St Kitts and Nevis history and economy
The islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493. He named the first island after his patron St Christopher. Over time, the long “St Christopher“ became “St Kitts“.
Nevis is an abbreviation for Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, which translates from Spanish as “Virgin Mary of the Snow”.
St Kitts and Nevis gained independence in 1983. After the discovery of the lands by Columbus, the Spaniards did not settle them. Until the mid‑17th century, the islands were inhabited by local residents. Then the British came here and colonized the land. The islands gained freedom from Britain in the 20th century.
Today tourism is a key sector of the economy in St Kitts and Nevis. About 250,000 people visit the country every year. The tourism sector of the economy creates jobs for the local population.
Where St Kitts and Nevis locates
The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is located in the Caribbean on two islands of the same name. The total area of the islands are slightly larger than the territory of Great Britain which is 261 km².
The capital of the country, Basseterre is located on the south coast of St Kitts.
The islands are washed by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other.
St Kitts and Nevis on the international scene
Trade and political relations. St Kitts and Nevis exports sugar, cotton, beverages, tobacco and fruit to the United States and Canada. Machinery, oil products, foodstuffs, and industrial products are supplied to the islands from Great Britain.
St Kitts and Nevis is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations (UN), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
International education and medicine. Citizens of St Kitts and Nevis study at UK universities on preferential terms, because the country is part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
There is a branch of the University of the West Indies in the country. It was originally a division of London College and is therefore based on British standards.
Citizens of St Kitts and Nevis can apply for admission benefits to some universities in the British Commonwealth of Nations, for example, Queen Mary University of London.
There are four higher medical institutions on the islands, where foreigners study. The University of Medicine and Health Sciences is the leading medical institution for higher education among the Caribbean countries.
Medicine in St Kitts and Nevis is based on British standards. Government hospitals and private clinics operate on the islands.
Nature in St Kitts and Nevis
⛰️ Mountains. The islands were formed after volcanic eruptions. The “parent“ of the St Kitt island is Liamuiga and the islands of Nevis is Nevis Peak. The last volcanic eruptions occurred a thousand years ago. The island is safe now. The dormant volcanoes are completely covered with forest.
Tourists with a guide can climb Liamuiga and Nevis Peak and overlook the Caribbean.
🐚 Beaches in St Kitts and Nevis are full of sun loungers and there are many bars, restaurants and water sports facilities.
The sand of some beaches is dark, almost black in color. For example, on Dieppe Bay Beach, you can quickly sunbathe, because the black volcanic sand absorbs the sun’s rays more than normal. The beach is protected by a large reef, so it is pleasant to swim here.
Cockleshell Beach in St Kitts overlooks the brotherly island of Nevis, which can be reached in 7 minutes by water taxi. The beach has restaurants, bars and sports equipment.
Tourists choose the beaches of the North Frigate and Pinney’s Beach for the white sand and clear water. They are suitable for relaxation, swimming, windsurfing and traditional surfing. There are hotels and restaurants near the beaches.
🌴 Rainforests cover 42% of St Kitts and Nevis. Tourists explore untouched forests on safari: meet animals and taste exotic fruits and vegetables. For example, cassava, yams, breadfruit, golden apples, Spanish limes, and sea grapes.
In the forests of St Kitts and Nevis, tropical birds and butterflies can be found. Monkeys are the largest mammals on the island, not counting livestock. The marine fauna is represented by lobsters, strombus, green sea turtles and fish.
Residents and culture of St Kitts and Nevis
30% of the country’s population lives in cities, the rest of the inhabitants live in villages. The growth rate of urbanization in St Kitts and Nevis is 1.06% per year.
Kittitians and Nevisians love holidays. Carnivals, masquerades, boat trips, picnics, street dances and jams are part of the daily life of urban and rural residents.
Most of the urban population lives in the capital, Basseterre. It is the main commercial and industrial center of St Kitts and Nevis. The city creates jobs for the population, mainly in the tourism sector.
The islanders' favorite sport is cricket; a reminder of the British colonies. St Kitts and Nevis hosts regional and international cricket matches. Other favorite pastimes of the locals include mountain biking, horse racing, golf, soccer and triathlon.
Contemporary arts and crafts are influenced by African indigenous traditions. The country is famous for ceramics, red clay, leather and wood products.
What to do in St Kitts and Nevis
Tourists choose the country for its comfortable climate, picturesque landscapes, clean and well‑equipped beaches. Water sports are popular here, including yachting and all types of surfing.
Historic tours are another popular activity on the island. For example, in St Kitts you can ride the “Sugar City Train“. The locals used this train to extract sugar when the plantations were flourishing. Now this is an excursion: tourists travel along the old railways, explore abandoned sugar plantations and admire the island.
7 things you should do in St. Kitts and Nevis
Sunbathe on the best beaches: Dieppe Bay Beach, Cockleshell Beach, North Frigate Bay Beach, Pinney’s Beach
Go on a yacht along the coast of the Caribbean
Climb to the top of the volcanoes: Lyamiuga and Nevis Peak
Explore the rainforest
Take a ride on the Sugar City Train
Taste the national dish — goat meat stewed in tomato sauce with breadfruit, green papaya, dough pieces, rum or whiskey
St Kitts and Nevis attractions are national parks, historic buildings and museums. Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is formed around the eponymous fortress of the 18th century, which was built on top of a 244‑meter ancient volcanic massif. The elevated position offers panoramic views of wooded mountains, cultivated fields and the neighboring islands of the Caribbean Sea.
In the capital Basseterre, tourists are attracted by museums, markets and fairs. The Independence Square and the traffic circle built like the London Piccadilly Circus are two important landmarks. At the center of the roundabout is the Berkeley Memorial, a clock tower with a drinking fountain and four dials that open onto each street. Independence Square is home to the cathedral, courthouse and Victorian buildings.
The main streets of the capital are Bay Road, Liverpool Road, Central Street, Cion Street and Bank Street, where most of the island’s main shops and banks are located.
How to get to St Kitts and Nevis
How to get to the country. Two international airports serve flights from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and mainland Europe: Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw Airport in the capital Basseterre, St Kitts, and Vance Amory Airport in Nevis.
Cruise ships are another popular way to get to the islands. The liners arrive at the port of Zante in the capital Basseterre on St Kitts.
The port receives large cruise ships and also has a marina. There are duty free shops, cafes, restaurants, banks and tourist information services.
The center of the capital Basseterre is within walking distance of the cruise ship pier. Tourists take a taxi and go on excursions to the historic city center.
When crossing the border, you need to show your passport with a visa (if you need a visa to visit the country), confirmation of a hotel or other accommodation reservation, a return ticket and the availability of sufficient money to stay in the country: credit cards, travelers checks, cash.
Travel during the coronavirus. Only vaccinated travelers can enter St Kitts and Nevis. The exception is children under 18 years of age, provided that they are accompanied by vaccinated adults.
All arrivals must have paper copies of the travel form, negative coronavirus test results, an official COVID vaccination record card, and taxi money. Only a few taxis are allowed to take travelers to their place of residence.
- 72 hours before the trip take a coronavirus test: a negative test result must be printed and shown upon entering the country.
- Fill out the form online 72 hours before travelling, download test results and vaccination record card data, print the form and show it when entering the country.
Vaccinated travelers spend three days in quarantine and do a control test on the fourth.
Movement within the country. Locals travel by public transport using buses, minibuses, taxis and, rent cars, scooters and bicycles.
Travel between the islands by ferry or water taxi.
Accommodation in St Kitts and Nevis
Resorts in St Kitts and Nevis range from luxury oceanfront hotels and beachfront bungalows to tropical farms and former sugar plantations.
Apartments, hotel shares, villas, marinas can be bought for living and rented out. Rental yield from St Kitts real estate ranges from 3 to 5% per annum. In the high season, rental income reaches 10% per annum.
When buying St Kitts and Nevis real estate, you can take part in the citizenship investment program and get a passport of the country.
How to obtain St Kitts and Nevis citizenship
One can become a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis if they are over 18 years of age and have no criminal record. Citizenship can be obtained by naturalization, confirming family ties with a citizen of the country or under the state program for investors.
Opportunities with the St Kitts and Nevis passport. With a St Kitts and Nevis passport, you can visit 80% of countries without visas, including the Schengen countries, Great Britain, Ireland, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The quickest and easiest way to obtain St Kitts and Nevis citizenship is through the investment program. An investor contributes $ 150,000 to the country’s economy in exchange for a Caribbean passport.
A passport can be obtained within 2 to 6 months. The investor can include relatives in the application: a spouse, children under the age of 30, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. Other methods for obtaining citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis do not allow you to add a family to the application.
St Kitts and Nevis passport under the Citizenship by Investment Program was received by Pavel Durov, founder of the social network “VKontakte“ and the messenger “Telegram“. Now an entrepreneur can go without a visa to most countries, receive a visa to the United States for 10 years and spend up to 6 months a year there.
The St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Program for investors is the first of its kind. It was launched in 1984. 20,000 investors and their family members have received a passport of St Kitts and Nevis during its existence.
Frequently Asked Questions
St Kitts and Nevis is located on two islands of the same name in the Caribbean Sea, north of South America. From the east, the country’s territory is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, from the west ‑ by the Caribbean Sea. St Kitts and Nevis is bordered by Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat (a British overseas territory), Sint Eustatius (a special municipality of the Netherlands) and St Barthelemy (a French overseas community). All borders are maritime.
92.5% of St Kitts and Nevis residents are African American. Also mulattoes, Indians and Europeans live in the country. English is spoken on the islands. The dominant religion is Christianity.
The locals of St Kitts and Nevis hold music festivals all year round. Cricket, football, rugby, netball, athletics, cycling are common sports on the islands.
Citizens of St Kitts and Nevis travel visa‑free to 157 countries, including the UK, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Schengen area. Kittitians and Nevisians can obtain a visa for 10 years in the United States and spend up to 6 months a year there.
Tourists are attracted to the comfortable climate and nature: mountains, tropical forests, many beaches, warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Water sports are another reason why St Kitts tourism thrives. Tourists go on a yacht along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Surfing and windsurfing are also common water activities.
The islands can be reached by plane from the USA, Canada, UK, India and continental Europe.
A cruise ship trip to the Caribbean begins in the United States or one of the ports in Europe.
With a country passport, you can travel without visas to 157 countries and live in the United States for up to 6 months a year.