Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vacation Review - St. Kitts and Nevis, West Indies

Travel Gremlin here.  Like my tan?  I knew you would.  Anyway, as promised here is a review of St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN), which has the distinction of being smallest country in the Western Hemisphere.  It is also a beautiful country, with crystal blue waters, nice beaches, and mountainous scenery.

We spent most of our time on the island of St. Kitts and only had a brief visit to Nevis.  We stayed one of the newer hotels there, and to be clear on both islands there are only two large hotels.  Most islands have several, and a third is coming to SKN (who knows how long it will take), but that should tell you just how developed SKN is when compared to some other Caribbean nations.

Now we will do a Con and Pro section.  I always will put the Con first because of alphabetical order and since it clears questions up quickly.  So let's get to it.

There were only two things on whole trip that raised my eyebrows.  Possibly this was due to a little extra insulation our resort gave us, but I do not think so.

First, cab fares seemed oddly priced.  No cabs have a meter, and the charge does not depend on the number of people.  After doing some research we found this is standard practice, but it is sketchy to think that the drivers have to memorize prices.  All in all, it was manageable, and not a terrible experience.  Also they drive on the left, and I was not going to mess with that.

Second, was people selling stuff.  For the most part if you said 'no' they left you alone.  I have heard nightmares from other countries across Central America and the Caribbean, so this is actually a pro.  However, there are still some jerks who do not recognize the word 'no'.  So beware if you visit of people wanting pictures with their monkeys, its a BS scam.  Still, people like this exist everywhere.

Costs were higher than normal, but we knew that.  For those to be my only real complaints is pretty darn good.


I'd like to start this off with some photos.
St. Kitts, view the capital Basseterre from the Caribbean Sea.
Nevis, from the beach by the Four Season Hotel.
As you can see to the left, both islands have mountains, specifically extinct volcanoes.  Geographically St. Kitts is much bigger and has 3/4 of the nations 45,000 people.  St. Kitts also has a large mountainous and undeveloped southern peninsula, with fantastic small beaches and scenery.  Those beaches are not nearly as crowded as others.

On the Atlantic side the water is a little rougher and slightly less clear, but it is still very nice.  If you like surfing or wind surfing you will that there are nice breaks and winds to take advantage of here. For the adventure lovers there is great hiking on both islands, zip lining on St. Kitts, and many other awesome activities across both islands.  Nevis is apparently well known for its mountain biking as well, not that I got to try it sadly.

For the relaxing side in all of us, both islands have great beaches.  They are not huge in terms of sand width, but often long and crescent shaped in the many bays of both islands.  Along those beaches typically are nice bars where you can get a drink and food at a decent price.  I would recommend Cockleshell / Reggae Beach or South Friar's / Shipwreck Beach to any visitors.  Both beaches have monkeys too, which are pretty tame despite being wild.

Food wise; eat conch and local rock lobster.  Good prices can be found local places like those mentioned above.  The local BBQ is very good as well!  Beer wise they have three local varieties, all of which are alright.  At one time I liked each the best, although Carib is probably the best, Stag and Skol are the others.  You really can drink Carib all day long.  Still, SKN is more of a rum drinking country, and I recommend at least trying some if you're there.


I'd go back for sure.  Perhaps I'd look to stay somewhere smaller.  The locals were great 99% of the time.  Their local Creole is hard to understand (their English is very understandable, despite a somewhat strong accent), but that's ok.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it an 8.  Getting there was much cheaper than many other islands, and the stay was either same or a little less in terms of cost.  Now sadly back to the grind.

You go anywhere interesting?

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