Relax on Your Caribbean Vacation with a Trip to St. Barths

by Marcia Frost

Whether you call it St. Barths, St. Barts, or St. Barthelemy, this little island is a beloved Caribbean vacation hideaway for many celebrities. As soon as the tender of your Caribbean cruise arrives in dock, you'll begin to understand why. What appeals to celebrities and high-end travelers alike is the island's small size, beautiful beaches, and quiet ambiance. And it doesn't hurt that the shopping rivals that of Rodeo Drive.

Beaches to Visit

St. Barths is as pristine as the water surrounding it, and the roughly 7,200 residents take good care of the lush island. Most of the island's towns and villages are located by beaches, so exploring new towns also means spending lots of time on beaches. While here, be sure to visit one of the fourteen exquisite white sandy beaches, including the Baie de St-Jean (meaning Bay of St. Jean), which offers serene blue waters, as well as nearby boutiques and bistros. Shell Beach, which gets its name from the millions of unique sea shells that line its shores, is a must-see for any visitor to the island. Wherever you go on this island, you'll find breathtaking sights. You can even take advantage of a scenic drive to capture many of the island's sights during a one-hour tour.

Activities for Everyone

The crystal blue waters surrounding St. Barths are perfect for any kind of water sport, including surfing and water skiing. If you like to scuba dive or snorkel, you're in luck. It's the ideal place to see a variety of colorful fish and coral while exploring the underwater caves.

If you'd rather stay dry, you'll find plenty of high-end shopping in the capital city of Gustavia, with over 200 boutiques from brands such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Hermès available duty free. After you've completed your purchases, you'll want to experience the cuisine at one of the 80 restaurants the island has to offer.

How to Get There

St. Barths is a small hidden gem in the Antilles that's only eleven miles long and just over two miles wide. You have two options to reach it from your Caribbean cruise. It's only a ferry ride from the port on the Dutch side of St. Martin to Gustavia Port on St. Barths. As long as the port schedule on your St. Martin stop allows enough time, you can take the ferry round trip. If you are tight on time, you can also arrange for a private water taxi.

To make travel easier, when researching your next Caribbean vacation, look for a voyage that makes a stop in front of St. Barths. A tender will take you directly to the island.

St. Barths Island is just a ferry ride away from the island of St. Martin.
St. Barths is right next to the island of St. Martin.