Nestled in the Caribbean Sea’s turquoise waters lies the island of St. Barts, also known as Saint-Barthelemy. Originally inhabited by the Carib Indians, who called the island Ouanaloa, it was soon overtaken by Christopher Columbus as the Europeans spread their influence to North America. Although the French maintained control of St. Barts Island for several decades, they eventually sold it to the Swedish government in the 18th century, and under Sweden’s control, the island thrived as a major trading port in the Caribbean. When a financial crisis hit in the 1800s, France regained ownership of the island and christened it Saint-Barthelemy.
This French heritage has resulted in a majority of St. Barts’s population, numbering around several thousand, being descendants of the original French settlers who made a home on the island in the 1600s. Not only does St. Barts have a dominantly French history, but it continues to be part of French politics and culture today, even voting in the French elections. Officially, St. Barts Island falls under the authority of nearby Guadeloupe, which is a French Overseas Department and Region.
The most vital part of the economy and culture of St. Barts is the island’s bustling tourism industry. However, the government of St. Barts has also taken deliberate measures to control the flow of tourism into the island in an effort to preserve the integrity of St. Bart’s pristine natural beauty.
St. Barts offers you everything you are looking for in the perfect Caribbean getaway, from fantastic shopping to gorgeous beaches to an exciting nightlife. Renting a car upon arrival in St. Barts is highly recommended, as the island has countless features to explore around its coastline and there is no public transportation. This will enable you to go out and experience the wide variety of shopping choices featured on the island. With over 200 unique and charming boutiques across St. Barts, tourists can be sure to find one that suits their taste.
St. Barts also features a number of unparalleled Caribbean beaches, all of which are available to the public. Many of the nearly twenty beaches on the island have their own unique feel, and because of this, tourists often like to experience at least several beaches to find the one that best suits their preferences. One of the favorite beaches on St. Barts is St. Jean, a long strip of gorgeous white sand lined on one side by the Caribbean’s turquoise waters and on the other side by some of St. Barts best restaurants, clubs, and boutiques.
Those who enjoy recreational activities will find a wide variety available on St. Barts, from scuba diving to snorkeling to boating. For tourists who enjoy fishing, St. Barts offers the opportunity to fish for mahi-mahi, barracuda, and marlin, and as well as deep sea fishing for tuna or marlin. Other activities include horseback rides along the beach or windsurfing on the island’s gorgeous waves. Whatever your interests, age, or lifestyle, St. Barts has something to offer everyone, and is the perfect destination for your Caribbean getaway.