Why Not Go to St. Barthelemy?

You'll be treated like a star when you visit St. Barts

Photo credit: © Jennifer Harvey | Dreamstime.com

Why Not Go to St. Barthelemy?
 

An island of many names, St. Barts, St. Barths, or St. Barthelemy is known for attracting the rich and famous with its high-end accommodations, upscale shopping boutiques, and delectable restaurants.

Top attractions on the island include the site of the first French settlement, Lorient, St. Barths Municipal Museum, Wall House Museum, and any of the 14 beaches.  For further details, visit the official site of the St. Bathelemy Tourist Board.

St. Barts: Facts at a Glance
Currency St. Bart's official currency is the Euro, the currency of the European Union.  United States currency is widely accepted, and prices are often quoted in U.S. dollar amounts.
Electricity The island uses the 220-volt (60 cycles) system, so North American visitors will need converters.
GDP Per Capita The average per capita income is about $37,000(USD).
Island Size St. Barts has a total area of 8.1 square miles.
Language St. Bart's official language is French, though English is widely spoken.
Population As of the 2008 census, the population of St. Barts was 8,823 people.  About 200,000 tourists visit the island each year.

Getting There

Vacationers from the Untied States and Europe hoping to travel to St. Barts by airplane will fly major airlines into St. Maarten's Juliana Airport, then take a quick shuttle plane to St. Barts' small St. Jean Airport.  Direct flights from the United States into Juliana Airport are available from Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Miami, Florida; New York City, New York; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Travelers also have the option of flying to St. Maarten, and hiring a private yacht, or hopping aboard a ferry to St. Barts.  There are two ferries that make the trip to St. Barts from St. Maarten: The Edge and MV Voyager.  The trip costs between 50 and 75 Euros, and lasts for approximately 45 minutes. 

Entry Requirements

Visitors from the United States and Canada are required to present a valid passport as well as a round-trip ticket, or proof of continued travel in order to obtain entry into St. Barts.  European citizens are only required a passport.  Those who plan to stay on the island for more than 30 days must also have a visa.

Climate

St. Bart's averages 3,000 hours of sun a year, making cloudy skies and rainy days a rare exception.  The island receives between 30 and 40-inches of rain annually, most of which falls during hurricane season, and average temperatures range from 69.8 degrees in the winter to 77.9 degrees in the summer.  For more details, visit our Weather guide.  

Geography

St. Barts is a Leeward Island, located in the northeastern corner of the Caribbean Sea, just southeast of St. Maarten and Anguilla.  The coastline is comprised of 14 beaches surrounded by reef, while the interior of the island is made up of numerous hills and valleys, one town, and several small villages.  The highest peak on the island is Morne Vitet, about 938 feet above sea level. 

Health and Safety

One small hospital provides medical care in St. Barts.  The Hospital de Bruyn is located in Gustavia and has less than 10 resident doctors.  There are also pharmacies located in Gustavia, St. Jean, and La Savane.  The water in St. Barts is not potable, and drinking bottled water is highly recommended.  Some hotels have filtration systems that make the water from their taps less of a risk; consult with the front desk of your hotel to be sure.  Though crime is not a huge problem in St. Barts, always guard your personal belongings by never leaving bags unattended and locking valuables in your hotel safe.

People

St. Barts' people are very well-mannered and hard-working, with most men working as sailors.  They are reserved, and tend to keep their feelings to themselves, but have begun to adopt some of the mannerisms and ideals of Americans in recent years.  Locals, who call themselves "St. Barts People," are known for being friendly to visitors, as long as visitors are courteous and friendly towards them as well. 

 

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