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Saint Kitts is one of the two main islands that together make up the country of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Saint Kitts is the bigger and more populous one, where the capital Basseterre is located.
The compound known as Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park dates back to the 18th century and was known as the 'Gibraltar of the West Indies' as it was once a major British garrison until it was abandoned in 1850. Since the 1960's there have been restorations and as a result much of the fortress has been returned to how it looked like before. It was designed by the British and built by African slave labour and the fortress is a testimony to European colonial expansion, the African slave trade and the emergence of new societies in the Caribbean and therefore is placed on the Unesco World Heritage List.
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St. Kitts Scenic Railway operates a scenic tour on the island of Saint Kitts on an old railway track formerly used by sugarcane plantations. This tour runs on a 48-kilometre (30-mile) loop and takes about 3 hours to complete.
Held annually on March 28, this takes place over three days at Brimstone Hill Fort. History comes alive as the famous battle between British and French forces in 1782 is reenacted here. It is a great spectacle that allows you to imagine this aspect of colonial life in the 18th century. The real battle actually took place on January 25th and 26th but the modern reenactment takes place in March.
A fun festival held from the middle of December until early January each year, with lively events happening over the Christmas period. For example, a major highlight of the festival is “J’ouvert morning,” whereby steel and brass bands parade through the streets playing music that many people dance to. The music goes well into the early hours of the morning. It is an extremely lively festival, and the basis is to celebrate St Kitts and Nevis’ proud Caribbean culture.
Saint Kitts has a warm and humid tropical climate with temperatures usually around 30 °C during the day and around 23 °C at night. June to September is slightly warmer with temperatures above 30 °C at daytime and not dropping below 26 °C on average at night. Rainfall is spread throughout the year and possible in every month but July to November is the wetter time of year while February to May is somewhat drier.
Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) is a short drive north of Basseterre. Windward Islands Airways (Winair) flies there from Nevis and Saint Martin while Leeward Islands Air Transport flies to and from Antigua and Barbuda and St. Thomas. Connections to North America and Europe include Miami and New York by American Airlines, and London by British Airways. There are also seasonal flights to Toronto and flights to Charlotte andPhiladelphia.
Six ferries operate between the islands of Saint Kitss and Nevis: the MV Caribe Queen, MV Carib Breeze and MV Carib Surf, the MV Mark Twain, the MV Geronimo and the MV Sea Hustler. The MV Mark Twain is currently inactive, but the other 5 vessels have a total of 15 sailings a day between both islands in either direction, between 6.30am (first sailing from Saint Kitts) to 7pm (last sailing from Saint Kitts). From Nevis, the first one leaves at 7am and the last at 6 pm. Crossings take about 45 minutes and provide an excellent way of travelling between the capital Basseterre on Saint Kitts and Charlestown, the 'capital' of Nevis.
There are no regular international boats serving the island, though once every week or two there are boats between Basseterre on St. Kitts and Philipsburg in Sint Maarten. Mainly locals go shopping for the weekend as the ferry returns the other day again. You might also be able to find a fisherman who will bring you from for example Sint Eustatius but don't count on it.
St. Kitts Scenic Railway (see above).
Renting a car is a great way to explore Saint Kitts for a day or two. There are cars available at both the international airport as well as downtown. Outside Basseterre, traffic is light and safe.
On Saint Kitts, there are 5 bus routes which all originate and terminate at the capital Basseterre. They are:
Most of the luxurious hotels are on the peninsula in the east of the island. It's good for a stay at the beach, with all the amenities you need, including pools and restaurants, but a far better option is staying in the capital Basseterre and make trips from there. It's a lively place with good nightlife but small enough to walk around and enjoy the culture and people. It's also safe!
The following options are all in Basseterre:
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