Difference between revisions of "Saint Kitts"
Revision as of 15:40, 4 December 2007
Basseterre Cayon Sandy Point Town Parsons Dieppe Bay Molineux
As if it were the custom in the Caribbean, St-Kitts and Nevis changed hands many times between English and French, which has left it a heritage of cities with names from both countries. Contrariwise, the architecture there is very Anglo-Saxon (Style Victorian) with driving on left and especially in downtown Basseterre: Circus Place the reproduction of the 'Berkeley Memorial Clock'.
The islands became an associated state of the United Kingdom with full internal autonomy in 1967. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed.
There are also several ancient British fortifications which have been restored with minutiae and reproducing the tiniest details of original construction. St-Kitts and Nevis will be called to be developed in the near future, in fact many projects are in progress or completion, notably vast dockings to accommodate the largest liners and cruisers with terminals, loading docks, etc.
What is really remarkable on St-Kitts and Nevis is the natural aspect. Many tropical birds which one rarely finds elsewhere are present in great concentration in the nature and there are also the famous monkeys which, it is said, were introduced by the pirates. An all-new road permits going to the southeast end of St-kitts (Turtle Beach) where one feels that a certain febrility in the air will make of this part of the island an appreciated place. Indeed, one has only to take a little adventure in the underwoods with some fruit in hand to see onself quite soon surrounded by monkeys coming gently to meet one to get fed. For the inhabitants of the islands, on the other hand, the monkeys are not percieved as as big a joy, for these pretty little hairy beings plunder the harvest and nose around everywhere they can go.
From the US:
Daily flights are available from San Juan, PR from American Airlines and Caribbean Sun, as well as through BVI/Tortola. American also has weekend flights from Miami (more flights during the tourist season), and US Air has direct flights from Philadelphia. American has also offered charter flights direct from Dallas on 767's.
American will soon have a non-stop flight from JFK to St. Kitts and Delta will have a non-stop from Atlanta to St. Kitts.
Golden Caribbean offer a weakly charter service to the island on a Saturday from London Gatwick. The flight cannot be booked through Excel, it has to be booked through either www.westernair.com or www.goldencaribbean.com
Skyservice has a flight from Toronto to St. Kitts departing on Wednesday, December 19 and 26th and then on Saturday's starting January 12th. They also have Monday flights starting December 26th to St. Kitts.
Daily ferries are available between St. Kitts and Nevis. There is an occasional ferry between St. Kitts and St. Maarten (roughly every three to four weeks). Cruise ships visit the island on a regular basis during the tourist season (November - April).
Taxies and buses outnumber those needing them in St. Kitts. Be sure to negotiate upfront the costs of the trip, pay special attension to if the fare is in US or EC dollars. Temporary drivers licenses are available, as well as several rentals agencies.
Buses transit between the larger destinations on a regular basis during the day. The main bus stops in Basseterre include the ferry pier, Baker's Corner and points along Cayon Road.
Go on the scenic railroad tour that goes through portions of the narrow gauge railroad formerly used for the sugar mill. www.stkittsscenicrailway.com
The largest historical site is the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. A British fortification this was once refered to as the Gibraltar of the Caribbean. In the past several decades the fort has been under significant restoration, and is now a popular tourist destination on the island.
* The mountains of St. Kitts make for some wonderful hiking in the tropical rain forest environment. It is highly recommended that anyone unfamiliar with the island go on a guided tour, as most of the trails are not well marked. There are some short rain forest walks, including a well-maintained trail above Romney Manor that travels along and across the Wingfield's river. This is probably the best marked trail, complete with ropes and steps. For those looking for more of a challenge, hiking up to the rim of the mile-wide crater on Mt. Liamuiga is much more difficult, but with a very rewarding view. Although it can be completed in under two hours (not including traveling time), it's best to plan at least three - particularly if you wish to enjoy a long lunch at the top. This trail is well-traveled, but it is not well maintained otherwise, and it is very common to have fallen trees across the path. Trails that are less well traveled, but worth the trip (if you have a guide) are Dos D'ane Pond (on top of Verchild's Mountain), and the Old Military Trail that crosses the middle of the island, from Romney Manor to Philip's (above Molineaux). The Old Military Trail is the historic path used by the British when the island was split with the French, and provided the only land route to connect the British villages on the Atlantic side to the Caribbean side.
A number of restaurants are located in Frigate Bay. Mr. X's Shiggity Shack, Monkey Bar  and Ziggy's on South Frigate Bay beach are more traditional, casual beach bar restaurants.
On the opposite side, on North Frigate Bay, there are several western-style restaurants, including Ciao (Italian), Rock Lobster (seafood, mixed American and Caribbean) and PJ's (American, delicious pasta).
South Friars is home to Godfather's, Mongoose and Shipwreck Beach Bar.
Cockleshell is home to Lion's Beach Bar and Reggae Beach Bar a new restaurant that has recently opened. (Home to Wilbur the 600 pound pig)
Around the island there is also the Royal Palm at Ottley's Plantation (upscale), the Golden Lemon in Dieppe Bay, Ottley's Plantation (upscale), Sprat Net (casual, seafood) and Rawlin's Plantation (popular lunch buffet).
In Basseterre you will find Circus Grill, Ballahoo, Stonewalls and in Fortlands there is Serendipity (upscale) and Ocean Terrace Inn's Fisherman's Wharf and Waterfall Restaurant (famous for their Friday Night West Indian Buffet)
There are a large number of local spots to get drinks (locally botteled soda and beer). These include little bars along the side of the road throughout the towns and cities, especially down by the ferry pier. On the southern penninsula there are a number of beach bars and bar/restaurants. On South Friar's Bay beach and South Frigate Bay beach in particular there are a number of beach bar 'shacks' along the beach serving drinks and some offering food.