From Andrew Harper
A dependency of France, this neat, eight-square-mile island lies less than 20 miles from St. Martin. Its population of 5,500 is mostly of Breton descent. The terrain is hilly, but dazzling white beaches skirt the perimeter. The island’s capital, Gustavia, is generally considered to be the prettiest town in the entire Caribbean. Owing to the large number of American visitors, St. Barths has a more cosmopolitan atmosphere than other French islands such as Martinique. Thanks to the enduring French influence, however, its restaurants are excellent and the seafood invariably delicious.
WHEN TO GO : The climate is warm and sunny with little variation in the year-round temperature. The best months to visit are November-June, when low humidity is the norm and daytime temperatures average in the low 80s.
CURRENCY : Euro (€). Fluctuating rate valued at €1.00 = US$1.30 as of March 2012. U.S. currency and major credit cards readily accepted.
U.S. EMBASSY : None. U.S. Embassy is located in Barbados, (246) 227-4399.
DIRECT DIAL CODES : To phone hotels and restaurants in St. Barths, dial 011 (international access) + 590 (St. Barths code) + local numbers in listings.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS : Passport. Visit travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, cdc.gov.