Best things to do in St Kitts

Fittingly shaped like a tropical fish, St Kitts packs a lot to see and do in its lush and historical expanse. One particular of the Caribbean’s best stone forts dominates the north, although a string of beaches dot the south. Distinct mountain ranges – and an extinct volcano – add texture.

Moreover the fortress, the island’s other special attraction is its previous sugarcane railroad, now repurposed for sightseeing. St Kitts is a major cruise-ship port, and there’s plenty to in good shape all budgets, from a free working day on a seaside to wandering the characterful streets of the most important metropolis, Basseterre. 

Immerse your self in the very best encounters the planet has to offer you with our electronic mail publication shipped weekly into your inbox.

Irrespective of whether you’re just listed here for a working day, on a go to from neighboring Nevis or ensconced for a extended keep, you are going to discover a good deal of incredible items to see and do in St Kitts, no subject your type or temper.

Storm Brimstone Hill Fortress Countrywide Park

St Kitts is property to one particular of the best stone fortresses in the western hemisphere. The British laid the 1st enormous, black volcanic stone in 1690. About the subsequent generations, the fortress was fought more than by the Brits and the French, who occupied it from 1782 to 1794 immediately after an powerful siege.

Envision invaders sailing your way as you revel in the views out to sea. Exhibits element the severe lives of soldiers stationed right here, and the even harsher life of the slaves pressured to build the 7ft-thick partitions. If you only make just one tour to northern St Kitts, make it this Unesco-acknowledged fort. 

Strike the surf at Frigate Bay North

The Atlantic-facing seashore on the isthmus southeast of Basseterre gets pounded by waves from the open up ocean for a lot of the yr. The breakers can offer thrilling swimming, even though they also desire respect and warning. Offshore reefs moderate the motion a bit, but still, this is the seaside to arrive to for pounding surf. Head to the north stop away from resorts and condos to escape the crowds. 

A cruise-ship tourist in a bikini, walking in the sun on South Frigate Bay beach in St Kitts
The secured waters of  Frigate Bay South offer you gentle swimming for all ages © Maridav / Shutterstock

Bash at Frigate Bay South

Easily walked to from its northern neighbor, this seashore is superior identified as the Strip. It is the focus of raucous vacationer motion on St Kitts and has a string of seashore bars and golf equipment common with revelers practically close to the clock. Not as scenic as its northern namesake, couple treatment when they are limbering up for another ingesting contest. The protected waters offer you light swimming for all ages. 

Experience the St Kitts Scenic Railway

Cheerfully billing itself as the “very last railway in the West Indies,” this rattling, narrow-gauge train offers a leisurely 18-mile tour all over a northern portion of St Kitts. Opened in 1926, the railway the moment completely circled the principal aspect of the island and authorized intense sugarcane creation to go on until finally the last crop in 2005.

The trains have strange double-deck cars with shaded, open-air leading decks – an perfect perch for having in the island’s purely natural beauty. The circular tours also include things like a 12-mile part by bus that returns you to the terminal in close proximity to the airport. 

Mist rising from the crater below Mt Liamuiga on St Kitts
The summit of Mt Liamuiga allows you peer down into a deep crater, which has a seasonal lake and energetic fumaroles © Jason Patrick Ross / Shutterstock

Surmount Mt Liamuiga

Sights across St Kitts and on to nearby Nevis and even far more distant Antigua are amid the benefits for climbing Mt Liamuiga, the extinct 3792ft (1156m) volcano that looms above the island. The 2.5-mile (4km), 2½-hour trek to the major – the initially two-thirds of which is mostly through shady, dense rainforest – is a well-liked excursion for athletic readers.

The last ascent is the serious problem, with plenty of boulders and tree roots to navigate on the steep trail. Aside from the sweeping views across the sea, the summit vantage stage allows you peer down into the deep crater, which has a seasonal lake and active fumaroles. Treks start in Newton Ground, and the services of a tutorial are very suggested. 

Working experience history at Romney Manor

Few tours circle the north of the island without a pause at Romney Manor, which delivers an intriguing mix of previous and new points of interest. The historic component of this lushly landscaped web-site is the partial destroy of the Wingfield Estate sugar plantation.

Dating to the 17th century, the manor home and bell tower were being the hubs of a huge estate that grew rich off the compelled labor of hundreds of slaves. The intriguing gardens characteristic plants very first planted in this era. A restored manor household is now house to the well-identified Caribelle Batik workshop, wherever all fashion of textiles are produced working with tactics imported from Indonesia.

Honor the previous at Bloody Level

The French and English battled for supremacy in the Caribbean for extra than 200 decades nonetheless, the two historic rivals put together forces in 1626, when the Indigenous Carib folks on St Kitts attacked the European colonists. More than 2000 Caribs have been killed at this bleak, rocky crevice, some 4 miles northwest of Basseterre – therefore the name. Signboards lay out the record, and a tiny concrete bridge offers an excellent perspective for reflection on the conquest of the area.

View of flowers and trees around the fountain at Independence Square and Immaculate Conception Catholic Co-Cathedral, Basseterre, St. Kitts
The landscaped gardens of Basseterre’s Independence Sq. are a well-known gathering location © Frank Fell / robertharding / Getty Photographs

Tread thoughtfully at Independence Sq.

The eco-friendly heart of Basseterre is Independence Sq.. The brightly painted fountain at its centre belies its horrific past as the middle of the nearby slave trade – adult males, women of all ages and small children kidnapped from Africa ended up purchased and sold right here properly into the 19th century.

Nowadays the landscaped gardens are a well known accumulating location. Palms soar around the periphery, and in summer time, the island’s symbolic trees, poincianas, explode in a scarlet profusion of flowers. Glimpse for bars on the basement windows of the setting up together the south aspect of the square this was one of the fetid dungeons where slaves were being held pending sale.

Join the Circus

St Kitts’s smaller principal metropolis, Basseterre, has an equally diminutive focal issue regarded as the Circus. Even though oft-repeated local lore statements it was modeled on London’s Piccadilly Circus, this Circus has very little in typical with its much additional frenetic Commonwealth cousin. Sure, four most important roadways converge in this article, but the scale is small and the vibe peaceful.

A Victorian-period artifact, Berkeley Memorial Clock, rises from the centre of targeted traffic. Meeting in the shadow of this environmentally friendly-hued, gold-trimmed edifice is a community tradition. Find a seat on the terrace of a café at a single of the modest encompassing structures, which merge things of island and Georgian fashion, and delight in outstanding people today-watching.

People outside of the National Museum of St. Kitts and Nevis in the city center of Basseterre
The same volcanic limestone blocks made use of to establish structures throughout St Kitts form the walls of the Countrywide Museum in Basseterre © quiggyt4 / Shutterstock

Chart the past at the Countrywide Museum

The exact same volcanic limestone blocks employed to create buildings wonderful and smaller throughout St Kitts type the partitions of the two-tale Countrywide Museum in Basseterre, which opened in 1894 as the Treasury Making.

Exhibits right here trace the island’s background, from the indigenous Carib people today as a result of the slave and plantation period and on to independence in 1983. Glance for photos from the 19th century, which unflinchingly doc the life of the workers in the sugar and rum trades. The human drama throughout the centuries is specially astonishing provided the island’s smaller size: just 68 sq miles (176 sq km).

Go community at South Friar’s Bay

This long, south-facing beach is a beloved of the 40,000 people of St Kitts – the snorkeling is good right off the beach, and the swimming is superb.

Bars well-known with guests bookend the sand, but along the center portion you will obtain relaxed cafes and stalls in which folks unwind following function, on their days off and always on Sundays. Glimpse for regionally caught seafood like grouper served just right off the grill. The vibe is mellow, pleasant and infused with a pulsing soca beat that revolves all around limin’ (hanging out, consuming and talking). 

The best of Caribbean islands

Hop a boat for experience

Both equally excursion-minded working day-trippers from cruise ships and for a longer time-term website visitors will see all types of features for waterborne adventures. Some tours incorporate a stop at a seaside on nearby Nevis other excursions are timed to catch the sunset, and some aspect a beach front barbecue. Boats assortment in measurement from little fishing craft correct up to massive catamarans, wherever the get together hardly ever stops – on and off the poop deck.

See Nevis from Cockleshell Seaside

Nevis is the other 50 % of this island country, and its conical form is most effective viewed from Cockleshell Beach front, on the bay of the similar identify at the southern tip of St Kitts. The powdery white sand stretches for much more than 2 miles (3.2km), and it really is as alluring as any in the Caribbean.

The scene can get frenetic when big cruise ships are in port, so if you favor a a lot more laid-back scene, decide a much less-visited working day. Cafes and bars of varying formality and watersports vendors present myriad methods to enjoy your time here. 

Escape to Dieppe Bay Beach front

Although the beaches at the south close of St Kitts justifiably get all the notice, the cove at Dieppe Bay on the northern suggestion delivers a great escape – at times, it can feel like your possess non-public seashore.

Dim, approximately black volcanic sand mixes with strands of lighter hues. The surf is gentle thanks to offshore reefs, and the vibe is the epitome of mellow, as the modest village is peaceful and virtually tourist-absolutely free. A pair of very simple cafes present sights that match their new nearby fare in appeal. 

Underwater photographer getting a picture of a beautiful French angelfish on a shallow reef in St Kitts
St Kitts has much more than 25 dive sites, which include many shipwrecks © Dennis Sabo / Shutterstock

Examine out the scene underwater

You can go snorkeling and diving in coves all around St Kitts. There are a lot more than 25 dive sites, together with many shipwrecks. Coconut Tree Reef is in exceptional problem and benefits divers from 40ft to 110ft (12m to 34m) beneath the surface area.

Just off Brimstone Hill, Sandy Place Countrywide Maritime Park has reefs and sea turtles. Operators manage boat visits that cater to varying expertise and passions, from people looking for a selfie with a fish to critical divers all set to discover the depths. Most seashores in the south have suppliers with snorkeling gear you can use correct offshore. A leading preference is White Dwelling Bay, which has reefs and shipwrecks.