Located over 5,000 miles from Paris and over 1,500 miles from New York, a little island that seems to float on the water at 17°55 North and 62°50 West. The island of Saint Barthélemy, casually known as Saint Barth, is quite small at just 24 km2 (eight square miles). The last census in 2007 revealed that there are 8,398 inhabitants, or a density of 335 inhabitants per km2. One of the things that makes the island seem more mysterious is its rugged shoreline encircled by sparkling white sand.
Considered one of the oldest volcanic islands in the Lesser Antilles, its dry, rocky soil is not suited for agriculture. Its fauna, while seemingly rare, has an unusual diversity: iguanas, land and sea turtles, and marine birds, from the pelican—mascot of the island—to the charming little hummingbird found in gardens. The flora grows as best it can, depending on the weather, as there is not always enough rain. Yet this does not inhibit the proliferation of multicolored flowers in the gardens of island homes.
The island has a tropical maritime climate. The air temperature varies from 80°F in the winter to 86°F in the summer, with highs of 90°F in July and August. The ocean temperature can reach as high as 84°F during the summer. St Barth does not have four distinct seasons like more temperate climes, but two different periods known as “Carême” and “Hivernage.”
Carême runs from December 1 through May 30, when the air is cool and the temperatures are lower.
Hivernage comprises the period from June 1 through November 30, and is hotter. The months of September and October represent the height of the hurricane season.
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