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Photos courtesy of Nevis Tourism Authority by Jim Stephens and the Nevis Tourism Authority
Columbus arrived on St. Kitts in 1493, but European colonization didn’t start until 1623, when the British introduced sugar plantations. Sugar cane remained a cultural force on the island for over 350 years, while much of it remains as it always was, wild and unspoiled, excellent for nature lovers. Mt. Liamuiga, a dormant volcano, towers over everything.
During the European colonial period, St. Kitts was a major bastion of British military activity. Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the ruins of the large and impressive fortification which gave the island the nickname, Gibraltar of the Caribbean, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
St. Kitts’ plantation great houses have been turned into grand and comfortable county inns. Luxurious hotels and resorts enjoy excellent beaches and golf courses at Frigate Bay, with new developments pending all over the island. And the capital, Basseterre, offers colonial architecture and attractive shopping.
St. Kitts’ pace is relaxed and serene, but the calendar is filled with festivals and celebrations. For an even slower pace, the sister island of Nevis is just across a strait, and the two islands make an excellent pair for easy island hopping.
With only 36 square miles, Nevis is tiny, but proudly carries the name “The Queen of the Caribees.” At over 3,000 feet, Nevis Peak is the physical center of the island, and the capital of Charlestown is the social and commercial hub.
One of the islands idiosyncrasies has to do with horses – several times a year, racing is conducted along the beach on Nevis, with real thoroughbreds coming here from all over the region, and Mexico.
In its quiet, unassuming way, Nevis delights, and it’s not hard to see why so many like it so much.
The Four Seasons Nevis Resort is one of the very best in the entire Caribbean, with a deluxe 18-hole golf course. Other top hotels on St. Kitts and Nevis include the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino, The Golden Lemon, and Ottley’s Plantation on St. Kitts; and the Four Seasons Resort Nevis, Nisbet Plantation, and Mt. Nevis Hotel and Beach Club on Nevis.
Not To Be Missed – On St. Kitts, Brimstone Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Not To Be Missed – On Nevis, the Botanical Garden is recently designed and constructed by Americans to provide something truly beautiful on the island.