St Kitts: A Tour of the Island

St. Kitts is a small island, but there are enough things to do on it to fill a day, maybe two, of non-beach going activities.  The below excursions are only what we did on this trip to St. Kitts.  The first trip I took, in 2008, included a rainforest tour.  You can also go snorkeling, scuba diving, zip-lining, take a catamaran to Nevis, etc.  Since we were pretty content just sitting on the beach, we decided to limit our touring to some less strenuous activities.

We left our hotel around 9:30, in the capable hands of Arthur, our driver and guide for our time on St. Kitts.  Most of the cab drivers on St. Kitts double as tour guides.  They drive on the wrong side of the road in St. Kitts, and the roads aren’t the best, so I’d recommend getting a driver if you want to venture off site.

Arthur drove us through the main town of Basseterre (not the best, in my opinion).  Basseterre is also home to Port Zante, where the cruise ships dock.  Basseterre has a lot of old, historic structures, but in terms of a place to hang out there isn’t much for a tourist to do.  The main road stretches around the edges of the island, so you get some pretty incredible ocean views as you drive.

We stopped first at Brimstone Fortress, an 18th century fortress on the slopes of St. Kitts’ mountain, which offers a wide view of the sea.  This is St. Kitts’ main historic site, and it tells the story of how the island was passed back and forth between the British and the French (although it was mostly held by the British).  The fortress offers an interesting glimpse into 18th century life on the island, and also gives gorgeous views of the Caribbean and the island.  On a clear day you can see several islands from Brimstone Fortress, but it was a little cloudy, so we only saw Eustacia.

Make sure you wear sunscreen, I burned even with my SPF fifteen.  Of course I got zero color the rest of the trip, go figure.

Our next stop was at Romney Manor, home of Caribelle Batik.  The manor is situated up on the slopes of the mountains in the center of St. Kitts, and therefore in its own little rainforest basin.  The manor was, of course, an old sugar plantation, but now it is a craft site and shop for the batik industry. Batik is a fabric dying process involving lost wax, and you can achieve some gorgeous color and design combinations.

Batik fabrics, hanging out to dry.

Displaying the batik process.

Batik art work.

The grounds are tree-lined and lovely.

And that’s a lobster claw plant!

After Caribelle Batik we had lunch at Rawlings Plantation (I told you about that in the last post), and then we headed to a promontory where you can see where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet.

See that white line waaaaaay off in the distance?  That’s where the two bodies of water meet.  The dark and cloudiness is due to the fact that it started to downpour about a minute after we got back in the van.

And those were some goats that were hanging out with us on the site.

Our last stop was at the Black Rocks, which offer evidence of St. Kitts’ volcanic history.  The coast on this of the island is EXTREMELY different from the peaceful, calm, sands of the beaches at Carambola and Cockleshell.

And after that we headed back to the hotel, sleepy and windblown.  As you can see, St. Kitts is a lovely little island, with just enough to do to keep you from getting bored!  I highly recommend checking it out next time you are considering a Caribbean vacation!

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