Saint Kitts and Nevis OverviewSaint Kitts and Nevis are a pair of islands that are one third of the way between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. They're both volcanic islands and are divided by a 3 kilometer wide channel that is referred to as The Narrows. The highest point between the two islands is Mount Liamuiga, which is on Saint Kitts and stands 1,156 meters high.
Many people visit this country because of its unique natural beauty and diversity. There are many tropical birds that are almost exclusively present on the islands. There are also several famous species of monkeys that some say were introduced by the pirates. It's now possible to visit the stunning Turtle Beach on a recently completed road. There you can experience the Caribbean for all that it has to offer.
The climate of this country is tropical. There is an almost constant sea breeze that keeps visitors cool and comfortable. There is also little seasonal temperature variation but their is a rainy season between May and November.
Whether you're visiting this island country to relax, swim, dive or have an adventure, you won't be disappointed. There are plenty of peaceful retreats where you can escape it all. There are also many different water sports available. Diving sites are impressive and the water is clear and comfortable in temperature.
At A Glance
- There are several ways to travel around the islands. Taxis and buses are common but you should negotiate your rate for a taxi before committing to the trip. Confirm what currency you will pay with. There are several car rental agencies on the islands or you could hire a tour guide who will provide you with transportation. Your cheapest option is to travel by microbus. This is the public transportation system of the country. You can flag down the bus anywhere on the route and if the bus is full the driver will flash his lights. There is also a scenic railroad tour that takes people through parts of the narrow gauge railroad that was once used for the sugar mill.
- English is the official language of the islands. In reality, many locals speak a Creole language that is based on English but sounds very different. That being said, most people working in the tourist industry will speak clear and understandable English.
- Many people head to the Caribbean for its world renowned diving. There are many diving sites near the islands and there is something for everybody. Whether you are an experienced diver or a beginner, you'll have a range of places to explore. There are plenty of reefs, ship wrecks and caves, so the diversity is quite impressive.
- St. Kitts has mountains that offer some excellent hiking opportunities. Trails take you through the tropical rain forest, but these trails are often poorly marked, so you may benefit from hiring a guide. There are also shorter rain forest walks on well maintained trails above Romney Manor. A more challenging hike is on the rim of the mile wide crater on Mt. Liamuiga. The views here are incredible.
Top Tourist AttractionsBrimstone Hill Fortress National Park: This is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that is found on St. Kitts. It is well preserved and the largest historical site on the island. This British fortification was once call the Gibraltar of the Caribbean and in the past few decades it has undergone restoration projects and begun to attract many tourists. It also offers some great views of the surrounding area and nearby islands.
The Scenic Railway: The sugar plantations, worked by imported African slaves, are a significant part of the history of the country. The ruins of these plantations are best scene as part of the Scenic Railway, which runs along the tracks of the old sugar train railway.
Mount Liamuiga: Hiking is a popular activity with tourists. One of the most impressive hikes in the area is up Mount Liamuiga. This mountain is a dormant volcano on St. Kitts, and also the highest point of both islands. The views from the top are breathtaking.
Popular FoodsSt. Kitts and Nevis has a very rich and fertile soil, making it perfect for agriculture and produce. There are many fresh ingredients used in the dishes. Seafood is also a common ingredient, but so are other meats, particularly goat. Cooking styles are simple and comparable to other West Indian cultures.
Goat Water Stew: This is probably one of the country's most famous dishes. It is a tomato based stew that is made with goat, papaya (called green pawpaw), dumplings (called droppers) and breadfruit. Breadfruit is a local fruit that has a flavor similar to potato.
Pelau: This rice dish is a popular option for picnics and cookouts. It is simple to make but very flavorful. Rice is mixed with chicken, pig tail, saltfish, vegetables and pigeon peas. Pigeon peas are a legume that are common in the area.
Conkies: This dish is similar to tamales although the cornmeal is directly mixed with the other ingredients instead of being wrapped around the outside. Other ingredients include grated sweet potato, pumpkin and coconut. The conkie is then wrapped in banana leaves and boiled.