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St. Kitts – Paradise IRL

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Published Mar. 22|Updated Apr. 29

Deep in the windswept eastern Caribbean, is an island so lovely, it almost defies description. This island, known as St. Kitts, is a place to disappear — to reboot and refresh — and its beauty will intoxicate your senses. Smell the grape-like scent of Royal Poinciana, St. Kitts’ national flower (said to have originated in Madagascar); and the rich, tantalizing aroma of jerk barbecue on the beach. Taste spicy crab cakes or grilled Caribbean spiny lobster, locally brewed Carib beer, a “Ting with a sting,” fresh tropical fruits and coconut water straight from the source. Hear the sound of the waves and the wind, tropical birdsong, the tones of steel drums and reggae music. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, the cooling, liquid caress of the ocean’s waters, the refreshing sea breeze, warm sand massaging your feet with every step. Fill your eyes with the hypnotic blues and greens of this enchanted island, the crystal-clear aquamarine of the ocean, breathtaking mountain scenery, the golden glow of every sunset.

Don’t let the island’s small size fool you — there’s plenty to do. Take to the streets of capital city Basseterre (settled by the French in the 1620s, it is one of the Caribbean’s oldest towns) and check out the tax- and duty-free shops, artisanal boutiques, restaurants, and independent food vendors (who prepare mouth-watering island specialties like conch fritters fresh nearly every day). Hit the beach for kitesurfing, paragliding, snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding. Before a late dinner, go all in on the romance and sail along the southeastern coast during a sunset cocktails cruise.

Really get to know the island’s scenery and history with an open-air railway tour on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway. Look for indigenous wildlife amid the lush tropical foliage while you zip line over the rainforest canopy. If you’re ambitious, take the guided hike to the top of Mt. Liamuiga, the island’s dormant volcano, for 360-degree panoramic views of the island. Explore the exotic, sparkly black volcanic sand of Dieppe Bay Beach, a great spot for sunbathing and snorkeling the calm clear waters. And don’t miss the chance to tour St. Kitts Chocolate Factory in Basseterre, for an array of luscious gourmet truffles and soft-centered chocolates — irresistibly fresh and created on site. Yum.

Accommodations range from vacation rentals, charming inns and romantic bed-and-breakfasts to golf and ultra-posh resorts, and dining options include everything from spicy and delicious street food to the ultimate in fine dining with a Caribbean accent (hitting all points in between). The Strip on Frigate Bay is loaded with bustling cafes and al fresco bars open till the wee hours (just follow the sound of live music).

For residents of Tampa Bay, it’s easier than ever to get to St. Kitts, thanks to convenient flights on American Airlines from Tampa International to Basseterre. The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis welcomes all visitors who have been fully vaccinated. For more information, travel specials, or to start planning your getaway to St. Kitts, visit stkittstourism.kn or your favorite travel provider.

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