking for the perfect way to enjoy the St. Barthelemy weather? Anse de Grand Cul de Sac provides the ultimate opportunity! This picture-perfect bay provides tourists with the ultimate swimming and relaxation opportunities. Here you can also go boating and lounge around at the nearby hotels. Without a doubt, Anse de Grand Cul de Sac is one of the top things to do in St. Barts in the Caribbean.
3) Relax on Colombier Beach
Colombier Beach boasts one of the most incredible seaside experiences in the Caribbean. Secluded and away from the crowds, this is the perfect beach for a bit of Saint Barthelemy relaxation. Colombier Beach is renowned for its incredibly blue waters and distance from the roaring gaggles of tourists. If you’re looking for a more relaxing (and romantic) getaway for your next vacation, you’ll want to come here to truly enjoy the weather in St. Barts.
4) Eat at Restaurant Maya’s
Consider yourself a foodie? You don’t want to miss out on a trip to Restaurant Maya’s. Operated by the most legendary chef in the Caribbean, this restaurant uses the freshest ingredients every day to offer one-of-a-kind Caribbean flavors to its patrons. The restaurant has serviced the people of St. Barts and travelers alike since it opened in 1984 and has kept the same quality recipes ever since.
5) Go Surfing in Saint Barts
St. Barts has emerged as one of the top surfing destinations anywhere in the Caribbean. That’s because it has a variety of surfing spots for beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfers. If you’re just getting into the sport and would like to test your skills on the beaches of this Caribbean nation, consider traveling to St. Jean and Lorient Beach, where you can ride on entry-level waves. If you think you’ve got what it takes to tackle the big guns, try surfing Toiny and Pointe Milou. No matter what, St. Barts is sure to not disappoint.
6) Visit Fort Gustav
Fort Gustav is one of the more interesting cultural sites on the island. Built in the 1600s by the Swedish to protect the island’s harbor from attack, the site is mostly in ruins today. Despite this, some antique cannons remain on the grounds of the fort, as well as a bottle-shaped lighthouse that still works. A trip to Fort Gustav is well worth it if you consider yourself a history buff and would like to feel more deeply the culture of St. Barthelemy in the Caribbean.
7) Take a Trip to Gustavia
The capital city of the island, Gustavia, St. Barthelemy showcases the unique blend of French and Swedish cultures on the island. The city is named for Swedish King Gustaf III and houses such sites as Fort Karl, Fort Oscar and a number of museum and high-end boutiques where you can truly feel the culture of the island (and take some of it home with you). For this reason, make sure to visit this incredible St. Barthelemy capital while you’re there!
8) Visit Anse des Flamands
When you run out of things to do in Gustavia, St. Barts, travel three miles north of the city to the quiet, shaded beach of Anse des Flamands. The beach is home to beautiful palm trees and a number of eateries that make for the perfect relaxing afternoon.
9) Bare It All at Anse de Grande Saline
Looking for a different type of Caribbean adventure? Easy to find on a map of St. Barthelemy island, Anse de Grande Saline is the country’s most popular nude beach. Have fun and take in the view—just remember to bring an umbrella so you don’t sunburn.
10) Visit Shell Beach
Shell Beach is one of the most legendary sites in the Caribbean—and rightfully so. Littered with millions of shells of all types and colors, it’s among the most stunning sites in the region. With a backdrop of perfect weather in St. Barthelemy, collect as many as you can to take home with you!
The Bottom Line
A trip to St. Barts in the Caribbean isn’t one you’re likely to forget any time soon. The island nation boasts some of the best beaches and food anywhere in the region. For this reason, make sure to use this guide to help you plan your trip today!