SBH: What is it?

Simply, it's an island in the Caribbean, but it's so much more than than. I describe St. Barth as the child of the best of France and the Caribbean. The cuisine, wines, shopping, nature, and so on are wonderful here. And since there is so much to enjoy about this island, during the coming weeks I will give you a little bit of info about all of these and more. 

First, the basics.

  • Size: 24 square kilometers (eight square miles for those of us on the imperial system)
  • Location: 17°55 North 62°50 West within the Lesser Antilles and French West Indies
  • People: Fewer than 10,000 year round folks
  • Government: A territory that is governed by France. The Collectivity, as it is known, holds a seat in the French Senate so French rules apply.
  • Fauna: Bird nerds* delight because you will see a great number of species and even get to see a healthy migration from April until September so check out the salt ponds in Salines. While still on land, keep an eye out for turtles, iguanas and other reptiles. Hop in the water for a swim or snorkel and don't be surprised if a sea turtle pops up to say hi. Go a little deeper with a dive and you will see sharks and, if you are lucky, hear the whales that pass through here.
  • Flora: As with most volcanic islands, what can grow here will do so if the rain and sun work in concert. There is green all year round, but during the rainier times, the trees and shrubs really come alive and it's an explosion of color.
* Rebecca Field has a done a fairly comprehensive photographic documentation of the birds of St. Barthélemy, so do check it out.