Ah, the beautiful island of Saint Kitts. We had the pleasure of visiting this stunning Eastern Caribbean destination in 2016, along side two of our good friends. It was one of our ports to visit on our 7 day Carnival cruise. My husband and I are quite the adventure seekers, and not too afraid to venture off on our own in strange and unfamiliar territory. We decided to rent a scooter on the island and see what the day could bring us! What we found were truly amazing sights and fascinating culture!
Wiki begins by saying how it was known as Saint Christopher Island, located in the west Indies, and borders the Caribbean on one side and the Atlantic on the other. It then lists a whole bunch of other facts that the majority of people going to the island could care less about. I’ll mention a few of them just in case anyone is really curious.
- Location– 1,300 miles southeast of Miami Florida
- Size– 18 miles long, 5 miles wide, covering 65 square miles
- Largest Town– Basseterre
- Population– 34,983 (2011) The majority of whom are of African descent
- Highest point– Mount Liamuiga (3,792 ft)
Feel free to click on any of the links to get more information on those exhilarating facts.
Some of the lesser known (more interesting) tidbits, along with our personal experience.
The island has three distinct volcanic groups. For the more adventurous folks you can hike to the crater of the dormant volcano Mount Liamuiga. Or you can stop at a local tourist pit stop known as Black Rocks, also referred to as Black Stone. This is a notable rock formation on the northeastern coast. This is formed from lava flow from Mount Liamuiga. This is a tourist hot spot so if you’re looking to escape the crowds, go early. They also have souvenirs for sale here.
The one thing I was determined to see while on the island was Black Sand. Being from NH, black sand is not something we have around these parts. While on our scooter, armed with an island map, we set out to find this. We followed our map as best we could which lead us down a back road. We saw skinny stray dogs, and received a few curious waves from locals sitting on their front steps of their ramshackle homes. We stumbled upon the most amazing hidden gem known as “The Cradle of the Caribbean” (More on this soon)
We found our black sand in two separate areas. One of them was at a little pull off spot right on the main road on the western part of the island. There was a little hut there with a sweet local woman selling her hand-made crafts and home-made cookies. (Husband says the cookie was great) We always try to support the locals (as opposed to buying souvenirs in port which doesn’t always go toward the island people) we purchased some jewelry from her to bring home to our daughters. The black sand was smooth and the view was incredible.
Cradle of the Caribbean- I can’t stress enough how truly breathtaking this little spot is. Prior to arriving on the island I didn’t know anything about this. It is the location where the Atlantic and the Caribbean meet. The waves went on for what seemed like forever. We spent about 30 minutes sitting there with our friends just enjoying the fascinating view. It’s not a well-known attraction and we had the area completely to ourselves the entire time, except for the visit from the monkeys! If you have a passion for stunning views, put this on your must see list!
Monkeys– It is difficult to go anywhere on the island and not run into these wild monkeys. We passed many of them through our travels. Guidebooks say that they were brought to the island as pets in the 17th century and they either escaped or were set free. There are literally thousands of them on Saint Kitts and they live in tribes of 20-70 with an adult male as a leader. When we saw them they were always in a pack. Adorable but I am told that they are considered pests and do dramatic damage to crops. Local farmers do everything they can to keep them away.
Sir Timothy Hill- This is a popular lookout located close to Frigate Beach. From this spot you can see the southeast peninsula of Saint Kitts, the Atlantic on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. It’s a dramatic view of sloping hills with one access road. In the distance you can see the neighboring island of Nevis. Beautiful on the way down, and very impressive on the way up. (Especially with my husband and I sharing one scooter)
As we were finishing up our sight seeing adventure we made our way back towards port. When we got close we were surrounded by the traffic of Basseterre and the smells of amazing local cooking. We walked down the main area before entering the port area. We were drawn in by the smell and sight of the local caught food being cooked in the open right in front of us. We finally decided on a fresh gyro and some lemonade. My husband still talks about that meal!
Something to note- If you plan on renting a scooter and sight-seeing on your own, we got off the boat and just outside of the port we found Liz Pereira with Pereira Tours. With her assistance, we rented two scooters for the four of us for a very reasonable price. She then directed us on how to get our license. In order to drive on the island you must obtain one of these licenses. A short walk from the scooters to the town offices and a fee of about $15 US dollars we had our license in hand and were on our way! It was a bit of process but well worth it! This truly was the best way to see everything we wanted to while doing it all on our time.
For assistance planning your cruise or vacation to this beautiful island, click here, and I can assist you with planning, booking, saving, or just provide some advice on things to do while visiting this beautiful island!
Thanks for reading! Comment below and let me know what island I should spotlight next!