St. Kitts-Nevis Overview
In between Puerto Rico and Antigua on the sparkling Caribbean Sea is a small island called St. Kitts. At just 18 miles long and 5 miles wide, this tiny tropical treasure may not be on everyone’s radar, but that’s all the better for couples seeking to soak up the sun on gorgeous white sand beaches surrounded by warm waters. Your honeymoon on St. Kitts and its sister island Nevis is the ideal destination for complete serenity and relaxation in a land of spectacular natural beauty that’s as filled with romance as it is history.
The allure of St. Kitts has been a realm of legends from Christopher Columbus who first saw it in 1493 to the British colonial era that began in 1623. Originally called St. Christopher Island (or Saint-Christophe to the French), the island’s strategic location made it a valued stop on the sugar trade that lead to its growth and prosperity. Today, St. Kitts’ citizens, known as Kittitians, are as warm and welcoming as the Caribbean climate and proud of their home, which includes the largest fortress ever built in the Eastern Caribbean, beautiful Victorian architecture and tropical wildlife teeming with birds, monkeys and even mongoose.
Small in size, yes, but when it comes to breathtaking activities, St. Kitts is remarkably huge. The possibilities for adventurous experiences or romantic interludes are endless. Explore a gorgeous rainforest, dive and snorkel its kaleidoscopic coral reefs or hike 1,000 feet down into a volcano. There’s also fine boating, fishing, shopping and dining, strolling around the capital city of Basseterre or simply indulging in a luxurious spa.
Visit St. Kitts Tourism website to learn more.
- CHANNEL YOUR HISTORY: The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis are mana for history buffs. Brimstone Hill Fortress is a man-made UNESCO World Heritage site, and the island’s are dotted with other forts and ruins dating back hundreds of years. Also worth checking out is the St. Kitts Scenic Rail Tour, one of the last active trains in the Caribbean, that traverses the majority of the island through verdant landscape and over 24 bridges within the island’s incredible mountain range.
- TAKE TO THE SEAS: For water sports, the calm bays and sea around St. Kitts provide some of the best fun to be had in the Caribbean on yachts, sailboats or jet skis. Diving and snorkeling are particular favorites as you can explore the numerous wrecks, reefs, caves and aquatic wildlife under the waves at locations such as Paradise Reef, Frigate Bay Reef, Monkey Shoals and Brimstone Shallows. The island is also noted for its exceptional fishing with numerous charters available.
- TAKE TO THE SKIES: For the fearless of heart, take off on a zip-line tour over thick rainforest high in the air with jaw-dropping vistas of the island and its historic and natural sites. Sky Safari Tours offers five zip-line runs of up to 1,350 feet in length giving you a spectacle that will surely be among your honeymoon’s most talked about highlights.
- RELEASE YOUR TENSION: Your honeymoon is the perfect time to escape reality with luxurious spa treatments in the otherworldly beauty of St. Kitts. You’ll find spa centers at most of the major hotels and resorts. Among the standouts are Royalan’s Health Spa in downtown Basseterre, and Mango Orchard Spa at the Ottley resort, which places you in an orchard overlooking the rainforest ravine for an absolutely soul-soothing experience.
- SHOPPING: Strolling Basseterre with its old-world British charm is a treat in itself, but add in shopping and you’ll wonder where the time went. With an abundance of small shops and large centers such as the Pelican Mall and the TDC Mall, shopping in town brings you an assortment of regional and world-class items. Local artists and craftsmen display their work of clothing, prints, sculptures and fine jewelry. As a bonus, duty-free shops can be found in the Circus with an equally impressive assortment of wares.
- GET IN THE THICK OF IT ALL: Sitting on the beach all day is great, but St. Kitts’ tropical scenery is so wonderful, it’d be a shame not to see it first hand. Luckily, numerous tours can take you into the heart of the island’s hidden treasures and natural beauty. Among them are Greg’s Safari with award-winning tours through the Mt. Liamuiga Volcano, the Valley of Giants Rainforest and the Atlantic Coast Rainforest; St. Kitts Captain Sunshine's Tour Services to explore the island’s many cultural monuments; or Trinity Inn Stables, which offers beach or rainforest horseback riding tours.
Tips and Advice
- AIRPORT CODE: The Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport code is SKB.
- AREA CODE: 869
- LANGUAGE: English.
- CURRENCY: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD$). In general, United States bills are accepted at shops and restaurants, but U.S. coins are not. ATMs are prevalent all around and give out funds in EC dollars.
- ELECTRICITY: 230-volt system. Many hotels offer 110-volt supply as is found in the United States and Canada.
- WEATHER: The average annual temperature is a gorgeous 80 degrees F. During summer months, expect slightly higher temperatures.
- DOCUMENTS: A valid passport is necessary, particularly when returning to your country of origin. VISAs are not required for citizens of most nations, but check with your travel agent if you are unsure. You can find additional entry information here.
- GETTING AROUND: St. Kitts is small making traffic not much of a problem. Finding a taxi should be easy, but if you prefer to move around at your own pace, there are plenty of car rental agencies. However, you must pay for a St. Kitts visitor’s permit at a cost of about $24 USD. Other modes of transport include buses, scooters, ATVs and a ferry to get you to Nevis.
- FROM THERE TO HERE: Approximate flight times from major cities include: Atlanta – 6.5 hours, Miami – 3 hours, Washington, DC – 5.5 hours, New York City – 4 hours and London – 8 hours.
HELPFUL HONEYMOON HINTS
- DRESS: Attire in St. Kitts is conservative casual. Informal wear is fine everywhere, even at restaurants, but dressing up at the more elegant eateries is a good idea. Be aware that beach attire (swimsuits and/or bare chests) is not considered appropriate in town.
- TIPPING: 10% gratuity is usually included into hotel bills. Waiters receive 10-15%, while tipping taxi drivers is not required.
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