Enjoy a quiet vacation — or an action-filled getaway packed with water sports thrills — in a luxurious and alluring corner of paradise on the twin islands of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sparsely peopled beaches combine in the sister islands of St. Kitts and Nevis to make them one of the Caribbean’s most seductive spots. The twin islands are separated by a two-mile wide channel, with ferry services that help visitors easily enjoy them both in a single trip!
While development has been of the highest quality, it has fortunately been constrained, so the islands remain uncrowded and unspoiled, famous around the world for excellent preservation of the environment. Nature lovers will want to take advantage of tours through lava formations, tropical forest areas, and seaside lagoons. Boating and scuba diving are also favorite activities. Plantation homes have morphed into grand, yet intimate inns. Quaint shopping areas and beautiful architecture draw visitors to the tiny towns.
Spectacular Mount Liamuiga, a dormant volcano, dominates the landscape of St. Kitts. Black- and white-sand beaches invite countless hours of lounging and sipping frozen drinks. Home to the federation’s capital of Basseterre, St. Kitts is known for its well- preserved colonial structures. There is a wealth of fishing, snorkeling, and other water sports to enjoy.
Although smaller than its neighbor, Nevis has plenty of enchanting attractions, including an almost perfect ring of unbroken, pristine beaches surrounding the island. Indulge in a hot springs soak, or go diving and snorkeling at the many fantastic sites, some dotted with sunken vessels. The ecosystems are vibrant and well-preserved, and many tours take you right in for close encounters.
If a quiet, luxurious vacation is what you seek, you’ll find it on St. Kitts and Nevis.
Where is St Kitts and Nevis?
History of St Kitts and Nevis
St Kitts and Nevis Visa Requirements
To enter St Kitts and Nevis many nationals only require a passport which is valid for six months after date of departure, together with a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of their stay. Visas are not required for stays of up to three months for citizens of many countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK and Ireland, and Canada.
There is a departure tax of EC$58 which is often included in the airline ticket. If not it is payable in cash, or by credit card, at the airport.
As entry requirements may change from time to time it is strongly advised that you check with the department of foreign affairs or your local consulate or embassy for the current requirements.
St Kitts and Nevis Travel Health
Recommended vaccinations for travel to St Kitts and Nevis are Hepatitis A and Tetanus. Diphtheria, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and typhoid are sometimes recommended depending on the season and region being visited. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age if arriving from an infected area.
Dengue Fever has been reported and can occur throughout the year.
Bottled water is readily available however the mains water is chlorinated and safe to drink. Drinking water outside the main towns is not advised as it may be contaminated. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products are safe for consumption, and most local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are safe to eat.
Medical facilities are limited on the islands although Basseterre and Charlestown have large general hospitals as well as a smaller public hospital at Sandy Point, St Kitts. There are several health clinics on both islands. Health insurance is strongly advised as payment is required upfront. There are a few doctors and dentists with their own private practices however there are no private hospitals on either island.
While visiting the islands you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which may target civilians particularly in popular tourist destinations.
Since 2008 there has been an increase in violent crime on St. Kitts and Nevis together with petty street crime and burglary. Travellers should always use common sense such as avoiding carrying large amounts of money and keeping valuables well hidden. It is recommended to never walk alone at night.
Emergency numbers for St Kitts and Nevis are: Police / Ambulance – 911 and Fire – 333.
What is St Kitts and Nevis Local Currency?
The official currency for St Kitts and Nevis is the Eastern Caribbean dollar. Notes are in denominations of EC$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 and coins are in denominations of EC$1, and 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. The US dollar is also widely accepted on both islands.
Most major currencies are accepted in the larger banks and major credit cards are widely accepted. ATM’s are readily available on both islands. It is advised to take Traveller’s Cheques in US Dollars to avoid any additional exchange rate charges.
Banking Hours are: Mon-Thurs 0800-1400, Fri 0800-1600.
Exchange Rate Indicators as of the 16th August 2010 are: 1.00 GBP = 4.07 XCD; 1.00 USD = 2.69 XCD; 1.00 EUR = 3.37 XCD
What is St Kitts and Nevis’s Weather?
St Kitts and Nevis experience a hot and tropical climate tempered by trade winds throughout the year. The driest period is typically from January to April with frequent rainfall occurring in the summer months and later in the year. Altitude affects the volume of rain with the average annual rainfall being around 125cm to 200cm with a wetter season from May to October. Hurricane season generally occurs between August and October. The average temperature for Winter is 27°C while summers average around 30°C. The best time for travel to the islands is November and December.
Recommended clothing for travel to St Kitts and Nevis are tropical lightweights, with light rainwear all year round.
Culture of St Kitts and Nevis
The people of St Kitts and Nevis are incredibly easygoing and enjoy a quiet way of life on their beautiful unspoiled islands.
It is typical to tip 10-15% in restaurants and generally hotels and restaurants add a 7% tax.
The main religion on the islands is the Christian faith as well as small Rastafarian and Orthodox communities.
When in the cities and airports it is disrespectful to wear beach attire. It is appropriate to always wear shoes and a shirt in these public places. Avoid loud displays of public swearing as this is frowned upon and can incur a fine.
What Languages Are Spoken In St Kitts and Nevis?
The official language on St Kitts and Nevis is English.
The International country code is: 1 869 and mobile coverage is good. The Internet is available in most hotels and there is an Internet kiosk at the Cable & Wireless offices in Basseterre, St Kitts.
Airmail to Western Europe usually takes five to seven days.
Post office hours are: Mon-Wed, Fri and Sat 0800-1500, Thurs 0800-1100.
St Kitts and Nevis Transport Options
The two International Airports for the Islands are St Kitts (SKB) located 3.2km from Basseterre on St Kitts and Newcastle Airfield (NEV) located 11km from Charlestown on Nevis. There is a departure Tax of EC$41 (with children under 12 years of age and passengers staying less than 24 hours being exempt) and an environment levy fee of EC$4 payable on departure. There are regular ferry services available between Basseterre (St Kitts) and Charlestown (Nevis).
Traffic on the islands drives on the left and there is a good road network on both islands however care should be taken at night due to unlit roads. There are privately run bus services available that operate between villages – they are unscheduled but regular.
Taxi services are available on both islands and all have set rates. There is a 50% surcharge between 2200-0600 and taxi drivers generally expect a 10% tip. Cars, scooters and mopeds are available for hire and a local Temporary Driver’s Licence is required. This may be obtained from the Police Traffic Department upon presentation of an International Driving Permit or national driving licence and the payment of a fee.
Always exercise caution when driving on the roads particularly at night. Most roads are paved however they are generally narrow and poorly marked. Drivers often stop and block one lane of traffic while greeting other drivers so stay alert.
St Kitts and Nevis Travel Tips
St Kitts and Nevis Local Food
St Kitts and Nevis have a reputation for fine food. You will find restaurants offering Chinese, Western, Creole, Indian, Continental and West Indian cuisine. Fruit is in abundance and includes mangoes, papayas and bananas. A wide range of local and imported drinks are also available.
National specialities include: Spiny lobster; Crab back; Roti; Pelau (rice, pigeon peas and meat); and Conch.
National drinks include: the locally-produced CSR (cane spirit); local rums such as Belmont Estate and Brinley Gold.
St Kitts and Nevis Local Timezones
St. Kitts & Nevis Standard Time is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-4).
The Islands do not operate Daylight-Saving Time.
Electricity in Saint Kitts and Nevis is 230 Volts, alternating at 60 cycles per second.
Outlets in Saint Kitts and Nevis generally accept 2 types of plug: three round pins arranged in a triangle and two parallel flat pins with ground pin.
St Kitts and Nevis Dutyfree Limits
The following goods may be imported into St Kitts & Nevis by