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A Secluded Getaway to Île Fourchue

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ÎLE FOURCHUE ISLAND

Accessible only by boat, this island is a perfectly secluded getaway for overnight

trips. ⁣

ABOUT 

Île Fourchue, also known as Île Fourche, is one of the five zones of the Réserve Naturelle of Saint Barthélemy. Located between the island of St. Martin and St. Barthélémy, this uninhabited island is a charming place for a relaxing getaway surrounding by nature.

Ile Fourchue holds a rich history despite its current uninhabited state. The island has witnessed various chapters of human activity, originally inhabited by Arawak and Carib indigenous peoples. Traces of their presence can still be found in the form of ancient artifacts and petroglyphs scattered across the terrain.

During the European colonization era, Ile Fourchue became a strategic outpost, serving as a refuge for pirates and buccaneers seeking shelter and a vantage point for spotting potential targets. The island’s rugged landscape and hidden coves made it an ideal hideout, and tales of buried treasure only added to its mystique.

In more recent times, Ile Fourchue has transitioned from a pirate haven to a pristine nature reserve. Efforts to preserve its unique ecosystem and historical remnants have contributed to its status as an untouched gem in the Caribbean.

Ownership: The ownership of Ile Fourchue has undergone various changes over the centuries. Initially under the stewardship of indigenous communities, it later fell into the hands of European colonial powers as they sought to establish control in the region. The transient ownership by pirates added a layer of intrigue to the island’s past.

In contemporary times, the island is primarily managed as a nature reserve, with conservation efforts aimed at preserving its ecological balance. While it does not have private ownership, collaborative initiatives involving local governments and environmental organizations work together to ensure the protection and sustainability of Ile Fourchue.

Although not inhabited by humans, Ile Fourchue boasts one of the Caribbean’s largest colonies of brown boobies, a result of successful conservation efforts, making Ile Fourchue a must-visit destination for bird enthusiasts.

WHAT TO DO

EXPLORING/HIKING

The island is one of the best places to stretch your legs and head off for a hiking adventure up to one (or all) of the islands’ peaks which offer stunning viewpoints, showcasing panoramic vistas of the surrounding turquoise waters and neighbouring islands.

SNORKELING/DIVING

The leeward side of the island oofers a calm anchorage which is a great place to snorkel or dive along the coastline with plenty wildlife including turtles.

PICNIC

The leeward side of the island also has a small beach where you can enjoy a nice picnic – do note that BBQ-ing is not permitted on the island.

HOW TO GET THERE

As secluded as it can get, Ile Fourchue is only accesible by boat. There are no ferries or daily services to the beach, so this is an island only accisble by those who own a boat or choose to charter one.

The passage from Sint Maarten (departure Simpson Bay) is about 2 hours under engine, and about double that time by sail, depending on the weather.

Max, the Captain, hiking on Île Fourchue
Beautiful Tête à l'Anglais Cactus on Île Fourchue
Beautiful Tête à l’Anglais Cactus on Île Fourchue