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Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is one of the cultural highlights of Saint Kitts and Nevis and probably on everyone's itinerary when visiting the island of Saint Kitts, the biggest of the two.
The fortress is a perfect and well-preserved example of 17th- and 18th-century military architecture in the Caribbean. It was designed by the British and built by African slave labour. Furthermore, it is a symbol of the European colonial expansion, the African slave trade and the emergence of new societies in the Caribbean. Therefore it is put on the Unesco World Heritage List.
The Citadel on the main hilltop has 24 cannons and provides excellent views of Sint Eustatius and Sandy Point Town. Inside are old rooms displaying colonial history featuring cannonballs and swords Brimstone Hill itself is a volcanic cone named for the sulfur vents that you will undoubtly smell as you drive past the hill along the coastal road. For more information check the Brimstone Hill Fortress website for details.
Opening hours are usually between 9.30am and 5.30pm. Try to arrive during the early or late hours, as Brimstone can get crowded on day when a (or two!) cruiseships harbour Basseterre, the capital of Saint Kitts. Still, the site is big enough to wander around and avoid the crowds.
Adults pay $8 US, children half that price. Locals usually pay much less though.
Renting a car when you are with a few people is probably the best way to get around the island and stop for an hour or so at Brimstone. It is about 3 kilometers from the main coastal road and it is well signposted. You can not mis it anyway, as you will see the hill from far away.
Minibuses travelling from Basseterre to Sandy Point Town in the west can drop you off anywhere. Remember though that you have to climb up for several kilometers, although you can easily hitch from here to the top, especially in the morning and early afternoon.
Otherwise, taxi buses charge about $80 US for half a day of sightseeing, which is perfect when you are with several people and want to combine several parts of the island, like the northcoast.
There is a good little café near the parking area, serving some snacks, sandwiches, soft drinks, coffee, juices and a nice and cool Carib beer if you like.
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