The two islands that make up the tiny nation of St. Kitts and Nevis are often referred to as sisters. Both have lush landscapes, including rainforests, and a cultural heritage from 18th-century sugar plantation economies. Long-dormant volcanoes dominate, and most beaches lack the crowds of more popular Caribbean islands. Big sister St. Kitts is by far the most visited; however, it's still possible to find untamed scenery in its trio of mountain ranges. Little sister Nevis is a sleepy getaway perfect for leaving your worries behind.
St. Kitts's beaches vary from black sand in the island's north, to gray or white sand in the south. Friar's Bay Beach, a favorite of many locals, is also good for families, thanks to its calm waters and food stands. With its reef-protected waters, ideal for both swimming and snorkeling, Pinney's Beach on Nevis is one of the grandest in the Caribbean. A lagoon that evokes the South Pacific awaits near the beach's windward edge.
Things To Do
To get a breathtaking view of the best panorama in the Caribbean, visit the Brimstone Hill Fortress on St. Kitts, which commands a view of six islands: Nevis, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin, and St. Barts. The St. Kitts Scenic Railway follows old sugar-cane tracks on a tour of the island's most spectacular scenery. Journey through a rainforest and local villages on a hike or mountain-bike ride on Nevis' 14.5km (9-mile) Upper Round Road.
Eating & Drinking
In St. Kitts and Nevis, it's best to eat island style, whether it's seafood with West Indian curry or goat water -- goat stew with vegetables and dumplings. Head to Rawlins Plantation Inn on St. Kitts for West Indian fare with a stunning view, or The Golden Lemon for house specialties such as lobster from Dieppe Bay or rum-beef stew. Try a rum punch and enjoy the sunshine at the Double Deuce, a casual beach bar and restaurant on Nevis.
Beyond the sandy beaches, natural attractions are abundant on both islands. On St. Kitts, adventurous types hike up Mount Liamuiga through the rainforest to the crater rim of a dormant volcano. Among the trees of the cloud forest are a variety of rare birds, as well as green vervet monkeys. Dive sites off the western coast of Nevis vary from thermal vents to the high shoals near Booby Island, where Southern stingrays and hawksbill turtles are found.