Location: This unspoiled island is in the British West
Indies, located in the northern part of the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, just 19
degrees north of the Equator, 225 miles southeast of Puerto Rico, and 1250 miles southeast
of Miami. A 2-mile channel separates St. Kitts and Nevis.
History: Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the island was
settled by the British in 1623, occupied by the French in 1666, restored to the British in
1783, and declared its independence in 1983. St. Kitts is 23 miles long and represents an
area of 68 square miles. It is linked by statehood to its sister island, Nevis, as a fully
independent democracy, but, as with all members of the Commonwealth of Nations, the
British Crown maintains an historic and visible presence with a resident Governor General.
The island offers visitors a unique experience--in addition to
its near perfect climate and its natural beauty, the islanders cherish its history. This
can be witnessed by the meticulous restoration and maintenance of the original plantations
with their stately great houses and sugar mills scattered throughout the island, Brimstone
Hill Fortress (the Gibraltar of the Caribbean), and many old and beautiful churches.
The population of St. Kitts is approximately 35,000 of which 15,000
live in the Federation’s capital, Basseterre. This quaint town is surrounded by lush
green sugar cane fields with the backdrop of expansive volcanic mountains topped with
Economy: Stabile. International debt is negligible
and the credit rating is the best in the region. The Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC) is the
official currency of the island (EC$2.70 to US$1.00). While EC is the currency of choice,
the US dollar is accepted throughout the island as are American Express, VISA, and
MasterCard. Royal Bank of Canada, ScotiaBank, and Barclays have branches encircling the
clocktower in Basseterre with ATM availability.
Communication: The villa telephone use is
restricted to local calling area. International calls must go through the operator using a
US and EC (Eastern Caribbean) dollars are accepted everywhere on the
island, but you will usually receive change in EC Rule of Thumb US$1.00
= EC$2.70. Most stores and restaurants also accept major credit cards:
AmEx, VISA, MC. There are several ATMs around the island.
Language: English is the official language of St.
Photos: Please ask permission before taking
photos of people or their homes. It is considered extremely rude to simply point and
Tipping: At most restaurants, a 10% service charge
and 7% hotel and restaurant tax will be applied to your bill. Additional tipping is not
expected, but it is appreciated if service is particularly good.
Water: Coming directly from the rainforest, St.
Kitts is one of the few islands in the Caribbean that has its own natural source of water.
It is pure and safe to drink.
For information on activities, link to these official