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St Kitts and Nevis Travel Guide:

Find What You're Looking For in St. Kitts and Nevis   by Caitlin Moore
The St. Kitts Sugar Cane Railroad   by Justin Burch

Find What You're Looking For in St. Kitts and Nevis   by Caitlin Moore

Thanks to long ago volcanic activity, the Caribbean Sea is sprinkled with handfuls of now-settled islands that act as magnets to tourists looking for the ultimate getaway experience. There are many choices, few of them regrettable, but if a quiet and nature-oriented escape from reality is desired, you certainly wouldn't go wrong with a trip to St. Kitts and Nevis, a pair of islands that maintains a French/English identity as well as many unspoiled swaths of wilderness.

Caribbean, St Kitts and Nevis, St Kitts, Frigate Bay
Caribbean, St Kitts and Nevis, St Kitts, Frigate Bay
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British-style buildings and cars that drive on the left side of the road will immediately help to create a sense of away-ness, and the interior of the islands are delightfully uninhabited - an exotic treat for city dwellers and residents of sprawling suburbia. Combine these elements with a predictably pleasant climate and constant cycle of sea breezes and the foundation has been laid for a top-five vacation.

Some say that St. Kitts and Nevis resemble a baseball bat and baseball, something to notice when flying in for a landing or looking at a map but a fact that will be forgotten once you've become immersed in the pure loveliness of the landscape. A narrow channel separates the two isles, making going back and forth no big deal, so every inch of the terrain, both untouched and populated, is available to be explored and enjoyed.

All the standard beach activities are up for grabs, although the word "standard" doesn't really apply to snorkeling, sea kayaking, relaxing at a beach bar or watching for rainbows and sunsets off the pristine coast. Timothy Beach is a popular spot for finding the activities you need to check a few entries off the itinerary, and if you don't have one of those, you'll wander your way through a perfectly agreeable day. After getting your fill of being barefoot, it'll be time to head to one of the towns for some shopping and fine dining. Try Basseterre, Charlestown or Newcastle for a taste of local cuisine, shopping and culture seeking.

Town Street, Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis
Town Street, Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis
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Or, if seeking out a few thrills is on the menu, head inland to sneak a peek at the impressive array of flora and fauna. In addition to colorful and fragrant plant life unlike any you've seen before, the flitting hummingbirds and friendly monkeys will most certainly catch your eye. A few tidbits of fruit will entice the furry creatures to come close, offering up photo-ops that will make the perfect souvenir. Mountain rainforest hikes provide exercise, fresh air and enjoyable off-the-beaten-path moments, so check them out if you're so inclined.

St. Kitts and Nevis is adept at offering a bit of everything; quiet afternoons and thrilling adventures, deserted stretches of beach and lively festivals. A number of music celebrations dot the calendar and often feature parades with salsa, calypso and steel pan infusions, while tennis courts and golf courses provide more traditional vacation pursuits. No matter what you and your companions look for on holiday (as the Brits would say) it's certain to be contained within the perimeter of this charming island nation.

This includes stellar lodging options in the form of dozens of vacation rental properties that have a way of making visitors feel immediately at home in this far-flung tropical paradise. Villas offering panoramic views and easy access to the beach make all the difference when it comes to you and your companions coexisting peacefully while feeling comfortable and connected to the surroundings. A day of swimming and snorkeling can be just a stroll away, as are horseback riding stables, one of the vibrant towns, a fabulous restaurant or an engrossing view of Mt. Nevis. Sorting through the options online is a fun exercise that will certainly lead to inventing the perfect scenario framed by hibiscus and bougainvillea, not to mention a set-up of bedrooms, baths and grounds that will lend an air of elegance and luxury to the whole affair.

St. Kitts and Nevis Vacation Rentals are available in multiple locations and come in all shape and size - large condos, diminutive bungalows, vast villas, etc... Most come equipped with a plethora of helpful amenities like kitchens and extra towels and linens, and most are pretty easy on the eyes. Take a look at the options and allow yourself to start getting excited for an upcoming trip that's sure to be one of your best ever.


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The St. Kitts Sugar Cane Railroad   by Justin Burch

Early in the 20th Century, a 30-mile railway was constructed on St. Kitts to aid transportation of sugar cane crops to the island's colonial capital, Basseterre. Today, this unique narrow-gauge railway has found a new life. As part of St. Kitts' expanding tourism industry, the St. Kitts Sugar Cane Railroad now serves as one of the best ways to see this gorgeous island in its entirety. In addition to being the most enchanting rail tour in the Caribbean, this railway provides one of the most scenic train rides in the world.

Traversing a major stretch of the island, the railway will take you past many of the old sugar cane fields. Though the crop is rarely harvested anymore, these plantations offer a unique glimpse into the Caribbean's colonial past. Today, the countryside is dotted with numerous active farms full of livestock and fruit crops, yet abandoned windmills and smokestacks still populate the landscape. The small towns supporting these farms also feature charming houses and other unique historic structures. Many travelers have also noticed that children often come out of the rural schoolhouses to watch the train roll by twice a day - an activity that offers students and teachers a regular break from studies.

Sugar Cane Field, Middle Island, St. Kitts & Nevis
Sugar Cane Field, Middle Island, St. Kitts & Nevis
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After leaving the station, the train will head north along the St. Kitts' beautiful coastline. Some of the first things you might notice are the numerous sidings - loading points for harvested sugar cane - next to the tracks. As the train hugs the coastline in the early going, you will probably also notice the rainforest-covered mountains of St. Kitts rising above the aforementioned farms and villages. At the heart of the mountain range, you will certainly notice Mt. Liamuiga - the volcanic peak visible throughout the island. Stretching from the island's central mountain range are many deep canyons, some of which extend all the way to the coastline's majestic cliffs. Spanning these canyons are 24 steel bridges - all of which are attractions in themselves.

Many of St. Kitts' most popular attractions are visible from the train, as well. As the train circles the island, the conductor will announce such sites as Brimstone Hill Fortress - the "Gibraltar of the Caribbean." While viewing such historic structures and natural beauty, you will also be treated to a narrative history of the island. To educate yourself even further, stop by the Basseterre Public Library after your tour to view a permanent exhibit of photographs dating to the construction of the railway.

Unlike many other historic railways, the passenger cars of the St. Kitts Sugar Cane Railroad are as luxurious as the scenery. For the sake of the tours, the island commissioned the construction of distinctive double-deck railcars. On the upper deck, you will find a beautiful open-air observation deck. Down below, the air conditioned cars are outfitted with comfortable furniture, full-service bars and even live entertainment - all with a Caribbean flourish. As you don't want to miss anything outside, the oversized windows will allow you to enjoy all the sights.

View Towards St. Kitts, Nevis, Leeward Islands, West Indies, Caribbean, Central America
View Towards St. Kitts, Nevis, Leeward Islands, West Indies, Caribbean
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Utilizing 18 miles of the original railway, this two hour tour is the best way to see the entire country in a short time. As only 420 seats are available each day, it is recommended to buy tickets as early as possible through your resort or travel provider. As travelers are promised captivating views of the Caribbean Sea, surrounding islands, rainforest-coated mountains, magnificent cliffs and pristine wildlife - the St. Kitts Sugar Cane Railroad is the hottest ticket on the island.

It is even possible to take a ride on the railway during a shore excursion from one of the many cruise ships that visit the island. Shuttles take passengers from the pier directly to Needsmust Station. At the end of the tour, shuttles will available for travel back to the pier or any of the island's resorts.

If you are looking for the best way to see St. Kitts - or maybe just a ride you will never forget - climb aboard the St. Kitts Sugar Cane Railroad.


About the Author - Justin Burch writes articles for the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino about travel in St Kitts.
Try our Caribbean vacation rental search options:

St. Kitts Beach Villa (Ref: 53096), Basseterre, Saint Kitts & Nevis
Sealofts is a community of fully equipped Caribbean Villas located directly on the Atlantic on a three-acre site running from the ocean to the edge of the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club's 18 hole championship golf course. Sealofts grounds feature a beautiful pool with lounging area set amongst a lush tropical setting with mature palm and hibiscus trees. Grounds feature 2 shady gazebos, a large central barbeque and a lounge area set right on the ocean for unbelievable views of the ocean and mountains. Unit 37 directly overlooks the pool and features 2 balconies, one from the second floor and one from the 3rd floor master loft bedroom. Both bedrooms feature double beds, double closets, double dressers and are fully updated. The second floor bedroom also features an in closet safe for peace of mind with your valuables. Sleeps 5.
Paradise Villa 5, Luxury Vacation Rental, Nevis, St Kitts & Nevis
Designer Adam Tihany has created the Balinese inspired villas of Paradise Villas to blend seamlessly and naturally into this fantastic landscape. The peaked, hand-woven, palm roofs mirror the Nevis Peak, forming an exquisite panorama in every direction. The walled perimeter, so indigenous to the Balinese house guarantees total privacy for your villa, gardens, thatched outdoor dining pavilion and waterfall pool. There are also two outdoor tubs and exquisite views of the Caribbean, St. Kitts and the sunset.  4 bedrooms 4 bathrooms.
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Bird Rock Hotel, Basseterre
A small exclusive caribbean resort hotel on St. Kitts island, W.I. dedicated to family vacations, scuba diving, honeymoon travel with the personal service of a family owned business.  Affordable suites and rooms with personalized service, a full resort and scuba dive operator.  Set amidst lush tropical gardens that overlook the beach and Caribbean sea. Bird Rock has a wide choice of tastefully Furnished accommodations including one, two and three bedroom Suites, interconnecting to studios ideal for families. Offers a swimming pool and a secluded beach that is a Caribbean treasure, a dream and never is crowded.
Ocean Terrace Inn, Basseterre
The Ocean Terrace Inn stands on St. Kitts Island in the Caribbean Sea, overlooking Basseterre and the island's harbor. This hotel is located just two miles from Basseterre Airport and one quarter mile from downtown Basseterre and the cruise port. Surrounded by tropical gardens, the hotel's fantasy pool follows the contours of the landscape and features islands with exotic trees and flowers, cascading waterfalls and a natural rock design.  In addition to the hotel restaurant and poolside snack bar, the Ocean Terrace Inn operates the island's harbor-side Fisherman's Wharf restaurant, which features a wide selection of seafood and meats grilled over coals and prepared in front of guests.
St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino
Stands along the surf-swept sand of Basseterre on the island of St. Kitts. The St. Kitts Scenic Train depot and the ferry dock are located less than 4 miles from the hotel. 8 restaurants and bars attract attention at this Marriott resort. Northern Italian cuisine tempts palates at La Cucina, while grilled fare draws patrons to Royal Grille Steakhouse. The Keys Cigar Bar hosts live entertainment while guests choose from a selection of Cuban, Honduran and Dominican Republic cigars, and aged rums. Recreation includes a 40,000- square-foot casino, a 15,000-square-foot health-and-beauty spa and an expansive fitness center. The spa features couples suites and jetted tubs, and offers hydrotherapy, massage, facials, and hair and nail care. 
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Frigate Bay Resort, Frigate Bay
Frigate Bay Resort is luxury by the calm blue Carribean with all the services you need to enjoy your dream vacation. The Resort is uniquely positioned with a commanding view of the Carribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and lush fairways of Royal St. Kitts. One of the islands finest beaches is located just a short stoll away. St. Kitts is a very special island paradise with volcanic peaks and majestic green mountain ranges. Explore to your hearts delight the historic sights, dramatic rain forests, the many beautiful beaches and exciting activities. Overlooking the magnificent pool with its casual swim up bar, is the octogonal shape, split level restaurant which offers secluded seating in a romantic tropical setting.
Royal St. Kitts Hotel and Casino, Frigate Bay
Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino, a family-run business formerly known as Jack Tar Village for over 20 years, is back with a new look, feel, and focus on Kittitian Culture. Here, you'll rediscover your playful side and learn what it means to "lime", a Kittitian term for hanging out and just getting away from it all. Our Kittitian-focused philosophy, which aims to deliver an authentic island experience, is infused into every aspect of our services and facilities. Nestled between the southeast peninsula, Royal St. Kitts Golf Course, and beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea in St. Kitts' entertainment capital, Frigate Bay, Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino is an affordable gem, where children 12 years old and under stay for free and adults can feel free.
Sugar Bay Club, Frigate Bay
Slink away to the sunshine seclusion of Sugar Bay Club. Situated in a setting that whispers relaxation and recreation, Sugar Bay Club surrounds itself with the best that nature has to offer, in the form of charming coconut trees, balmy breezes and sparkling stretches of sand and sea. The children's club is designed with your kids comfort and enjoyment in mind where you can be assured that they'll be exposed to unsurpassed care.  Our courteous housekeeping personnel, efficient restaurant employees and friendly front desk staff express island hospitality at every turn. While you're with us for a short period of time, we guarantee memories that will last a lifetime
Timothy Beach Resort, Frigate Bay
The Timothy Beach Resort is located in Frigate Bay on the Caribbean beach, with access to both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. This beautiful resort faces golden sands and clear waters and is situated just one mile from the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club and the Royal Beach Casino and three miles from downtown Basseterre. Guests can dine at the Sunset Cafe, which features open-air seating under whitewood ceilings and pink-and-turquoise canopies. The hotel also offers complimentary parking, currency exchange, gift shop, public computer with Internet access and babysitting services. Guestrooms feature furnished balconies or patios with views of the Caribbean Sea or Timothy Hill, a steep green slope behind the resort.
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Nelson Spring Beach Villas Spa, Newcastle
This Newcastle villa property is situated near the beach, close to Four Seasons Golf Course and Pinney's Beach. The hotel  has tennis courts, an outdoor pool, and a fitness facility and features a full-service spa. Business amenities at this 4.0-star property include complimentary wireless Internet access and meeting rooms for small groups. The staff can arrange tour/ticket assistance, wedding services, event catering, and express check-in. Additional amenities include massage and treatment rooms, a concierge desk, and a picnic area. Guestrooms have flat-panel televisions with satellite television channels and DVD players. 
Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Newcastle
The Nisbet Plantation Beach Club in Newcastle, Nevis, offers gorgeous resort accommodations in a Caribbean plantation setting. Where fields of tobacco and sugar cane once grew, palm trees now line lawns of manicured grass. The Alexander Hamilton Birthplace Museum is eight miles from the property in the charming town of Newcastle. The hotel offers a crystal-blue freshwater pool landscaped with palms and flanked by a spacious beachside sundeck. The hotel restaurant can prepare picnic baskets for guests who would like to dine alfresco. The plantation's Great Room contains the only on-site television, preserving the atmosphere's quiet, relaxing atmosphere. With 16 cottages on 30 acres of beachside property, Nisbet affords guests privacy and seclusion.
Oualie Beach Resort, Newcastle
A very unique Caribbean experience. The hotel is right on the beach and has just 32 rooms located in gingerbread Caribbean style cottages a mere 40 to 60 feet from the beach. Activities include snorkeling, spa treatments, scuba, windsurfing, mountain bikes, ocean kayaks, sailing, game fishing, car rentals and guest email access. The Activities center can arrange for nearby rainforest hikes, golf, tennis and horseback riding. The rooms are spaciously scattered along the beach in single and two story Gingerbread Cottages that reflect the traditional Caribbean style architecture of the Island. All rooms have large, cool screened verandas offering uninterrupted views of the beach and neighboring island of St Kitts.
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