If you were a bird flying high above the Caribbean you would notice that one of the islands below you has a distinct similarity in appearance to a guitar. This would be the charming island of St. Kitts. Home to around 35k residents, mostly of African descent, it is part of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis – a two-island nation made of St. Kitts and neighboring Nevis.
Though relatively small in size (running around 18 miles in length and about 5 miles at its widest) St. Kitts is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a swath of rainforest, a dormant volcano, many kinds of plants and birds, and a thriving tourist industry. It also has many fine beaches, a lovely and large reef system popular with divers, and a large number of historic sites and hiking trails.
It is obvious that the popularity of St. Kitts has to do with the scenic beauty that the islanders work to protect. And it is easy to see that the gorgeous weather that St. Kitts experiences on a year round basis plays a part in the high number of visitors as well. The daytime temperatures rarely exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit and the nighttime lows rarely dip below 65 degrees as well.
Tourism is an important part of the island’s economy, and yet there is a distinct absence of the overcrowding of resorts and hotels, as is the case with other Caribbean islands. This is because the country also puts emphasis on transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing. It currently has an enormously high literacy rate – around 98% – making it one of the top locations in the region.
The capital city of Basseterre is a thriving area with the fascinating area known as the Circus. This is named after the world famous Piccadilly Circus in London, and is a spot just packed with fun shops, wonderful restaurants and cafes, and all kinds of unique sites – including a functioning clock tower. Outside of this sole urban area, the rest of the island is generally preserved.
There are historic sites to explore, geological and natural attractions, and the many excellent beaches that dot the outer perimeter of the island. Only in recent years have highway projects been used to facilitate tourism to the largest and most pristine beaches, and for the most part, these have remained protected and intact.
The largest port in the capital is also a common stopping point for large cruise ships that arrive several times each week. This means it is a “must see” destination for any visitor to the Caribbean.