Basseterre St Kitts: 10 Interesting Things to Do in Basseterre and Nevis

Basseterre is the capital city of Saint Kitts and Nevis, a small island nation located in the Caribbean Sea. It is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. The city is known for its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant culture.

There are many interesting things to do in Basseterre that cater to all types of travelers. For history buffs, a visit to Independence Square is a must. This historic site was once the site of slave auctions and public executions, but today it is a bustling hub of activity where visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture. For nature lovers, a trip to the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a must.

This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to one of the best-preserved historical fortifications in the Americas and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

1. Exploring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in St. Kitts and Nevis. It is a historical, cultural, and architectural monument to the British military engineers who designed it and the African slaves who built and maintained it. Here are some interesting things to do and see at Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park:

  • Take a guided tour: Visitors can take a guided tour of the fortress to learn about its history, architecture, and significance. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide interesting insights and stories about the fortress.
  • Explore the museum: The fortress has a museum that showcases artifacts and exhibits related to its history and the history of St. Kitts and Nevis. Visitors can learn about the island’s colonial past, the African slave trade, and the emergence of new societies in the Caribbean.
  • Enjoy the panoramic view: From the top of the fortress, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. The view includes the Caribbean Sea, the neighboring islands, and the lush green hills of St. Kitts.
  • Visit the barracks: The fortress has several barracks that were used to house soldiers and their families. Visitors can explore the barracks and see how soldiers lived during the colonial period.
  • See the cannons: The fortress has several cannons that were used to defend the island from attacks. Visitors can see the cannons up close and learn about their history and use.
  • Take a hike: Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers several hiking trails for visitors to explore. The trails offer stunning views of the island and are a great way to experience the natural beauty of St. Kitts.
  • Attend a special event: The fortress hosts several special events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and reenactments. Visitors can check the park’s website to see what events are coming up.
  • Shop for souvenirs: The fortress has a gift shop that sells souvenirs and local handicrafts. Visitors can purchase items such as t-shirts, hats, and postcards to remember their visit to the fortress.

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and natural beauty. Visitors can spend several hours exploring the fortress and its surroundings and learning about the island’s rich cultural heritage.

2. Relaxing at South Friars Bay

South Friars Bay is a beautiful and serene beach located on the southern coast of St. Kitts. With its crystal clear waters and soft sandy beach, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling in the calm and shallow waters.

For those who prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas available for rent, allowing visitors to lounge in the shade while enjoying the stunning view of the bay. The beach is also home to several restaurants and bars, offering a variety of food and drink options.

One of the unique features of South Friars Bay is the abundance of sea life that can be found in the waters. Visitors can spot a variety of fish, squid, and even sea urchins. It is recommended to bring snorkeling gear to fully appreciate the underwater world.

Overall, South Friars Bay is a must-visit destination for those looking to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of St. Kitts. With its calm waters, soft sandy beach, and abundance of sea life, it is the perfect place to spend a day in paradise.

ProsCons
Calm watersCan get crowded during peak season
Soft sandy beachLimited parking
Abundance of sea lifeLimited shade options
Restaurants and bars on siteNo public restrooms

3. Diving and Snorkeling at Sandy Point National Marine Park

Sandy Point National Marine Park is a protected area located on the southwestern tip of St. Kitts. It is a popular spot for diving and snorkeling due to its abundant marine life and crystal-clear waters. The park covers an area of 1,600 acres and includes a 4-mile stretch of white sandy beach.

Divers and snorkelers can explore the park’s coral reefs, which are home to a variety of colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures. The park’s underwater landscape features a mix of shallow and deep reefs, walls, and pinnacles, making it suitable for divers of all levels.

One of the park’s most popular dive sites is the Carambola Reef, which is located just off the beach. This dive site features a shallow reef that is home to a variety of fish, including parrotfish, angelfish, and trumpetfish. The reef also has several coral heads that are teeming with marine life.

Another popular dive site is the Booby High Shoals, which is located just outside the park’s boundaries. This dive site features a series of pinnacles that rise up from the ocean floor. Divers can explore the pinnacles’ nooks and crannies, which are home to lobsters, crabs, and other creatures.

Snorkelers can also enjoy the park’s marine life by swimming along the park’s shallow reefs. The park’s waters are home to a variety of colorful fish, including sergeant majors, blue tangs, and parrotfish. Snorkelers may also spot sea turtles and stingrays gliding along the ocean floor.

Overall, Sandy Point National Marine Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in diving or snorkeling in St. Kitts. Its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and diverse underwater landscape make it a unique and unforgettable experience.

4. Visiting the St. Kitts Scenic Railway

The St. Kitts Scenic Railway is a popular tourist attraction that takes passengers on a 3-hour tour around St. Kitts, with 18 miles by narrow gauge train and 12 miles on sightseeing buses. The railway was originally built in the early 1900s to transport sugar cane from the fields to the capital of Basseterre. Today, it winds through lush vegetation, small villages, and farms, offering spectacular vistas of the ocean, surf, cliffs, and the island’s eastern coastline.

Passengers can choose to ride in either the upper or lower level of the train. The upper level provides an unobstructed view of the surroundings, while the lower level offers a more intimate experience with the train’s interior. The train also has a bar car, where passengers can purchase drinks and snacks.

The St. Kitts Scenic Railway is a great way to learn about the island’s history and culture. During the tour, passengers can listen to the narration of the island’s history, folklore, and legends. The train also stops at several points of interest, such as the Wingfield Estate, which was once a sugar plantation and now houses a museum and a botanical garden.

Overall, the St. Kitts Scenic Railway is a must-visit attraction for those who want to experience the beauty and history of St. Kitts.

5. Touring the Fairview Great House and Botanical Gardens

The Fairview Great House and Botanical Gardens is a must-visit attraction for history and nature lovers. Located at the foot of Olivees Mountain, this 18th-century Great House has been meticulously restored and is a prime example of French Colonial architecture.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the beautifully restored property and explore the period furnishings, elegant dining room, Historical Room, and master bedroom veranda with a mesmerizing panoramic view. The property also features a kitchen, apiary, chapel, and bathhouse.

After touring the Great House, visitors can explore the two-and-a-half acres of botanical gardens. The gardens are filled with tropical flowers, fruit trees, and monkeys. Guests can also take a stroll through the lush gardens and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

The Fairview Great House and Botanical Gardens is a great place to learn about the history of St. Kitts and Nevis and enjoy the natural beauty of the island. Visitors are advised to wear comfortable shoes and bring sunscreen and insect repellent.

6. Hiking in the Central Forest Reserve National Park

Basseterre, St. Kitts is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and one of the most popular activities is hiking in the Central Forest Reserve National Park. The park, which covers almost 10,000 acres of protected land, was designated a national park in 2006.

The Central Forest Reserve National Park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including over 200 species of birds, monkeys, and several types of lizards. Hikers can choose from a variety of trails of varying difficulty levels, ranging from easy family-friendly hikes to more strenuous jungle climbs.

One of the most popular trails in the park is the Bench Trail, which takes hikers through the heart of the rainforest and offers stunning views of the island’s coastline. The trail is approximately 4.5 miles (7km) long, and hikers should allow 3-4 hours to complete the hike. A guide is recommended for this trail as it consists of 2 or 3 separate trail segments.

Another popular trail is the Mount Liamuiga trail, which takes hikers to the summit of the island’s highest peak. This trail is more strenuous and requires a guide, but the views from the top are worth the effort.

Hikers should come prepared with water, sunscreen, and sturdy shoes. It is also recommended to hike in the morning or early afternoon to avoid the heat of the day.

Overall, hiking in the Central Forest Reserve National Park is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Basseterre, St. Kitts. With its stunning views, diverse wildlife, and variety of trails, it is sure to be a highlight of any trip to the island.

7. Enjoying the Views from Timothy Hill

One of the most scenic spots on the island of St. Kitts is Timothy Hill, located on the southeastern peninsula of the island. From this vantage point, visitors can take in breathtaking views of both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Timothy Hill is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, who come to admire the panoramic vistas and snap photos of the stunning scenery. Visitors can drive up the winding road to the top of the hill, where there is a small parking area and a lookout point.

For those looking for a more active way to enjoy the views, there are several hiking trails that lead up to Timothy Hill. These trails wind through lush tropical forests and offer glimpses of the island’s flora and fauna along the way.

At the top of Timothy Hill, visitors can take in views of the nearby islands of Nevis and Montserrat, as well as the historic Brimstone Hill Fortress and the verdant hillsides of St. Kitts. The hill is also a popular spot for paragliding, and visitors can often see colorful parachutes drifting through the sky above.

Overall, a visit to Timothy Hill is a must-do for anyone visiting St. Kitts. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely drive to take in the views or an adventurous hike through the island’s natural beauty, Timothy Hill offers something for everyone.

8. Experiencing Local Culture at the St. Kitts National Museum

The St. Kitts National Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the local culture of Basseterre, St. Kitts. Located in what used to be the Treasury Building, the museum is now home to the St. Christopher National Trust. Visitors can explore the rich history of the island through exhibits that showcase the sugar, slave, and rum trades, as well as carnival customs and traditional dress.

One of the highlights of the museum is the impressive collection of Arawak artifacts, which provides insight into the indigenous people who first inhabited the island. Visitors can also learn about the island’s colonial history, including the French and British occupation, and the impact of the sugar industry on the island’s economy.

The museum is also home to a gift shop, where visitors can purchase locally made crafts and souvenirs. It’s a great place to pick up unique items that reflect the local culture of St. Kitts.

Overall, the St. Kitts National Museum is a fascinating destination that offers a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Basseterre, St. Kitts. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to learn more about the island, a visit to the museum is a must.

9. Shopping and Dining at Port Zante

Port Zante is a popular shopping and dining destination in Basseterre, St. Kitts. This bustling area is conveniently located near the cruise ship terminal, making it a great place to explore for tourists and locals alike.

Visitors can find a wide variety of shops at Port Zante, including luxury goods and duty-free shops, as well as locally made products and crafts. Some of the most popular shops include Effy Jewelry and Cariloha Bamboo, which specializes in eco-friendly clothing and accessories.

In addition to shopping, Port Zante also offers a range of dining options. Visitors can enjoy authentic Caribbean cuisine at restaurants like Rituals Coffee House and Sweet Cane, or grab a quick bite at fast food chains like Subway and KFC.

For those looking for a unique dining experience, the Twist Lounge & Global Cuisine offers a fusion of Caribbean and international flavors, while the Latin House serves up delicious Latin American cuisine.

Overall, Port Zante is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to shop and dine in Basseterre, St. Kitts. With its convenient location and wide range of options, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

10. Taking a Catamaran Cruise to Nevis

One of the most popular activities to do in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis is taking a catamaran cruise to Nevis. This 7-hour cruise takes you across the Caribbean Sea aboard a state-of-the-art catamaran, providing you with a thrilling tropical adventure.

During the cruise, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and the beautiful islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. You can also take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea or simply relax on the deck and soak up the sun.

The cruise also includes a stop at the island of Nevis, where you can explore the island’s rich history and culture. You can visit the historic town of Charlestown, which is known for its colonial architecture and beautiful botanical gardens. You can also take a tour of the island’s famous hot springs or simply relax on the island’s beautiful beaches.

Overall, taking a catamaran cruise to Nevis is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis. It provides a unique opportunity to explore the stunning beauty of the Caribbean Sea and the rich history and culture of the islands.

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