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  • Flag (France)                             Coat of Arms                       Tourist Board

    St. Barths is located approximately 160 miles east of Puerto Rico, closer to the Virgin Islands. It is directly southeast of St. Martin and Anguilla, northeast of Saba and St. Eustatius, and north of St. Kitts. The capital city, Gustavia, lies in a U-shaped cove that faces the west. Residents of St. Barths are French citizens. While the native language is French, some residents speak Barthélemy French patois, while others speak in Creole French. English is widely accepted at hotels and resorts.

     

    History
    Like many of the Caribbean islands, St. Barths was founded by Christopher Columbus. He discovered the Lesser Antilles chain of islands in 1943, and named Saint Barthélemy after his brother. Afterwards, many ethnic groups tried to claim territories on the island, but European colonists eventually took over. In 1648, Jacques Gente was sent to colonize the island, and by 1674, it was under French rule. Over the centuries, many wars put St. Barths under the rule of different countries. Since a popular referendum in 1878, the island has remained a French territory. 

    Despite sustainability efforts in the 1900's, the economy was unable to provide a decent quality of life for its citizens. Inhabitants began immigrating to the US Virgin Islands, especially St. Thomas. When the first plane landed on St. Barths in 1946, it opened the island up to the rest of the world. More activity was being noticed at Post of Gustavia as well. In the 1960's schools opened up in the capital city of Gustavia, and children no longer had to leave the island to get an education. By the 1980's St. Barths had completely evolved, as tourism drove the local economy. Schools began to improve greatly, sports became part of culture, an electric plant was built and the airport expanded. 

    The island was also a commune that formed part of Guadalupe for many years. It wasn't until 2007 that St. Barths was finally separated from Guadalupe's administrative jurisdiction.

    Today, the island has about 9,000 citizens and continues to modernize. Important projects for St. Barths moving forward revolve around the topic of conservation.

    Culture
    Citizens of St. Barths are very proud of their lineage, and remain conservative. In actuality, they are much more welcoming and warmer than they appear. They stick to tradition during important events, such as birthdays, baptisms, communions, weddings and funerals, but will only wear island clothing on All Saint's Day or other folkloric occasions. 

    Straw work, a local craft, has been a large part of the island's culture. Some popular items that have been woven over the years are Panama hats, baskets, fans, purses and birds of paradise. Much of today's straw work is done by older women who put love and time into keeping the island's heritage alive.

    Useful Links
    Visit the website of the St. Barths Tourism Authority for more information about this Caribbean destination.

    Note: Information provided on this page were derived from a combination of internal research and readily-available outside sources, such as destination tourism offices, official press releases and marketing media kits.

    Non-Stop flights at $79 to Martinique on Norwegian Airlines star
    Fast Facts
    Capital: Gustavia

    Anthem: “La Marseillaise”

    Currency: Euro. US Dollar is also accepted.

    Population: 9,035 (2014)

    Official Language: French
     
    Electricity: 220 volts and 60 Hz. Most hotels and villas use transformers to supply 100V power.

    Time Zone:  EST +1 hour. No difference during Daylight Savings Time.

    Travel Information
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    By Air
    The Gustaf III Airport is the main airport on the island and is located in the center of St. Barths. The runway is less than 1/2 mile long due its surrounding landscape of beaches and mountains. St. Barths is only a 10 minute flight from St. Martin, 40 minutes from Antigua, 1 hour from Guadeloupe, and an hour and a half from Puerto Rico.

    Airlines
    The following airlines provide flights from St. Martin, Aguilla or San Juan to St. Barths.
    - Air Antilles Express
    - Air Caraibes Express
    - Saint Barth Commuter
    - Tradewind Aviation
    - Windward Express Airways
    - Winair
    - Trans Anguilla Airways

    By Sea
    Taxi boats are available to transport visitor from Saint Martin to Saint Barths. Once arriving at Princess Juliana International Airport, a taxi boat representative will bring travelers to the docks for transport. For more information on taxi boat services, please visit the St. Barths tourism board here.

    Entry
    All visitors must have a vaild passport.  A visa is not necessary if the intended stay on the island is less than or equal to 30 days. Passports must be valid and not expire for at least three months from the date of entry to St. Barths.

    All visitors are also required to fill out an entry form.

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