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Holiday, Vacation & Tour

 

Mountain Biking And Hiking In St. Kitts

Supported by nearly 70 square miles of incredibly diverse ecosystems, St. Kitts might be the best Caribbean destination for outdoor recreation. With an average year-round temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit, it seems like the weather is always perfect for a hike through the rainforest or a bike ride through the island’s historic countryside. Throughout the years, St. Kitts has remained committed to not only the environment, but also to the responsible management of developme...

St Kitts, St Kitts Travel

Supported by nearly 70 square miles of incredibly diverse ecosystems, St. Kitts might be the best Caribbean destination for outdoor recreation. With an average year-round temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit, it seems like the weather is always perfect for a hike through the rainforest or a bike ride through the island’s historic countryside. Throughout the years, St. Kitts has remained committed to not only the environment, but also to the responsible management of development. The result is the best of both worlds: luxurious accommodations, world-class dining and shopping coupled with plenty of wide-open space for recreation and relaxation.

The outdoor culture of St. Kitts revolves around Mt. Liamuiga, the majestic dormant volcano at the center of the island. In fact, some of the most popular activities on the island are the hiking tours that scale the peak and peer into its crater. These tours take visitors through stretches of vine-encrusted forest complete with colorful Caribbean birds, butterflies and precocious green vervet monkeys. Once you see Mt. Liamuiga, the hike up the 2,600-foot peak will be hard to resist. Several tour companies offer day trips to the great dormant volcano’s crater – a 1,000-foot deep bowl complete with a small freshwater lake. As access to both the peak and the crater can be treacherous at times, don’t try this hike without a guide.

With a landscape unlike any other in the Caribbean, St. Kitts has quickly become one of the region’s favorite destinations for mountain biking. At the island’s interior, miles of trails wind through the rainforest surrounding Mt. Liamuiga. However, many of these trails can be difficult for all but the most accomplished riders. Closer to the shore, hikers and bikers will have the opportunity to visit many of the island’s plantation ruins and small villages. Bikers and hikers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy the trails that wind through the countryside and provide one of the most relaxing ways to see St. Kitts’ unique Caribbean landscape.

One of the most popular rides on the island begins in the streets of historic Basseterre – the island’s capital city. After leaving the city, the tour groups visit the colonial sugar cane fields at the base of St. Kitts’ rolling mountain range. From atop the hills, riders can take in the scenery of the sister island of Nevis and the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea. After enjoying lunch amidst the rainforest, the tour returns to Frigate Bay along one of the most picturesque routes in the Caribbean. Bikers are then encouraged to end their trip with a swim in the calm Caribbean waters.

As several tour operators now cater to bikers and hikers, there are tours to suit any age or skill level. Experienced riders usually venture to the island’s mountainous center, while casual riders and hikers can enjoy the sugar cane fields and rolling hills near the coast. If you want to experience the natural beauty of St. Kitts on your own, you can also rent mountain bikes and other outdoor equipment from your hotel or local sporting shops. If you are looking for a simple hike to undertake on your own, try Monkey Hill or Verchild’s Peak. These modest climbs don’t require any special equipment and can be achieved by families and novice hikers.

Depending on your interests, you can schedule a tour that will offer unique sites and teach you anything you want to know about the Caribbean. History buffs can hike or bike with tours visiting colonial plantations, sugar cane fields and other historic sites for a glimpse into the region’s storied past. Ecotourists, or just those curious about nature, can find tour guides that specialize in the naming of flora and fauna, the natural history of the island and the current preservation of its resources.

 

St. Kitts' Scenic Highway

Less than 20 years ago, the picturesque southeastern peninsula of St. Kitts was accessible only by boat. Though the island is small, no passable roads existed for locals and tourists to visit the undeveloped beaches of the Atlantic coast. In 1989, however, St. Kitts completed work on a remarkable roadway that would connect the corners of the island and offer visitors a scenic route to tour the Caribbean landscape. Known officially as the Dr. Kennedy Simmonds Highway – named f...

st kitts, st kitts travel

Less than 20 years ago, the picturesque southeastern peninsula of St. Kitts was accessible only by boat. Though the island is small, no passable roads existed for locals and tourists to visit the undeveloped beaches of the Atlantic coast. In 1989, however, St. Kitts completed work on a remarkable roadway that would connect the corners of the island and offer visitors a scenic route to tour the Caribbean landscape. Known officially as the Dr. Kennedy Simmonds Highway – named for the island’s first prime minister – this road remains one of the most important developments in the island’s history and great way to see everything St. Kitts has to offer.

If you are like most of the Caribbean’s visitors, you will probably want to spend a good part of your Holiday, Vacation & Tour on the beach, admiring the weather and the scenery. On St. Kitts, some of the best beaches are located along the narrow southeastern peninsula accessible by the Simmonds Highway. While the beaches in this area are typically not as wide as those near the island’s capital city, Basseterre, most are known for their powdery sand and excellent views. One of the most popular beaches on the island’s southern shore is Friar’s Bay, site of some exciting new developments. Locals and knowledgeable tourists will also recommend the beaches at Sand Bank Bay, Cockleshell Bay and Banana Bay.

After the Simmonds Highway began providing access to the southernmost part of the islands for locals and tourists alike, several developments started taking shape. One of the most ambitious projects is the sprawling Whitegate Development Project. While parts of the complex are still in the planning stage, the Whitegate Development Project will include the Beaumont Park Racetrack and the luxury area known as Kittian Heights. Located at Dieppe Bay, this project will incorporate several new restaurants, shops and tourist opportunities in the coming years. The most exciting project for families will be the four-acre theme park known as Marine World. Situated on the shore at South Friar’s Bay, Marine World will allow families to view local marine life in state-of-the-art aquariums and participate in dolphin encounters.

Though most of the activity along the Simmonds Highway takes place on the beaches, there is plenty to see before the end of the road. The road begins at Frigate Bay on the western half of the island and winds its way through many of St. Kitts’ best sightseeing spots. Much of this scenery at the island’s interior was generated by volcanic activity. Along the Simmonds Highway, you will pass one of the most picturesque volcanic sites on the island – the Great Salt Pond. Known for its sparkling pink color, this water-filled volcanic crater is one of the most photographed sites along the highway.

As you progress down the 6 ¼ mile highway, you will probably notice the coastal terrain becoming rockier. Exposed to the winds and waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the southeastern portion of the island will greet all visitors with an incredible scenic contrast to the calm beaches just a few miles to the northwest. After passing through the grassy, rolling hills near the beginning of the highway, rocky cliffs and lagoons will come into view. Amongst the windswept coves you can find one of the locals’ favorite hangouts – Turtle Beach. As grazing cattle and goats find their way to the tiny beach, locals enjoy fresh seafood at the one of the most charming restaurants on the island. Of course, visitors are always welcome to join in on the food and fun.

Though taxis and some tour buses cruise along the Simmonds Highway, the best way to see the sites is renting a car. At your hotel or resort, you will be able to find information on daily car rentals and your concierge may be able to reserve a vehicle for you. As there is plenty to see in just over six miles, you may also want to ask your concierge for tips on the best way to see the southeastern peninsula.

If you want to see all the natural diversity that St. Kitts has to offer, take a ride down the Simmonds Highway. With white sand beaches, rolling hills and windswept cliffs in just over six miles, you might not find a more scenic road anywhere in the Caribbean.

 

Travel Tips: Hitting The Links In St Kitts

Much like other islands in the Caribbean, the tourism industry of St. Kitts has recently been courting the serious traveling golfer. With over 50 million devoted golfers worldwide and far more recreational players, Caribbean golf resorts are turning to golf as a focal point of their tourism efforts. According to published statistics, the traveling golfer, on business or Holiday, Vacation & Tour, both travels more often and spends approximately 35 percent more per trip than an average tourist...

St Kitts, St Kitts Travel

Much like other islands in the Caribbean, the tourism industry of St. Kitts has recently been courting the serious traveling golfer. With over 50 million devoted golfers worldwide and far more recreational players, Caribbean golf resorts are turning to golf as a focal point of their tourism efforts. According to published statistics, the traveling golfer, on business or Holiday, Vacation & Tour, both travels more often and spends approximately 35 percent more per trip than an average tourist.

Throughout the entire Caribbean, the golf industry continues to grow at an incredible rate. Within the last 10 years, many of the world’s most recognized golf course architects have lent their skill to Caribbean soil, including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Greg Norman and Peter Dye.

In regards to St. Kitts, it certainly helps that the island’s climate and environment are perfectly suited for such golf course construction. In addition to heavenly weather, everything from the jungles to the beaches remains remarkably well-preserved. With one of the centerpieces of St. Kitts tourism now in place, the coming years will see at least four new tournament quality courses. Here is an outline of what to expect in the future and some travel tips to make the most of your Caribbean golf Holiday, Vacation & Tour.

At the heart of St. Kitts’ golf course development and tourism plans is the recently remodeled Royal St. Kitts Golf Club. Developed in conjunction with the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino, the 6,900-yard, par 71 golf club majestically overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Designed by award-winning architect Thomas McBroom and essentially rebuilt atop an existing course of lesser renown, the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club has already established itself as the premier links-style course in the Caribbean.

To accompany the beautifully updated course, the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club also has a luxurious new clubhouse with a restaurant and bar, locker rooms and a full-service pro shop. The Royal St. Kitts Golf Club will also house the Faldo Institute by Marriott, a state-of-the-art training and education facility. If that isn’t enough for you, the Marriott Hotel has 648 guest rooms and suites, three swimming pools, the 35,000 square foot Royal Beach Casino and the 15,000 square foot Emerald Mist Spa.

Slated to open in early 2007, the $14-million La Vallée Golf Course designed by Charles Howard will be a traditional links layout coupled with impressive views of the Caribbean Sea, small neighboring islands and Mount Liamuiga, the island’s highest point. In the future, this St. Kitts golf club will be surrounded by private villas, a new marina and a luxury hotel.

In the Sandy Bank area, a $295 million Caribbean golf resort is scheduled to open in 2008. Besides the luxury hotel and its trimmings, the complex will include another much-anticipated championship course. With a layout designed by Rees Jones, brother of Robert Trent Jones Jr. and one of the leading golf course architects in his own right, the course is destined to be yet another gem in a growing collection of St. Kitts treasures.

The most recently announced project is the Kittitian Heights Resort at Belmont Estate in northwestern St. Kitts, only 20 miles from the capital of Basseterre. The $195 million development is scheduled to open in 2011 and will include a course designed by Ian Woosnam, the former Masters Champion.

On St. Kitts sister island of Nevis, the Four Seasons Caribbean Golf Resort is another great design by Robert Trent Jones Jr., one of the Caribbean’s most active architects. Finished in 1991, the course certainly set the standard for things to come on the islands. Now, a new layout designed by renowned Canadian golf course architect Doug Carrick, scheduled to open in 2008, will carve a path through the coconut groves on the foothills of Mount Nevis.




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