Traveling tips for Saint Kitts & Nevis – what you should know before a trip to Saint Kitts & Nevis

If you’re considering a trip to the beautiful twin islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. These Caribbean gems offer a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and rich cultural heritage, making them ideal destinations for both seasoned globetrotters and first-time visitors.

As you prepare for your journey, it’s essential to be well-informed about the practical aspects of travel to these islands. From transportation and passport requirements to accommodation and local customs, there are several key details that can significantly impact your travel experience.

For instance, taxis are the most convenient way to get around, and it’s crucial to have a valid passport and proof of sufficient funds upon entry. Knowing these logistics ahead of time can help you avoid common travel pitfalls and enjoy a seamless trip.

Important things you should know before traveling to Saint Kitts & Nevis

Before traveling to Saint Kitts & Nevis, here are some important things you should know:

1. Getting There:

The best way to get around St. Kitts and Nevis is by taxi, which can be easily found in front of the islands’ airports – Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) on St. Kitts and Vance W. Armory International Airport (NEV) on Nevis.

2. Passport Requirements:

You’ll need a passport (by air) that’s valid for six or more months past your visit, or a passport card (by sea), to enter and exit St. Kitts and Nevis. Customs officials might also ask you to provide proof of sufficient funds, as well as proof of a return or onward trip. Visits to St. Kitts and Nevis may not exceed three months without a visa

3. Attractions:

St. Kitts and Nevis offer a blend of adventure, relaxation, and history. You can hike up the misty trails of Mount Liamuiga, chill on the golden sands of Pinney’s Beach, or explore the Saddle Hill Fortress. Nevis is known for its tranquil and scenic beauty, cultural heritage, and wellness experiences.

4. Accommodation:

There are various accommodation options available on the island, from laid-back boutique stays to luxurious hideaway steps from the shore.

Are there any local customs I should be aware of?

Yes, there are a few local customs and regulations you should be aware of when visiting Saint Kitts & Nevis:

  1. Import Regulations: You are allowed to bring in 200 cigarettes 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco, and 1l of alcohol. Narcotics and pornography are prohibited. If you’re bringing pets, they need to have a good health certificate and valid vaccination certificates
  2. Currency Regulations: There is no limit on the amount of cash you can bring, however declaring the amount is compulsory.
  3. Customs Duties: Customs duties and taxes are collected based on the value which is derived from the value stated on the invoice, receipt, or other proof of purchase.
  4. Exemptions: The laws of St. Kitts and Nevis provide for exemptions from duties and taxes for items imported as accompanied baggage of a passenger that includes wearing apparel, jewelry, toilet requisites and any portable article reasonably expected to be carried by him for his own private and personal use

What safety precautions should I take while visiting?

While visiting Saint Kitts & Nevis, here are some safety precautions you should take:

  1. Avoid Petty Crime: Petty street crime and burglary can occur. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and use hotel safety deposit facilities to safeguard valuables and travel documents. Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach or in cars.
  2. Avoid Isolated Areas: Especially after dark, avoid isolated areas, including beaches.
  3. Travel Insurance: It’s always recommended to have travel insurance while traveling.
  4. Use Licensed Taxis: Ensure that you use only licensed taxis for transportation.
  5. Walking Alone at Night: Walking alone at night is strongly discouraged.
  6. Enroll in STEP: If you’re a U.S. citizen, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

What is the best currency to use in St. Kitts?

The official currency of Saint Kitts and Nevis is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD). The XCD is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of 2.7 XCD to 1 USD. However, the US dollar is widely accepted around the island and many vendors will have prices listed in both XCD and USD.

It’s worth noting that while most places accept USD, you might get a slightly better exchange rate if you use XCD, especially for small purchases at beach bars and shops. Credit cards can be used in most stores, restaurants, and beach bars, but most taxis only take cash. Therefore, it’s good to have some local currency in case the merchant doesn’t accept USD or if they charge a higher rate for USD.

What language do they speak in St. Kitts?

The official language of Saint Kitts and Nevis is English. This is a legacy of the island’s British colonial history. The country has a literacy rate of more than 98%, so most residents can express themselves fluently in English.

In addition to English, Saint Kitts Creole is also widely spoken. This is a dialect of Leeward Caribbean Creole English spoken by around 40,000 people. However, it’s important to note that Saint Kitts Creole does not have the status of an official language.

The use of English makes it easy for tourists who go to explore its breathtaking natural scenery and engage in its numerous festivals.

Popular tourist attractions in St. Kitts

Here are some popular tourist attractions in St. Kitts:

  1. Fairview Great House & Botanical Garden: This is a beautifully restored 18th-century plantation house with a botanical garden. It’s open from 09:00 to 17:00 every day. You can enjoy the architecture and take a swim in the garden.
  2. Romney Manor: Located in Old Road Town, Basseterre, this historic place is home to Caribelle Batik, where you can see artisans making beautiful batik products. It’s open from 08:30 to 16:00 from Monday to Friday. The manor is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

What part of St. Kitts is best to stay in?

Choosing the best place to stay in St. Kitts depends on your preferences, but here are some popular areas:

  1. Basseterre: The charming capital of St. Kitts and Nevis, Basseterre, is a good place to stay for those interested in history and culture. It’s also home to the Park Hyatt St. Kitts, a 5-star hotel with a rating of 9 out of 10 according to Tripadvisor.
  2. Kittian Village: A purpose-built tourist village on the Atlantic coast, Kittian Village is known for its beautiful beaches.
  3. Cockleshell Bay: This relaxed beach area with a local vibe is another great place to stay.
  4. Charlestown, Nevis: A small town surrounded by the ocean and the jungle, Charlestown is home to the Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies, which is ranked #1 in Best Hotels in St. Kitts & Nevis by U.S. News Travel

Is it better to stay in St. Kitts or Nevis?

Choosing between St. Kitts and Nevis depends on your personal preferences as both islands have their unique attractions.

  • St. Kitts is the larger of the two islands. It offers several attractions including beautiful beaches, historic fortresses like the Brimstone Hill, and a vibrant local culture. The island is generally safe for visitors, though rare instances of petty crime can occur.
  • Nevis, on the other hand, is a smaller island located just 2 miles across The Narrows Channel from St. Kitts. It is known for its old ruins, rainforests, volcanoes, and beaches. The island also has a Botanical Garden and is slightly quieter than St. Kitts.

Both islands have luxuriant mountain rain forests, uncrowded beaches, historic ruins, long-dormant volcanoes, charming Georgian capitals (Basseterre in St. Kitts and Charlestown in Nevis), intact cultural heritage, friendly locals, and restored 18th-century sugar plantation inns.

Regardless of which island you choose, you should plan on doing a day trip to the other island. It’s an easy 45-minute ferry ride and well worth your time and effort. So, you really can’t go wrong with either island.


What food is St. Kitts known for?

St. Kitts is known for its unique and flavorful cuisine, which has been influenced by African, European, and indigenous traditions. Here are some traditional dishes that you might want to try:

  1. Salt Fish and Dumplings: This is a classic Caribbean dish made with salted codfish and boiled dumplings. It is considered to be the national dish of St. Kitts and Nevis.
  2. Conch Fritters (Battered Conch): These are made from diced conch meat, which is mixed with flour, eggs, onions, peppers, and spices. The mixture is formed into balls and deep-fried until golden brown and crispy.
  3. Roti (Flatbread): Roti is a popular flatbread originating from India, but widely enjoyed in Saint Kitts and Nevis. It is made from a thin dough which can be filled with various savory fillings such as curried meats, vegetables, or chickpeas.
  4. Goat Water (Goat Meat Stew): Goat water is a stew made from goat meat, seasoned with herbs, spices, and vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
  5. Sugar Cake (Coconut Sweets): Sugar cake is a sweet treat made from coconut, sugar, and spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon.
  6. Locally caught Lobster and Seafood: Seafood is another St. Kitts and Nevis food specialty to enjoy. While lobster might be considered a luxury in many parts of the world, it abounds in the waters around St. Kitts.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share this article with others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *