Sunny St. Kitts is a must-visit Caribbean destination thanks to its gorgeous beaches, friendly people and a lush backdrop of emerald-green rainforest. With all that on offer, it’s hard not to fall for this island gem.
What to do
Explore Basseterre: Basseterre is the capital of St. Kitts, and the downtown area, though small, boasts colourful shops, winding streets and a laid-back vibe, making it ideal for aimless wandering. Getting to know a new spot on foot is the best way to explore and something I love doing no matter where I go, be it Hong Kong, Paris or Montreal — you just never know what you’ll discover.
Check out Brimstone Hill: Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and well worth a couple of hours while you’re in St. Kitts. Designed by the British and built by African slave labour, construction of the fortress began in 1690 and continued intermittently for the next 100 years. If you’re feeling energetic, you can climb to the top, or you can take the lazy route and drive like I did (in my defence, it was really hot out). What you get when you arrive are stunning views of St. Kitts’ rolling green hills, of which I could not stop snapping pictures. Take your time walking around the well-preserved fortress, exploring and learning about its history on the island.
Where to hit the beach
North Frigate Bay Beach on the Atlantic coast of St. Kitts offers some great beach walking, one of my must-do activities on any trip where I find myself by the water. Head north from the St. Kitts Marriott, and you can stroll for at least an hour one way. You’ll even hit some black sand along the way, thanks to the volcano that inhabits the island.
Cockleshell Beach is another gorgeous stretch of sand. Here sun-seekers get to lounge on 3 kilometres of secluded beach that boasts powder-white sand and unobstructed views of St. Kitts’ sister island, Nevis.
Where to eat and drink
Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack is the place to be on the Strip, a series of bars and restaurants that attracts crowds of locals and tourists alike, especially on weekends. Picnic tables are set up on the beach for a quintessential Caribbean dining experience. Listen to waves crash on the shore as you sip a mango daiquiri, and tuck into some traditional Kittitian fare, which is heavy on the seafood.
For a relaxed yet elegant meal that has the bonus of a great view, head to Spice Mill Restaurant on the aforementioned Cockleshell Beach. The stylish open-air space looks out onto the water, where you can grab a beach bed and lounge after your meal. The contemporary menu offers creative takes on salads, pizza and seafood dishes, and the tart and refreshing mango-passion fruit cocktail is a must.
What to go back for
Would I go back to St. Kitts? Had I had more time on the island, I might not feel the need to return, but because my vacation was pretty short — only four days — I would go back to check out some of the attractions I didn’t get to, like the rainforest. The island has set aside more than a quarter of its land as a national park, which sadly I didn’t have time to see. On my next visit to St. Kitts, I’d also love to hike the Liamuiga volcano, which I’ve heard is a challenge but well worth the climb.
Good to know
- All beaches on St. Kitts are public beaches, so even the ones associated with fancy hotels or restaurants are accessible to anyone who wants to enjoy them.
- There are no traffic lights on the island, which is worth noting if you’re going to be doing any driving.
- If you’re interested in exploring farther afield and have time, you can take a ferry across to St. Kitts’ sister island of Nevis. The trip takes about 45 minutes.
Have you been to St. Kitts? What did you think of the island?