Welcome to the next destination for my Travel Column at the Smorgasbord Invitation. Today we’re going to another small, beautiful and still developing Caribbean island – Saint Kitts. Please check for up to date information on travel restrictions to the island St. Kitts Tourism
Welcome to Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts is the more popular name the island goes by, shortened from its formal name Saint Christopher Island with Basseterre being its capital. Located in the West Indies, bordered to the left by the Caribbean Sea, and to the right, the Atlantic Ocean, St. Kitts is located approximately 1300 miles southeast of Miami. This island is considered another of the gems of the Caribbean.
Saint Kitts and its close neighboring island – Nevis are considered one country – The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The two mountainous islands are of volcanic origin, causing many beaches in St. Kitts to consist of black volcanic sand.
Unlike St. Martin where two countries exist together on one island, Saint Kitts and Nevis are narrowly separated by shallow waters, by a mere two-mile channel aptly named ‘The Narrows’. The natives refer to themselves as Kittitians.
The island is home to over 53,000 people as of 2016, mostly of African descent. The language spoken is primarily English as well as St. Kitts Creole.
A Bit of History
Saint Kitts is formerly a member of the British West Indies when it first became the home of the British and French colonies in the mid 1620’s along with its sister island Nevis. It wasn’t until September 19th of 1983 that it became an independent country. Along with several Caribbean islands back in the 17th and 18th centuries, islands were conquered and taken over and changed hands and ownership a few times between military take-overs and treaties. French and British colonists fought over St. Kitts in the early 1620’s. Ultimately, in 1783 it became affiliated with the Kingdom of Great Britain , which became the United Kingdom and in 1967 became an associated state of Britain.
Slavery – The island originally produced tobacco back in the 1600’s then switched to sugar and importing of African slaves to look after the fields. The importing of slaves became outlawed and abolished on August 1, 1834. The slaves already there were apprenticed to look after the sugar cane fields to protect the planters from losing their labor force. August 1st is now celebrated as Emancipation Day. The Great Depression helped to collapse sugar prices precipitating the birth of the organized labor movement in St Kitts and Nevis. After 365 years, the government shut down the production of sugar cane again in 2005 due to huge losses in the industry and the lowered price cuts of sugar called by the European Union. St. Kitts/Nevis really has a fascinating history of hostile takeovers which you can read more about HERE
Currency – The currency used on the island is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar with one U.S. dollar roughly equaling 2.70 in EC dollars. But as in most countries and islands, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted.
Climate – Typical Caribbean tropical weather year – round with June through November notorious for rainy and hurricane season.
Tourism – Like most islands, St. Kitts heavily relies on tourism to grow its economy. On 21 September 1998, the islands were severely crippled by Hurricane Georges resulting in nearly $500 million of damage to property. Georges was the worst hurricane to hit the region in the 20th century. In 2009 the number of visitors to the island almost doubled since 1978. I have seen a lot of this growth of the island with my own eyes. This island is also a duty-free island where tobacco and liquor are exceedingly cheap to purchase. And of course, jewelry is also duty-free but nowhere near as plentiful in selection as in St. Martin!
When I first visited St. Kitts on a cruise ship stop about 10 years ago I didn’t tour the whole island, and in my opinion, there wasn’t much happening on that island to entice tourists, there wasn’t even a welcoming port set up for visiting cruise ship tourists. On my next return about 3 years ago, I could see how much the island had become developed.
My brother and his wife spend a month there every year visiting their children and grandchildren every January. Their daughter-in-law is studying at the Ross University of Veterinary Medicine, which is a popular and well-known university for many Americans and Canadians to receive their education to become a veterinarian.
On my last visit 5 years ago, while on a cruise, we stopped in St. Kitts for the day and pre-planned to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law. When we got off the ship I was amazed at the beautiful port that was built, lined with stores and duty-free outlets and plenty of tour guides and taxis vying for passenger’s attention, offering tours and rides.
St. Kitts still doesn’t have many resort properties, but construction is booming there as the tourist industry is growing everywhere. And as the tourism grows so does the demand for vacation properties.
My brother had rented a car and met us at port and took us on tour of the island and to a beautiful lookout point at the southern tip of the island where we stood on a cliff and could see Nevis with the naked eye.
We then spent the afternoon at a most paradise-like resort atop of a beach where the swimming pool’s edge ran over with water like a fountain and our lounge chairs rested inside the pool. It was a spectacular day.
Because I haven’t spent a lot of time in St. Kitts I can’t personally recommend a beach or hotel, but I’m listing some helpful links below where you can learn about best beaches, places to stay and eat, and attractions to visit. I will add here that as much as my brother and sister-in-law enjoy the island, they don’t choose to spend the whole winter there because the island imports most of its food, making it often more expensive than in America, and rarely have they been tempted to eat some of the meat available in grocery stores, and so being carnivore lovers, a month is more than enough time there for them. But for fish lovers and vegans island food is ideal.
Opportunity to Live in St. Kitts and Become a Citizen!
If you’re perhaps considering relocating to a desert island, largely still unspoiled, you may want to consider investing in St. Kitts!
With the intent to grow the island and its population, St. Kitts and Nevis have opened a unique ‘citizenship by investment program.’ If you pass a government strict background check and make an approved real estate deal of $400,000 or more in U.S. currency, you are entitled to apply for citizenship of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. You can check out more information about this and all detailed requirements at the Henley Estates market overview.
Links to Check Out to Learn More About St. Kitts
I hope you enjoyed this edition of my travel column. Next month I’ll be introducing you to one of the U.S. Virgin Islands – St. Thomas!
©D.G. Kaye 2018
About D.G. Kaye
Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.
D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.
When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
“I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.”
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”
“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”
Books by D.G. Kaye
One of the reviews for Have Bags Will Travel
This is such a hoot, what a laugh!
Have Bags Will Travel is such an entertaining read which gives you an insight into D G Kaye’s character, her shopping obsession, packing troubles, germaphobia, and brushes with airport security. Enjoy her recollections on the glamour and glitz, her love to travel and a nostalgic aspect to it all.
Her friend Zan shares her shopaholic tendencies too. The two of them together… can you imagine? A red head, blonde explosion of zaniness! I love the part when they end up at Buckingham Palace and chat to a Beefeater, the royal guard and after which… it gets funnier by the moment.
Have Bags Will Travel gives a historical account of how much easier it used to be to take overstuffed baggage through airports in the good old days. Now, it seems that D G Kaye will resort to anything to get her shopping home.
Zan and D G Kaye also travel to Paris and end up shopping for shoes!
There are manmade toboggan rides in Muskoka, Canada.
Trips to Venezuela: Margarita Island and Caracas with cousin Eileen.
Las Vegas, Then and Now – gambling/casinos, fond memories of the author’s love of the desert.
Have Bags Will Travel is just what we need right now, a good giggle! There is also a section at the back of the book with Helpful Travel tips.
A short, entertaining read. Highly recommended, especially for the shopoholics and travel enthusiasts in your life!
Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads – Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – Twitter: @pokercubster – Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye