Travel Guide To | St. Kitts and Nevis

By Kailash Maharaj
July 27, 2014

An aerial photo from aboard Temsco Helicopters of St. Kitts.

An aerial view from aboard Temsco Helicopters of St. Kitts. Photography K&S Media

 

WHEN TO GO

Warm year-round temperatures ensure pleasant days. Hurricane season is July to November. High season is approximately mid-December to mid-April.

GETTING THERE

Air

Fly to St. Kitts (Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport) from a number of major U.S. hubs such as Miami, New York and San Juan. Direct seasonal flights from Toronto are available between December and April. Connect through other Caribbean islands such as Antigua, St. Thomas or Sint Maarten. Several local and international carriers link St. Kitts and other Caribbean islands to Nevis.

Sea

From the ferry terminal in St. Kitts choose one of four companies to make the 45 minute crossing to Nevis (a car ferry is also available).

ST. KITTS

One half of the island federation, this volcanic 168 square kilometer island is situated in the Eastern Caribbean part of the northern Leeward Islands. A three kilometer channel (The Narrows) separates it from sister island Nevis to the south. Neighbouring islands include St. Maarten, St. Barts, St. Eustatius and Saba. stkittstourism.kn

WHAT TO SEE

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site the stone fortification was created between the 17th and 18th centuries by British colonizer to protect against French invasion. The 800-foot multi-level structure is one of the best preserved Citadels in the Americas. Canons point toward the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean with views of neighbouring Leeward Islands. This structure earned St. Kitts the nickname Gibraltar of the Caribbean.

Romney Manor & Caribelle Batik

Nestled in a spectacular tropical garden, the manor estate was once owned by ancestors of American President Thomas Jefferson. A 400-year-old saman tree which cover half an acre is a must-see as is Caribelle Batik where artists craft colourful fashions, wall hangings, pillows and other one-of-a-kind pieces from painted, dyed textiles. Old Road, Basseterre; (869) 465-6253; caribellebatikstkitts.com

Black Rocks

Picturesque volcanic outcropping on the northern side of the island.

Wingfield Estate

Another property of Thomas Jefferson’s ancestor Sam Jefferson, this was the site of the first Land Grant in the English West Indies in 1625 and the first working estate. A great place to learn more about estate life and how sugar was distilled into rum. caribellebatikstkitts.com/wingfield.asp

WHAT TO DO

Hike Mount Liamuiga

Hire an expert guide to hike to St. Kitts’ highest peak, 3,792 ft Mount Liamuiga. Enjoy views of the giant crater from the extinct volcano’s misty rim.

St. Kitts Scenic Railway

The former sugar cane railway built between 1912 and 1926 now takes passengers on an 18 mile rail journey (2 hours) and 12 mile bus (45 minute) tour to make a complete 30-mile circle around the island. Expect up-close views of sugar cane fields, steel bridges, villages with the ocean never far away. Complimentary drinks, snacks and folk songs. Needsmust Train Station; (869) 465-7263; stkittsscenicrailway.com

EAT AND STAY

St Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino

The iconic 320 room, 73 suite resort on the southwestern peninsula of the island, minutes from the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport boasts a luxury spa, championship 18-hole golf course, the Caribbean’s largest Vegas-style casino, and multiple dining options. Don’t miss Blu restaurant’s lobster. The resort is also within walking distance of “The Strip” a local hangout with bars and restaurants. 858 Frigate Bay Road Frigate Bay, St. Kitts, W.I.; (869) 466-1200; stkittsmarriott.com.

The Royal Palm Restaurant at Ottley’s Plantation Inn

Serving island-style fusion in a former plantation setting, this restaurant serves daily breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try the Royal Palm Sunday Champagne Brunch. Ottley’s Village; 1-800-772-3039, (869) 465 7234; ottleys.com/royal-palm-restaurant.htm

Fisherman’s Wharf at Ocean Terrace Inn

Choose from several dining options including The Terrace Bar, The Fantasy Pool Bar and Grill, the and Waterfall’s Restaurant . At Fisherman’s Wharf sample local seafood including the conch chowder. Fortlands, Basseterre; (869) 465-2754; oceanterraceinn.com/dining

Marshall’s

Views of Nevis accompany an international cuisine. Try the Taste of the Caribbean Entrees for local dishes. Horizons Villa’s complex, Fort Tyson Rise, Frigate Bay; (869) 466-8245; marshalls-stkitts.com

The Strip

A local hotspot consisting of oceanside restaurants and beach bars. A mix of locals, visitors, and students. Frigate Bay.

BEACHES

Beaches on the southern end of the island include Frigate Bay, White House Bay and Sand Bank Bay. Dieppe Bay is a black sand beach on the northern side of the island. Cockleshell Bay and South Friars Bay are white sand beaches ideal for swimming.

NEVIS

A conical island West of Antigua with a population of 10 000.

WHAT TO SEE

Botanical Gardens of Nevis

A beautiful 5-acre oasis filled with tropical flowers, orchids, fountains, lily ponds, 100 species of palms, and native and tropical plants from around the world. The Oasis Bar and Restaurant in top storey of the Great House serves authentic Thai cuisine. Montpelier Estates; (869)469-3509, (869) 469-2673; botanicalgardennevis.com

WHAT TO DO

Funky Monkey Tours

Informative off-road Ranger 4×4 guided tour around the island (daily rental also available) including refreshments. Relaxed and interesting way to tour the island and see the major sites. Free pick-up and drop-off available anywhere on Nevis. (869)665-6045, (869)665-6245; funkymonkeytours.com

EAT AND STAY

The Mount Nevis Hotel

This family run Preferred Boutique Hotel was built in 1989 on the site of a former lime plantation with amenities such as a Private Chef available for intimate dining or special occasions, full service restaurant, onsite organic garden, seasonal fruit trees, 60ft swimming pool, and conference centre (transers to nearby Oualie beach also availabe). 16 Ocean View and 16 Mountain & Garden View oversized guest rooms include large balconies, fully equipped kitchen, and optional in-room massages. Nearby Cottle church steps from the entrance is a site of historical importance in Nevis. Personalized Pre-Arrival Concierge Service makes this a standout experience on the island matched only by its views. Shaws Road, Newcastle; 1-800-75-NEVIS, (869) 469-9373/4; mountnevishotel.com

Lime Beach Bar and Grill

Serves healthy homemade dishes located on Pinney’s Beach. Do try the watermelon and feta salad. (869) 469-1147

Yachtsman Grill

A beachfront restaurant serving international cuisine for lunch and dinner daily. Don’t miss the pizza straight from the wood burning stone oven. The Hamilton Beach Villas & Spa; (869) 469-1382; yachtsmangrill.com

Restaurant 750 at Montpelier Plantation

This Relais and Chateaux property is home to Restaurant 750 where wine and food pairings take place create an upscale dining experience. (869) 469-3462; montpeliernevis.com

Indian Summer

Indian restaurant serving locals and visitors alike with tasty dishes and friendly service. Nelson Spring; (869) 469-5410

Bananas Restaurant

It looks like an artist’s retreat but this restaurant serves international fare. Hamilton Estate; 869-469-1891; bananasrestaurantnevis.com

Coral Grill at Four Seasons Resort Nevis

Situated on the Second floor of the Great House this elegant dining room’s offering include surf and turf fare, a mac ‘n cheese corner and prime rib night. Gorgeous desserts round off meals. Pinney’s Beach; (869) 469-111; fourseasons.com/nevis

BEACHES

Swimming beaches include Cades Bay, Lovers Beach, Nisbet Beach, Oualie Beach and Pinney’s Beach. For snorkeling try Herbert’s Beach, Gallow’s Bay and Long Haul Bay.

Read more about St. Kitts and Nevis in the City Style and Living Summer 2014 issue.