St Barths is located at 18°N 63°W in the north-eastern corner of the Caribbean Sea – 4,400 miles from Paris, 1,700 miles from New York, 125 miles east of Puerto Rico, and 15 miles southeast of St. Maarten. It’s a small place – a little more than eight square miles in area – with steep hills that divide the island into several valleys, usually open on one side to the sea. What’s really wonderful is that each valley is completely distinctive in its own right, with unique variations of architecture, wildlife and even language. We like to think that this creates the illusion of being in a much larger place. But the truth is things are very quiet around here, with only one town and a dozen villages spread evenly across the island.
On the shore there are no less than 22 beaches, some larger than others but all covered with gleaming white sand. And best of all, none of them are private (it’s the law).
View Les Ilets in a larger map
Given its petite size, the St Barths experience is all about exploring the island, visiting the beaches, browsing the delightful boutiques and dining in the exquisite restaurants. That can mean a lot of walking, which is why we recommend that you rent a car. We can book this for you very easily, with an array of vehicles to choose from, and you can collect it directly on arrival at the airport. Les Ilets is just a two-minute drive from the airport and extremely easy to find.
Getting to St Barths by Air
You’ll have to get here first, though. Flying is the easiest way, but whilst St Barths’ Gustav III Airport might be one of the busiest airports in France, don’t expect a 747 to land here. The runway is just 2,100ft long (the shorter runway at Heathrow, by comparison, is 12,001ft), with St Jean Bay at one end and a mountain at the other. So it’s no surprise that only small aircraft can land here, meaning that travellers to our shores must take a connecting flight from ant one of the nearby international hubs: St Maarten, Puerto Rico, Antigua, or Pointe a Pitre in Guadeloupe.The easiest of the bunch is St Maarten’s Princess Juliana Airport, which welcomes flights from France, Amsterdam, USA, Canada, South America and many of the neighbouring islands.
A host of local airlines can take you the final leg, including: Air Antilles Express, Air Caraibes Express, Carib Aviaition, St Barths Commuter, Winair, Windward Express Airways, Tradewinds Aviation, and Trans Anguilla Airways. We can also arrange private charters and/or a VIP welcome in St Maarten, which saves you the hassle of queuing for your luggage or struggling to find your connection – head to the contact page to let us know.
A word of warning: luggage restrictions can be lower on local carriers, so please check first to avoid large penalties at the airport. We also recommend packing a few essentials in your carry-on bag – you wouldn’t want to be without your swimwear if your bag turns up a day late, would you?
Getting to St Barths by Boat
You could always take to the high seas; transfers are available from the French and Dutch side of Saint Martin and take between 45 minutes and an hour depending on the type of boat and the weather.
We recommend scheduling a transfer with Great Bay Express from Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg on the Dutch side, or Voyager from Marigot on the French side. Naturally, private charters are available too with a variety of providers to choose from. Let us know if you would like further information
You’ll arrive into the port of Gustavia, located on the western coast of the island. If you’re captaining a boat yourself, note these details:
The Capitainerie, Gustavia. Open from 7am -5.30 pm
Email: email@example.com Tel: +590 590 27 66 97 Fax : +590 590 27 81 54
Valid passports as well as a return ticket or proof of travel are required for US and Canadian citizens. All passports must be valid for more than three months from arrival on the island.
European, American, Canadian and Brazilian citizens do not require a visa, but all other nationalities will require a tourist visa provided by the French Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence.
Further immigration queries bothering you? Let us know.