St Kitts and Nevis is a charming dual island nation and is one of the world’s smallest countries. The islands are not as well-known as other Caribbean islands so you can avoid the crowds whilst enjoying an authentic and relaxed Caribbean experience. St Kitts’s is the larger island and was once the oldest and wealthiest British Colony. 17th and 18th Century forts, sugar mills and colonial houses dot the island whilst a range of volcanic peaks and ravines create an impressive landscape. Nevis, known as the Queen of the Caribbean offers a blend of lush rainforest and old-world charm.
Things to see and do in St Kitts and Nevis:
Attractions: The wonderful hillside fortress known as Brimstone Hill Fortress is a must-see whilst on St Kitts. This UNESCO listed site has been remarkably preserved and offers a chance to discover the officer’s quarters and bastions and affords fabulous views over the Sea and coastal plains. The capital of Basseterre also offers a whole host of historic buildings to explore including The National Museum, Independence Square and The Circus area. Also, make sure that you take a trip to Clay Villa Plantation Estate, a family-run former plantation, which offers a range of tours to fully understand and explore the unique house and grounds. Of St Kitt’s beaches, the locals tend to say that Cockleshell Bay Beach is one of the best on the island – although there are many great beaches to choose from. Over on Nevis, the island’s best beaches are on the north and west side of the island. The best beach on the island is considered to be Pinney’s beach, which is approximately 4 miles long and here you’ll often find pelicans fishing off shore. It does tend to get a bit busy on Sundays, when the locals head there to meet up with their friends and family, but you can usually find a quiet stretch if you prefer some peace and quiet.
Events/festivals: June sees the St Kitt’s Music Festival when renowned artists perform to the local crowds and holidaymakers. Past guests have included Shaggy and Busta Rhymes. In July, Nevis celebrates the Culturama Festival, which celebrates local and cultural traditions and dance. December and January are when the two islands really get into the party mood during the St Kitts Nevis Carnival. There are parades, a beach party and horse-racing.
Sports: Both islands offer great opportunities for water sports including diving, snorkelling, kite surfing, paragliding and many more. Cricket is the most popular sport with locals, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to catch a game at one of the island’s cricket grounds. Visitors can also enjoy golf and hiking.
Nightlife: St Kitts and Nevis are not known for their nightlife but out of the two islands, St Kitts is most definitely the liveliest. Frigate Bay on St Kitts has a variety of bars and ‘shacks’ – some with live music and barbecues on various nights of the week. If you’re happen to be on the island at the right time, make sure you head to ‘Shipwrecked’ on South Friars beach for a Full Moon Party. Although the options are more limited on Nevis, Charlestown (Nevis’ capital) tends to be the place where people head to when looking for after hours drinking.
Eating/Drinking: St Kitts and Nevis have a great reputation for high quality cuisine, which is a tasty mix of Creole and West Indian influences but you’ll also find Chinese, Indian and more Western dishes on the menu. Specialities include: rock lobster, goat water stew, roti and conch. On both St Kitts and Nevis, the more sophisticated eateries tend to be associated with the hotels but there is a great range to suit all budgets.
Shopping: The best place for shopping on the islands is in the capital of Basseterre on St Kitts. Here you’ll find a mix of shops and small shopping malls including the Pelican Mall and the TDC Mall. Popular tourist items include batik prints, local art and clothing.
When to go
The best time to visit is from mid-December to April when the weather is at its best – although the islands’ climate is generally warm and enjoyable throughout the year. The months when you are most likely to encounter storms are September and October (although the hurricane season officially runs from June to November.)
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