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Basseterre and beyond...

11 Jun 2006  Overdue return to the tropics
4.5 of 5 bubbles based on 2 votes

The little Caribbean city of Basseterre on St. Kitt's provides the perfect opportunity to relax and remember why you came to the tropics in the first place. The prevalent Kittitian attitude is friendly and helpful. If it seems like you're surrounded by friends - you are! Here are some suggestions we hope will help you enjoy your stay as much as we did.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Basseterre, St. Kitts
  • Category: Recent trip
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Shopping, Active/Outdoors
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Students, Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer
  • 1. Go to St. Kitt's

    If you fly, you will arrive at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport. Many airlines fly to places in the Caribbean where a connection can be made. LIAT provides good inter-island service. Taxis will be waiting when your flight arrives. For fixed rates they will take you to your lodging.
    Our cab ride $12 (US) plus tip

  • 2. Where to stay
    Bird Rock Beach Hotel, Basseterre, St. Kitts

    We loved it here. Just outside of Basseterre, it provided spacious rooms, a welcoming rum punch party, an inviting pool with a swim up bar, our own 'private lagoon' for snorkeling, swimming or lolling in the sun, a dive boat for serious scuba enthusiasts, Dianna's Restaurant - great island food, the Sunburst Room at breakfast and Rocky's Bar and Grille on the beach, perfect for sunset watching.
    Room (for us in March) $125 US

  • 3. Go into Bassetterre

    Start at the Circus, modelled after London's famed Piccadilly. Marvel at the Berkeley Monument, an ornate structure with a clock dominating the roundabout. (Also a place where you can always get a cab.) Begin to get the feel of the town.
    Cab from the Bird Rock $10 US plus tip

  • 4. Explore!

    Basseterre is a small friendly town. Walk a few blocks to Independence Square, once the site of slave auctions. You may see goats grazing in the gardens. If historical museums are your thing, investigate theirs.
    Museum Entrance $1 US.

  • 5. St. George's Church

    A short walk down Cayon Street brings you to an Anglican church dating to 1706. The original church, built on the site in 1670 by the French, was burned by the English and the present structure built. Renovations began in 1856, and although damaged by a fire shortly thereafter, and subsequently by recent hurricanes it has been lovingly restored.
    Contributions accepted

  • 6. Go shopping!

    Pelican Mall is full of interesting shops but they do close early (4-4:30 PM) The appropriately named Smoke and Booze provides just that. Ram's Duty Free Shop, an all purpose anything-you-might need store is just across the street.
    All major credit cards accepted

  • 7. Walk down to the docks

    Wonder at whatever mega-liner is docked there. Browse through the open air Public Market: tees, terrevoile pareas and dresses, hand strung jewelry (found a necklace to match the earrings from Antigua.) The prices were so reasonable we didn't even try to bargain, but we found out we could have. Admire Nevis (pronounced Nee-vis) on the horizon.
    US dollars readily taken

  • 8. Lunch

    There are places on the waterfront (even a KFC - we passed on that) or you could try the balcony at Ballahoo's overlooking the CIrcus. Basseterre has plentiful food options.
    Unlikely to be more than $10 - 15 US

  • 9. Brimstone Hill Fortress
    Brimstone Hill Fortress, St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis

    Arrange for a taxi driver to take you up to Brimstone Hill. A short video at the Information Center describes the history of this massive bastion, once described as "the Gibraltar of the Caribbean." Follow the steep ramp leading up to the heart of the fortress. From the ramparts you can see 'Statia' and if it's clear, Saba. The fort is a sobering reminder of the many soldiers stationed here for whom a trip to the tropics was anything but a vacation. Do have a Ting at the refreshment stand when you get back down - you'll be thirsty. (And buy your driver one too.)
    Taxi ride $50 US including tip
    Admission to Brimstone Hill $8 US per person
    Some Tings and a snack $10 US

  • 10. Have dinner

    You're definitely hungry by now. Back in Basseterre you want to head for the aptly named Stonewall's on Prince's Street. Behind their massive stone wall (with an adjoining jungly grotto) is a comfortable place to have dinner and kick back after a day around the island. International reggae star Crucial Bankie is known to stop by; our server pointed him out to us when we were there.
    $50 - 75 US including drinks, wine and tip

  • 11. Tropical nights

    After dinner check out the boutique on the edge of the courtyard selling whimsical island stuff. Walk back to the Circus, and if the mood strikes you, have a night cap at Fisherman's Wharf. Eventually you'll end up back at your room with soft sea sounds as your lullaby.
    Beers are $3- 5 US across the island; mixed drinks are rarely more than $5 US