With only 11,000 residents, the tiny island of Nevis tends to fly under-the-radar — mostly because there’s no airport and cruise ships don’t dock here. Thankfully, there also aren’t any duty-free shopping malls or chain stores.
To get to Nevis, simply fly into St. Kitts (Nevis' sister island), and hop aboard a ferry across the Narrows (a two-mile strait). Both Sun Country Airlines and American Airlines service St. Kitts through Minneapolis, Charlotte, Dallas, Miami, and New York City. JetBlue Airways services through New York City, Newark, and Fort Lauderdale; Delta Airlines services through Boston, Las Vegas, and Chicago.
From the newly renovated Four Seasons Resort Nevis to the recent restoration of the Hamilton House in Charlestown (Nevis’ capital city), there’s never been a better time to explore the island. Here, you won't find overdevelopment within its 36 square miles. Instead, you’ll find beaches, localized dining, and mangoes galore (Nevis grows the world’s highest number of mango varieties — 44 different types, to be exact). And, come July, the fruit is the shining star at the Nevis Mango & Food Festival. Free admission; add-ons range from $25 to $170.
From monkey-spotting to spa-ing, to beach-ing, here are six value-packed activities to do while you're in town.
1. Dine at Cleveland Gardens. At one of Nevis’ newest restaurants, menu items feature fruits and vegetables grown on property. Seafood — such as cracked conch, an island specialty — is also in abundance. Expect spice and flavor in dishes like mashed green bananas, mango BBQ ribs or Creole fish.
2. Visit the historic Hamilton House. In January 2019, Trott House — aptly nicknamed Hamilton House — and its surrounding gardens were restored in response to the popular Broadway musical, thanks to funding from the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society. Th house it’s located on land that was owned by Alexander Hamilton’s mother, hence the nickname.
3. Have a spa day at the Four Seasons Nevis Resort. Though the 189-room property’s nightly rate might give you sticker shock, its spa is well worth a visit. Treatments take place in private cabanas within a secluded garden that includes two pools. We love Signature Nevisian Massage, which incorporates the island’s famous spices and scents like cinnamon, lemongrass, coconut, nutmeg, and more; 65 minutes for $190). Afterwards, drop by Crowned Monkey, the resort’s quirky, upscale, and recently renovated rum bar (cocktails are $16).
4. Admire the murals and street art. Unfortunately, Charlestown’s stone buildings have suffered extensive damage in recent hurricanes. However, Nevisian artist Vaughn Ansyln has transformed them with his splashy hyper-realist murals, which have been staples of the island’s arts scene since the ‘90s.
5. Spot wildlife. It’s practically criminal to leave Nevis without spotting the famous green monkeys (formally known as vervet monkeys), which run wild on the island. If you’re short on time, consider Funky Monkey Tours’ chauffeured three-and-a-half hour excursion on a Polaris 4x4, where you can cruise down the main streets, embark on off-road adventures, and drive through savannas and rainforests (individual rentals and guided tours both start at $135 per person).
6. Lounge out at the beach. You’ll rarely find a packed beach on Nevis, so it’s easy to reserve your own slice of beachside paradise. Here, “beach time” means cozying up along the shoreline, having a picnic, reading in peace, or enjoying the water sans crowds. Lovers Beach is a local favorite (even Prince Harry loves this beach: he released turtles here back in 2016).