Most vacationers choose to fly to St Barts, however you’ll find that it takes a bit of research to figure out the best way to fly to St Barts. What's the best and quickest way to get to St Barts? Are there direct flights from the US and Europe? These are some of the most common questions we hear our clients asking when we start helping them plan their vacations.
On this page you will see all the travel options and information you need to easily plan your transportation to St Barts, whether you plan to arrive by air or sea. And if you prefer to talk to one of our travel experts to help you set up your flights or boat charters, we are more than happy to help.
OK, this is going to be a “good news, bad news” situation. First the bad news: there are no direct flights to St Barts from cities in the continental US, or from any cities in Europe. St Barts’ uniquely short runway at Gustav III Airport (SBH) can only accommodate STOL (short takeoff and landing) prop planes seating 18 people or less.
Now the good news: you can fly to a nearby island in a large jet on a standard commercial flight, then come over to St Barts in a smaller plane. Tres intime as the french would say. How is that good news? - you may be asking
The benefit of flying in one of these smaller planes is that you will fly at a lower altitude, and have a better view of the surrounding islands as you approach St Barts.
You’ll see hidden coral reefs, uninhabited islands with private beaches, and sailboats braving the open ocean. As you approach St Barts you’ll be low enough to pick out individual villas, fly over mega yachts, and have a birds-eye view of Gustavia and its picturesque harbor.
Just after you fly over Gustavia you’ll fly low over a hilltop traffic roundabout then drop onto the runway, with the aqua-colored waters of St Jean Bay just beyond. It’s quite a thrilling way to arrive.
There are several Caribbean islands you can fly into that offer direct commercial flights to St Barts:
For people living in the US and Central America, San Juan is a popular gateway airport to St Barts. The Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport or Isla Verde International Airport (IATA: SJU) is a clean modern international airport with a variety of comfortable boarding lounges, gift shops, bars and restaurants for travelers waiting to board flights to St Barts.
WIMCO's Travelers tip: Consider flying into San Juan in the afternoon and overnighting there before flying to St Barts in the morning. Historic Old San Juan town is a living museum, a glimpse into the island’s past as part of the Spanish empire. Walk its ancient stone streets, stop into a shaded café for Sangria, walk the walls at sunset, you’ll be thrilled you did. Nearby Isla Verde beach is home to several five star resort hotels, and is also convenient to the airport.
For people living in the US and France, Princess Juliana Airport in St Martin is a popular gateway airport to St Barts. The Princess Juliana Airport (IATA: SXM) is a clean, modern international airport with a variety of comfortable boarding lounges, gift shops, bars and restaurants for travelers waiting to board flights to St Barts
WIMCO's Travelers tip: Consider flying into St Barts in the afternoon, spend the night, then fly into St Barts in the morning. Two uniquely St Martin places to visit are restaurant row in Grand Case, and the beach bar scene on Orient Beach – you’ll want to set-aside a day for each one.
St Thomas is historically linked to St Barts as it was one of the best places for St Barts residents to find work in the days before tourism became the leading employer. So many residents of nearby French Caribbean islands sought employment there that a neighborhood in Charlotte Amalie was nicknamed Frenchtown.
WIMCO's Travelers tip: Consider flying into St Thomas's Cyril E. King International Airport (STT) and spending the night before flying on to St Barts. St Thomas has its charms including historic Frenchtown in Charlotte Amalie, the glamorous Ritz Carlton resort and spa, and scenic Magens Bay with its postcard perfect beach. For a change of scene, take the 30 minute ferry over to Cruz Bay on St John island and visit the pristine beaches in its national park.
You can also book a private charter plane to fly to St Barts from several nearby islands in the Caribbean. These gateway islands include Puerto Rico, St Martin, Antigua, St Thomas, Guadeloupe and Martinique. Other route options may be available on a seasonal basis, call for details (401-849-8012).
Private charter plane service to St Barts is offered by local airlines like Tradewind, WinAir and St Barth Commuter as well as independent operators whose airplane fleet is used solely for private charter flights.
WIMCO’s Air Department can provide quotes for private and shared charter service to St Barths for up to 18 people per plane from any of the destinations noted above.
Because the runway at St Barts airport is only 2,170 feet long, (and most commercial jets require a 6,000 foot runway to safely take off and land), landing rights at the Gustaf III Airport are limited to propeller planes seating less than 18 people.
The most popular STOL-type planes serving the St Barts airport are the Pilatus PC-12, the Cessna 208B Grand-Caravan and the Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter. You may also see smaller Cessnas and seaplanes, however few of those are used by commercial airlines when flying to St Barts.
Yes, AirSXM offers helicopter service from St Martin and Anguilla to St Barts. Passengers can fly in the Eurocopter AS 355-N is a twin-engine 5-seater helicopter. You can also book helicopter flights from San Juan to St Barts.
The helicopter landing zone is right next to the arrivals area at St Barts Gustaf III Airport, and visitors to St Barts arriving via helicopter go through the same immigation desk and arrivals area as those arriving by plane.
Travelers arriving at St Barts airport will require a valid passport to enter St Barts. Travelers from the United States, Canada, Europe and most other developed countries do not require a visa. Travelers from certain countries like Brazil and Russia will require a Visa which can be obtained from any French Consulate or Embassy.
Upon arriving you will walk up to the immigration desk which is manned by one gendarme. That person will check your passport and stamp it. You will then enter the baggage area to pick up your luggage. Then you step outside into the sun and start your vacation in St Barts.
Fun fact, when you step out of the arrivals door, look straight across the street and you’ll see a bright blue building - the WIMCO Villas concierge services office!
For those of you staying in Private Villas for the week, a representative from your local villa rental agency will meet you at the arrivals door, and will escort you to pick up your rental car before heading up to your villa.
Local villa rental company WIMCO Villas has an office directly across the street from the arrivals door. If you are staying in one of St Barts's intimate hotels, a hotel representative will meet you at the arrivals door, and will escort you to a minivan which will take you to your hotel.
It is not possible to fly directly to St Barts from the US or Europe. One must first fly to San Juan, St Martin, Antigua or Guadeloupe, then connect on a smaller plane flying into St Barts.
We have laid out all of the flight options for you on this page. Ready to plan your trip to St Barts? Contact the WIMCO Villas Air Department.
Considering arriving by boat instead of by plane? Taking a ferry from St Martin to St Barts is an affordable way to reach your final destination. Two companies offer scheduled service, with the option of leaving from Marigot on the French side or Princess Juliana airport on the Dutch side.
Expect the trip to take from 45 minutes to 75 minutes based on the type of vessel you are traveling in, and the weather. See additional details about Traveling by Boat from St Martin to St Barths.
You can also charter a private boat to bring you from St Martin to St Barts. There are several reasons why people choose to do this. Perhaps they do not want to fly in the type of small propeller plane that is required to land in St Barts. Or maybe they missed their flight due to the connecting flight arriving late in St Martin. Some people also simply love the speed of a private boat charter.
Whatever reason you choose to charter a boat from St Martin to St Barts, the travel services team at WIMCO can make all the arrangements for you.
You may have seen photos of Gustavia harbor on New Years Eve, with the surrounding waters filled with gleaming mega yachts. While many people charter a private yacht to use as their base while vacationing on St Barts, many of those people do not actually arrive in St Barts on the yacht.
Instead, they fly into St Barts then take a tender boat out to the yacht. Or perhaps they fly into St Martin and take a helicopter out to their yacht. There are also some people who fly private jets into St Martin then take a short taxi ride to their yacht moored just offshore, and then travel the 12 miles to St Barts.
Then, there are the fortunate few who travel from island to island on their yachts, and end up in St Barts. Perhaps they were in the BVI before, or the Grenadines... ah, what a life!
However you plan to get onto your private yacht in St Barts, WIMCO can present a range of options and prices to you so you can select the private yacht charter boat, provisioning plan and staffing option that fits your specific needs.
We hope you found this detailed information about how to get to St Barts valuable.
Feel free to contact WIMCO Villas' friendly travel experts if you have any questions about flights, public ferry service or private boat charter service to St Barts. We will research all available options for your dates, budget and number of travelers, and present all options to you so you can compare prices, schedules and consider the convenience factor.
When you are ready to book tickets for your preferred option, WIMCO can arrange that, saving you time, and better protecting you should you need to cancel your trip and/or change your dates.