ANSE DE COLOMBIER
Hills surround this bay at St. Barts' northwestern point, calming the seas for snorkelers, and no roads lead to Colombier, leaving it the island's most secluded beach. Of the two trails in, the easiest is a 20-minute ocean-view hike from the end of the Flamands road. You're on your own on this quarter-mile of sugar sand, so bring the basics. This being St. Barts, that means a gourmet picnic and a chilled Sancerre in addition to fresh water.
As with many other Caribbean beaches enclosed by rocky headlands, most marine life – parrotfish, angelfish, morays, sea stars – gathers along the edges of the bay. For strong swimmers, a wall topped with hard and soft corals lies about 200 yards out along the left side. Says Thierry Balaska of the St. Bart's dive shop Plongée Caraïbes (plongee-caraibes.com), snorkeling off the right side of the beach gives you a good chance to see green sea turtles foraging in the sea grass. Along with the all-natural attractions at Colombier, if you've ever wanted to snorkel au naturel, this is the place.
WHERE TO STAY