During our visit to St. Kitts we took a local tour of the island in an air conditioned mini bus. The roads are typical small winding island roads. Our driver who lives on the island was very skilled in navigating the tiny areas where two lane of traffic are expected to fit in one small lane and taking on the steep inclines along the way.
Having someone else do the driving is a great way to sit back, relax and take in the sights.
My wife and I arrived in Dominica aboard the Celebrity Summmit. We both enjoy taking cruises as a vacation and this was a great one. We had a seven night cruise that sailed out of San Juan hitting the following ports: St. Croix, St. Thomas, Grenada, Dominica and St. Kitts.
St. Kitts had long been an island we both wanted to visit and we were so happy that we finally arrived.
The buses are a great and cheap way to get around on Saint Kitts.
The cost is $2.50 EC which is less than a $1 US. You can spot them on the main roads. They are vans with a plate number that starts with an H. Although they are hard to miss because they are usually brightly painted. You have to ask the if they are going where you want to go first and they will only travel the main roads.
If you need to go somewhere off the main road the taxis are plentiful. Their tags start with a T and it could be a car or van. Ask how much before you get in. They don't have meters and the fare is subject to change depending on how far you want to go.And some drivers will RIP you off. An average fare from the Main Square, known as the Circus to Frigate bay or other beaches on the peninsula should be $10 US. We found a honest man Named Greg Seaton for taxi service, call 663 4404
Apart from the experience that you're missing when travelling by bus, a car really is the best way to see the island of Saint Kitts. It makes it possible to make the whole northern loop in a few hours, and the southern loop in only an hour, and adding stops wherever you like.
When renting a car you have to keep in mind that you'll need to buy a local driving license. This is their way of charging road taxes. It will add another 10 US Dollars to the price of renting a car. It is a great way to travel around though: it saves you from a long climb up to Brimstone Hill Fortress, and it offers you great views of the coastlines and the islands around Saint Kitts. When going to the Southern Peninsula it's an easy way to look for desolate beaches and spotting monkeys.
Make sure to fill up the tank in Basseterre because there are no/hardly any gas stations in other parts of the island!
An unwritten agreement on Saint Kitts is that the minibusses on the island only cover the northern part of the island. All other routes (to the airport, to Frigate Bay and to the south) are only covered by taxis. Fortunately these taxis are not too expensive.
I took the taxi to get from the airport to the centre of Basseterre. It's only a trip of 15 minutes and I payed about 5 US Dollars for it. To get to Frigate Bay it's an interesting option as well. When you want to get to the south of the island and back, it might be better to consider renting a scooter or a car for a day.
The taxis can be found everywhere in Basseterre. When you are going to a beach or another remote place in the south it might be wise to ask a phonenumber of a taxidriver so you can call when you want to go back.
The cheapest and the nicest way to travel around the island of Saint Kitts is by the minibusses that you'll find everywhere! These busses have the greatest names: 'Jah Blessing', 'Reggae Doctor' or 'Zion Train', the music is turned on load, and it's always a nice way to make a chat with the other people in the bus.
The busses only cover the northern part of the island: the way south towards Frigate Bay and the Southern Peninsula is covered by taxis. The northern loop is covered clockwise and counterclockwise, so you basically can never take the wrong bus: it's just a matter of patience. Of course it's better to ask the driver which bus to take.
The prices are never a point of discussion: the maximum price is about 5 Eastern Caribbean Dollar: about 2,50 US Dollars. The busses depart every 5 or 10 minutes from the bus station at the Ferry Terminal in Basseterre, but when you stop a bus passing by making a hand signal you basically can jump in wherever you want.
LIAT: congratulations! LIAT Airlines to me is officially the WORST airline I ever flew with! I used it to fly from Saint-Martin to Saint-Kitts and back and it was a true disaster!
The flight from Saint-Martin to Saint-Kitts normally takes 25 minutes, but my flight to Basseterre had a delay of 14 hours and on my way back there were another 5 hours of delay! As I understood the whole schedule of LIAT often is a complete chaos full of delays, and even though they clearly have experience with it, they suck at communicating about it. When you have a question about what's going to happen they react rude and impatient and they only do the absolute necessary. On top of this they lost my luggage too on my way to Saint-Kitts.
If there is a way to prevent flying with LIAT: do it! They might be cheap, but it's better to spend 20 extra dollar and flying on time then to spend a full day at the airport with a lot of problems.
The narrow gauge train goes all the way around the island. This is more of a tour than a serious mode of transportation. It was built between 1912 and 1926 to deliver sugar cane from the fields to the sugar mill in the capital city of Basseterre. It has been reconfigured as a tourist attraction. There are multiple daily departures are offered throughout each week from November through April. A more limited schedule is offered between May and October. The “Island Series” railcars are double-decked, with an upper open–air observation platform that, and a lower air-conditioned “parlor”.
Coming in on a cruise ship, we were only there for one day so we didn't rent a car, but there are numerous places where you can do this. The roads outside the main city appeared pretty free of traffic, although it is a small island. We took the little train ride, and we were the first two people to get on bus #6. I asked if I could sit in front next to the driver, and was told it was OK. So the first picture is taken from the front seat of the van. All the rest of them were taken from the top level of the train.
I noticed that the license plates were somewhat rudimentary but were different colors - red, blue, black, yellow and green. Later I asked our van driver. He said:
P or PA black plates were private cars.
Other colors are for rental cars (red IIRC).
Taxis are usually mini buses, vans or cars. They are easily identified by their yellow license number plates with a T in front of the numbers.
We were taken from the cruise ship terminal to the fartherest end of the train route by a small van, and then after the train trip, we were brought back from the airport to the dock by the same vehicle (photo 2). I don't know if it was a taxi or a tour service.
Taxis may be mini buses, vans or cars. They are easily identified by their yellow license number plates with a T in front of the numbers.
Taxis are usually located at the Robert L.Bradshaw International Airport in St. Kitts for arriving visitors. For persons moving around town taxis are available at The Circus in Basseterre, the Marriott Hotel in Frigate Bay on St. Kitts.
The omnibuses run from 5:00 am - 1:00 am daily. The website says " The wait time to catch any bus is at the longest about 10 minutes, except on Sundays which take a little longer. It takes less than 30 minutes to get to any destination. Buses usually pick up and stop at any point on their route.
There are three bus routes in St. Kitts, the West bus routes which go from Basseterre up to Parson Ground, the east bus route travels from Basseterre to Saddlers and the Monkey Hill bus route which runs from Basseterre to Ogees Village.
After breakfast, I went out on the bow. I could see the airport up on the slope behind town, with the planes landing. I was looking at the two ways one can get to an island - by air or on the water. I was traveling by ship. Most people would be going by plane. Later in the day, our train trip terminal was at the airport so I got to see some of it by land (photo 2)
Planes come in from Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortolla, St. Thomas, Trinidad/Grenada/St. Vincent/St. Lucia, St. Eustatia/Puerto Rico, Guyana/Barbados and Dominica.
The airlines that serve the airport include LIAT, Winair, Caribbean Star, Caribbean Sun and American Eagle
The first officials that greeted us from the pier (photo 2) were riding bicycles. It is also possible to rent a scooter to get around the island. I would think it might be somewhat difficult because of the way the car and taxi and omni bus drivers drive and the narrowness of the roads
There are three places to rent scooters:
Basseterre,, St. Kitts
Basseterre, St. Kitts
Tel: (869) 466-3772
Mobile: (869) 664-8755
St. Christopher Club
Frigate Bay, St. Kitts
Tel: (869) 465-5123
Mobile: (869) 664-1921
I have not done that.
It has been called "the most unique and entertaining experience in the Caribbean." And after visiting more than two dozen islands over the past many years, I can't disagree. The St. Kitts Scenic Railway, also known as "The Sugar Train," is definitely the most enjoyable way of touring the island of St. Kitts. A four hour tour will cost you $98, and it's worth every cent. You will have a choice of a seat in a spacious, open-air observation deck, or an air-conditioned lower level seat with expansive windows. There are restrooms on board, and you will be served complimentary drinks with sugar/coconut cookies, and have live music provided by local singers. Also, you will enjoy a colorful narrative history of the island as you look out onto some of the most spectacular scenery in the Caribbean.
The Sugar Train runs on narrow gauge tracks which were originally built between 1912 and 1926 to deliver sugar cane from the fields to the sugar mill in Basseterre. The new specially built rail cars roll across tall steel bridges, past numerous colorful small villages, and along verdant fields that sweep up to cloud shrouded mountain peaks on your left and awesome ocean vistas on the right. Local children and adults alike stop what they are doing and wave as you pass.
If I sound enthusiastic about the St. Kitts Scenic Rail Tour it's because I am. I was with Karen, two of my sisters, a niece, and their spouses when the eight of us rode the Sugar Train together. All of us agreed that it was the highlight of our 8 day cruise through the islands.
There are taxis and buses on Nevis, they look the same (vans) except for their number plates. Taxis have plates that begin with T and buses have plates that begin with H. Taxis are more expensive than buses but you share the bus with whomever else is around and your route will not be direct in most cases. Both are useful if you don't want to hire a vehicle.
You can hire a taxi to take you for a guided tour of the island. The main roads are paved, it's just when you get off them you find tracks like the one in the photo.
Driving is on the left, and many rental vehicles were built for the American market and the wheel is on the left, it puts the driver on the side of the road instead of the middle.
You can go to St. Kitts by ferry, they leave from Charlestown. I think there are two companies that offer service. Schedules are erratic and service is not necessarily offered every day. Be sure to confirm the return schedule before you depart Nevis.
Village Po Box 345, BASSETERRE, KN
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