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Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Quiet and unspoiled, St Kitts and Nevis are often referred to as ‘the way the Caribbean used to be’. Development has been slow on both islands, leaving their rugged, tropical interiors relatively untouched and a haven for hikers, bird watchers and nature lovers alike.

Many guests stay in small, locally owned plantation inns, with wide verandahs perfect for catching the prevailing trade winds. Others head to the coast for first-class swimming, snorkelling, sailing and deep-sea fishing. Both islands are dotted with Creole buildings, plantation houses, inns and ruins.

St. Kitts divides naturally into two halves. The north is mountainous and home to pretty villages and former plantations. The south is more developed and home to beach-based activities.

Covering only 36 square miles, Nevis is the smaller of the two, where monkeys, originally from Africa, left by the French, out number humans two-to-one. Eco-tourism is the buzz word here.

The solitude and privacy offered by both islands attracts a celebrity clientele. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself fighting Sylvester Stallone or Oprah for the last bottle of rum down at the local store.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. All aboard the Sugar Train. Originally built between 1912 and 1926 to deliver cane from the fields to the central sugar mill in Basseterre, the track has recently been renovated and extended. Re-christened the St Kitts Scenic Railway, it is now the best way to see the whole of the island.
  2. Charlestown, the main settlement on Nevis, is one of the best preserved old towns in the Caribbean. While the buildings in Basseterre on St Kitts have been destroyed by earthquakes, hurricanes and fires, those in Charlestown have survived relatively intact, sitting picturesque on Gallows Bay. Don’t miss the town’s courthouse – the only one in the West Indies to try and hang pirates.
  3. Climb a volcano. This activity proves popular on both islands, though hikers climbing Mount Liamuiga on St Kitts can descend into the crater.
  4. Breath in the sulphur fumes and panoramic views from Brimstone Hill Fortress. This massive fortress is a vast network of defensive structures, built by the British between 1690 and 1790.
  5. Take a walk down Old Road, St Kitts. A simple town of clapboard and stone buildings – Old Road was the capital of the English part of St Kitts when it was known as the ‘Mother Colony of the West Indies’.

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Int. dial code
Time zone
230 V 60 Hz
East Caribbean dollar (EC$)