St. Barth's Villas and Guide
St. Barts is a luxurious island situated in the heart of the Caribbean. Every year, discerning travelers from around the world visit St. Barts to enjoy the island's quiet beaches and untouched natural environments.
As a major destination for villa renters, the island features the full range of luxury retailers and boutiques, restaurants and world-class villas that travelers wanting the ultimate Caribbean experience would expect.
In this St. Barth's travel guide, all of the major attractions and entertainment venues available on the island are explained in detail.
Therefore, if you are considering St. Barth's for your next trip, read on to acquire an in-depth understanding of what the island has to offer!
Getting to St. Barts
Traveling to St. Barth's is easier than in other Caribbean travel destinations because the island features its own airport. Gustaf III Airport features a terminal that was completed in 1984 and has undergone several modernization projects over the years.
Although the airport can only handle planes as large as a DC-7, it still features a 2,119-foot runway that can handle most regional flights. Consequently, the easiest way to get to St. Barth's is by air.
Travelers can take a connecting flight from nearby international airports in Antigua, St. Martin, or San Juan.
You can also take a ferry directly from Antigua to St. Barts after landing on the adjacent island's international airport. Note that the crossing can be rough, so we do not recommend it for anyone who gets seasick.
Arriving to St. Barts
Upon arrival in St. Barth's, travelers may want to consider an electric or four-wheel drive vehicle. Taxis are available on the island, but they are scarce during the day.
Travelers who do not want to worry about finding transportation should be sure to book St. Barth's villas or hotels that either come with private vehicles or provide taxis and limousines at preferential rates as a service for their guests.
Once you have found transportation on the island, you will be able to get from one side of the island to the other in less than 30 minutes.
Best Time to Visit St. Barts
Anyone who has traveled to a tropical destination knows that warm climates experience significant weather changes throughout the year. In particular, there are vast differences in rain and storm patterns at different times of the year on St. Barts.
As a result, travelers should book during a time that is most suitable for the activities that they plan to do on the island.
Temperatures on St. Barth's are relatively similar throughout every month of the year. September is the island's warmest month with highs averaging around 90 degrees and lows averaging 78 degrees. February is the coolest month in St. Barth's with highs around 84 degrees and average lows around 73 degrees.
Although temperatures are relatively consistent on the island, rain patterns vary significantly depending on the season. November gets the most rain with an average of 15 rainy days in the month while June has just 9 rainy days.
Hurricane season runs from June to November, so travelers visiting the island in the late summer and early fall should be aware that it is possible for a hurricane to disrupt their plans, and, in fact, many villas and hotels are closed until the likelihood of a storm passes.
As a result of the weather patterns that impact St. Barts and the Caribbean generally, November to April is generally considered the "high season" for tourists visiting the island. There are more events taking place during the "high season," and you have a very low chance of having plans disrupted by rough weather.
On the other hand, travelers who manage to visit the island during the "low season" can expect to see fewer tourists while enjoying lower average rates on villas and hotels. Many shops and restaurants will not be open, but the beaches are always in season!
Beaches to Visit
One of the main reasons why people enjoy St. Barth's travel is because they love spending time on the beach. Whether you enjoy tanning in the sun or getting exercise in the water, St. Barth's has the perfect beach for you.
The only challenge is finding the most suitable beach for you and your family, so this St. Barth's travel guide will cover some of the island's favorite beaches.
The famous Shell Beach on St. Barth's is known for the wide variety of small shells that wash up on its shoreline. You can easily walk to Shell Beach from Gustavia, the main town, so the beach often has major events and festivals for both travelers and locals alike.
St. Jean Beach
Arguably, the most popular beach on St. Barth's is St. Jean Beach, known for its proximity to the island's airport and the resorts and villas that line its shoreline. However, St. Jean Beach also has very little foot traffic despite its location, so travelers and their families can enjoy relatively high privacy and comfort on this beach.
One of the best beaches on the island for swimmers is Gouverneur Beach. Since the beach is surrounded by preserved tropical forests, it is a great place to get in touch with nature. The water adjacent to the beach is also almost completely untouched, so swimmers are able to dive deep to have fun exploring the landscape under the water.
Another great beach for families and swimmers alike is Colombier Beach, a stretch of coastline known for its atmosphere that feels like a deserted island. Although there are usually a few travelers visiting the beach, it is otherwise almost completely unused. As a result, it is an ideal place for families looking to enjoy plenty of privacy or even to camp overnight.
Watersports and Activities
As an island nation, St. Barth's is recognized for its extensive watersports activities that are available throughout the year. Vendors offering watersports rentals are easy to find in Gustavia and St. Jean, and near popular beaches.
Many vendors leave their rentals floating near the shoreline, and you can discuss renting their equipment by waving at the vendor if he is on a nearby boat.
You should always bargain with independent vendors since they will usually try to set their prices high when they see tourists. Larger vendors who work out of stores are usually harder to bargain with, so expect to pay more to rent from more established rental or charter companies. The bottom line is that you will almost always get high-quality equipment from established shops, but you have to do your due diligence when renting from a private individual.
When choosing watersports on St. Barts, there are a broad range of options to choose from. Some of the most popular watersports on the island include:
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
In an area with pristine blue water, snorkeling is the perfect way to explore marine life. It’s an easy activity that you and your family will never forget. Diving centers are situated across the island for adventurous travelers who want to go snorkeling or scuba diving.
Many charter vessels can also provide you with the opportunity to go diving in new underwater spots that are still relatively pristine.
Surfing and Windsurfing
St. Barth's position leaves some of its beaches open to the swells of the Atlantic Ocean. Consequently, many surfers see the island as one of best destinations available for catching waves on almost any day of the year.
You can easily find surfing and windsurfing equipment on the island and they can be either purchased or rented depending on your needs. Many St. Barth's villas and hotels can lend surfing equipment to you on a complimentary basis or refer you to a vendor offering rentals.
One of the best ways to get a feel for St. Barth's is to tour around the island on high-speed jet ski. Many locals have jet skis moored on the shoreline outside of their homes as a way of getting around and exploring the area while having fun.
Jet skis are easy to find and rentals are generally available by the hour or by the day; some rentals come with a tour guide who can show you around the island.
St. Barth's is undoubtedly one of the top boating and yachting destinations in the world. As a result, the island’s main harbor is marinas that are stocked with vessels of all sizes, from massive yachts to classic schooners. Many residents on the island own private sailboats or charter them on a regular basis.
Exploring the Island of St. Barts
Although most St. Barth's travel guides focus on sea-based activities, the reality is that the land area of the island itself offers plenty of fun for any traveler. After all, many travelers who regularly visit St. Barts are prone to seasickness or do not enjoy going out to sea.
Nevertheless, all travelers can have fun on the island itself by exploring its pristine nature or visiting some of the island's man-made attractions.
When most travelers think about Caribbean travel, they rarely contemplate the possibility of hiking or other land-based activities. In reality, St. Barth's has gone to great lengths to preserve the island's natural beauty and habitats.
Hiking trails can be found throughout St. Barts, and they are all open to the public. Many of the best hiking spots follow the contours of the south side of the island between Gustavia marina and Plage de Saline beach.
Additionally, most of the island's mountains are completely undeveloped, so you can freely hike up trails that follow these steep inclines.
Volleyball is a major sport in St. Barth's travel because the island has a rich history of supporting the sport. The island has been a major hub for volleyball professionals and athletic travelers since colonial times.
Public volleyball courts are available throughout the island.There are also indoor and outdoor courts available for the guests of certain hotels. Additionally, many tourists and locals enjoy playing volleyball on sparsely inhabited beaches.
Sandy beaches are considered public spaces throughout the island, so travelers can get a group of players together and freely put up a volleyball net on almost any beach.
Tennis courts can be seen dotting the landscape outside St. Barth's vacation rentals and villas. Many residents on the island grow up playing tennis, and they continue to enjoy the sport when they become adults.
Consequently, it is easy to find an available tennis court and a partner to face off against when spending time on St. Barth's. The St. Barth's Tennis Club with Yves LaCoste is one of the best places for travelers to find available tennis courts.
St. Barth's has golf courses that are open to the public. In many cases, golf courses are associated with large communities of St. Barth's vacation rentals. You may need to have the right booking or a membership to visit some golf courses, but there are public golf courses for travelers to choose from.
The Haute Bungalow is one of the island's newest golf courses that is available for travelers. Many locals and well-informed travelers who enjoy golfing also take a short ferry ride to nearby Anguilla, one of the world's premier golf destinations.
You do not have to be a billionaire yacht owner to visit most of the marinas in St. Barth's. The marinas are a great place to relax while viewing some of the most beautiful private vessels in the world. The Gustavia marina is the island's premier yachting destination, and it is completely open to the public.
Major yachts, such as Eclipse and Sailing Yacht A, can often be seen berthed in the Gustavia marina or at anchor in the nearby ocean. There are also a broad range of restaurants and shops in the nearby vicinity that cater to travelers wishing to enjoy the scenery of a beautiful marina while enjoying a meal or an afternoon drink.
Travelers can also consider timing their trip for the annual Bucket Regatta, a yacht show that is considered to be on the same level as the famous annual yacht show in Monaco.