Hike to the rim of a dormant volcano, swim with sea turtles and look out to sea from an 18th-century fortification on this small island nation in the West Indies.
This small volcanic island in the Caribbean Sea, also known as St. Christopher’s, attracts visitors who come to enjoy scuba diving and beautiful beach coves. Once a colony of the French and British Empires, today St. Kitts and the neighboring island of Nevis is an independent nation.
Take a swim at South Friars Beach, located on the south side of the island. With a long stretch of sand and few rocks, this is the best beach for swimming and wading on St. Kitts. Still, you should wear footwear while in the water as spiny sea urchins commonly wash up on the beach.
Throughout your trip you can’t miss the looming volcano at the center of St. Kitts. Take a day to hike up to the rim of the volcano to get a tour of the interior of the island. Hike the trail that leads up to Sofa Rock, from which you can look into the volcano’s forested cone. While you walk, watch out for friendly monkeys.
The sea around St. Kitts is filled with vibrant coral reefs. Go snorkeling or scuba diving to see rare sea life such as the flamingo tongue snail which is covered in yellow spots. Take a dive boat out to the River Taw Wreck Site.
If you are interested in the history of St. Kitts, visit the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. This 18th-century British fortification built by African slaves rests at the top of a hill on the southwestern side of the volcano. Walk along the ancient arches and defensive walls, which are lined with cannons.
Spend your evenings in Basseterre, which is the main city on St. Kitts. Visit The Circus, the central square which is modeled after Piccadilly Circus in London. The area lights up at night with local festivities. For more evening entertainment, browse the line of resorts and beach bars up north around Half Moon Bay.
St. Kitts can be reached by plane via its international airport, which receives flights from New York daily. It is also a common destination for cruise ships.