Ready for the tropics? Try St. Kitts

02/14/2014 4:05 PM

02/14/2014 4:06 PM

If swaying palm trees, the scent of fresh topical air and the call of seagulls beckon, it’s time to get away to St. Kitts. This ideal Caribbean destination offers comparatively untouched beaches, brilliant sunny days and natural beauty.

Getting there: Three major airlines run once weekly service into St Kitts’ Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw (RLB) International. Only American has twice daily service (Thursday-Sunday) out of Miami International.

Getting around: Planning to rent an car? You will need a temporary driving license for either St. Kitts or its small companion island, Nevis. On St. Kitts’ southeast peninsula, there is auto ferry service to Nevis. If you plan to tour each island, get the proper driving documentation.

Where to stay: The exclusive Timothy Beach Resort is nestled into the hillside on South Frigate Bay on St. Kitts with sweeping views of a calm Caribbean cove. All condo suites are outfitted with private balconies, complimentary beach towels and free Internet. Full kitchens can help stretch your vacation budget. The tropical decor and rattan furniture seem dated, but the villas are clean and very comfortable. The hotel is close to shops, outstanding dining, world-class golfing and even a casino.

Info: www.timothybeach.com.

Monkey business: Drunken monkeys maraud St. Kitts with impunity! The well-known green vervet monkeys apparently have quite a penchant for rum punch. The wily and crafty simians are known to swipe tourists’ frothy libations, so hold tight to your hootch when you see the cute little pranksters approaching. At Independence Square in Basseterre is The Monkey Bar. It’s a favorite haunt of those who love to party and it also has a terrific seafood restaurant. Be sure to catch the lively steel drum band on Friday nights.

Worth exploring: Whether you’re a certified diver or a newbie to the sport, don’t miss the wreck of the River Taw. Divers from around the globe flock to this spot, rated one of the top 20 shallow-reef wrecks in the Caribbean; there’s good visibility, an abundance of sea life and warm water.

Info: http://bit.ly/1fdOx4o.

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park: This expansive and well-preserved fortification dates to the 1700s and features majestic views of neighboring islands. For a reasonable $10 (U.S.), you can stroll the mostly renovated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the restored quarters actually show life as it was in the 18th century. Note: It’s not as handicapped-accessible as we are accustomed to in the U.S.

Info: www.brimstonehillfortress.org.

Amazing place: Serene Sandy Point served as the inspirational backdrop and life-changing events of slave trader John Newton. It was where he composed the well-known tune “Amazing Grace,” and The Amazing Grace Experience tells the dramatic, inspiring story of how Newton found his faith.

Info: www.amazinggraceexperience.com.

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