St Barts Island - Frequently Asked Question About Travel to St Barts
Interested in vacationing on St Barts island? Let us demystify travel to St Barts by sharing important travel tips and information for vacationing in St Barts, and answering frequently asked questions about getting to St Barts…so you don't have to ask them!
Travel to St Barts requires a valid passport for ALL VISITORS (including U.S., Canadian, Brazilian, and EU National citizens).
You will need a valid passport to board any flight that is heading to St Barts. Your passport's expiration date must be at least 6 Months after your scheduled return date.
For more information on U.S. passports, click here.
How to Get to St Barts
The Gustaf III Airport (SBH) in St Barts has one of the shortest runways in the world, and as a result can only accommodate small prop planes. To get to St Barts you will need to fly to one of the larger islands nearby that have larger runways, that then offer local flights into St Barts. Islands with flights to St Barts include San Juan Puerto Rico, St Martin/Sint Maarteen, Antigua and Gaudeloupe. The airlines with flights into St Barts include Tradewind Aviation, Win-Air, St Barth Commuter,Air Caraibes and other regional airlines.
The airport in St Barts closes at sunset each day, which may be as early as 5pm in December, so make sure you factor that in when planning your trip. Contact the WIMCO Air Department to arrange all international and local flights to St Barts.
Time zone: St Barts is in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone which means it is in the same time zone as the Eastern US during the summer, and is then one hour ahead of the eastern US when they fall back one hour during the winter months.
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Airport Arrival Services
If you reserve a room in a hotel, that hotel will send an airport shuttle van to pick you up. If you rent a private villa on St Barts, a WIMCO Villas concierge will be met at the arrivals. He or she will collect your baggage, bring you to your rental car, and then escort you up to your villa. If you did not book your flights with WIMCO, please make sure you send all of your arrival information to WIMCO at least 72 hours prior to your arrival at the Gustaf III Airport (SBH) so your concierge can meet you upon arrival.
VIP Airport Transfers for Travel to St Barts
If you are traveling as a large group, or if you have a tight connection, you may consider reserving VIP airport transfer service when connecting to St Barts via San Juan or St Martin. The VIP Transfer company representative will then collect your luggage, get you through immigration and customs quickly, and then check you baggage onto your local flights. Contact the WIMCO Air Department to arrange VIP arrivals service in San Juan or St Martin.
Arriving in St Barts by Ferry Boat - Gustavia harbor arrivals service
If you are arriving by ferry boat or private boat charter service from St Martin, please send your arrival information to WIMCO so that your concierge may meet you at the dock, get you and your baggage to your rental car, and then escort you up to your villa. Details information on ferry companies and arrival and departure schedules can be found on the St Barts ferry service page. The WIMCO Concierge Travel desk can reserve seats on the ferry for you.
What are the Check in – check out times for Villa Rentals and Hotels in St Barts?
Most villas and vacation rentals in St Barts have a 4pm check-in time on arrival day, however the villa may be available before that time so check with your WIMCO agent. Check out time is 10am on the day of departure. You can request a later check-out time if the villa does not have an arrival that day. Call your WIMCO Villas concierge to arrange for baggage pick-up service. Hotels in St Barts have varying check-in and check-out times so it is best to ask about that in advance.
What to Wear in St Barts?
St. Barts is a very relaxed island and apart from not entering shops in bathing suits, the unwritten dress code is casual, especially at lunch. For dinner, even in the nicest restaurants, casual wear is welcomed – for women a casual dress or skirt will do, and for men khakis and button down shirts are fine. In fact jackets and ties would appear out of place. The St Barts style is casual but smart.
How to Rent a Car in St. Barts?
There is no public transportation in St Barts, very few taxis, and no Uber or Lyft service, so we recommend that you rent a car to get around the island. Various types of SUVs, jeeps and enclosed sedans are available for rent by the day in St Barts. The rate is approximately $65 - $150 per day depending on the size and model of the car, and the season. Due to limited supply, we suggest you let WIMCO's concierge desk know your preference for a rental car as far in advance as possible. During the high season, we can only reserve, not guarantee, a car type.
What is the Weather like in St Barts?
St Barts is located in the Leeward Islands of the Eastern Caribbean Sea. The climate is temperate and dry. There is a brief rainy season in the fall. You can access the most up to date weather information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Are there Banks with ATMs in St Barts?
Yes, there are banks with ATMs in St Barts, and you can use your debit card to withdraw euros, the official currency of St Barts island. Most restaurants and shops in St Barts accept both US dollars and Euros. The exchange rate is calculated based on the best available rate that day. The best exchange rate is most often available through the ATM and your credit card company.
Most major credit cards are accepted by most businesses on St Barts island, however it is good to ask each business before you purchase anything. There are three ATM machines on the island: two in Gustavia next to Le Select café and one near the airport, which will give you EUROs. The American Express office across the street from the airport will allow clients to buy American Express travelers checks with your AMEX card. You will need your passport or a piece of identification with your name and photo.
Is there Cell Phone Service in St Barts?
Yes, most cell phone carriers offer international calling plans for travel to St Barts, which you will need to activate before you leave to insure uninterrupted service. If you choose to bring your own cell phone with you, you can dial zero upon your arrival, and talk with a local operator who will take a credit card number from you, set up an account, and assign you a local number. OR, you can purchase a cell phone (approx. $70), and phone cards (various $ values) on St Barts island at the gas station across from the St. Barts Airport. The average cost of a cell phone call to the US from St. Barts is approximately $1.40 per minute.
Is there Internet, Phone and TV/Cable in villas and hotels in St Barts?
Yes, all villas that are enrolled in local villa rental agency inventories have Wi-Fi service as do most local businesses. If you are renting a villa, you will find the log-in information in the kitchen or living room. All villas have telephones and are able to receive international calls, and to make local and international calls through a call-back system. Should you need to make international calls or send faxes from St Barts, you may do so via the WIMCOsbh Office in St Jean if your villa does not have that service. Messages may also be sent to your attention c/o WimcoSBH: Fax: (011 590) 590 27 22 68 or Tel: (011 590) 590 51 07 51. An imprint of a credit card will be taken at check-in to cover any long distance calls.
All villas in St Barts that are represented by a local villa rental agency have digital TVs with some form of satellite TV service.
What is the Electricity/Voltage in villas and hotels in St Barts?
The voltage on St. Barth is 220v, 60 cycles, not 110v as in the United States. If you intend to bring electric razors, hairdryers, cell phone chargers, etc., we suggest you bring plug adapters and a transformer to change from square to round pins. These are available for purchase on St. Barts although you may not want to spend your vacation in hardware stores! You can pick up free electrical current adaptors in the WIMCOsbh office in St Jean.
Can I get a Babysitter in St Barts?
Yes, there are several licensed baby sitting services in St Barts as well as independent baby sitters. Please let WIMCO know well in advance if you require this service as well as the days and hours necessary. Babysitting can be difficult to arrange in peal season on short notice. The cost is starts at 12 euros per hour, and varies by season. Please be sure to tell us if you need a crib or a high chair (starting at 5 euros per day) for children.
Are there Medical Centers, Hospitals and Pharmacies in St Barts?
Yes, St Barts has both medical clinics and pharmacies. The town of Gustavia has a small hospital (Tel: 05.90.27.60.35), eight resident doctors, dentists, one gynecologist, and specialists in ophthalmology, dermatology, etc. A medical laboratory including an X-ray lab is located in Gustavia. There are pharmacies at La Savane Commercial Center (Tel: 05 90 27 66 61), in St. Jean near La Villa Creole (05 90 29 02 12) and in Gustavia (Tel: 05 90 27 61 82). It is also possible to buy short term medical evacuation insurance from Medicall and have yourself whisked, by air, to the hospital of your choice.
Is there Housekeeping and Linens service in villas in St Barts?
Yes, all villas which are represented by local villa rental agencies will include daily maid service, except on Sundays and French Holidays. All linens are provided in your rental home - sheets, towels, beach towels, etc. The maid will change your linens at least twice per week, and the towels every other day. For your personal laundry, you can pay the house keeper a small extra fee to do it for you, or there is a Laundromat and dry cleaning service conveniently located in St. Jean.
Are there Grocery Stores in St Barts?
Yes, there are 3 large grocery stores on the island (Marche U directly across from the airport, AMC in Gustavia, Superette de l'aeroport) which offer a wonderful selection of meats, produce, breads, cheeses, wines and other essentials. There are also smaller markets in Lorient. The island of St Barths has half a dozen fine wine stores, located in Gustavia, St Jean and Lorient.
For those interested in shopping for clothing and souvenirs, there are two main shopping areas in St Barts, the harbor town of Gustavia and the waterfront village of St Jean.
Can I pre-stock a villa with food?
Yes, WIMCO offers an arrival day grocery package which consists of roast chicken, ham, cheese, breads, pastries, juices, fruits, etc. with/without beer or wine) which can be pre-ordered and placed in your villa prior to your arrival. First night supply orders should be placed in advance through WIMCO. Clients who prefer to give us their own personalized grocery shopping or provisions list may do so in advance as well.
Are there Catering and Private Chef Service on St Barts?
Yes, St Barts is home to many skilled private chefs and catering companies. Many vacationers plan one special dinner at the villa during their vacation, using either a private chef or a catering company. WIMCO is happy to arrange this service. We can also arrange to have your villa pre-stocked with fine wines of your choosing (Price includes delivery). Contact your WIMCO agent in advance of your travel to explore options.
Are there Hair Salons on St Barts?
Yes, there are several high end hair salons on St Barts. Enhance the beauty of your hair at Salon Fostokjian with Christophe Fostokjian, beautician, colorist, beauty consultant and a pioneer of "Great Lengths" hair extensions on Saint Barts. Located in St Jean village, phone 590-297-572.
Can I bring my Pet to St Barts?
The answer in all cases is most often yes, however you will need to ask for permission in advance to confirm that. Pets of any kind are not allowed in any of the villas or hotels on St Barts without first making a request via email, and then getting written permission from the owner of the villa, via your WIMCO agent. If one does not notify the villa owner that they are bringing a pet, this may result in immediate eviction, and forfeiture of the guest's entire rental fee.
Can I receive and send a fax from St Barts?
Yes, fax machines are available for rent by the day if they are not already included in your villa rental. The standard 8 .5" x 11" plain paper fax is approximately $20 per day. The WIMCOsbh office also has a fax machine, as do most hotels on St Barts.
Info on Government, Police and Fire Department Services
The government in St Barts is referred to as "Le Collectivite". Their town hall is called "Le Marie" and it is located in Gustavia across the harbor from the ferry dock. The local police are called "Gendarmes" and the police station is referred to as "Le Gendarmerie", which is located on King Oscar II Street , the upper road out of Gustavia. The fire station is in a central location in St Jean.
Are there Post Offices in St Barts?
Yes, St. Barts has two post offices. The main Post Office, on rue du Centenaire in Gustavia, opens daily 8 AM to 3 PM, and closes on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. The post office branch in Lorient is open from 7 to 11 AM weekdays and from 8 to 10 AM on Saturday. The branch at the St. Jean Commercial Center, near the airport, opens daily from 8 AM to 2 PM, as well as Wednesday and Saturday morning 8-11 AM. Both are closed on Sunday and holidays.
Can I get a FedEx or UPS service on St Barts?
Yes, UPS, Federal Express and DHL all have agents on St Barts
Things to do in St Barths
There is no shortage of fun things to do on St Barths, here are a few suggestions:
- Pamper yourself in a day spa
- Take a jet ski ride around the island
- Have a lesson with a tennis pro
- Learn how to kite board
- Hike to the natural "washing machine" pools
- Check out the full list of things to do in St Barths