St Kitts is a pocket gem of an island which, apart from being incredibly beautiful, has something to get everyone’s holiday vibe going. It’s the perfect romantic destination for couples and families will find something to keep everybody happy from the youngest to the eldest. Foodies will be tempted by St Kitts’ food and restaurant scene and luxury lovers will want to check out on the island’s luxe list. For sun-worshippers there are sandy, palm-fringed beaches while adventure junkies and nature lovers will get their kicks in St Kitts too. Read on for the best 20 things to do in St Kitts and Nevis…
1. Take the Sugar Train
For beautiful railway journeys the St Kitts Scenic Railway has to be up there with the best of them. The train, which was built between 1912 and 1926, used to transport sugar cane from the fields to the mills. Nowadays it takes passengers on a journey through the stunning Kittitian countryside. The double-decked train with open observations carts makes for breathtaking views of Mount Liamuiga, the lush rainforest and across St Kitts and the surrounding islands. Drinks are included in the price so get free rum punch or daiquiri top ups whenever you want.
2. Explore the Rainforest
Over 25% of St Kitts is covered by rainforest and a foray into the lush, green jungle with expert guide, O’Neil Mulraine, is a must. You’ll spot all sorts of wildlife, towering trees, flowering plants and hundreds of species of flora and fauna.
3. Fly High on a Zip Line
St Kitts is home to some of the longest zip lines in the Caribbean. Get a monkey’s eye view of the rainforest as you whizz above the tree canopy with Sky Safaris. Build up from a short practice zip to the longest adrenalin loaded 1,350 ft line. There’s also a dual line so competitive zip-liners can race each other to the end. One of the most adrenalin fuelled things to do in St Kitts!
4. Bring on the Batik
Drop by Carribelle Batik to see how batik is made, buy some of the vibrant fabrics and visit the island’s most colourful washing line. There’s a gorgeous botanical garden in the grounds and a nice little cafe with fabulous rainforest views.
5. Climb a Volcano
Mount Liamuiga, the island’s dormant volcano, last had a pop over 200 years ago. If you’ve got the energy for the three hour hike you’ll be rewarded with epic views over the island and a peep into the ‘Giant’s Salad Bowl’ – the foliage-filled mile-wide crater at the summit. This is probably one of the most energetic things to do in St Kitts.
6. Get Fortified
Soak up Kittitian history and views at Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park and learn about the island’s shady past with the British and the French. Kids will love exploring the Unesco World Heritage Site and citadel that dates back to the late 17th century. Look out over the cannons on the ramparts at the stunning panorama of the ocean and neighbouring islands.
7. Take to the Water
The average temperature in St Kitts ranges from 25°C in January to around 28°C between June and October. Water temperatures rarely go below 26°C, whatever the time of year.
Catamaran, kayak, jet-ski, surf board, paddle-board; these are just a few of the ways you can get out onto the water in St Kitts and Nevis. The water’s warm and clear and water sports abound whether you’re looking for adrenaline fuelled kicks or a peaceful paddle. Head for Reggae Beach and St Kitts Water Sports.
8. Take in the Views
Head for Timothy Hill and look out over the peninsular for views of the narrowest point of the island. You’ll be greeted by a view of verdant green land surrounded by startlingly blue sea, white surf and sandy beaches. On the horizon sits the tiny island of Nevis with it’s head in the clouds.
9. Visit Nevis by Catamaran
Nevis, St Kitts’ little sister island, is just 2.5 miles away by boat with Blue Water Safaris. The island has it’s own volcano, usually sat with its head in the clouds, lush greenery and beautiful white sandy beaches. Check out Sunshine’s Bar and drink the obligatory Killer Bee rum cocktail. They say you haven’t been to Sunshine’s if you haven’t had a Killer Bee.
10. Meet the Locals
St Kitts has heaps of charm and authenticity and the locals are some of the friendliest around. Drop by the busy Saturday market to check out where the local people shop. I can recommend the chilli sauce sold there but beware – it packs one hell of a punch. The stalls on Bay Road around the market and are a great source of street food and local banter.
11. Get that Festival Feeling
St Kitts is big on festivals and the biggest and best is the St Kitts Music Festival held in June each year. The event attracts some international stars and the island rocks to the beat of soca, reggae, soul, salsa, jazz, R&B and gospel at the Warner Park Stadium. In October there’s a Latin Festival and in July the annual food and restaurant festival whets the island’s appetite.
Sugar Mas, St Kitts-Nevis National Carnival, rocks up around Christmas and New year when islanders dress in spectacular carnival costumes for a dance-off to calypso rhythms and soca. Sugar Mas is a time for music, parades and parties.
12. Monkey Around
St Kitts and Nevis has been home to Vervet Monkeys when they were introduced to the country over 300 years ago. There are now more monkeys than humans. You’ll see them out in the fields stealing the crops and scampering through the branches of roadside trees.
13. Try a Rum Punch
Rum is made on the island at the Brinley Gold distillery and Rum Punch is served in all the restaurants and bars on the island. Each establishment has its own recipe but the best Rum Punch I had was my first at Ocean Terrace Inn.
14. Picture This
Drop by Gallery Cafe in Basseterre and check out the art scene. Local artists have packed the gallery with their vibrant art which means you can buy a piece of Caribbean colour to take home with you.
15.Tee off and Tuck in
Golfers will love Irie Fields, the new 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Ian Woosnam at Belle Mont Farm. The course was built and is maintained without the use of pesticides and fertilisers and it’s the only edible and fully organic golf course in the world – so you can eat the course as well as play it! If you prefer to tee off by the sea then head for Royal St Kitts Golf Club.
16. Dive In
Snorkel in the clear warm waters with neon fish darting past and colourful coral clinging to the sea bed. There are wrecks which attract the island’s underwater life and if your luck’s in you might spot a turtle and swim alongside for a minute or two. To swim with a turtle in the wild was a dream come true for me and it’s one of my favourite things to do in St Kitts.
17. Saddle up
Take a gentle amble on horse back through the Kittitian countryside through the lower reaches of the mountain rainforest with Trinity Inn Stables. You’ll spend a peaceful few hours ambling past disused sugar mills and through the shady perimeters of the rainforest. An early morning ride through the surf on the beach is a great way to start the day.
18. Stake out the Strip
The Strip on Frigate Bay is home to a row of rustic beach shacks and bars serving up rum cocktails and Carib beer by the beach. The bars serve up Jerk chicken, spicy curry and roti in generous portions with a side dish of a reggae beat. With names like Shiggidy Shack and Boozies the Strip is the perfect place to lime with the locals.
19. Hit the Beach
After all that activity you might want to do what most people visit the Caribbean to do and just kick back and relax on one of St Kitts and Nevis’ palm-fringed beaches. Soak up the sun, swim in the clear, turquoise waters and just chill…
20. Soak up a Sunset
Take a few moments each evening to let St Kitts work its magic on you. Soak up one of the island’s spectacular sunsets as the sun dips below the horizon and slowly turns the ocean gold, orange and red.
British Airways fly to St Kitts from London Gatwick twice weekly on Saturdays and Wednesdays with the flight stopping at nearby Antigua en-route. Check the BA site regularly as they often have special offers and flight discounts on this route.
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I’m a St Kitts Official Ambassador! My thanks to St Kitts Tourism Authority for arranging my visit to St Kitts, OTI and Timothy Beach for hosting my three night’s stay with them and to British Airways for flying me there. As ever, all views and opinions are entirely my own.
Those are twenty reasons I love St Kitts. Have you seen the island? What’s your favourite thing to do in St Kitts?