Nowadays schedules are so hectic and complicated that it makes it almost impossible to agree on a date and location for a family vacation. This is why my mom had the great idea of going somewhere relatively close to Peru and easy to fly to but nothing less of paradise: Saint Barthélemy also known as, St. Barths.
July is a really cold month in Peru, so it made it the perfect destination to fly away from the gray Lima winter and land on a majestic spot like St. Barths in the middle of the Caribbean sea. When I was researching to find out more about St. Barths, this is what I found: click here. It was a really interesting post about how to do St. Barths on a budget because it truly is a luxury island and very well-known to the rich & famous.
There are two routes to get to St. Barths from Peru, the most common is via Miami but there is a really excellent option via Panama to Saint Marteen, which is the one we took because there barely is a lay over, so it’s faster. Then you take a ferry to St. Barths, but we took advantage and spent a night in Saint Marteen, which also has beautiful beaches.
The best way to get to St. Barths on a budget is by renting a house for a week and if you can do that with a group and split the expenses, even better. We arrived at the house and went to the local super market to stock up. Another important tip, you definitely need to rent a car, there is no public transportation on the island and very few taxis. The island hilly so unless you have a car, it can be very challenging to move from one place to another by foot or bicycle.
The beaches are AMAZING, they are the definition of paradise. We went to quite a few beaches, these are the ones we went to in the order I liked the best:
- Le colombier
- Flamands Beach
- Gouverneur Beach
- Lorient Beach
- Grand Cul de Sac Beach (but at the end, where the Guanahani hotel is located)
St. Barths is a perfect destination to unplug from everyday life and technology. Take advantage and really disconnect from e-mails, cell phones, traffic, work, studies, etc. The days were gorgeous, I went for a run in the mornings, then a dip in the pool, breakfast and when everyone was ready, we would go to the beach we had chosen for the day with our picnic for lunch and spend the day there. We spent the afternoons at the pool in the house because the sun is really strong so we had to go back to the house eventually or we would go to Gustavia (the capital) to visit the cute stores that are there.
Apart from great beaches, there are really good restaurants, remember, St. Barths is french! Our favorite restaurants were:
- The restaurante at the Hotel Isle de France: La Case de L’Isle. It’s not only really good, but you can make a reservation and arrive a bit earlier to drink a piña colada on Flamands beach.
- Cote Port is a small Bistro on the Gustavia docks. We had the best profiteroles ever.
- L’Isoletta is a pizza place located at Gustavia’s center, really amazing pizzas.
There also are things to do after dinner and even though we weren’t really in a party mode, we did go to two places that were recommended to us:
- Le Ti is a restaurant – bar, we went there to have dinner, but to be honest, the food wasn’t that great and it’s really expensive. It’s much better to arrive around 11pm for drinks and see the show and then people start dancing on table tops and the atmosphere gets really fun.
- Nikki Beach is a restaurant – bar on St. Jean beach. The food is OK but it’s very touristy and expensive. What it has going for it is that it’s literally on the beach and people go there more for drinks and music rather than food.
The only thing that we would change is going in July, it was extremely hot. From what we talked about with locals is that the best months to go are May and November which are still low season but have a better weather.