Best Things To Do in St. Kitts & Nevis
Trying to figure out a way to distinguish your St. Kitts and Nevis trip from other Caribbean spots? We have two words for you: black sand. For some of the most distinctive, check out the shore along Pump Bay or Belle Tete on St. Kitts. Of the two islands, St. Kitts is also where you'll find the most activities away from the shore (including tours of the historic Brimstone Fortress and several golf courses). Quiet Nevis is better known for its beaches, including the famous Pinney's and clear water snorkeling at Oualie.
Updated June 18, 2019
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This "Gibraltar of the West Indies" should be included on one day's itinerary for its photo ops. If you climb to its top slopes on a clear day, you can see up to six other islands in the distance. Or you could tour the fort's interior, stroll the grounds and snap images of nearby towns in the distance or the vibrant hues of the Caribbean Sea. If history is more your forte than photography, then you should note that Brimstone Hill Fortress is one of the best-preserved forts of the Americas. It was designated a national park in 1985 and became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999.
According to recent travelers, Brimstone Hill Fortress is worth more than just a stop on an island tour. If you have the time you should devote at least two hours to walking its grounds: many were impressed with how well maintained it is and the stunning views it provides. The fortress, which is located in northwestern St. Kitts, is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Entry costs $10 for adults and $5 for children. Head to the fort's website for more information and assistance on planning your visit.
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Try correctly pronouncing the name of this beach ("wah-lee") before you start enjoying the free-flowing margaritas from the on-site beach bar. And you'll want to eat and drink on this beach – Oualie's chairs and hammocks are free to use as long as you do. You can also enjoy some spectacular snorkeling in the clear waters and there are rental kiosks for other water sports as well. Scuba Safaris and Windsurf 'N' Mountainbike Nevis are just two of the companies represented on Oualie's shore.
Visitors say the sand on this beach is soft and less rocky compared to some of the other shorelines on these islands. Many also enjoyed the calm and warm waters at this beach.
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On Nevis' west edge, north of Charlestown, lies one of the most talked about beaches of the two islands. The smooth saffron-colored sands of Pinney's often grace the glossy pages of travel publications, and to most travelers, the beach lives up to its hype. There are several beach snack shacks nearby and ample parking as well.
Other visitors, however, note that Pinney's is a little more rustic than they'd anticipated. You shouldn't be surprised to see one or two pelicans fishing offshore, or run into water that's more muddy than clear on some days. Just remember Pinney's is the longest beach on Nevis – approximately 4 miles – so if you don't like the view in front of you, just move a few paces down to less polluted sands and more translucent water. Some visitors also warn that it can get crowded when cruise ships are in town.
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One of the more popular beaches in St. Kitts, Cockleshell Bay is on the island's southern tip facing Nevis, which means it offers great views of its sister island. The beach's stark white sands contrast with the calm jewel-toned waves that lap up against travelers' feet. Cockleshell Bay stretches across 2 miles and is also home to a few hip beach bars (including a highly praised reggae joint) and seafood eateries. Visitors warn that the sands can get crowded when cruise ships are in port and suggest heading here early to stake out some prime beach real estate. Many also warned beachgoers to keep an eye out for the vendors with monkeys trying to entice you to hold them and take a photo (for which they expect to be paid).
Cockleshell Bay beach is free to access, though you may need some cash to rent beach chairs or enjoy conch fritters and drinks at one of the beach bars.
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Are you looking for a beautiful beach with a lively atmosphere? Frigate Bay is the beach for you. Frigate hums with activity day and night, since it's located so close to the islands' best nightlife and shopping, not to mention some of the best hotels.
The area actually refers to two different beaches, located along the skinny strip of central St. Kitts. North Frigate Bay faces the Atlantic Ocean and boasts the best views and quality sand, complete with sea grapes you can pick and coconut palms you can climb. South Frigate Bay on the Caribbean Sea, however, is the nerve center of the restaurants (Vibes Beach Bar and Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack are especially popular) that moonlight as bars when the sun sets. The water on both sides is pretty good for swimming, but you should get your strokes in when the cruise ships aren't docked. Otherwise, you'll have plenty of company in the water, no matter which side you choose.
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The par-71 Royal St. Kitts Golf Club has 10 water hazards, 80 bunkers and stretches across 125-irrigated acres overlooking the sea. The views are incredible and the holes are challenging, according to recent golfers. Travelers add that the course is kept in great shape and that the staff members are friendly and helpful.
The golf course is located on the grounds of the St. Kitts Marriott Resort in Basseterre. Green fees peak around $165 for 18 holes, but discounts are available for hotel guests and nine-hole games. Club rentals and lessons are also available. You can tee off every day from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check the official website for specific fees.
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This railway was originally built in the early 1900s to transport sugar cane from the fields to the capital of Basseterre. Today, the train winds through miles of St. Kitts mountains and takes tourists on a scenic (and informative) journey. The railway cars are double-decker style, with an open-air top deck offering 360-degree views and ample photo opportunities. Along the way, you'll learn about the old sugar cane estates, see small villages and farms, and enjoy impressive panoramas of the sea, cliffs and verdant vegetation. (Keep in mind, of the 30-mile trip about 12 miles are covered via bus rather than train.) Plus, complimentary drinks like rum punch, daiquiris, soda and water are served throughout the three-hour tour.
Recent travelers said they were fans of this scenic railway ride, noting that the tour guides are exceptionally knowledgeable and the choir singing on board is a nice touch. However, some note this tour is on the pricey side.
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