St Barts Travel Guide

French FlagSaint Barthélemy (known as St Barts) is an island in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean with a total area of less than 10 square miles and a population below 10,000. It is known as an island for the rich and famous and the small harbor host many, many mega yachts through the winter months.

St Barts travel guide - Gustavia - From Fort Gustav

The capital of Gustavia from Fort Gustav. See more Swedish influence

Christopher Columbus discovered the island on his second voyage and named it after his brother, Bartolomeo, but it would not be settled until 1648 by the French. Even then the first attempt was wiped out by Caribe Indians. In 1784 the island was traded to Sweden who traded it back in 1878. During this 100 year ownership Sweden established the island as a free port, which is still effect today.

One thing that is very different in St Barts verse the rest of the Caribbean is the population is almost exclusively of European descent instead of African. This is due to the lack of arable land meaning few slaves were brought to St Barts.

My Visit

St Barts travel guide - Colombier Beach

The beach at Anse de Colombier

During my six week cruise through the Leeward Islands in 2017 the first island I spent significant time in was St Barts. We spent time anchored off the capital, Gustavia, for a couple days before venturing over to the island of Ile Fourchue and then the northern cove of Anse de Colombier.

Likes, Dislikes, and Recommendations

If you sail here on your boat you will be happy to know checking in could not be easier. Simply go to the Harbor Master office located on the left side as you enter the inner harbor. The fees are a little more for the days you are around Gustavia, so keep that in mind when you plan your time here.

St Barts travel guide - Gustavia - Harbor From Fort Karl

Another view of Gustavia

My favorite anchorage was Ile Fourchue and Anse de Colombier was nice as well. Both provide good shelter during weather and mooring balls are provided (just make sure you check them). Snorkeling is good, but not if the winds and seas are high as everything is churned up.

The only dislike I have for St Barts is how crowded the main anchorage is. This makes it tough to find a spot that does not have a roll to it. We were here in late April when it is less busy, so I can only imagine it during the holidays and January & February.

Soon you can get even more helpful hints by watching the travel videos I am making for St Barts. Also, you can read what all I did there in my blog posts located below the video.

All Blogs From St Barts