By Katie McElveen
Some of the Caribbean’s wonders—that endless blue water, the glorious sunsets—can be enjoyed pretty much anywhere on St. Barth. But if you want to discover secret vantage points from which to enjoy those sunsets, hidden snorkeling spots, and restaurants set on Robinson Crusoe-type fantasy islands, Stéphane Carou, Le Guanahani’s head concierge, suggests chartering a yacht for the day. The team at Le Guanahani makes it easy: Let them know how you’d like to spend your day and they’ll find just the right vessel for your group, plus make sure it’s stocked with food, Champagne, and any other provisions—perhaps a pair of jet skis—you might need.
To explore the dreamy, azure waterscape that surrounds St. Barth, Stéphane suggests booking a sailing catamaran between 40 and 52 feet in length—large enough to ensure that the craft is equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, air conditioning, multiple trampolines, a dinghy, and kayaks, but nimble enough to pull close to deserted islands and quiet bays. Sailors love Colombier Beach—a perfect bowl-shaped bay set into the northwestern tip of St. Barth—for its calm anchorage and population of sea turtles, which hide in the seagrass that sways with the current. If you’re looking for exercise, hike up the hill that overlooks the beach for a glorious view of both sides of the island. Just two miles off Colombier is Île Fourchue, a hulking crescent of rock that’s known for terrific snorkeling.
If you’re looking to navigate further afield, a motor yacht in the range of 50 to 100 feet will make the journey to St. Martin or Anguilla quickly and comfortably. “Aboard a motor yacht, it takes less than an hour to get from St. Barth to St. Martin or Anguilla,” says Stéphane. One of his favorite spots is Le Karibuni, a Rosé-sipping paradise set on Pinel Island, a tiny sun-washed isle near St. Martin that’s accessible only by boat. Lunch—grilled fish and lobster, burgers, and conch fritters—is served in beachfront tiki huts. There are also chaise-lounges to rent and hiking trails that lead to a marine park.
With its long, wide beaches and billowy pale-pink sand, Anguilla is as tranquil as a daydream and another one of Stéphane’s top yacht destinations. Pull into Little Cay, a dramatic cliff-lined cove, to snorkel with sea turtles, then head to Sandy Island for grilled snapper, crayfish, and one of the restaurant’s signature Sand Dollar frozen concoctions. “After more than 20 years on St. Barth I still find Anguilla magical,” says Stéphane. “On the way back, be sure to stop at Scrub Island for a swim. It’s a beautiful uninhabited island.”
Stéphane can also organize day trips for special occasions. “Four couples recently chartered a sailboat to celebrate a birthday,” he says. “We planned a full day of onboard activities that included jet-ski rides and ended with a late-night visit trip to a nightclub. It was a wonderful celebration.”
Beyond creating bespoke itineraries, Stéphane and the Le Guanahani concierge team make chartering a motor or sailing yacht seamless by handling details ranging from provisioning to immigration. “If your journey will take you to Anguilla or St. Martin, which are separate countries, we take care of passport control ahead of time so you never have to actually go through customs,” he explains. “We want you enjoy every moment of your day on the sea.”
To arrange your day at sea, please contact the Le Guanahani concierge at email@example.com.
About the Contributor
Travel and lifestyle writer Katie McElveen discovered the joy of wandering when, as a teenager, she made a wrong turn in rural South Carolina on the way to a family vacation and ended up taking back roads nearly all the way to the beach. Since then, she hasn’t stopped exploring, although she now travels with a map and more than $3.00 in cash. Based in Columbia, South Carolina, Katie has shared her discoveries through her work in magazines such as Real Simple, Business Traveler, Modern Bride, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Town & Country, Southern Living, Spa and Tennis.