St Kitts

Pretty and perfectly formed, St. Kitts is one of the most idyllic of all the Caribbean islands. A place where long, surging ocean rollers lap at vast swathes of blinding white sand. Para gliders float like exotic, brightly coloured butterflies above lines of indolent, idly swaying palm trees. Warm sand between your toes, and a frosty beer in your hand. If ever an island was quintessential, text book Caribbean, then St. Kitts is it.

But the island has more to see than simply sun and sand. The gorgeous, compact capital of Basseterre is within walking distance of the pier. Check out the vast, brooding battlements of Brimstone Hill Fortress, the largest set of fortifications in the entire Caribbean, and now a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cricket lovers might like to catch a game in the Warner Park Stadium, used as a site for the 2007 World Cup matches.

In the centre of Basseterre is an amazing clock tower, partially built as a monument to a former president, Thomas Berkely. The great, Anglican church of St. Georges’ is also worth a look, as are the vibrant botanical gardens

More than a quarter of the entire island has been designated as a national park. You can hike through the lush, jagged interiors, or even enjoy some high octane zip lining through some of the amazing natural tracts of rain forests. The truly brave can descend a full thousand feet, down into the basement of the dormant volcano of Sofa Rock. Or you could simply just enjoy the astonishing vista to be had from the rim itself.

The island boasts some amazing diving sites, including the evocative Black Coral Reef, where you can immerse yourself in a fantastic under water natural park of colourful fish, jagged coral reefs and silent, hulking wrecks that dot the coastline just off shore. If you prefer to stay above water, you can enjoy world class fishing on St. Kitts. Alternatively, you could simply chill out on a catamaran cruise as you work on your sun tan, rum punch in hand.

Golf lovers will find some fantastic ranges ashore, while lovers of bird watching will savour discovering no less than forty four different species of birds across the island.

Three cruise ship piers give passengers admission to the centre of downtown Basseterre, an easy fifteen minute stroll away. Taxis are available. On some days, there is a market set up in the quay area itself.

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