Basseterre, St. Kitts – While many secrets are best kept secret, others are just too good not to be told. These priceless St. Kitts treasures have long remained “under the radar,” yet they’re sure to make a lasting impression on visitors. Travelers seeking an authentic Kittitian experience that few people know about will not want to miss these!
1. Crater Lake on Mt. Liamuiga: Standing tall at 3,792 feet, Mt. Liamuiga is the highest peak on St. Kitts. The name Liamuiga is derived from the Kalinago name for the entire island of St. Kitts, which means, “fertile land.” Adventurers seeking a challenging hike through the lush, verdant rainforest will be pleasantly surprised at the wonders existing far up the slopes. Upon reaching the summit caldera, which is approximately a mile across and a full 1,000 feet deep, there is a magnificent crater lake and steam vents emitting hot steam from deep within the mountain’s interior. On a clear day, the panoramic views are breathtaking, including the entire island, the pristine Caribbean Sea and surrounding islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, Anguilla, St. Barts and St. Maarten.
2. Ancient Shipwrecks: In addition to numerous reefs, shoals and abundant marine life, the virgin waters surrounding St. Kitts have yet another wonder. A recently conducted Maritime Archaeological project revealed several hundred pristine wrecks of galleons, frigates and freighters dating back to the 17th century that were sunk in various naval battles and skirmishes. One recently discovered and excavated dive site is located at White House Bay, where the wreck of a 1740s English troopship rests.
3. The Tomb of Sir Thomas Warner: The final resting place of the first governor of the West Indies is located in Middle Island, St. Kitts. Sir Thomas Warner made his inaugural visit to the island in 1623 and has become widely regarded as the principal figure in the colonial history of St. Kitts. Buried in the very same graveyard is Samuel Jefferson, great-great-great-grandfather of the third President of the United States of America, Thomas Jefferson.
4. Wingfield Estate: With excavations still ongoing, Wingfield Estate continues to reveal new structures and secrets. Formerly home to Thomas Jefferson’s great-great grandfather, this site is a new “must see” on St. Kitts. The sugar estate ruins house one of the Caribbean’s last surviving aqueducts as well as many original structures, equipment, tall chimney, boiling pots and plenty of other interesting historical elements that guests can view, tour and be awed by. A short walk will take you to Romney Manor, the property’s great house, which is presided over by a majestic 350-year-old Saman tree whose branches cover a full ½ acre of the manicured 10-acre grounds.
5. The Old Treasury Building: Erected in 1894, this monument was known as the Gateway to Basseterre to those who arrived by sea. In 2002, the building was transformed into a National Museum that exhibits cultural and historical artifacts that played a role in the development of St. Kitts. One of the largest public buildings in the city of Basseterre, this is the perfect place to get to know the rich historical background that shaped Kittitian culture and traditions.
6. The Strip at Frigate Bay: Hidden in plain sight is this exquisite strip of beach on the Caribbean side of St. Kitts. While it has become well known as a night life hot spot, it’s also a wonderful place during the day to try a variety of watersports from jet skiing to snorkeling to fishing charters or simply relaxing in the soft sand and soaking up the warm sunshine.
7. The Georgian House: Located south of Independence Square, the grandiose structure remains one of the most eye-catching examples of 18th century architecture on St. Kitts. It is thought to have once served as a holding place for slaves purchased from the auctions prior to their transfer to the plantations. Rumor has it that the basement of the building is haunted, as people have reported hearing the sharp sound of shackles moving across the floor.
8. Carib Brewery St. Kitts Ltd: Producing annually over 750,000 cases of the island’s beers, malts, stouts and soft drinks, the Carib Brewery is one of the leading beverage makers on island and in the Caribbean region. Travelers can see the beverage-making magic unfold by making an appointment to witness the process. This excursion is both fun and educational for the entire family and visitors can also sample a complimentary beverage.
9. Diverse Dining Options: What foodies don’t know but will love to discover, St. Kitts has a range of cuisines available on island at venues ranging from casual to elegant. Nosh on sushi at a modern gourmet beachside establishment or try some authentic Kittitian-style cooking at one of the island’s roadside grills (all food handlers have health department administered certificates) serving some of the Caribbean’s best barbecued chicken and fish. From Italian to French or Asian-Fusion and Continental to Caribbean, it’s all available to please the palate of those who know the inside scoop.
10. The Market: For an exclusive glimpse everyday life on St. Kitts, stop at the local market in downtown Basseterre. The sights and sounds of this bustling place present an exciting and genuine experience, as local produce harvested from the island’s fertile soil is both bought and sold. Opposite the market on Bay Road is the ever vibrant Ferry Terminal, with a variety of booths selling delectable Kittitian fare.