Underwater Riches within Easy Reach
You don't have to travel far to discover the underwater treasures of St. Kitts. Snorkeling adventures can begin with a short swim right from a hotel beach, while a ten-minute boat ride will carry you to a secluded bay where sea turtles and colorful tropical fish flit among the corals. A closer look through the clear waters may reveal a shipwreck, a moray eel peering out from a crevice, or an octopus scurrying between rock piles. Calm waters and abundant fish life make for relaxing submersions and itineraries that are suitable for novices, but still enjoyable for experienced free divers.
- Best for: Everyone
- Best season to visit: Year round
- Weather: Steady trade winds account for relatively minor differences in seasonal air temperatures, which range from the 70s into the mid 80s. Rain showers are less common from December to May
St. Kitts & Nevis Information
Snorkeling in St. Kitts & Nevis
The entire western coast of St. Kitts is sheltered from prevailing wind and waves, but reefs on the northern half of the island run deeper and is best suited for divers. The most popular snorkeling sites are within a series of bays on the western side of the long, thin peninsula which stretches some nine miles to the southeast of the port town of Basseterre.
Snorkeling in St. Kitts & Nevis Tips
Several tour operators on St. Kitts offer combined kayak and snorkeling excursion. These trips are an ideal way to discover more remote sections of the coast, with monkey sightings and bird watching on the way to the reef. Paddling routes often pass by tall sea cliffs that flank secluded bays, where snorkeling takes place in calm water.
Best Places for Snorkeling in St. Kitts & Nevis
The sheltered lagoon at South Frigate Bay Beach is a haven for marine life. At Pelican Rocks, snorkelers are joined by diving seabirds feeding on small fish. Shallow shipwrecks at White House Bay can seem from the surface. At Sandy Point National Marine Park a dramatic vertical reef line is home to hawksbill and green turtles, lobsters, creole wrasse, sea horses and more.
What to Pack for Snorkeling in St. Kitts & Nevis
A personal dive mask for maximum comfort and a good fit. A brimmed hat and sports sandals for kayak/snorkel trips. A water shirt for sun protection. A tote bag that can handle getting wet for boat trips, with a waterproof case inside for personal items such as keys and mobile devices.
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
Entry/Exit Requirements: A valid passport is required which must be valid for 6 months beyond the date of entry into the country. Proof of onward or returning ticket is required, as well as 1 blank page in your passport for the entry stamp. No visa is required for U.S. Citizens for stays less than 90 days. All persons leaving, pay a Government Departure Tax of $22.00 U.S.
Vaccinations are not required for entry into St. Kitts. Check with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel at cdc.gov.
Culture and Customs
Long after other islands in the Caribbean turned to tourism, St. Kitts was an island of farmers. Sugarcane remained the island's chief economic driver through the end of the 20th century, and it wasn't until 2005 that government and private sectors made a concerted effort to welcome tourism and development. Fast-forward a decade and the island is experiencing robust resort and residential growth that includes a number of premier resorts and a tasty collection of new restaurants. But the newfound prosperity that has accompanied this transition hasn't resulted in urban sprawl or a loss of cultural roots. Having established some of the most broad-reaching conservation measures of any island in the Caribbean, more than a quarter of St. Kitts is now protected land. The mountainous interior of the island is covered in one of the rarest types of forest on earth: the American Oceanic Rainforest. And this forest continues to expand as fields no longer used for cane cultivation return to nature. Miles of trails wind through old-growth forests and up mountain slopes for rewarding views of the entire island. If hiking and birding are not your things, there's golf, spas and lively beach clubs. Modern beats fill downtown dance clubs, but across the islands, calypso music is still king—especially during the eight-week winter celebration known as Sugar Mas, which blends the spirit of the Christmas season with elements of Carnival, and colorful displays of the island's cultural traditions and African heritage.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
Electricity in St. Kitts is 230 volts, 60 cycle, however, 110 volt supply is available at some hotels. An adapter may be needed for U.S. visitors. The country/area code for St. Kitts is 869. There are a few service providers in St. Kitts and Nevis so please check with your local provider to see what plans are available or roaming charges will apply. Many hotels offer WiFi.
Drinking water is pure and safe to drink. Bottled water is sold in stores, hotels and restaurants if preferred.
Language & Currency
English is the official language. The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD or EC$). U.S. Dollars are accepted but normally change is given in EC$. ATMs are available as well which dispense EC$. Check the current exchange rate here.
St. Kitts is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST) and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. St Kitts is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-4 GMT).
Location, Size and Population
St. Kitts and Nevis are located in the Eastern Caribbean in the West Indies. The West side of St. Kitts faces the Caribbean Sea, while the East side of St. Kitts faces the Atlantic Ocean. Nevis & St. Kitts from one country, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis which share approximately 100 square miles in total, Nevis with 35 square miles and St. Kitts with 65 square miles. St Kitts is 5 miles wide by 18 miles long. The two islands are separated by a 2-mile channel known as The Narrows.
The population of St. Kitts and Nevis combined is 55,712 (2016) with approximately 12,000 residing on Nevis.