Saint Kitts and Nevis Overview
In many ways, the two tropical islands of St Kitts and Nevis form a perfect Caribbean cliché. They’re laid back, welcoming, hilly with sensational sandy beaches, and have weighty mountains at their core. Their history revolves around sugar plantations and large protective fortresses, and the locals love a strong glass of rum. When the stereotypes are that good, though, why argue?
Of the two islands, St Kitts is both the larger and more bustling. You’ll find plenty of that other Caribbean cliché, package deal resorts, but there’s ample in the way of local charm, too. Basseterre, for example, is home to huge colonial buildings and vivacious commercial culture, as yet largely unaltered by the swathes of tourist, who tend to stick to the Frigate Bay enclave. That’s not to say Frigate Bay’s not worthy of some time, too: you might find palm-lined hotels that cost a month’s budget, but you’ll also find abundant water sport, a relaxing vacation atmosphere and more rum-swilling, beach-topping bars than you could visit in a month of Sundays. The bulky Brimstone Fortress down the road point canons from its hilltop lookout, guarding the island from ancient invaders.
Smaller Nevis was once host to a certain Horatio Nelson, and is best explored on foot, taking a sweaty hike up the verdant peaks of the central volcano for a 360-degree island overview. You’ll find monkeys and wild fruit to entertain you on the walk. Charlestown, the only town of any note, is quaint and romantic, home to horse-drawn carriage rides and houses with gaping verandas on which to sip tea and watch the world go by. You might feel like you belong in black tie strolling the streets here, and the old-world architecture is guaranteed to seduce even the most hardened of travelers.
It’s easy enough to ferry your way between the islands, meaning you can enjoy the best of both worlds and soak up the height of Caribbean clichés. When you get home, and tell your friends about yachts, beach bars and aged explorers, you won’t care one bit that it’s exactly what they were expecting.