|Location: 11 miles southeast of St. Martin and 140 miles north of Guadeloupe.|
|Island Size: 8 square miles|
|Climate: Temperatures range from 72° to 86° F. Climate is generally dry with no rainy season.|
|Currency: Euro € with US dollars accepted widely.|
|Time zone: Atlantic Standard time. When daylight savings time is in effect, the time is the same as the US East Coast. Otherwise, St. Barth is an hour ahead.|
|Electric Current: 220 volts. US appliances will need a converter and an adapter plug.|
Documents: A valid passport is
required for U.S., Canadian and EU
National citizens. Travelers from other
countries may need a visa
in addition to a passport. (This
includes all persons traveling with you).
The Frontier Police are very strict.
Even if you previously cleared
immigration without incident, proper
documentation is now necessary.
For information on U.S. passports, go to
Travelers from other countries may need a visa in addition to a passport.
Although most of the villa owners will not accept pets, you will find legal information about bringing pets at http://ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?article783. If you make a request, and the owner to accept your pet, then a security deposit is usually required. According to the Division of Tourism in St. Barth, in order to bring a dog onto the island of St. Barth, the following is required: a microchip or tattoo on the dog and an accompanying rabies certificate...
|Dress Code: Casual. Dress as you wish. No jackets required! Some people dress up at night, while others wear shorts. For the women, mini-skirts and sundresses are prevalent, while the men wear polo shirts and slacks or shorts.|
St. Barthélemy History
St. Barthélemy, a volcanic land mass of only 8 square miles, was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and was named after his brother Bartolomeo. The native Carib Indians ferociously resisted all attempts by the Europeans to settle on the island. In 1648, a failed colonization attempt was made by French settlers from St. Kitts. A few determined peasants from Brittany and Normandy survived the resistance and in 1660 a second attempt at settlement was successful.
In 1673 the island became a part of France and a part of the government of Guadeloupe. By 1687, St. Barth had a population of 500. In 1784 Sweden's King Gustav III was given the island by Louis XVI of France in exchange for a warehouse in Goteberg Harbor and in 1785 Gustav declared the island a free port. Swedish settlers arrived and the island prospered as commercial traffic transited through the newly named harbor of Gustavia.
The 19th century was not kind to St. Barth or St. Barts as it is also called. Numerous misfortunes including hurricanes, droughts, yellow fever epidemics, and a disastrous fire descended upon the island. As steam power replaced wind, ships were able to take more direct routes to and from American ports, bypassing St. Barth.
Ridding itself of an increasingly heavy economic burden, Sweden sold the island back to France in 1878 for 320,000 francs. Provisions of this agreement required the island remain duty free and that the population never pay taxes!
Many of the local inhabitants are descendants of the early settlers from Brittany and Normandy and their language still reflects traces of the Norman French. The Swedish influence remains to this day as does the distinction of being a duty free port.
With the landing of the first plane, a two seater flown by Remy De Haenan, tourism was able to develop. However, the airstrip, even today, is not large enough to handle jetliners bringing an onslaught of visitors.
Dollars are accepted everywhere. When you dine out, you will be presented the check in Euros. Most larger restaurants take credit cards. If you pay by credit card, you will get the true rate of exchange. VISA is the most widely accepted. Bring plenty of cash/travelers checks, too. If you want to buy Euros, all banks can do the exchange. ATM machines can be found at the various banks on the island. You will receive a limited amount of Euros.
As there is no ATM for American Express (AMEX) cards on St. Barth, AMEX has created a service to satisfy their members’ requests. AMEX Card Members may receive the following by presenting their card at an AMEX office (conveniently located across the street from the Airport): Emergency check cashing in Euro or USD; Replacement of stolen, lost, damaged, mutilated or voided AMEX Travelers cheques; Exchanges to smaller denominations of AMEX travelers cheques if available; and “Gift Check” and “Check for Two” AMEX Travelers cheques available upon request. (An authorization will be requested from American Express for all services.)