I’ve heard of St. Barths (or St. Barts, either/or) usually in conjunction with celebrity sightings. The actual island name is St. Barthélemy. I was curious to find out where it is located and if anyone who is not famous, moneyed, or royal can set foot on it.
The good news is that anyone who plans far enough ahead can visit St. Barths as easily as any of the other Caribbean islands. St. Barths is a Caribbean island whose main language is French. It is located to the east of Puerto Rico, situated to the north of St. Kitts and Nevis. One way to get here is to fly a major airline to Dutch St. Maarten’s Juliana Airport(SXM). From here you can schedule a charter flight on Winair or the St. Barth Commuter over to St. Barths airport (SBH). These are 10-minute shuttle flights. I just checked the website for Winair and they are advertising adult roundtrip flights at $169. On the St. Barths commuter, the price is around $164. The runway is short and it is windy here, making the landings a bit dicey.
You can also choose to take a ferry trip over from St. Martin. A one-way adult ticket on Great Bay Express runs around $65 and roundtrip is $100. If you’d like to try a high-speed ferry, then try The Edge. https://www.stmartinbookings.com/stmartin-ferry?type=one-way&from=19&to=7&departure=&departure_time=&return=&return_time=&adults=1&children=0&infants=0&sort=departure-time
It looks like a one-way ticket costs about $50. These trips take about half an hour. Hilariously, someone on YouTube calls this the Vomit Comet.
Surprisingly, St. Barths is not out of reach for the non-moneyed set, according to U.S. News & World Report. The best advice is to try to plan your trip a year in advance. One thing to look forward to are the 14 beaches. All are free and open to the public. Gouverneur Beach is remote and private but you will need a car to get to it (as with many other places on the island). If you look closely you will see goats standing on the cliffs above the beach. You may also see large black & red centipedes roaming around the island. Their bites can cause painful swelling, so be careful when sticking your toes back into your shoes after walking in the sand.
The capital of the island is Gustavia. This is a great place to load up on supplies if you want to save some $. One of the most popular things to do on the island is picnic on the beach. Many people do this for the ambience but also to save money for a few special meals since the restaurants are expensive.
A restaurant that is highly recommended is called Bonito. It overlooks the bay of Gustavia and is touted by its website as a cozy-chic sensory experience. http://ilovebonito.com/en/see/ This website is really cool and worth a look. The views are fantastic!
Fortunately, you can easily find a car to rent at the airport. Also, many hotels will reserve cars for you. If you plan to find most of the beaches, you will need one. Any foreign driver’s license is acceptable here in St. Barths. Keep in mind that the whole of St. Barths has only 2 (two) gas stations! Don’t wait till Sunday to fill up, they will both be closed.
St.Barts seems like a very appealing and surprisingly affordable island getaway, especially if that is what you want to do. Get away – from the nightlife, glitz, & glamour that some of the other islands offer. Come here if you just want to relax.