Gentle and eco-conscious St. Kitts is the Caribbean island with an ever-growing rainforest, pristine coral reefs, colonies of green vervet monkeys and stilt walking Moko-Jumbies leading up the legendary Christmas carnival.
St. Kitts is a Lesser Antilles Island in the Southern Caribbean. It’s one of the few places in the world where rainforest is expanding, and over a quarter of the land is protected national park. Even a short walk here can turn into an adventure, the wildlife’s amazing and everything from tree canopy zip-lining to snorkelling and swimming with dolphins, puts conservation first. There are no traffic lights, life’s lived on easy-going island time and, if you want to escape completely, the little island of Nevis is just a ferry away.
British Airways fly from Gatwick to St. Kitts, with a short stop in Antigua.
Average temperatures of 30˚ year round, lowest rainfall from January to April.
St. Kitts’ southern peninsula has a good selection of places to stay from beachfront resorts and holiday villages to Airbnb rentals and charming colonial guesthouses.
St. Kitts Christmas Carnival is famous for stilt walking Moko-Jumbies, spectacular kids’ parades, circus performers and incredible music.
A forest of immense and ancient trees known as the Valley of the Giants is just one of the accessible wonders to explore in St. Kitts’ extensive National Park.
The Caribbean is well fortified, but Brimstone Hill Fortress on the west coast of St. Kitts is the one to beat. Built in 1690 and added to down the centuries, it became the island’s first World Heritage site in 1999.
English is St. Kitts’ first language. It was also the earliest Southern Caribbean island permanently settled by the British, hence the long history, and historic nickname.
The capital of St. Kitts shouldn’t be defined by its busy Port Zante cruise terminal. Despite the duty-free shops and troupes of tourists, Basseterre still holds on to its island soul. Easy going beach bars and cute cafés jostle with street stalls along the waterfront. The old town’s pleasantly higgledy-piggledy and fun to wander around with kids.
The heartland of beach bars, restaurants and resorts in the south of St. Kitts, Frigate Bay’s about 20 minutes south Basseterre. Sheltered shores here are washed by the Caribbean and safe for swimming.
Kittian Village grew up round the St. Kitts Marriot Resort, just east of Frigate Bay. This is one of the best locations on the island for holiday villas and apartments. The beaches are Atlantic-side, lovely and better for surf than Frigate Bay.
The wildly beautiful far south of St. Kitts is where to find Christophe Harbour. It’s the first development in this area and its low-impact design reflects the spirit of the rest of the island. Luxurious villas and apartments surround the marina, and the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt resort opened here in 2017.
The little island of Nevis is just off the southern tip of St. Kitts. Known for deserted beaches and a lush, forested interior, it’s also home to mist-shrouded Mount Nevis and a vast population of hummingbirds.
It takes less than an hour to drive from one end of St. Kitts to the other. Car hire isn’t essential but there are no local transport services, apart from mini-buses and taxis. The island doesn’t have a single traffic light and the roads are quiet, so cycling’s a good option with older kids. There are regular ferry crossings to Nevis, no shortage of guided tours and many resorts have water taxis or shuttle services.