St. Kitts

19 Reasons to Go to St. Kitts in the West Indies

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One Caribbean island that wasn’t high on my list to visit was St. Kittsβ€”until I found myself there for a work trip. And now I know there are far more reasons to go to St. Kitts than I unearthed in one trip alone.

This post was last updated in September 2021.

When you work in the travel industry, you become jaded; I just assume everyone knows about the Caribbean gem that is St. Kitts and Nevis. But according to comments on many of my Instagram posts, it’s an enigma to many of you, and truth be told, I knew little about the island itself beyond its location until I checked it out firsthand. 

St. Kitts

So, to kick off my ample coverage on this tropical jewel, here are some reasons to go to St. Kitts.

1. It’s beautiful

Duh. Like, insanely beautiful.

2. It has one of the last functioning passenger railroads in the Caribbean

The two-hour trip on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway is a must for all visitors, families or otherwise.

St. Kitts Scenic Railway

3. The islanders are some of the friendliest people ever

I’ve been to more than a dozen Caribbean islands, and let me tell you they’re not all this way. But on St. Kitts, you get the impression the locals are actually happy you’re there.

St. Kitts

4. You can stay on a lush oasis like this one

An excellent option for honeymooners in St. Kitts or couples on vacation, the family-owned Ottley’s Plantation Inn was one of my favorite spots on the island.

St. Kitts

5. It’s great for families

If you’re traveling with children, you can make your base camp at the uber-kid-friendly Marriott St. Kitts. That beach, that pool—I could have lain out here forever.

Marriott St. Kitts

6. Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack

No further explanation needed; the name says it all.

Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack

7. That water

Oh, the water! Which makes for excellent snorkeling or swimming.

8. It’s an active destination for adventurers

There are so many active things to do, from beach horseback riding to ziplining to flyboarding at Reggae Beach.

flyboarding in St. Kitts

9. It’s easy to reach by plane

One of the tough things about traveling to the Caribbean is the travel time involved from the mainland. But one of the reasons I love St. Kitts is that it’s very easy to reach.

10. It’s a direct flight from the East Coast

Even from Nashville, which has zero direct flights to the Caribbean, it was a six-hour trip for me with a connection in Miami (less time than it would take to get to San Francisco).

St. Kitts

11. For the Caribbean, it’s super affordable

Sure, you’ll pay a bit more than you would Stateside for meals, but then again, it’s not exactly cheap to fly in fresh produce to the middle of the Atlantic. As someone on the island told me, you want to pay more so you know you’re at least getting a decent quality. But food aside, everything else was far more affordable than other places I’ve visited in the islands.

12. It’s got great tourism infrastructure while still feeling authentic

In my experience, as an island gets built up, it compromises authenticity. Not in St. Kitts. It’s got one road that rings the perimeter and virtually no traffic. Also, there was free Wi-Fi nearly everywhere we went, even restaurants, something I have trouble finding when traveling in Europe and sometimes even U.S. destinations.

13. There are monkeys

And who doesn’t love seeing monkeys in the wild? Just watch out for your lunch….

Monkeys in St. Kitts

14. It’s got loads of history if you’re into that sort of thing

And I’m not just talking French and British occupation history. Did you know, in fact, that two of our founding fathers (Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson) had ties to this glorious slice of real estate? Hamilton was born here, and Jefferson’s great-great-great-grandfather was buried there and had a well-known sugar plantation, Romney Manor, on the island.

You will not leave the island without singing “Alexander Hamilton! We are waiting in the wings for you.” (Where are my Hamilfans?)

15. The food is excellent

I’ve been to other Caribbean islands where the food is less than stellar, but I didn’t have a single meal that wasn’t drool-worthy on St. Kitts. That seafood. So fresh! So tasty. (Perhaps not the best decision to eat so much the week before I have to be in an already tight-fitting bridesmaids dress, but hey, you only live once.)

St. Kitts

16. The breeze the tradewinds bring in is unlike anything I’ve ever felt

I wanted to bottle that breeze and bring it home with me. The temperature, daytime and night, was just perfect.

17. The diving is top notch

Or so my dive writer friends tell me. We tried to hop on a dive boat, but the timing didn’t work in our favor this go ’round. No worries; I will be back.

St. Kitts

18. The rainforest is lush and unspoiled.

We spent a quiet morning with Mother Nature, and it might have been one of my favorite parts of the trip.

St. Kitts

19. It’s also got one impressive volcano

We didn’t have time to make the half-day trek, but next time, I’m all about hiking Mount Liamuiga with O’Neil Mulraine.

These are just a few of the reasons to go to St. Kitts, but I would go back there every year if I could!

Have you been to St. Kitts? What do you most want to hear about from my recent vacation?

  • March 31, 2014

    Sad we just missed each other! I loooooved the monkeys on St. Kitts!!! Great pics!

    • April 1, 2014

      I KNOW. I need to go back to Nevis next time and explore a bit more! Can’t wait to catch up on all your coverage.

  • March 31, 2014

    Looks amazing! I think you’ve just convinced me to take my mom there this summer for her birthday πŸ™‚

    • April 1, 2014

      Yay! Message me if you have any questions; I’m helping a couple people plan trips there. Ottley’s Plantation would be a great place for a mother-daughter retreat.

  • March 31, 2014

    Yep, you’ve convinced me to add it to my (ever-growing, really long) must-go list. Your pictures this trip were spectacular, too!

    • April 1, 2014

      You could take Kyle! The St. Kitts Marriott is perfect for families.

      • April 2, 2014

        Kind of wondering if we could swing spending Christmas there this year. Regardless, it’s on the list (and looks like Kyle would love it; we’re raising an island boy, I think).

  • March 31, 2014

    Looks stunning! One of the Caribbean islands I missed when I did my Carib tour ages ago. Maybe the Marriott will be our digs )

    • April 1, 2014

      Would be great with your little girl! I bet she’d love the Kids Club.

  • March 31, 2014

    Great article! Glad you enjoyed visiting my beautiful island.

    • April 1, 2014

      We had the most fun! What all did we miss? I’ve got plenty of posts coming about Brimstone, the southeastern peninsula, the rainforest…

      • April 15, 2014

        There’s lots to do on island. Check out my website

        I’m also a property manager or two beautiful villas on Turtle Beach that are great for families.

        The full day catamaran to Nevis is a blast. Enjoy an atv excursion or segway tour.

        Explore the island on one of our scooters.

  • April 1, 2014

    Awesome that you only opened your laptop once during the trip! Seems like St Kitts is a great place to disconnect for a while.

    • April 1, 2014

      It is! though funny enough, it had better Wi-Fi than any island I’ve ever visited.

  • April 1, 2014

    St. Kitts looks beautiful! And we would really love the railway. Train travel is the way to go.
    We don’t have it high on our list at the moment, but we will get there eventually πŸ™‚

    • April 1, 2014

      It’s definitely a place to go when you just want to unwind and chill. Keep it on *that* list =)

  • April 1, 2014

    You had me sold at TRAIN RIDE. How cool?! I never would have guessed something like that existed in the Caribbean. Also, thanks to Instagram I basically feel like I was on this trip with you. Let’s do it again some time, shall we?

    • April 1, 2014

      Hahaha! Glad I could indulge you =) How about next time YOU come with and we DIVE? OK? Glad we have that settled.

  • April 1, 2014

    Sold. Even without the diving info! (When you go back to dive, let me know…I will help you investigate it!)

    • April 1, 2014

      It’s a deal! I hear it’s got killer diving.

    • April 2, 2014

      The diving here is absolutely amazing!!! Several wreck and reef dives, even some great shore diving. We’ve seen exotic frogfish, mola mola, sharks, and lots of other fun stuff.

      • April 23, 2014

        That sounds dreamy! Must get back!

  • April 1, 2014

    beautiful – I would love to climb that volcano! love the monkeys too…

    • April 1, 2014

      I need to get back there so I can tackle that volcano! We ran out of time.

  • April 1, 2014

    I’ve never been to the Caribbean but dream of going. This place will definitely be included!! Gorgeous!! And, great tips!

    • April 1, 2014

      That’s crazy talk! Then again, I’ve never been to Thailand so we’re even =)

  • April 1, 2014
    Fiona Lowe

    I have the absolute pleasure of living on this beautiful island. Come and visit, it will capture your heart like it has mine since i moved here six months ago.

    • April 21, 2014

      Is St. Kitts safe to travel alone? I would love to visit for the Music Festival in June.

      • April 23, 2014

        I would assume so–it’s a very quiet, laid-back island. But I’d love to hear Fiona’s take on it as a local.

  • April 2, 2014

    the two arial view photos aren’t of st. kitts

  • April 2, 2014

    I’ve always wanted to go and now I think I’m sold. Thanks!

  • April 2, 2014

    I didn’t even get to the reason number 1, I saw the first photo and I’m sold! Wow it’s beautiful.

  • April 3, 2014

    So beautiful! Definitely need to elevate this on the list of beach vacations!

  • April 3, 2014

    Just the first reason is enough to visit St Kitts. The rest are bonuses!

    • April 23, 2014

      Exactly! I can’t think of a reason someone wouldn’t want to go there!

  • April 3, 2014

    I want someone to come in and ask me to book them a holiday HERE. Not Fiji. Get over Fiji Australia!

    • April 23, 2014

      Hahaha. I’ve had a few email me since writing this post! Always happy to share a more under-the-radar destination with the masses πŸ˜‰

  • April 6, 2014

    There’s nothing better than a tropical breeze … thanks for the overview of St. Kitt’s!

    • April 23, 2014

      Ugh, I know! I want to live in a tropical breeze!

  • April 8, 2014

    Oh. My. God. I literally teared up a bit at that first photo with the ocean on either side! And to think I’m trapped in 10 degree-continually ‘hairspray’ rainy-dark London, it just broke my heart slightly. You are so blessed to be able to do this as a job, I can only hope to do a 1/10 of what you do now when I’m older!

    • April 23, 2014

      Maybe you need to move to the Caribbean for a year or so to warm up πŸ˜‰

  • April 9, 2014

    I’m not really a Caribbean type of girl but St. Kitts looks rather divine and if it has a volcano too, count me in. Brilliant photos by the way. πŸ™‚

    • April 23, 2014

      Too touristy for you? If so, I agree on some accounts (like the big cruise ports). But I found St. Kitts very mellow and not crowded in the slightest.

  • April 10, 2014

    That shot from the airplane is breath-taking! Plus, monkeys! Everything’s better with monkeys!

    • April 23, 2014

      There is never a time when monkeys aren’t a welcome delight! Well, expect when they steal your lunch πŸ˜‰

  • April 11, 2014

    I was dying to go here for a babymoon this past winter but it never happened. It looks beautiful and much developed than I thought. Thanks for sharing!

    • April 23, 2014

      Maybe you should just go WITH the baby! The Marriott was a great family resort.

  • April 22, 2014

    Great article- St. Kitts looks like an amazing place to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  • April 26, 2014

    Wow! You are tempting me to pack my bags right now! This is just such a brilliant post on a beautiful place, the first shot captured my heart!

  • May 12, 2014

    We are going to St. Kitts June 15-22 and staying at the Marriott. I have a 16 year old and 3 1/2 year old. Any suggestions for good but semi casual kid friendly dining, and which attractions would you recommend with the kids? Would love more details about the Marriott and particular dining. We like good seafood crablegs/ lobster and such or just basic American food, steaks, chicken, pizza, etc.

    • May 13, 2014

      Oooh you’re going to have a great time! With kids, you don’t even really have to leave the resort as the Marriott pool is huge, the beach is right there (and also wide, sandy and protected), and there are a ton of dining options on site. I would definitely take them on the scenic railway; there were quite a few kids on there with us, and I think people of all ages enjoy that. If the older one likes active adventures, the ziplining was really fun–and about a 1.5-hour activity. I know horseback riding on the beach is meant to be popular, though we didn’t get a chance to do it. We went on a rainforest trek (from the same spot as the zipline) with a guide named O’Neill, and that could be a fun activity for one of you parents and the 16 year old.

      As far as food, Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack is a great spot for the whole family (outdoors on the beach; the seafood is fresh, tasty and affordable). Also, Reggae Beach with its beach shack restaurant and water sports hut is a must-do. There’s stuff for all ages there, too.

      • May 13, 2014

        Thanks so much for the info Kristin! I really appreciate it and loved this blog post too! One thing I had forgot about πŸ™ Do you know their law (lack there of) regarding car seats for toddlers? When we travel we do not like to have to carry a carseat with us and have been fortunate in our other travels to find a local taxi driver that will provide a carseat. We went to Aruba and Bully the taxi driver had a van and provided a car seat and awesome taxi experience! Is that possible, would totally recommend him/his service (he had another driver, just a nice and kind and helpful) to anyone, esp. anyone traveling with small children. I know you are in the travel business so passing that along πŸ™‚ I believe I still have his contact info too!

        • May 13, 2014

          From a friend in SK with a newborn: Car seats are mandatory for newborns through Toddlers aged 5. Not sure if all taxi drivers have car seats though.

          He said he’ll do some digging and see if he can find a driver you guys could have on call for your trip. I’ll let you know if anything comes of that.

  • June 2, 2014

    Hi Kristen!
    For whatever reason on my phone it cuts off your last response to me and doesn’t let me hit reply?! Anyway I was wondering if you found anything out about the car seat? Our trip is getting closer and starting to worry about weather we need to have room to pack her big freakin car seat!!! Lol. Really hoping not…

  • September 26, 2015

    I am glad you enjoyed my island. What many do not k own is that St.Kitts & Nevi was the first Caribbean island founded in 1492 also known as St.Christipher & Nevis, but we know longer use that name because Christopher Columbus was not the founder of any Caribbean island considering inhabitants already existed. I am so happy you had such a joyful experience please do come again

  • September 30, 2015
    Stephanie Stall

    Oh how I miss that little rock!! This made me so nostalgic. There is a wonderful veterinary school on the island where many of us spent the better half of 3 years. The people of St. Kitts are so welcoming. There is much to do- I recommend a night dive for a completely different experience, as well as a catamaran trip to Nevis πŸ™‚ St. Kitts is truly a little piece of heaven.

    • October 3, 2015

      Funny thing but one of us (not it!) touched the fertility rock and, a year later to the week, found out she was pregnant!

      I didn’t get to dive St. Kitts sadly but I did go over to Nevis while on a tall ship a couple years before. I’d LOVE to go back to both islands!

      • October 3, 2015
        Stephanie Stall

        Haha I actually never heard of the fertility rock; and I haven’t been there in 5 years- however, my husband and I had no issues getting pregnant lol, I’m due in a week!

        • October 3, 2015

          Maybe you accidentally touched it five years ago without knowing and it just was a bit of a delayed reaction πŸ˜‰

          (P.S. CONRATS!!!)

  • May 19, 2016

    Love love love St. Kitts

  • January 22, 2018

    Looks amazing. Maybe i should go there some day.

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