This is a stunning little island that offers so much. There are hot golden beaches, cool and tranquil rain forests, history, food, adventure and entertainment.
It’s an ideal Caribbean location for those with children. It’s safe, with a relaxed pace of life. Some folks like days filled with activities and others want to occupy themselves with tanning. St Kitts has many facets.
1. Stay in a hotel on the beach
The Marriott has a perfect location, and it is indeed on a beach lapped by Atlantic waves. There is a huge free-form pool and a flock of sun beds both by that pool and on the sand. It’s a one-stop resort for guests who are content to enjoy the sun, frequent the hotel restaurants (the Italian one, La Cuchina, is outstanding) and have a few hours in the cool of the casino.
2. Visit the Rainforest
One might assume that a trek to the Amazon would be in order, if you want to visit a real tropical jungle. But St Kitts has its own and it’s even expanding. O’Neil Tours offers guided walks of various lengths with a guide (perhaps Mr. O’Neil himself) who will give an enchanting insight into the flora and fauna of these unspoilt forests. There are medicinal leaves, fruits, monkeys, streams and exotic plants aplenty.
Phone: +1 869.465.3107
3. Visit Wingfield Estate
Hire a car for a day and do a circuit of the island. St. Kitts is about 168 sq km (65 sq mi) and approximately 29 km (18 mi) long. There are lots of small villages around the coast as well as historic sites, churches, bars and stunning views.
St Kitts became celebrated initially for the cultivation of tobacco and then for the production of sugarcane. On your drive around you will find The Wingfield Estate, which offers a glimpse of life on a historic sugar plantation. One can still see architectural features; there’s lots of information on sugar refining and even rum distilling. The amateur engineers in the party will be in their element.
4. Caribelle Batik
While the boys are musing on ancient stills and aqueducts the girls might like to learn about batik. This is a printing process that involves the often intricate application of wax to fabric and the use of various coloured dyes to produce beautiful and vibrant fabrics. The shop will tempt with shelves of multi-coloured cotton.
5. Lunch at El Fredo’s
This simple and rustic restaurant should be on the St Kitts bucket list of any serious food lover. It’s owned and run by Ken and Jasmine, who have been feeding both regulars and tourists for several years and they have garnered rave reviews. Jasmine is the chef and she had developed a menu that showcases local dishes from local ingredients. The conch is particularly good here.
6. Enjoy the Caribbean Coast
That sea is just as blue in real life as it is on postcards. One can walk from the Atlantic to the Caribbean in a matter of minutes: St Kitts is an island shaped like a paddle and it’s only a short trot across the handle to find the other water mass. The Caribbean is usually calmer than the Atlantic. One can enjoy truly warm water and perhaps go snorkelling or sailing. Cockleshell Beach might be a short drive from your hotel but this small strand can be your corner of paradise.
7. Enjoy a cocktail at Salt Plage
Visit Salt Plage, which is newly opened in Whitehouse Bay. The latest addition to Christophe Harbour offers a stunning bar from which to watch the setting sun. It’s sophisticated and stylish and offers the signature Salt Pond Jumbie. This is destined to be a must-be-seen-at jet-setters’ watering hole.
8. Visit the capital of Basseterre
This is the main town but it isn’t overly touristic. One can enjoy a refreshing young coconut – drink the water and then scoop the delicious jelly flesh. Buy a pineapple – cut while you wait. Find a spot in the shade and admire the immaculately turned-out children in their crisp school uniforms. Take pictures of unique architecture.
9. Cooking class at Nirvana Fairview
A lasting souvenir of your St Kitts visit could be a recipe or two to take home. The Nirvana Fairview Estate offers cooking classes that will enable you to create a Caribbean feast. The grounds are filled with exotic fruit trees and plants so you can see where some ingredients are grown. They can also provide a celebrated afternoon tea to be enjoyed along with a dip in their own pool.
10. High-wire adventure
If you are the sort that craves thrills then you will want to go zip lining. I am not overly courageous and I am a woman of a certain age but after two ‘flights’ I was addicted. For the untutored, this is a ride hooked to a cable. One flies above the rainforest canopy at great speed and with a sense of freedom. This is a must-do and will compensate the adolescents for behaving so well at lunch.
Travel review by Chrissie Walker © 2018