Saint-Barthélemy, often abbreviated as St Barts, St Barths or Saint Barth, is a small, volcanic island located in the northwest Caribbean Sea. Discovered by Columbus in 1493, and named for his brother Bartolomeo, St. Barths was first settled in 1648 by French colonists from the nearby island of St. Kitts.
Today, St Barts is a French-speaking island and its customs and traditions are greatly influenced by the French culture. Over the past 10 years, the island has engaged in a process of political evolution, and in 2007 adopted the status of a French “oversea collectivity,” (collectivité d'outre-mer) a first-order administrative divisions of France.
For over 20 years, St. Barts has grown into a popular tourist destination and is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. The Island’s economy relies upon the nearly 200,000 travelers who visit every year, drawn by the island’s tropical climate, clean beaches, and sophisticated lifestyles. The capital city of Gustavia offers all the comforts of urban life, including boutiques, restaurants, and dozens of hotels and villas, while more rural areas of the island offer a beautiful natural landscape for visitors to experience.