The underwater life of St Barth is much more exciting than that onshore due it being situated on a coral plate. In the waters surrounding the island you’ll find dazzling coral reefs, endless underwater caves, canyons, and exciting shipwrecks - all teeming with marine life. Expect to find majestic sea turtles swimming alongside all types of fish, big and small, as well as an array of fascinating spiny crustaceans on the ocean floor.
This unmissable underwater world is best experienced via scuba diving. For first time divers, there’s guided tours with dive professionals who’ll have you down in the depths in no time. Experienced divers can be taken to the best spots for a more challenging and unique dive away from the crowds of beginners. For the less adventurous, there’s still so much to see from the surface of the water when snorkelling.
The diving scene seems to be centred around the capital Gustavia, with Serial Divers, La Bulle and St-Barth Plongee having excellent reviews across the board. You can also find snorkel and mask sets sold in many tourist shops and diving centres for use at the beaches, but for the best experience we’d recommend snorkelling off a chartered boat trip.
For a more relaxed ocean adventure, one can captain their own, or just relax onboard as a guest upon a sailboat or catamaran. Drop anchor and go snorkelling off the boat at any number of secret spots to see fish, or spy migrating birds and nests not visible on land with binoculars. With full and half-day excursions on offer, you can choose between a quick whip round the island with a fun picnic-style lunch, or a more relaxed trip with a gourmet dinner cooked fresh on deck in addition. Still peckish after this? Why not visit one of the 9 best restaurants in St Barthelemy. Also, those who want to just have a play on the waters can go sailing for an hour or two, with the gentle breezes of Grande Cul-De-Sac , Public and Colombier make them the ideal place for doing so.
Some of the most spectacular deep sea fishing in the whole Caribbean islands can be found in St Barts. The only thing that beats a day out on the open seas, is returning with a trophy fish in hand. All year round you can charter a big game boat to hunt for marlin, sailfish, tuna, barracuda and wahoo, from May to September it’s white and blue amling season, and Mahi-Mahi are abundant from December to April.
With most, all your fishing gear, non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks are included, so you’ll be free to conserve energy and concentrate on landing the biggest catch of the day. Alcohol is included in some more premium packages, but you can typically purchase on-board all services.
Your hotel concierge or landlord should be able to book this excursion for you, but we recommend Patrick La Place who’s family have been fishing for generations and offers guests a 95% success rate. Be sure to check the weather though, as the water can be very rough.
There’s as much fun to be had above the water as below it. Although every beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing, some are more tailored to water sports than others. The strong winds of St Jean, Lorient, and Grande Cul-De-Sac make them an epicentre for wind and kite surfing.
Gustavia is the starting point for many of St Barts best jet-ski tours, taking only 2 hours max to do a lap of the whole island. Just make sure to stay away from the beaches due to noise and safety regulations.
You’ll also be able to try out the ultra modern sport of ‘flyboarding’ (remember Leonardo Di Caprio hovering above the water like Iron Man? This is what we’re talking about.) here.
And finally, when the conditions are right it’s Pointe Milou, Toiny or Anse des Lézards where you’ll find the bronzed athletes of St Barts’ surfing scene.
Meanwhile, activities like stand up paddleboarding or clear bottom kayaking offer a unique vantage point in the ocean and can be enjoyed island-wide. If you’re looking for great places to stay close to your favourite water sport hotspot, check out our guide on where to stay in St Barts.
Source: Trip Advisor
Whilst there’s many exciting options to explore the seas surrounding the island, on land there’s no better way to discover St Bart’s rolling hills, picturesque beaches, volcanic rock formations and striking coastlines than by foot. There’s several easily hiked and well signposted trails suitable for the whole family, which are safe enough to be enjoyed solo too. Our picks would be the short trail to Colombier which starts at the very end of the road past Flamands beach, the lookout point by Torny, or the trails to the ‘washing machine’ of Grand Fond.
Whilst those feeling a bit more adventurous can hire a guide to tackle the steep climbs of Mount Vitet for the highest view of the islands, or to visit the natural pools of Petit Cul-De-Sac.
Ensure you carry plenty of water and sunblock when hiking, as shelter and shops can be few and far between. For the ultimate way to relax after a long day on your feet, why not check out the best Saint Barthelemey holiday villas to rent.
If adventure for you means baring all in public, then St Barths is one place where you can dust off your birthday suit for an outing. But wait, don’t go stripping off everywhere and anywhere as nudity is actually illegal on the island, but there are a few secluded beaches where it’s seemingly okay to disobey this law. At Saline beach, to the left of the entrance is one place you can strip down. But be subtle, the locals are happy to turn a blind eye but make sure to cover up when outside this area. Gouverner is another long beach where as long as you go as far from the entrance as possible, it’s okay to disrobe. For women just wanting to get rid of unsightly tan lines, it’s okay to go topless everywhere. Again, use your own discretion to avoid attracting unwanted attention! Whether nude or not, there’s still plenty of things to do in St. Barthelemy.