Designer boutiques and beach clubs have their place, but sometimes a more secluded back-to-nature experience is what I’m craving, where it’s just me, the sun, the sand and the waves. Colombier Beach, on the northwest side of St. Barths, is called a “hideaway beach” because its accessible only by boat or trail, and after all the rosé my traveling companion and I had consumed on previous afternoons, a hike seemed like a wise idea.
You can access this remote location via two trails, both with stunning views but different challenges. The easier trail hugs the coastline from Petite Anse Beach and isn’t for those with a fear of heights, as a narrow section drops off 200 feet below. The other trail isn’t as nerve-wracking, but it has a rocky, steep descent with no shade, necessitating sun protection and good mobility. We opted for the latter.
Driving to the end of Route de Colombier, we parked (there are limited spaces), put on our hats and hiking shoes and grabbed our water bottles. At the top of the trail are sweeping views of Petite Anse Beach on the right and Colombier Beach on the left, and you may see a goat or two traversing the volcanic terrain as well. During peak months, the trails and beach draw their fair share of visitors, but on our shoulder-season hike, we only passed one other couple. And the destination amply rewarded our effort. It was a jewel of a cove that took just 20 minutes to get to. We shared the calm, blue waters with only a handful of people and two catamarans. Next time we’ll go early in the morning, when cooler temperatures will allow us to stay even longer.