St. Kitts is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) issues the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) for all members of the ECCU. The ECCB also manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in its member countries. The ECCB has kept the EC$ pegged at EC$2.7 to U.S. $1.
St. Kitts maintains diplomatic relations with the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Taiwan, Cuba, and South Korea, as well as with many Latin American countries and neighboring Eastern Caribbean states. It is a member of the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the Eastern Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS), and the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is headquartered in St. Kitts. St. Kitts and Nevis has chosen to recognize Taiwan instead of the People's Republic of China.
Our cultural heritage includes everything that has been handed down to us by our ancestors that continues to affect our patterns of behavior and the way we live. It is the way we dance or sing or play music. It is the way we speak, the expressions and the languages we use. It is the special foods we cook, and the way they are prepared. It is the stories that we tell or write about ourselves and the land around us. It is the toys and handicrafts we create, the way we build our homes and the traditional methods we use to fish or farm. Our culture is made up of all these things, it even includes the way we enjoy ourselves. A great aspect of our culture is our folklore such as; Clowns, Moko-Jumbies, Masquerade, Bull, and Actors. It all comes on display in the tremendous exuberance at Christmas time during our carnival to entertain and educate the community about our culture.SITES/Activities 'round and about St Kitts
Basseterre is the capital of St. Kitts and it is the main town. It is the central business district housing many international and local banks, restaurants, shops, churches and government offices. Its French name simply means "lowland," a description that must have been scratched onto a French sea chart sometime during the late 1620s. In its many transformation, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, fires, and invasions have all swept through this modest community. Set before the dramatic backdrop of St. Kitts' lush green hills, Today Basseterre's French heritage is not nearly so prominent as its British colonial past. In the center of Basseterre is The Circus. An octagonal diminutive roundabout modeled in proper Victorian patriotism after Piccadilly, in London. The focal point of the Circus is the Berkeley Memorial Drinking Fountain and Clock; erected in 1891 it is an ornate, cast iron tower with four clock faces and more than a little architectural decoration.While its circumference comprises more duty-free shops, banks and restaurants, this is also the ideal place from where to get a taxicab. A quick saunter in the easterly direction, along Bank Street takes you to Independence Square, which was named on the occasion of St. Kitts & Nevis achieving political independence on September 19, 1983. Originally called Pall Mall Square. The Government first acquired it in 1750 and it rapidly became the administrative, commercial and social centre of Basseterre. Independence Square is the town square for Basseterre and is filled with local history. During the slave period, the slave auctions were held in Independence Square; slaves were kept in tunnels under the Georgian House and brought up to the square for bidding. Today the square is alive with family outings, impromptu gatherings, and as a place to gather for parades and parties.
We have our share of imposing church edifices. On the eastern side of Independence Square with its numerous examples of vernacular Caribbean architecture, some wood and some built in Georgian style out of brick and stone, is the Co-Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It was built in 1927, replacing an earlier church built in 1856. Heading north, one block to Cayon Street, our main Island road, turn left, walk three blocks and you will see the St. George Anglican Church, which was first, Notre Dame, a Catholic church built by the Jesuits in 1670. Burnt to the ground by the English in 1706, it was rebuilt, renamedand rededicated to the Anglican Faith in 1710.Destruction by an earthquake and fire caused it to be rebuilt once more in 1867. It also houses one of the finest wooden pipe organs in the Caribbean.
Port Zante is situated in downtown Basseterre, in the center of the harbor. The facility comprises a single pier along which two of the largest ocean liners in the world can dock at any one time. In fact, this port is one of only two in the entire Caribbean, at which the Queen Mary II can berth. Port Zante also has a marina to accommodate yachts and other small craft.Upon disembarkation, cruise ship visitors are greeted by cultural acts, displays and exhibitions, as well as various ground operators offering various island excursions. The duty-free shopping district on Port Zante, where fine jewelry, liquor and souvenirs are available along with restaurants, is just past this area. Immediately beyond the shops lies Pelican Mall, the ground floor of which houses the headquarters of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. Here, brochures can be picked up and inquires made. The National Museum is situated just to the left of the Pelican mall.
The domed colonial building that stands right on the waterfront is a reminder of the value of these islands as sugar colonies. It is the Treasury Building, or customs house, and through its arches passed virtually everything that arrived at or departed from St. Kitts, including until recently all visitors.
The War Memorial: A Cenotaph built to recognize those who fought in the World Wars is located at the northern end of the Irish Town Bay road near Ocean Terrace Inn.
By 1626 both the British and the French settlements were expanding at such a rate that the Carib community began to perceive a threat to its very existence on the island. Joining forces with Caribs from a number of other islands, Chief Tegremare prepared to attack the European settlements. In the meanwhile, despite growing animosity between the French and the British, the two communities put aside their differences in order to mount a combined, pre-emptive attack on the Carib. As a result, over 2,000 Carib Indians were massacred here at Bloody Point.
Old Road was the very first British town in the entire Caribbean. Sir Thomas Warner landed at Old Road Bay on 28th January 1623 with fifteen settlers. The Indians had their villages and ritual grounds in this area. Unfortunately, the only indications of their existence in that area are the stone petroglyphs that can be seen on the left hand side of the road to Romney Manor.The settlers were at first on good terms with the island's Carib inhabitants, though such friendship lasted only a very few years. Rather than cultivating sugar, it was tobacco that had drawn Warner to the island, and it was the island's tobacco crop that first supported the settlement. The Warner family estate served as the capital of St. Kitts until 1727, when it was moved to Basseterre.
A childhood friend of Sir Thomas Warner, Samuel Jefferson, a grandfather of Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of U.S.A.), and buried in the same graveyard as Sir Thomas at Middle Island, was given a thousand acre land grant for a property named Wingfield Estate. This was the only Estate to use a water wheel for power and the remnants of the brick aqueduct still stand some distance up the road.
The Romney Family later leased this land and today it is home of the Caribelle Batik and The Botanical Gardens of Romney Manor. Artisans at the batik factory provide live demonstrations of the complicated process of turning soft Sea Island cotton into colorful batiks. The beautifully restored gardens surrounding the 17th Century sugar estate feature a magnificent Saman tree350 years old, 24 ft in diameter and covering ½ an acre. The tree quietly presides over the activity of the present day Romney Manor. There is spirituality about Romney Manor and its grounds that visitors frequently experience. The setting is majestic. Many visitors return time and time again to savour the memorable experience that Romney Manor and its gardens exude.It requires a wide-angle lens to photograph.The great house was renamed Romney Manor following its acquisition in the early 17th century by the Earl of Romney. Its grounds have a great history; there is strong evidence that they were originally the site on which Tegereman the Carib Indian Chief had his village.
In 1834 contrary to the instructions of the British Parliament, Lord Romney declared his slaves free men. Romney Estate therefore became the first estate in St. Kitts to emancipate their slaves. A drive up the twisty narrow road beyond Wingfield leads to the former military road that allows you anincredible view looking down on Brimstone Hill.
As you fly the lines you will experience unobstructed views of Brimstone Hill. While flying through the famous "Valley of the Giants", home of some of the largest trees on the island.Old Road Village, the area in which Wingfield Estates and the zipline are located, was the first English Settlement in the West Indies and one of the last surviving aqua ducts in the Eastern Caribbean. The Office is a house on the Sugar estate ruins, with original structures, equipment, chimney, aqua duct and other interesting historical elements that are available for viewing / touring by guests. The entire site is adjacent to the renowned Romney Manor / Caribelle Batik tourist attractions.
This is a 2.5 hour tour that gives a full exploration of all five lines. You will begin your journey on the Monkey Trainer where you will be given a detailed orientation of the complete system. After your successful completion of the 'training program' you will embark on a short off road drive where you will then fly the next three lines, The Boss,Mango Tango & Brimstone Blast over 250feet above the rainforest floor. A short walk down hill will take you to River Rocker where you can end the tour with a race on our dual line system (2 lines parallel to one another)
Perhaps the most well known attraction on St. Kitts is Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. Designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in October 2000. A monument to the ingenuity of the British military engineers who designed it and to the skill, strength and endurance of the African slaves who built and maintained it. It is one of the best preserved historical fortifications in the Americas. Built over a period of 104 years beginning in 1690, the British authorities consider the fortress to be one of the finest examples of British military architecture in the world.
This second largest of St. Kitts' towns occupies the very spot on which Thomas Warner and his small party made landfall in 1623. During the 17th century Sandy Point was the center of the island's tobacco trade, and among Sandy Point's most fascinating sights are the large tobacco warehouses constructed during that time by the Dutch West India Company.You might wish to stop and see the architectural beauty of St. Anne’s Anglican Church and THE Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church.
As you leave the town of Sandy Point and drive through the countryside, you’ll get lovely views of the Dutch islands, St. Eustatius and Saba and on to Dieppe Bay Town located at the northwest corner of the island. When you get to Dieppe Bay town, which was the Protestant French commercial capital in the late 16th century, you will have traveled halfway around the island. Here you can visit the Golden Lemon Inn, which dates back to 1610 and was built by the Huguenots, it is the oldest occupied residence on the Island. The view of the surf rolling in on the protective reef at this point is truly remarkable. Taxi drivers like to tell visitors that this is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea.
Set on Mount Pleasant with the cool trade wind breeze rustling the palms over looking the scenic north coast of St. Kitts and the Caribbean sea, Rawlins Plantation Inn has for 36 years been the chosen retreat for the fortunate few, for quality time spent with plantation cocktails, ambrosial food and probably the best wine list on the island. The ambience of this unspoilt exclusive enclave surrounded by 12 acres of Tropical Gardens is of peace and tranquility. There is a freshness of life here, woven with Caribbean magic, for the holiday you deserve.
This landmark is located between Saddlers and Tabernacle villages on the north side of the island it is a remnant of the once active volcano, Mt. Liamuiga which is the highest point in the Lesser Antilles chain at 3,792ft. You may want to explore its rainforests or to climb to the crater. These volcanic formations resulted from the pyroclastic flows of lava when Mount Liamuiga (formerly known as Mt. Misery) erupted centuries ago. The volcano has been dormant for centuries.
Ottley's is the model Caribbean inn, effortlessly evoking gracious plantation living through an incomparable combination of historic ambience and ultra-contemporary comfort, sophistication and West Indian warmth. Originally a 17th century sugar plantation, Ottley's Plantation Inn transports guest to a bygone era of gracious living, hospitality and elegance. Situated on 35 acres of rolling lawns and gardens in the foothills of majestic Mt. Liamuiga, with breathtaking views of the Atlantic, Ottley's is a magnificent Caribbean hideaway--a perfect, restful spot for travelers seeking a retreat from the hectic pace of daily life. This romantic inn is blessed with a secluded, but not remote, location. The hillside location virtually guarantees breezes that are balmy year-round, and the natural setting provides panoramic ocean, mountain and garden views at every turn. Whether you are searching for the ideal Caribbean honeymoon resort, an exotic Caribbean wedding, or perhaps simply a romantic, tropical Caribbean hideaway retreat, you can be assured that your Caribbean dreams will come true here.
The St. Kitts Scenic Railway takes passengers on a 3-hour tour that makes a 30-mile circle around the beautiful Eastern Caribbean island of St. Kitts, with 18 miles by narrow gauge train and 12 miles on sightseeing buses. Built between 1912 and 1926 to transport sugar cane from the island’s sugar plantations to the sugar factory in the capital city of Basseterre, today the “Last Railway in the West Indies” provides visitors an unsurpassed opportunity to experience the scenery and culture of this unspoiled country. Cruise ship passengers board the Railway transfer buses right beside the pier at Port Zante for their ride to join the train. The tour operates both as a train / bus and as a bus / train tour, depending on the departure time.
Leaving Needsmust station, the train is soon surrounded by fields of sugar cane. The railway winds around the slopes of Mt. Liamuiga, its volcanic tooth piercing the clouds, and along the Atlantic Ocean. There are hidden black sand beaches, and hundreds of crumbling and overgrown plantation estates. The train crosses numerous tall steel girder bridges, with one stretching 300 feet across a deep ravine, or “ghut”. Sweeping vistas offer up the nearby islands of Nevis, St. Barts, St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius.
The journey immerses travelers into St. Kitts village life. Passing Mansion Village, we see cliffside piggeries, and beyond are fields of pineapples. At Saddlers Village we pass within inches of papaya, guava, and banana trees, while backyards are strung with rainbows of billowing laundry. All along the route laborers and farmers stop in their work, and school children run out of classes as the train goes by. Smiles and waves bloom from all directions. At the La Valle Station, passengers transfer from the train to sightseeing buses and complete the circle tour on the Island Main Road. The route passes under the silent guns of Brimstone Hill Fortress, and through a dozen small villages and towns that dot the Caribbean Sea side of St. Kitts before returning back to the city of Basseterre and the cruise ship port. Hotel guests are transferred on to the end of their tour at Needsmsust Station.
This area stretches like the neck of an upturned wine bottle, connecting the main body of St. Kitts to the widened tip of the bottle's mouth at the Southeast Peninsula. One side of that neck the dramatic windward beach at North Frigate Bay, is battered dramatically by the Atlantic surf. On the leeward side, the beach is met by the calm Caribbean waters. The South East Peninsular has the most secluded and pristine beaches in St Kitts. There was a time when these beautiful St Kitts beaches were only accessible by boat or by hiking over the steep hills. In December of 1989 the opening up of the South East Peninsula Road, officially named the Dr. Kennedy Simmonds Highway, a 6 mile stretch of road running though the picturesque hills of the South East Peninsula from Frigate Bay to Majors Bay. This development uncovered the scenic vistas of the South East Peninsula, revealing its natural beauty, characterized by prominent cliffs and escarpments, rolling mountains, lush vegetation, seasonally changing salt ponds and the most picture perfect view of St Kitts. It also offers a spectacular view of our sister island of Nevis, which is but a stone throw away.
The now well-known Frigate Bay Beach referred to by the locals as “The Strip” Over the past few years, The Strip has evolved as the undisputed number one weekend nightspot on the island. Of course, such a eventuality seemed inevitable as far back as the 1990s when party people began gravitating to the Monkey Bar, primarily to get down on the open-air dance floor.
Monkey Bar, which has since grown to include a fine restaurant, is located towards the eastern end of The Strip. It opens at 10:00am daily and offers lunch at the restaurant. There is also live steel band music on Friday nights. Although the Monkey Bar remains a top spot, its status as the prime dancing spot was challenged, at the turn of the millennium, by Inon's Bar at the opposite end of The Strip.
Inon Bar is a popular spot, especially for the younger crowd. Thus, many students, local and foreign alike, tend to party there. One must be prepared to walk to a neighboring joint for a bite to eat, however, as Inon's does not have a kitchen. As this area of Frigate Bay continued to develop and the spaces in between and outside of the Monkey Bar and Inon's got occupied by more and more bars, the phenomenon now known as The Strip emerged. Today - or tonight - there is a wide range of spots to hop on this stretch of the South Frigate Bay beach, for all that want music, dancing, food & drink and excellent social gatherings and overall entertainment.
Situated at the extreme eastern end, this is the newest addition to The Strip. The Dock is a beach bar and restaurant which constitutes part of the latest enhancements to the Timothy Beach Resort. As the name suggests, it offers WiFi service and includes a pier at which small craft can dock, allowing their passengers, who might have scooted over from Nevis, to walk into the facility for a meal, a few drinks and a spectacular view of the sunset. This facility provides an atmosphere that is somewhat contrasting to the more casual ambience that is characteristic of most of The Strip.
Just a few short steps from the Dock are one of the best known spots, Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack "limers" can enjoy a roaring bonfire, a live band, DJ music, karaoke or even a fire-eater show, on a nightly basis. Shiggidy Shack is also an excellent place to sample that great Kittitian cuisine in a true traditional island setting.
As one continues west along The Strip, the lively Ziggy's Bar is found. This spot is open for breakfast at 7:00am and also serves lunch and dinner. There is DJ music at evenings - Monday-Friday - and live music on Saturday and Sunday nights.
Another popular spot on the Strip that offers DJ music nightly, as well as a live band on occasion on weekends. Buddies have a full menu of local dishes and a well stock bar upstairs where patrons can dance the night away. It is located at the western end of the strip, diagonally across the road from Inon's Bar.
Reggae Beach Bar & Grill is located on the South East Peninsula on Cockleshell Bay and Specializes in seafood and barbecue dishes, with favorites such as fresh grilled fish, grilled lobster, coconut shrimp salad, honey mustard ribs, beef burgers and exotic frozen tropical drinks.
The restaurant combines hearty cuisine with an array of water sports and offers rental of equipment for snorkeling on a protected reef, ocean kayaks, and deep-sea fishing, private charter and gift shop.
The Beach House, infused with new life, the former beach bar reflects an attitude of "barefoot sophistication" with an updated new look and enhanced menu, while retaining the relaxed charm and spectacular water views that have earned it a devoted following among visitors and islanders alike. Located on the tip of St. Kitts’ Southeast Peninsula, the Beach House is an airy, sun-filled pavilion set in a protected cove that is a popular destination for boaters, who can tie up at the restaurant’s private dock, or sip tropical drinks on the veranda. Guests lounge in hammocks enjoying the panoramic views of the ocean and the nearby island of Nevis.Open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday 11:30 AM until 4:30 pm and 5:30 PM until 9:30 pm
Spice Mill Restaurant welcomes you to a totally authentic and unique Caribbean dining, wining, liming and indigenous architectural experience. Here you can realize your culinary fantasy and feed your body and soul. Drift on the refreshing ozone breeze to the open-sided coconut wood-topped beach bar; slide onto a stool beneath the shingle roof, with its swinging crayfish basket traps; and let your eyes soak in the seascape of the bay and rest on cloud-tipped Mt Nevis.
Spice Mill stands out as a masterpiece of indigenous design and materials, paying tribute to the region’s original Amerindian inhabitants with its new take on tradition. If you look closely at the restaurant's interior bar you’ll realize it’s a Kalinago dug out canoe, custom built by the Caribs of Dominica.
The Cuisine of Spice Mill is a reflection of the atmosphere and feel of the Space. Color, Texture, Flavor is everything Spice Mill. The cuisine reaches across the spectrum of Caribbean ethnicity, marrying flavors from across the globe brought to the region by African, French, English, Portuguese, Indian, Chinese, Spanish and even Jewish influences from as far back as the17th century. While menu items change regularly as availability of local produce and seafood vary, spices help to define the flavors of your authentic dining experience; coffee chili rubs, house made dips, relishes and hot sauces.
The beach bar scene is a vital element at Spice Mill. The comfortable bar and lounge furniture allows for total relaxation, complemented by a state-of-the–art sound system that projects an eclectic mix of music. The bar menu offers intriguing bites, brick-oven pizza, aged rums and a large selection of top shelf vodkas and champagne.
As the sun sets over the restaurant, your hosts will light the evening’s bonfire pit, to illuminate the beautiful waters of the Caribbean, the source and inspiration of the ambiance. A bend in the road past the Great Salt Pond on the South East Peninsula of St. Kitts, brings you to the gentle scallop of Cockleshell Bay. On the edge of this slight white strand washed by turquoise, azure and cyan warm waters, you’ll discover the Spice Mill Restaurant.
The South East Peninsular has the most secluded and pristine beaches in St Kitts. There was a time when these beautiful St Kitts beaches were only accessible by boat or by hiking over the steep hills. In December of 1989 the opening up of the South East Peninsula Road, officially named the Dr. Kennedy Simmonds Highway, a 6 mile stretch of road running though the picturesque hills of the South East Peninsula from Frigate Bay to Majors Bay. This development uncovered the scenic vistas of the South East Peninsula, revealing its natural beauty, characterized by prominent cliffs and escarpments, rolling mountains, lush vegetation, seasonally changing salt ponds and the most picture perfect view of St Kitts. It also offers a spectacular view of our sister island of Nevis, which is but a stone throw away.
Located in the heart of Basseterre on Cayon Street, is this very popular spot that features live DJ’s and Bands for the very young at heart Friday and Saturday nights and on special occasions. Potential Bar opens daily and serves lunch.