St. Barts is an island in the Caribbean known for its pristine beaches, decadent atmosphere and even some celebrity sightings. This little island in the French West Indies isn’t the easiest place to get to, but the rewards of this paradise are worth the effort. Read on so you can plan your next adventure with this guide for your first trip to St. Barts.
A Guide for Your First Trip to St. Barts
The Best Time To Go
The weather in St. Barts is warm and wonderful year round. What makes the best time to visit the island is the season you choose to travel. It is best to avoid the peak tourist season from late November through early January. As expected, your flights and hotel rates will be higher during this time. The hurricane season is from June through November. Even though hotel rates will be much lower than in peak season, you run the risk of your plans getting disrupted by the storms.
The best time to visit St. Barts is March through late May. The higher lodging rates go down after the Easter season, and the crowds are generally less during this time period.
Getting To and Around St. Barts
There are not any direct commercial flights from the United States or Canada to St. Barts. Your best bet is to fly into either San Juan, Puerto Rico, or St. Maarten. From San Juan, you can do the one hour long flight on Tradewind Aviation. If you fly out of St. Maarten, you can do a 15 minute flight on Winair or the St. Barths Commuter to get to the island. The only option to get to St. Barts from the continental US directly is through a private flight service like Air Charter Service.
Travelers also have the option to book a ferry that can get you from St. Marteen to St Barts.
Rental cars are the best option for transportation around the island. St. Barts does not have any buses or public transportation system. Taxis are hard to find and can be quite expensive. You can also easily rent a scooter or bicycle to get your way around this lovely island.
Where to Stay
St. Barts is a magnet for celebrities and jet setters. Many visitors to the island own their homes or rent magnificent villas or condominiums. For everyone else, there are some great lodging options on the island. Properties of note include the grand Le Sereno, a luxury hotel with a spa and one of the most iconic pools on St. Barts. You may see royalty or movie stars at the glamourous Eden Rock, located at beautiful St. Jean Bay.
Where to Eat
Dinner reservations are recommended on St. Barts, especially in the peak seasons. The island has a slew of culinary offerings for its visitors. For those that love to party, Nikki Beach is the place to be, especially during weekend brunches. You can enjoy a gourmet meal of French-Japanese fusion at Orega or savor the stunning atmosphere at Bonito.
What To Do
There are many things to do in St. Barts. Travelers can soak up the sun on one of its stunning beaches such as St. Jean Beach, Saline, or Shell Beach. A popular activity on the island is the Colombier hike, which leads to a private beach.
Guests can also explore beautiful Gustavia. Spend a day and browse the art galleries and high end boutiques and enjoy lovely harbor views. For those interested in local history, you can visit the ruins of Fort Gustave, the Wall House Museum, or Vieux Clocher, which is the oldest building in Gustavia.
Things to Know
Time Zone- Atlantic Standard Time Year Round (does not observe Daylight Savings Time)
Main Language Spoken- French, but English is widely spoken
Currency– Euro (current exchange rate)
Power Outlets– St. Barts has the European style (two round holes) outlets. Travelers should bring along an adapter plug if needed.
Covid-19 Entry Requirements for St. Barts
United States and Canadian citizens are currently permitted to enter the West Indies. Only fully vaccinated travelers ( 2 injections and 2 weeks since last injection) are permitted to enter the region.
A negative Covid-19 test (PCR or serology) taken within 72 hours of departure is required to enter St. Barts and other nations in the West Indies. There are also testing facilities on the island so travelers can schedule and take their Covid-19 PCR test for departure.
Plan your next island adventure with this guide for your first trip to St. Barts.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com