Saint Kitts And Nevis

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The name Nevis comes from the moniker Columbus gave the island after his 1493 voyage – believing the clouds around the peak to be snow, he christened the land Nuestra Senora de las Nieves (Our Lady of the Snows). At just 36 square miles, Nevis is one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean. Of the region’s five parishes, Nevisians usually refer to just two by name – Charlestown and Gingerland – the others are referred to by the names of major villages within them. It takes about an hour and a half to circle the entire island by car, thanks to a new main island road completed in 2007.

Saint Kitts And Nevis Cities and Regions

Charlestown

The capital, set on the southwest coast of the island, is charming, if slightly dilapidated. It has enough quaint museums, historical sites, and shopping to fill at least a half-day excursion, plus a handful of decent bars and restaurants. The hustle-and-bustle peaks when ferries dock from St. Kitts or boats come in from the island of Dominica bearing produce and goods.

Brown Hill

The southwest section of the island is generally referred to by the name of its main village, Brown Hill. Although mostly residential, two of the island’s top attractions – the Nevis Botanical Garden and Montpelier, one of Nevis’s most prominent plantation inns – draw many visitors.

Newcastle

Newcastle distinguishes the northern chunk of the island, which is home to Nevis’s only airport as well as two prominent hotels: Nisbet Plantation and Mount Nevis Hotel, both of which possess unparalleled views of St. Kitts. Newcastle's beaches draw snorkelers and sun-seekers during the day, but otherwise the main traffic is comprised of visitors going to and from the airport.

East Coast

For now, the least developed coast on the island holds little allure for travelers – the beaches are rocky with rough waters that are not well suited for swimming and hotels are rare. Even locals have been slow to populate the area, with the largest community out here being the Medical University of the Americas on the northeast tip. All of this may change, however, if any of the recent talk about new, east-coast hotels and resorts proves to be true.

Gingerland

Most Nevisians call this southeast slice of the island home. Here you’ll find laid-back local bars, as well as a handful of attractions including an art gallery, a beekeeping cooperative, and the starting points for several popular island hikes. The area is also known as the fruit basket of the island, with local farmers tending to bananas, mangos, and breadfruits.

Cotton Ground

The region known as Cotton Ground spans the northeast coast, including two of the island’s top strands: Pinney’s Beach and Oualie Beach. The area’s name may be a testament to the island’s history as a well-known cotton producer.

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