A small, emerging destination in the Caribbean, St. Kitts still truly runs on island time. The moment you land on this breezy West Indies gem, you'll want to adjust your pace and embrace the slow, peaceful way of life. To help you acclimate, here are five expected and unexpected places to truly unwind on St. Kitts:
1. Hit the Beach
Not unexpected for a Caribbean island, St. Kitt’s beaches are one of its main attractions. But what makes them so special is their setting below lush, wooded peaks, surrounded by picturesque bays. The St. Kitts Marriott Resort, for one, commands a secluded four-mile stretch of white sand beach that invites romantic strolls at sunset, waterfront yoga, or a barefoot run.
2. Discover the rainforest.
Fun fact: St. Kitts is one of the few places on earth where the local rainforest is expanding rather than shrinking, covering a quarter of the island. In its Central Mountain range, you'll find lush green forests that are home to many tropical plants and animals, including butterflies, monkeys, and humming birds. The fresh mountain air and peaceful quiet offers a refreshing escape for both the mind and soul. For $65 a person, Greg’s Safaris arranges half-day tours, starting with pick-up from your hotel. The tour then continues along the wild Atlantic coast, through local villages, and into the center of the island to the start a moderate, two-mile hike through the rainforest. A snack of delicious tropical fruits, candy, and refreshments is also included.
3. Relax at the spa.
Head to the serene Emerald Mist Spa, located inside the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, to loosen up your mind and muscles with an indulgent body or facial treatment. At a $129 price point, the 50-minute bamboo massage treatment is a bit of a splurge -- but it's worth every penny for the feeling of complete relaxation that sets in afterwards. Plus, to get into the mood, you may use the 15,000-square-foot spa’s relaxation area, which features a steam room, sauna, hot tubs, and cold whirlpool -- all complimentary with a treatment, or for a daily access fee of $33.
4. Get away on the water.
There’s nothing like a boat trip to truly get away from it all. Leeward Island Charters offers fun-filled catamaran sailing tours to St. Kitt’s sister island, Nevis -- complete with an open bar, snorkeling equipment, and a tasty beach BBQ. Here, soak up the sun while enjoying views of the Caribbean side of St. Kitts and marvel at the colorful fish on your snorkeling adventure. When you're ready to mix it up, take a walk along the water to Sunshine’s Beach Bar in Nevis, home of the delicious Killer Bee rum punch drink. Even better: If you're planning to visit soon, take advantage of Leeward Island Charter's Summer Special, where two people sail for $145 through September 30. That's compared to regular rates of $95 per person (or $190 for two).
5. Live the life at the beach bar.
Located on one of the island’s most popular waterfront areas, Reggae Beach Bar is the perfect spot to unwind, grab a bite, and embrace the motto there of: “Rush Slowly - Live de Life - It's All Good!” Whether you’re sitting with your feet in the soft sand or under the airy roof, you'll be treated to the feel of sea breeze and the smell of the cozy bonfire, which is lit on the beach after sunset. Try their grilled lobster, coconut shrimp salad, or honey mustard ribs to fill up, then satisfy your sweet tooth with an order of their famed banana bread pudding.