The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis (also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis) is a nation which comprises two islands between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Saint Kitts is the larger island and contains both the capital city, Basseterre, as well as a dormant volcano, Mount Liamuiga. The pair of islands is separated by The Narrows, a shallow channel. They were first among the Caribbean islands to be settled by Europeans, including the British and French. In 1713, France ceded the islands to Britain. By 1983, the dual-island nation earned its independence.
Saint Kitts and Nevis covers a total area of 101 square miles (261 square kilometers). The tiny nation subsists mostly on tourism and agriculture. Sugar plantations used to be the primary contributors for export, but systematically are being turned into other developments. Apparel and electronics assemblies create the newest goods for export. Above all else, tourism continues to grow and remains the main economic drive.
Saint Kitts and Nevis provides a lot of tourist entertainment in the way of festivals. St. Kitts’ annual Carnival lasts from December 18 until January 3 and draws a significant number of travelers from around the world. The island’s Music Festival during the last week of June was created specifically to attract larger crowds of tourists. Nevis participates in such festivities as well, offering visitors the spectacular Culturama festival from the end of July until the beginning of August. With tons of other entertaining festivals to enjoy, Saint Kitts and Nevis gives its visitors a whole gamut of reasons to come and spend a vacation on the islands.
Besides all the festivities, this island nation has a lot more to offer on its tiny grounds. In addition to the Atlantic and Caribbean beaches as well as the dormant Mount Liamuiga and its crater lake, there are also churches, fortresses, museums and various activities to enjoy. You can go on safari on a jeep, ATV (all terrain vehicle) or railway tour; get an adrenaline rush speeding down a zip-line; enjoy the calming effects of bathing in a natural hot spring; or pursue one or more of the many water sports offered, including snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, parasailing, and riding speedboats. For those who prefer less strenuous water activities, there is the opportunity for dolphin watching.
The first step on your Caribbean vacation itinerary will be to set your foot down in one of the two international airports, either in Saint Kitts or in Nevis. Once you have landed, you will want to settle into your choice of accommodations. For the budget-minded traveler, hostels tend to be the preferred option. For a wider selection of lodgings, you should head to the island of St. Kitts. Although the dual-island does not have many hostels available, there are other types of accommodations to consider. Most offerings are hotels located close to the beach.
Being a popular tourist destination, the islands’ accommodations lean toward the pricier side. There are, however, inns and older establishments called “club” and “resort” whose prices are much lower. If you share a room with several other travelers, each person will end up paying about the equivalent amount as for a night in a hostel bed. Although the accommodations are pricey due to their high demand, you can expect a few shortcomings, including water shortages. Due to a drought, water supplies are rationed and you might not be able to shower past a certain time at night.
If you have chosen to stay in a hostel on the island of St. Kitts, then one stop on your itinerary should be the Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a steep drive uphill, you will have to climb the equivalent of about ten flights of stairs to reach the top of the fortress. For a small entrance fee, you get to see the Fort George Citadel, cannons, and the astounding view over the Caribbean Sea as the British used to see it while fighting off the French opposition. The fortress was abandoned by the British in 1853, and renovations began in the early 1900s. Today, this UNESCO site is heralded as one of the Americas’ most splendid fortifications.
Another stop on your St. Kitts itinerary should be one of its beautiful beaches. Whether you take part in a tour or set off on your own two feet, you will eventually end up at one of the many beautiful black or white sand beaches. Here you can rent a chair, grab a bite to eat and sip on a delicious drink as you soak in the energizing rays of the sun.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Saint Kitts & Nevis hostels. Welcome.