Situated at the mid-point of the Leeward Islands chain, St Kitts and its stunning sister isle Nevis, separated by just a two mile wide channel, are a romantic blaze of bright blue seas, picture perfect beaches and furrowed volcanic peaks. Cheeky vervet monkeys natter in trees plotting ways to steal fresh fruit, sea turtles swim in gin-clear waters and the scent of mango envelops the islands. St Kitts and Nevis are relatively unknown and still remain largely off the tourist track, which is, of course, a great part of their appeal.
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On sleepy Nevis, while away days in a beach cabana enjoying hot spicy shrimp straight from the barbecue, washed down with coconut water or a rum punch. Climb Nevis Peak, take a rainforest hike or a join a monkey tour with ‘bush doctor’ Michael Herbert. Stroll through the tranquil Botanical Gardens where Admiral Nelson once walked with Fanny Nisbet, or indulge in chilled Champagne on your terrace under clear, starlit skies. Nevis is a paradise of bleached beaches, Georgian houses, tropical heat, cool breezes and weathered sugar mills just waiting to be explored by foot, bicycle or jeep; colonial Charlestown is a must, as is a round of golf at Robert Trent Jones II’s challenging course and a cheeky rum punch at Sunshine’s Beach Bar & Grill, a colourful island hangout on Pinney’s Beach.
St Kitts is the busier of the two islands, although you would hardly say it’s developed. Teeming with monkeys and mongoose, home to exotic black sands in the north and silvery white shores further south, the island boasts reef-protected waters which are ideal for swimming, snorkelling and diving. A scenic railway follows the trail of old sugar cane tracks, the Upper Round Road is ideal for hiking, and if you’ve got the gumption, you can zip line over steamy rainforest or climb to the edge of Sofa Rock, the crater rim of a dormant volcano. History buffs will enjoy exploring the impressive 18th Century Brimstone Hill Fortress, but if swaying coconut trees, Champagne cocktails and balmy days soaking up the sun are more your thing, Banana Bay delivers unspoilt white sands and Pump Bay is a great place for the novice diver or snorkeller.