The two-island nation of St Kitts and Nevis is a relative latecomer to the luxury yachting scene but is an increasingly appealing destination. Read on to discover why you should visit this idyllic pair of Caribbean islands on a charter vacation.
Located in the northern arc of the Leeward Islands, St Kitts and Nevis gained independence from the UK in 1983 following over 350 years of changing hands between the French and English.
Today, the federation has been touted as the next superyacht hotspot. Here are five reasons why you should visit the sister islands on your next luxury yacht charter to the Caribbean.
A World-Class Luxury Yacht Marina
St Kitts and Nevis’ burgeoning reputation as the Caribbean's next premiere yachting destination is mainly down to the newly built Christophe Harbour which, with a state-of-the-art marina, caters to the needs of luxury yachts like nowhere else in the region.
Sitting on the southern tip of St Kitts, the marina opened its doors in February 2015 and currently has 24 superyacht berths. But, once construction is completed, there will be room for 250 yachts, including 50 measuring up to 76 metres.
There is more to Christophe Harbour than world-class superyacht facilities, however. The 2,500-acre development also incorporates a new marina village with a Park Hyatt hotel, a forthcoming Tom Fazio golf course, boutique shops, eateries and luxury properties.
St Kitts’ best beaches are on its south-eastern peninsula. Enticing views of Nevis and a line-up of restaurants and bars makes the secluded mile-long stretch of Cockleshell Bay Beach a firm favourite, while yacht-goers are likely to have the quiet, golden sands of Major’s Bay Beach to themselves.
Another off-the-beaten-track gem is Frigate Bay North. A long curve of sand on the wilder Atlantic side of St Kitts, this beach is rarely busy and has a long reef protecting swimmers from the bigger waves common on the east coast. Grey volcanic sands, meanwhile, can be found in the north.
In Nevis, three miles of superb white sand await discovery on Pinney’s Beach. With its hip eateries and bars, this is one of the finest beaches in the Caribbean and draws in a star crowd. Graced with shallow waters and sunset views to St Kitts, Oualie Beach is a must-visit too.
Soaring to 1,156 metres above sea level in the heart of St Kitts, dormant Mt Liamuiga is the highest peak in the federation and offers some fantastic hiking opportunities. But, be aware, treks to the top are not for the unfit or faint-hearted.
Trails weave out from Belmont Estate, through swathes of misty rainforest and lush tropical savannah, up to the half-mile-wide volcanic crater. Those who reach the summit will be rewarded with breath-taking views of the neighbouring islands.
Nevis has its own cloud-swathed, 985-metre-high volcanic peak to conquer. It’s an arduous climb that’s best done with a guide. Slippery, steep and muddy, the path threads along precipitous sections that require scrambling over sheer rocks and grabbing ropes and exposed roots.
Even if you’re not a huge history fan, the UNESCO-protected Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is likely to leave a lasting impression. Standing 240 metres above sea level, this breath-taking fortification was designed by British military engineers and built by African slaves in around 1690.
Today it houses a museum that gives a fascinating insight into what life would have been like for soldiers living in the dramatic surrounds. What’s more, from such a vantage point, there are spectacular panoramic views of the coastline, countryside and five neighbouring islands.
Other historical attractions include 300-year-old Fairview Great House & Botanical Garden, where visitors can learn about colonial life on the island, and St Kitts Scenic Railway. In the early 1900s, this transported the island’s sugar cane but, today, it takes passengers on a three-hour scenic tour.
Fascinating Dive Sites
Despite the gin-clear waters of St Kitts and Nevis abounding with marine life and dozens of wrecks, the dual-island nation’s outstanding dive sites still remain somewhat under the radar. This is, of course, perfect for charterers looking for peaceful and untouched diving opportunities.
Among the top reef sites in St Kitts are Green Point Reef, Monkey Shoals and Coconut Tree, while there is incredible wall diving at Black Coral and, in Nevis, stunning dives at Clyde’s Reef, the White Hole and the Ledge, which is popular for macro photography.
The best wreck to explore is the coral-encrusted 144ft freighter known as River Taw, which sank in 1981 before being split in two by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Other notable shipwrecks include HMS Solebay, Talata and Conrinthian.
St Kitts and Nevis is a relative latecomer to the luxury yachting scene but has been touted as the Caribbean's next superyacht hotspot