Destinations: St Kitts and Nevis

The twin-island federation of St. Kitts & Nevis is one of the Caribbean’s lesser known holiday destinations. This will not be the case for very much longer though, with luxury developments planned and currently being built in the southern part of the island. My advice to those who – like myself – like their holiday destinations skewing on the side of the untouched is to go now. This year. Wait a few years and it might just be exactly what neighbouring St. Barths has become.

People obviously visit the Carribean to unwind and relax by the pool or beach. But for those who like to combine their R&R with with actively exploring nature, St. Kitts -and indeed Nevis – offer a variety of options.

DSC_0970Hiking: Mt Liamuiga is St. Kitt’s highest point of elevation at 3792 feet above sea level. Its slopes are blanketed with lush rainforest, making it the ideal hiking locale for those who like a bit of a challenge. The 2-hour hike to the top of this dormant volanic mountain itself is quite strenuous so it is not a decision the fitness-challenged want to arrive at lightly. The reward once you reach the top and look over the rim, however, is magnificent views (on a clear day) of a crater, which is definitely not something you would see any day of the year. There are many guided tours on offer, although it is also entirely possible to go it alone if you are an experienced hiker.

DSC_0001Zip-lining in the rainforest: St. Kitts is one of the few places in the world in which the rainforest has actually grown in the last 25 years. So imagine flying right through it without a care in the world, seeing the tree tops whizz right by. I did just that (see above) last December and can confidently say this was one of the highlights of my entire 2014. Ziplining looks a whole lot scarier than it is so if you are not deathly afraid of heights definitely give it a go whenever and wherever you get a chance. Sky Safari Tours, who are the highest-rated ziplining facility in the island, were responsible for my flight through nature.

DSC_0976St Kitts Scenic Railway: St. Kitts was at one time the world’s largest producer of sugarcane. The legacy of the sugar industry survive in the form of the ‘Sugar Train’, which takes passengers on an scenic tour of the island on the same narrow gauge railway line that used to transport sugarcane in days of yore. The 2 1⁄2 narrated tour is best taken either as a gentle introduction to the island on the first few days of your holiday or as a fitting summary of an active holiday. It circles the island along the coastline and offers a unique perspective on the island’s history, people and views including the UNESCO-listed Brimstone Hill, abandoned windmills and chimneys from old sugar estates.

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