How do you get to St. Barth's? This may not be a question you ask yourself everyday, but it's definitely a question that our friends and clients ask us at least once a week. As a result, we decided to round up the three best ways to get to our favorite francophile Caribbean island. Bon voyage!
Connect from San Juan
Why: Flying via Puerto Rico is our numero uno for an easy connection into St. Barth’s. The San Juan hub offers nonstops from cities around the US and Europe, plus Americans will clear customs in SJU on their way back, meaning no long immigration lines to navigate when landing at home.
Layover Meal: The Ritz-Carlton sits just outside the gates of the airport, which makes a great stop for lunch or dinner if you’ve got a long connection.
Layover Stay: Check into the Ritz-Carlton or the Condado Vanderbilt for an overnight stay in San Juan.
Airlines: Another reason we love the San Juan connection: Tradewind Aviation. Their small planes may be puddle-jumpers by definition, but they’ve got private jet appeal, with comfortable seats, two pilots and a comfortable airport lounge for chilling between connections. If you’re traveling with a larger group, consider chartering the 8-seater to make the trip seamless. They also run flights from Antigua and St. Thomas but with less frequency.
Flight Time: 45 minutes
Connect from St. Martin
Why: The quickest flight into St. Barth’s originates in St. Martin, a short hop across the channel. If you want to avoid a boat but also want to spend as little time as possible in another plane, start searching flights to St. Martin. While the airport doesn’t have as many nonstop connections as San Juan, and flight prices tend to be higher, it does offer key connections to Europe via Air France.
UPDATE: The St Martin airport was decimated by Hurricane Irma in August 2017 so while the airport is open note that it is a temporary structure (think limited air conditioning and portable baths).
Layover Meal: Hop a tax for a ten-minute drive to La Samanna, the island’s best resort and with a fantastic restaurant.
Layover Stay: See above—La Samanna is the place to stay (and plenty of people fly in just to spend a week here).
Flight Time: 15 minutes
Connect from St. Martin
Why: Small airplanes ain’t your thing? Then get ready for an adventure. The seas between St. Martin and St. Barth’s can be choppy, but for those who hate the little planes, the high-speed ferry is a totally viable alternative. Make sure you’re at the front of the line when boarding to score a spot on the top deck since the fresh air can help keep seasickness at bay.
Layover Meal: There are small cafes in the marina village near the dock where the Great Bay Express departs.
Layover Stay: La Samanna, no question.
Cruise Time: 40 minutes