The Caribbean Island of Saint Kitts and Nevis
The Federation of Saint Kitts and
Nevis (also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis), located in the Leeward
Islands, is a federal two-island nation in the West Indies. It is the smallest sovereign
nation in the Americas, in both area and population.
The capital city and headquarters of government for
the federated state is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts. The smaller state of Nevis
lies about 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Saint Kitts, across a shallow channel called "The Narrows”.
Historically, the British dependency of Anguilla was also a part of this union, which was then
known collectively as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. Saint Kitts and Nevis are geographically
part of the Leeward Islands.
To the north-northwest lie the islands of Saint
Eustatius, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten. To the east and northeast are
Antigua and Barbuda, and to the southeast is the small uninhabited island of Redonda, and the
island of Montserrat, which currently has an active volcano (see Soufrière
Saint Kitts and Nevis were amongst the first islands in the Caribbean to be settled by Europeans.
Saint Kitts was home to the first British and French colonies in the
Saint Kitts and Nevis is known for a number of musical celebrations including Carnival (17
December to 3 January on Saint Kitts). The last week in June features the St Kitts Music Festival,
while the week-long Culturama on Nevis lasts from the end of July into early August.
Additional festivals on the island of Saint Kitts include Inner City Fest, in February in
Molineaux; Green Valley Festival, usually around Whit Monday in village of Cayon; Easterama, around
Easter in village of Sandy Point; Fest-Tab, in July or August in the village of Tabernacle; and La
festival de Capisterre, around Independence Day in Saint Kitts and Nevis (19 September), in the
Capisterre region. These celebrations typically feature parades, street dances and salsa, jazz,
soca, calypso and steel pan music.
The islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis are two of the Caribbean's oldest
colonized territories. Saint Kitts became the first British colony in the West Indies in 1624 and
then became the first French colony in the Caribbean in 1625, when both nations decided to
partition the island.
Five thousand years prior to European arrival, the island was settled by Indian peoples. The
latest arrivals, the Kalinago peoples, arrived approximately 3 centuries before the Europeans. The
Kalinago allowed the Europeans to colonize Saint Kitts, while earlier attempts to settle other
islands were met with immediate destruction of the colonies by the Indians. The Kalinago were
eventually wiped out in the great Kalinago Genocide of 1626. Often overlooked in history is the
fact that in the 1600s, under Cromwell's reign, England shipped approximately 25,000 Irish to St.
Kitts as slaves to work on the island.
Battle of Saint Kitts, 1782, as described by an observer in a French engraving titled "Attaque
de Brimstomhill".The island of Nevis was colonized in 1628 by British settlers from Saint Kitts.
From there, Saint Kitts became the premier base for British and French expansion, as the islands of
Antigua, Montserrat, Anguilla and Tortola for the British, and Martinique, the Guadeloupe
archipelago and St. Barths for the French were colonized from it.
Although small in size, and separated by only 2 miles (3 km) of water, the two islands were
viewed and governed as different states until the late 19th century, when they were forcefully
unified along with the island of Anguilla by the British. To this day relations are strained, with
Nevis accusing Saint Kitts of neglecting its needs.
Saint Kitts and Nevis, along with Anguilla, became an associated state with full internal
autonomy in 1967. Anguillans rebelled, and their island was allowed to separate from the others in
1971. St. Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983. It is the newest sovereign nation in the
Americas. In August 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from St. Kitts fell short of
the two-thirds majority needed. In late September 1998, Hurricane Georges caused approximately $445
million in damages and limited GDP growth for the year.
Alexander Hamilton, the first United States Secretary of the Treasury, was born in Nevis; he
spent his childhood there and on St. Croix, then belonging to Denmark, and now one of the United
States Virgin Islands.
The flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis
The Flag of St. Kitts and Nevis was
adopted on September 19, 1983, consisting of two white stars on a diagonal black band,
fimbriated in yellow, separating background colors of green and red. It was the winning entry
in a local competition. The flag contains the Pan-African colours, although officially the
colours are given a different significance:
Green: The island's fertility;
Red: The struggles of the people from slavery through colonialism
Yellow: year round sunshine;
Black: The African heritage of the people;
White stars: hope and liberty.
Things To Do In Saints Kitts
Nevis Biking Tour
Take the road less traveled as you explore Nevis on bike. Your experienced guide delights in
sharing local knowledge and showing you another side of the island
Private Fishing Charter from Nevis
Charter your own boat for a day of fishing off the coast of Nevis - a fisherman's dream! Test your
fishing skills against the large population of marine fish.
Nevis Rainforest Hiking Tour
hiking adventure takes you through the lush rainforest of Nevis. Hear birds chirp and monkeys
chatter, sample delicious wild fruits and take beautiful
Nevis Horse Riding Adventure
horseback ride along the mountain trails of Nevis on this 1.5 hour riding adventure. Your ride
takes you from the stables, along the coast of Fort Ashby.
Nevis Island Half Day Tour
For the perfect combination of history and culture
Brimstone Hill Fortress
This 38 acre fortress, dubbed "the Gibraltar of the east" is situated on the upper slopes of an 800
foot high mountain with superb views all around. Six other islands can be seen on a clear
A 3,792 foot dormant volcano. Guided tours ascend the volcano, and, if properly equipped, descend
into its 400-foot deep mouth.
Nevis Peak is the volcanic mountain which in ancient times created the island of Nevis. The peak
rises to over three thousand feet, and it is quite often surrounded by cloud at the very top.
Mountain Bike Nevis
Bike Nevis runs guided mountain bike tours in Nevis, and they also provide mountain bike and road
bike rentals . Bike tours are available for the beginner, advanced and expert biker.
Folklore holds that this dried river bed once flowed blood for three days following a slaughter of
Carib Indians by British and French colonial forces.
Fig Tree Church
This small Caribbean church (aka St. John's Figtree Church) is perhaps best known for its church
register, in which is recorded the marriage of Horatio Nelson to Frances Nisbet, as follows:
Chevy's Calypso Bar
Chevy's Calypso Bar is a cheerful, red-roofed set-up, right on on Pinney's Beach. It is south of
the Four Seasons, north of Sunshine's and a little way south of where the Golden Rock Beach
Sunshine's is a popular beach bar, located on Pinney's Beach, a little way south of the Four
Seasons Resort. They recently had to move further down the beach to just south of Chevy's. They
serve a rum
Getting Married Saint Kitts
Getting married in St.Kitts is very easy, There is no residency is
required. Couples are only required to obtain a marriage license in St.Kitts and have the following
1. A valid passport or photo ID.
2. Original or certified copy of Birth Certificate.
3. If you have never been married before, an Affidavit confirming single status.
4. If divorced, a decree absolute (an original or certified copy showing court's stamp or seal)
must be presented.
5. If widowed, a copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse must be presented.
6. If documents are not in English they must be accompanied by a
7. If a catholic priest is to perform the ceremony:
8. Couple must receive marriage counselling sessions from their parish priest and submit the
required Catholic documents. A letter must come from the couple's resident priest verifying that
they are unmarried and that they have received the necessary instructions. All Catholic weddings
take place in the church.
9. If an Anglican or other minister of religion is to perform the ceremony:
It is recommended that a letter be brought from the couple's resident minister verifying that they
are known and unmarried.
10. The licence fee for getting married on St. Kitts is $200.00 (XCD). The Justice of the Peace may
also assess a fee.
11. The wedding ceremony can be held on the grounds of your hotel, in a church of almost any
denomination, amongst historic ruins, in a rustic gazebo in a picturesque garden and, of course, on
12. Marriage Times are between 6a.m. - 6p.m. for ceremonies presided over by a religious
and between 8a.m. - 6p.m. if performed by a Magistrate.