Cruise and Beach Destinations
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St. Kitts

15 Top St. Kitts Tourist Attractions

St. Kitts cruise mall
St. Kitts cruise mall is a major tourist attraction. © 2023 Scott S. Bateman

The 15 best St. Kitts tourist attractions start with the massive expansion of the cruise port. But historical and natural attractions also abound.

1) Basseterre

Basseterre, capital of St. Kitts and Nevis, has jumped up to our favorite tourist attraction in St. Kitts.

It now has one of a largest outdoor shopping malls in the Caribbean at the cruise port. Cruise visitors will find many shops and restaurants along with free entertainment. From that point, they can venture into the the city.

Overnight vacationers who stay at local hotels and resorts may want to tour the cruise mall if they go into Basseterre. It’s easy to reach from the inner city.

The city has a strong British colonial past. Other major landmarks include Independence Square, the marketplace, Berkeley Memorial Clock and the nearby Brimstone Hill Fortress.

4) St. Kitts Scenic Railway

The narrow gauge St. Kitts Railway is one of the few active railroads in the Caribbean.

The railroad was built between 1912 and 1926 to deliver sugar cane from the fields to the sugar mill in the capital city of Basseterre. It now offers a way to see the entire island from rail cars built for touring the island.

Note that the ticket prices are more than $100 per person for a three-hour ride. $$$

3) Brimstone Hill Fortress

Brimstone Hill Fortress
Brimstone Hill Fortress is a photographic and well-preserved tourist attraction. Credit: Depositphotos

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Construction on this interesting and well-preserved attraction began in 1690 and continued off and on for just over 100 years until completion. $$

4) Mt. Liamuiga Volcano

The 3,800-foot-tall dormant volcano seems much taller when landing by plane on St. Kitts because it dominates the small island.

Fit visitors to the island can drive to the 1,000-foot level and then hike up 2,000 feet to the smaller of the two peaks. Tour guides are recommended.

5) Berkeley Memorial

Cruise visitors who go to the far end of the mall and beyond the tourism office will find themselves in the quaint city square. The Berkeley Memorial, a tall green monument with a clock, stands in the middle of the square.

The memorial honors Thomas Berkeley, the former president of the General Legislative Council. Although the memorial isn’t an attraction worth visiting on its own, it is hard to miss for anyone walking through Basseterre. It also is a popular photo subject.

6) The Government House

The Government House, also known as Springfield House, is the official residence of the Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis.

It was built by the Blake family around 1834. A planter and merchant who bought the house named it Springfield. It eventually become the home of the Archdeacon of St. Kitts.

7) Independence Square / Immaculate Conception Church

Independence Square, St. Kitts
Independence Square with Immaculate Conception Church in the background. © 2023 Scott S. Bateman

Both Independence Square and Church of the Immaculate Conception are hard to miss for any brief walking tour of Basseterre.

They sit less than a half mile from the cruise terminal. The square is a small park with a fountain in the middle.

The square became a major government and commercial center for Basseterre in 1750 after the government bought it. The massive stone church, rebuilt from a previous one in 1927, overlooks the park.

8) Old Treasury Building

Another building hard for anyone to miss on a walking tour of Basseterre is the Old Treasury Building.

Planters donated money for the construction of the building in 1894, according to the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. It housed several government departments.

The exterior is a good subject for photographers.

9) Day Trips to Nevis

Nevis is so close at 2.5 miles away that it is both easy and tempting to take a day trip there.

Ferry rides from Basseterre to Charlestown last about 45 minutes. Visitors can enjoy hiking through lush rainforests, enjoy views at the top of Nevis Peak or explore a number of historical sites.

Ferries usually leave every half hour to 45 minutes and are most active Monday through Saturday. Tour operators also offer day trips to Nevis beaches that cost about $55.

10) Hiking and Touring

The slopes of the volcano have sections of rainforest that allow hikers to see monkeys, exotic birds, hanging vines, tropical fruit and flowering shrubs.

Visitors to the southeastern part of the island can visit Turtle Beach to see ... monkeys. Full island tours include the capital of Basseterre, Bloody Point, the first English settlement and the tropical gardens of Romney Manor.

11) Beaches

Cockleshell Bay is a powder-white sand beach more than two miles long. It has a striking view of Nevis. The beach is about 20 minutes southeast of the cruise port.

North Frigate Bay has another white sand beach along with hotels and restaurants.

Conaree, Pump Bay and Dieppe Bay are black sand beaches. Pump Bay is popular for diving and snorkeling. Half Moon Bay is the place for body surfing.

Another option is a day-trip to Pinney’s Beach on Nevis.

12) Bird Watching

St. Kitts’ northern, central and southern mountain ranges are carpeted in thick rain forest supporting huge bio-diversity.

Brown Booby, Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigate bird, Cattle Egret, American Kestrel, Royal Tern, Feral Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground-dove, Caribbean Elaenia, Grey Kingbird, Caribbean Martin, Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit and Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, Black-whiskered Vireo are only a few.

13) Caribelle Batik Factory

The Caribelle Batik Factory at Romney Manor offers visitors a chance to see batik demonstrations, shop for products and tour the beautiful grounds.

Workers use dye and hot wax to create colorful wall hangings, sun dresses, shirts, blouses, beach wraps and more.

14) Romney Manor

Romney Manor was established in the 17th century and has been owned by only six families since then.

Included in the 10 acres is a saman tree that is 350 years old, 24 feet in diameter and covering a half acre of ground.

15) Diving and Snorkeling

Reefs and shipwrecks are available to explore for anyone who likes scuba diving or snorkeling.

The Coconut Tree Reef is a 10-minute ride by boat. The River Taw is a freighter that sank in 1985.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
June 19, 2023

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