St. Kitts and Nevis is gradually shedding its reputation as the sleepiest two-island nation in the Caribbean. St. Kitts has spruced up Basseterre, the nation’s capital and main port, and nearby Nevis (pronounced NEE-viss) has renovated Charlestown, where well-to-do vacationers often stop to shop during visits to the island’s plush resorts. Airports on both islands have been upgraded to accommodate more and larger airplanes.
So far all this commotion hasn’t made a dramatic change in the islands, which have always touted their charms as “the way the Caribbean used to be.” The beaches remain delightfully empty, and we have yet to encounter even one person pitching time-share condos. Green vervet monkeys, brought over by the first European settlers, still outnumber people—even during high season.
Although St. Kitts and Nevis are only about 2 mi/3 km apart (separated by a sometimes-treacherous strait), they have different personalities. St. Kitts is the larger of the two. Lively Basseterre is the center of shopping and dining, and most of the island’s resorts are at Frigate Bay, about 3 mi/5 km away. Nevis is quaint, more expensive and peppered with upscale lodgings. Specifically the Four Seasons, one of the toniest family resorts in the Caribbean, complete with championship golf course, exciting cuisine and the only casino in the country. But Nevis also has several luxurious inns in restored plantation houses.
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