Day 1: Paradise Found
With direct flights from Miami, Atlanta, Puerto Rico and New York, your excuses for not getting to St. Kitts have just gotten fewer. Fly to Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB), in the capital of Basseterre. Hire a car and head for Ottley’s Plantation. Take the rest of the evening to lounge by the pool, or if you still have some energy, take a hike through one of the on-property rainforest trails. Chase some monkeys in an attempt to snap some photos; they’ll love it — the monkeys and your friends.
Day 2: Something for Everyone
Enough monkey chasing; it’s time to see the island. If you want to play tourist, head for Needsmust Station and climb aboard the St. Kitts Scenic Railway. For the next three hours you’ll lazily pass through plantations and villages under the gaze of Mount Liamuiga in an 18-mile circuit. For the more adventurous, wind your way through the island’s narrow road system. It’s often said in the Caribbean that the smaller the island, the faster the driver. Now, you don’t have to embrace that philosophy, but you can bet your fellow drivers will. Scope out some places you want to see, but end your night at Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack in Frigate Bay. Grab a picnic table and enjoy some ribs and a rum punch by the bonfi re.
Day 3: Be a Beach Bum
Strap on that swimsuit and head to the beach. At South Friars Bay, enjoy beautiful aerial views of the island as you rise above Frigate Bay. Make your way to the Shipwreck Beach Bar & Grill, and hunker down with a cold Carib on a shaded beach chair. If you fancy a snorkel, rental gear is available there as well. Keep an eye out for mongooses coming down from the chaparral brush on the cliff side, but don’t give them any beer.
Day 4: History Lesson
Head up to the Brimstone Hill Fortress. This British fort (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) was built on and off between 1690 and 1790 and is perched on a hillside near the center of the island. See some of the best-preserved examples of 18th-century British military structures. Then head to Sprat Net, one of the best seafood restaurants you’ll ever visit. The owners spend all day fi shing on their boats and then bring back the fresh catch a couple of hours before sunset. Arrive early if you want the lobster, served with corn on the cob and johnnycakes. Over dinner, watch the colors ignite in the sunset sky, but don’t try to tell me you saw the green flash — I know you didn’t.