St. Kitts is easily reached from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and continental Europe. A wide range of non-stop, connecting, and charter flights are scheduled daily, serving Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) just north of the capital city of Basseterre. SKB also serves flights from several Caribbean nations, including San Juan, Antigua, St. Martin, St. Thomas, Charlotte, and their sister island, Nevis. Delta flies direct there from Atlanta on a very limited schedule, but American flies more frequently…only downfall is the stopover in Miami.
St. Kitts was once known as the Gibraltar of the West Indies for its domination of 18th- century colonial battles. The island rose to become the world’s leader in sugarcane cultivation, an inspiration for the industrial revolution in the process. Christopher Columbus was so taken by the island’s natural beauty and saintly shape that he named it after the patron saint of all travelers, St. Christopher. Somewhere along the way it was shortened to St. Kitts.
One of the island’s biggest claims to fame is that a former slave-ship-captain-turned-preacher was inspired off their shores to write the beloved folk song, Amazing Grace.
Three or four days is the perfect amount of time to sample everything St. Kitts has to offer—history, gorgeous scenery, scenic train rides, duty-free shopping, horseback riding on the beach, with plenty of beach lounging thrown in as well. You’ll need to rent a car or hire a taxi for this itinerary, which assumes you’re based in Basseterre. Be sure to toss the snorkeling gear into the trunk.
Filled with gingerbread-trimmed pastel cottages, Basseterre is a friendly, laid-back town ideal for a morning stroll. Be sure to stop by St. George’s Anglican Church, Independence Square, and the National Museum. You can drive the coastal road through picturesque villages dotting the rumpled green, palm-tree-shaded landscape. You can’t miss the towering bulk of Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park along the way, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Dating from the 1690s, it provides an important look into the island’s colonial past. Be sure to pick up an audio guide and map at the entrance. You can also look for the Rosie Art Gallery along the way.
Continue driving along the coast, around the island’s northern end, stopping for picture-taking or a quick snorkel at a secluded beach. Stop for a home-cooked lunch at one of the seemingly nondescript shacks. Locals very likely will point you to Cooper’s Bar/Glenda’s Place in Dieppe Bay Town, where a blackboard advertises daily specials—conch water (soup), BBQ ribs, fried local fish, stewed mutton … not to mention the Caribbean-flavored sides.
There’s nothing like biting into freshly caught lobster grilled right on the beach, to a background track of crashing surf and local rhythms. Try Sprat Net in Old Town Road or one of the many beach restaurants in Frigate Bay.
A string of beaches sprinkles the southeast peninsula, with Cockleshell Beach being one of the most popular. Spend a leisurely afternoon body surfing, lying out on the sugar-white sand, and enjoying local food from one of the rustic beach bars.
Make sure to give a toast to the sun with a signature craft cocktail at this Christopher Harbour bar overlooking the sparkling sea.
You can take a ferry (about a 45 minute ride) over to Nevis from St. Kitts. That is the home to the infamous Four Seasons resort.
The three main hotels that I would recommend in St. Kitts would be the Marriott, the Park Hyatt, or the newer, Belle Mont Farm. In Nevis, the Four Seasons is the most recommended. There are also many villa-type properties for rent.
When the time comes to say good-bye, you’re sure to bring home sweet memories of our laid-back way of life of blue waters crowded with glittering rainbow fish and green sea turtles. You will miss the monkeys and families of mongoose…(on a recent trip I was told the reason they have no snakes is because the Mongoose ate them all!) You’ll miss those unforgettable sunsets and rainbows that appear out of nowhere. St. Kitts…… ahhhhh!
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