St. Kitts was one of the first Caribbean Islands we truly explored. Before visiting St. Kitts, we had only taken Caribbean vacations to relax in all-inclusive hotels to enjoy the free bar and maybe take a day tour or two. It was in St. Kitts that we learned that islands are filled with adventure and fun. St. Kitts is actually located in the West Indies with one half of the island bordering the Caribbean Sea and the other facing the Atlantic Ocean making it a truly unique Caribbean vacation.
The islands are amazing for relaxing, but it is important to get off the resort to see what the islands have in store. If you are planning a Caribbean vacation make sure to seek out some of these awesome things to do in St. Kitts and Nevis to make the most of exploring this beautiful island in the West Indies to the fullest.
Best Things to do in St. Kitts
St. Kitts and Nevis are two neighboring islands that together make up one country – The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Just a small 3km channel known as The Narrows separates the two islands and it is easy to visit both by sailing trips, ferry and water taxi. We set up shop on St. Kitts when visiting Nevis and St. Kitts but there are hotels on both islands.
Where to Stay in St. Kitts
We stayed at the luxurious Marriott St. Kitts Beach Club on Frigate Bay – Make sure to take advantage of their luxurious spa. The treatment was heavenly. There are three swimming pools and villas with full kitchens. See prices and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
The Exclusive Park Hyatt St. Kitts spans Banana Bay with golden sand beaches, overlooking The Narrows at of Nevis. All rooms face the water, some with private plunge pools. There are three restaurants, two swimming pools, and the Sugar Mill Spa. See prices and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
Four Seasons Nevis – St. Kitts and Nevis go hand in hand and The Four Seasons is the place to stay on Nevis. You can never go wrong with the luxury of the Four Seasons. The 350-acre private resort features nearly 5 km of beachfront, watersports, the Robert Trent Jones II signature golf course, spa, restaurants, and bars. See prices and availability on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
St. Kitts Attractions
Once known as Sugar City, St. Kitts was a large sugar producer and exporter. It was one of the last West Indes islands to stop production as the sugar industry ran its course and the final Sugar Mill was shut down in 2005. Tourism has taken over as the main economy of the island and St. Kitts is fast becoming a favourite tourist hot spot. If you are wondering what to do on St. Kitts and Nevis read on for vacation ideas.
Hike Mount Liamuiga Hike
Mount Liamuiga is a dormant volcano standing 1166 meters (3792 feet) high overlooking the island. This half-day hike is a rigorous trek through the jungle of St. Kitts traversing over jungle roots and rocks. It’s a steep climb to the top of this volcano to view the crater but your guide takes your mind of the hike you listen to stories of the history of St. Kitts and see the medicinal plants that have been used on the island for centuries.
When you get to the top the views are outstanding and you truly feel that you have been on a great adventure as you look into the crater surrounded by dense rainforest. Make sure you have a good pair of hiking boots or trail shoes, this isn’t your ordinary walk in the park. A day tour to Mount Liamuiga is a must for anyone visiting St. Kitts.
This 6-hour guided trek takes you via open-air 4X4 truck through the village of St. Pauls to the start of your rainforest hike. On a clear day, you’ll see views of the neighboring islands of Saba, Statia, St Barths, and Nevis. Read more: Mount Liamuiga Volcano Hike in St. Kitts
Have a Short Time in St. Kitts?
This best of St. Kitts Tour stops at all the best things to do in St. Kitts in a short amount of time. Your guide will take you through historical Basseterre, a stop at Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a tour of Romney Manor and its famous Caribelle Batik workshop. You’ll then see a panoramic view of Nevis from Timothy Hill Carambola Beach
On your way to Mount Liamuiga, make sure to stop for a scenic view of the Black Rocks. Located where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, these black rocks show the history of St. Kitts’ now dormant volcano, Mount Liamuiga. The black rocks are beautiful rock formations on the coast where you can take in the views of the ocean waves crashing against the volcanic rock. We have heard of people going swimming in the pools created by the rocks and there are even vendors and souvenir shops set up at the parking.
Zipline St. Kitts with Skysafaris
St. Kitts has one of the best ziplines we’ve done in the Caribbean. Sky Safaris is a very fun adventure with fast ziplines over a jungle canopy. You don’t need any experience to zip line in St. Kitts, the only thing you need to remember is to bend your legs, stick your feet up and lean way back when you come to the end of the line. Your stopping device is a spring at the end of the line that you barrel into at full force, but that is part of the fun!
The practice run is the most jarring of them all as the line is fast and the landing is hard. But once you go up to the longer and higher lines, the landing is far more graceful. The longest and highest zip line is at 1000 feet above sea level and 1350 feet long. It has a great little drop at the beginning of the line that takes your breath away, but you relax quickly and the thrilling ride begins as you swoop over the lush green forest.
There are five zip lines in all at Sky Safaris and you definitely feel satisfied with the experience. Each zipline gets a little shorter in length, but they are no less thrilling. The final zip line is a quick 500-foot double line called River Rocket. Here is where you can race your friends or take each other’s pictures or videos in mid-air.
Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park
Dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is worth visiting to explore British colonial rule in the Caribbean islands. St. Kitts (formerly Saint Christopher) was the first West Indies island to be colonized by the British and this fort saw many a battle.
Built by slave labor, this fortress grew over the years thanks to the slave forced into building it to become one of the largest forts in the Caribbean. It has a dark past, but the setting is beautiful and visitors can take a walk through the massive complex and watch reenactments. Make sure to climb to the top where you’ll have a panoramic view
This St. Kitts Day tour is a whirlwind tour of all the island’s historical sights. Starting at Independence Square in Basseterre before heading to Romney Manor and then on to the UNESCO-listed Brimstone Hill Fortress before ending with shopping at the cruise port, Port Zante.
Wingfield-Phillips Sugar Plantation Ruins
While at Sky Safaris, make sure to take a tour of the old Sugar Plantation along the Wingfield Phillips rainforest Trail. We learned how sugar was made from sugar cane. The tour takes you through the process of sugar cane being turned into sugar crystals. We also, sadly learned how difficult the conditions were for the slaves. It was hot and dangerous work.
The slaves suffered greatly during the growth of the West Indies and they were punished with brutality. There is a sandbox tree on sight where our guide told us was used to punish slaves by tying them face-first to its spikes, How horrific. We took our tour with a private guide, but you can hike this trail independently as well.
Learn How to Make Batik at Romney Manor
Nearby you can visit Romney Manor which dates back to the 1600s. Take a walk through its beautiful gardens and see how Caribelle batik textiles are made and then browse its boutique for Caribbean batik. Romney Manor was owned by Captain Samuel Jefferson, the great-great-grandfather of Thomas Jefferson. This tour takes you on a tour around the historic capital of Basseterre before making your way to Romney Manor, home of the Caribbean’s finest batik since 1976 where you’ll also see traditional cotton dying techniques. You will then head to Carambola Beach Club at Friars Bay to enjoy watersports like sailing, water skiing, and snorkeling.
This rainforest tour takes you to Bloody Point, the river settlement where the Kalinago Genocide took place in 1626. You will also search for monkeys and flora and fauna of the island before visiting Wingfield Estate. Dating back to 1700, it is one of the oldest and longest operating industrial sites in the Caribbean.
Look for Monkeys on St. Kitts
Did you know that there are monkeys on St. Kitts? In fact, there are some 60,000 monkeys on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. However, the monkeys of St. Kitts are not native to the island. They were brought here by scientists for AIDS research and now they outnumber the human population five to one, wreaking havoc and causing problems. Scientists are now trying to assess the impact monkeys are having on the island. They are cute as buttons, but whenever an invasive species is introduced to a new land, they can cause a lot of problems too.
Ride the St. Kitts Scenic Railway
The St. Kitts railway was used for the sugar industry, but today it is a tourist attraction and goes in a loop around the island. Experience St. Kitts in a whole new way on this tourist railway. This scenic 3-hour tour takes a loop around St. Kitts and gives you a chance to see stunning views of the island. It hits a lot of the top St. Kitts attractions from Conaree Village in the south to Dieppe Bay Town and l Fortress National Park.
Petroglyphs are found throughout the Caribbean and on St. Kitts, there are ancient stone carvings that were carved by the indigenous people. Nobody knows what the purpose was, it remains a mystery. It could be a ritual, communications, or leaving a record. To see the ancient mysterious petroglyphs of St. Kitts, book this Valley of the Giant’s Rainforest tour with Greg’s Safaris Rainforest tours.
Relax at Cockleshell Bay
Also known as Reggae Beach, Cockleshell Beach is the island’s most beautiful and popular local hangout spot where families and friends come out on a Sunday afternoon for picnics and fun in the sun. On this beach, you’ll find small locally run eateries and bars, most notably Reggae Bar.
The Reggae bar is a rustic shack serving fresh grilled Mahi Mahi and Ting with a Sting while Jimmy Buffet blares from the speakers. It isn’t long till you be limin’ like the locals. Yes, when a person comes to St. Kitts they learn the art of “limin’ quickly. Limin’ is a Kittitian (pronounced Kishian) term for chilling out on Island time.
When you plan to meet friends for a night out in St. Kitts, you say, “we’re goin’ limin tonight. ” If you want a more upscale beach setting make your way to the Spice Mill and try a Sting Ray cocktail. Another local favourite with white rum, coconut rum, melon liqueur, and various spices and juices.
Beaches of St. Kitts
The beaches of St. Kitts are soft golden sand stretches that are used by locals and tourists alike. Your resort will have a beach on sight but the best part of visiting St. Kitts is meeting the locals. Other Beaches to Explore in St. Kitts are Frigate Bay South (popular with the locals), South Friars Bay (another local favorite just beyond the Frigate Bay tourist area along south-east peninsula highway), Frigate Bay North (a secluded beach on the Atlantic side of St. Kitts) Dieppe Bay Beach, Sandbank Bay, Turtle Beach and Pinney’s Beach on Nevis.
Take in the View From Timothy Hill
On the way back to the Marriott hotel from Basseterre, we stopped to enjoy a stunning view of Friars Bay and North and South Frigate Beaches from Timothy Hill. It is here that the island narrows and you can see both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean just meters apart plus a view of Nevis in the back.
Island Vibes at Frigate Bay
Frigate Bay is the most popular beach in St. Kitts. Filled with beach bars, resorts, and watersports, this is a place to enjoy some fun in the sun. North Frigate Bay and South Frigate bay split the island between the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean on a narrow strip of land. For the beach life stick to the north side at St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Sugar Bay Club, but for nightlife, head over to the Caribbean
St. Kitts Eco-Park
A beautiful nature park that mixes the culture of St. Kitts and Navis and the Republic of China. Spanning 20 acres, come walk through the greenery, see the herb and flower gardens and fruit trees, spot the birds, and take some great photos.
Central Forest Reserve and National Park
Take a Day Trip to Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis go hand in hand and there are several ways to visit the Island sister island. This 7 hour day tour from St. Kitts takes you to Nevis via a short ferry ride. The tour shows you the history and top sights on Nevis including a stop at the old bathhouse and healing natural healing springs. You’ll visit the Alexander Hamilton Museum, Government House, Botanical Gardens of Nevis, and 4 Seasons Resort and Golf Club.
Get on the Water
No trip to any Caribbean Island would be complete without getting on the water. This Full day Catamaran Cruise not only gets on the Caribbean Sea but takes you to Nevis. Starting from Port Zante Marina, St. Kitts hop aboard for a day of snorkeling, sun, and full open bar all day long. Stop at a secluded cove for lunch on deck before heading to Nevis to visit the Four Seasons and Pinneys Beach to do some shopping or sunbathing.
If you don’t want to have a full day on the boat, this four-hour sailing trip has all the same perks without the stop at Nevis.
Royal St. Kitts Golf Club
Golfers will love the unique setting of the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club with holes in both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Ocean. We aren’t really golfers, but it is pretty cool to have a golf course that spans two oceans. For a small island nation, St. Kitts and Nevis have four golf courses.
How to Get Around St. Kitts
Scooter: Scooters are a great way to get around St. Kitts, and there are numerous rental places, with prices starting at $25 per day.
Bus: Buses are a cheap way to get around, but they do not operate on a schedule. You can either wave one down or go to the ferry terminal at Basseterre (which goes south and west) or Baker.
Taxis: Taxis are a great way to get around and come with flat fees. Before you get in, make sure you know the fee and whether it is in USD or EC. Go from the Bradshaw airport to downtown Basseterre for roughly $12.
Car Rental: To rent a car, you must be at least 21 years old and have a U.S. driver’s license. Check for prices and availability here.
Passenger Ferries – There are ferries between St. Kitts and Nevis between Basseterre and Charlestown. Cost is $7.50 one way.
Water Taxi: Boats run between Cockleshell Beach to Oualie Beach on Nevis and take approximately 10 minutes. There is a two-person minimum at a cost of $20 – $30 per person.
St. Kitts is a small treasure on the far side of the Caribbean. With lots of development plus a huge marina holding yachts up to 70 meters long (229 feet), St. Kitts is fast becoming a playground for the wealthy. The saving grace for St. Kitts is that there is a law that all beaches are public. Nobody no matter how big of a corporation they may be is entitled to own a beach. The people of St. Kitts have seen the problems that have occurred in other Caribbean nations and they are working hard to not repeat them.