Unforgettable Action Adventures on St. Kitts
Sure, our beaches are intoxicating and our accommodations are luxurious. But, if you’re not one for sitting around, there are countless ways to experience St. Kitts on the go.
Your options are limited only by the length of your stay. Here are some ideas.
The biodiverse mountain rainforest of St. Kitts is a primordial world of wonders. Stroll beneath canopies of bamboo, ferns, palms and vines and pause to behold giant elephant ears, bright red heliconias and purple hibiscus. Help yourself to a ripe mango or guava. Marvel at the fascinating multitudes of lizards, caterpillars and other creepy crawlies. Listen for exotic songbirds and spy on hummingbirds that flit from one colourful blossom to the next.
If volcanoes are more your thing, grab your hiking boots. When you make the 3,792-foot trek through the cloud forest to the crater of Mount Liamuiga, you’re rewarded with a view that Instagram can’t begin to do justice to. No worries about eruption: this behemoth hasn’t blown its stack for 1,600 years. But, this is a climb for expert hikers only; you’ll be scrabbling over logs, roots and boulders on narrow, slippery trails before reaching the summit.
You can explore the mighty volcano or mysterious rainforest on your own. However, a guided tour adds an educational touch — not to mention a not-getting-lost touch — to your excursion. A number of trusted outfitters do a great job, among them Funky Monkey Tours, Captain Sunshine Tours and Greg’s Safaris.
Not to knock our world-class beaches, but why loll around on the sand when you can take in breathtaking sights and immerse yourself — literally — in our calm, turquoise waters at the same time?
Think of your ultimate offshore fantasy. Maybe it’s an action-packed day of flyboarding, where you soar above the waves like a superhero and dive like a mermaid, or speedboating, if you prefer your adrenaline rushes closer to sea level. A glass-bottom kayak or a catamaran may be more your speed. You can try whale watching or fishing, snorkelling or scuba diving or an impossibly romantic sunset cruise.
Whatever your dream, there’s an excursion ready to make it happen. Family-friendly Dolphin Discovery lets you swim, snuggle and play with the dolphins. Blue Water Safaris offers packages that combine sailing, powerboating or kayaking with snorkelling, while Leeward Island Charters is all about catamaran adventures for a day of swimming, beachcombing and marine life among the reefs.
Ride the Rails
A narrow-gauge train was once used to transport sugar cane from the plantations to the sugar mill in Basseterre for processing. Those days are gone, but the Sugar Train is running again thanks to the St. Kitts Scenic Railway, a government-private venture that exists solely to showcase the island’s beauty, culture and history.
There’s nothing quite like this 18-mile guided tour along the coastline. Restored rail cars rattle across the countryside between Basseterre and Newton Ground, winding their way through small villages and past abandoned plantations, over tall steel bridges and across deep canyons.
You can ride the double-decker parlour cars in air-conditioned luxury or take in 360-degree views from the rooftop observation deck. Either way, it’s an unmatched excursion against a backdrop of ocean, cliffs, rainforest and sky. Complimentary frozen daiquiris and other whistle wetters are offered at the bar. (Hint: eat before you board or pick up some portable provisions at the ValuMart IGA in Basseterre, one of the island’s few grocery stores.)
Sweet St. Kitts
For 350 years, life on St. Kitts revolved entirely around the sugar industry. Sugar cane plantations sprang up in the 1650s as the world’s taste for sugar and rum grew. And that, tragically, gave rise to the slave trade.
The plantations are defunct today, but reminders of the price paid for “sweet success” remain scattered around the island. Guided expeditions like the Sugar Lands Tour with Sugar City Adventures take you around the remains of these storied estates and provide insight about the social, cultural, political and historic impact of sugar cane on this island nation.
On a sweeter note, if you swoon at the thought of lemon-verbena ganache, dulce de leche coffee truffles, or pure, unadulterated bars of dark, milk and white chocolate, the St. Kitts Chocolate Factory tour is for you. Come meet the chocolatiers behind this dizzying collection of hand-crafted, artisanal deliciousness and then try your hand at creating your own chocolate masterpiece. The best part? Samples, samples, samples!
When visitors come to your hometown, they want to see all the major attractions. But you know where the very best destinations are: off the beaten path. That’s why off-roading in St. Kitts is the way to go for guests on the go. Not only does it take you places you might not otherwise see, but getting there is an adventure in itself.
Imagine, for instance, bouncing through the rainforest and across the dunes in an open-air 4x4 vehicle. You can rent one or let a knowledgeable guide whisk you around historic ruins, hidden beaches, majestic mountains and the tropical bush. Funky Monkey Tours, Greg’s Safaris and Spectrum ATV Tours are 4x4 tour specialists.
Or consider the perfect, yet most misunderstood, vehicle for off-road travel: the Segway! Safe and eco-friendly, these two-wheeled transporters make for a low-key day of exploration. Sugar City Adventures has a fleet of them and several guided tours to choose from.
A Pinch of This, a Dash of That
What if you want it all: town and country, beaches and boats, nature and history, shopping and dining? How about a wedding? The team at Kantours can create a bespoke itinerary just for you. They’ll take care of bookings, transport and all logistics so you can enjoy the adventure without the headache.
Other operators offer various mix-and-match island activities. Grey’s Island Excursions delivers rainforest tours, volcano adventures, snorkelling, beach outings and visits to Basseterre, Brimstone Hill Fortress and Romney Manor. With BeachRam Tours, native-born guides take you in an open safari truck for a scenic junket around the peninsula — or a food tour through Basseterre. And Blue Water Safaris can weave tours of historic sites like Wingfield Estate and Timothy Hill into your waterborne agenda.