Known as the ‘Secret Caribbean’ for its pristine coastline, lush rainforest and quiet anchorages, Saint Kitts and Nevis is rising as a superyacht destination. With yachts flocking to the luxury yacht marina at Christophe Harbour, the nation of St. Kitts and Nevis is now firmly on the yachting map.
The only question must be, with so much going for the twin islands, how did it take so long?
On Saint Kitts and Nevis, vibrant coral reefs fringe the islands, and jungle covered mountains rise up over soft white sand beaches lined with bending palms.
The peak of the dormant volcano Mount Liamuiga on St. Kitts is swathed in cloud, and Mount Nevis is a spectacular backdrop while at anchor in the bay. Green vervet monkeys chatter in the jungle and scamper along the beaches, and sparkling mountain rivers run down towards the coast, waterfalls thundering into deep forest pools.
Crumbling stone fortifications sink into the long waving grass, the rolling hills dropping away into seas of every colour of blue - sapphire and blue greens in the shallows, dark blue in the deep. British red post boxes and black iron cannons sit on vivid green lawns, and children can dive off long wooden jetties, against the perfect backdrop of verdant mountains and the shining sea.
The old sugar plantations that made these islands so fabulously rich in past centuries are now fine hotels, where planter’s punch is served on wide verandas under lazily spinning fans. Stop off for a high tea at Montpelier Plantation Inn, once a favourite of Princess Diana, while those with a penchant for history will want to visit the silk cotton tree under which Lord Horatio Nelson was said to have been married, or the imposing fortress at Brimstone Hill National Park, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On your yacht charter in Saint Kitts and Nevis you can zipline through the trees, or climb down into the steaming crater floor of the volcano that gave the island life. Horse ride on cool forest paths which open up to staggering views of the two islands rising out of the glittering Caribbean Sea.
Back on the coast, spend lazy days snorkeling in the shallow, sunlit waters looking for tropical fish and turtles on the pristine reefs, or dive the shipwrecks and bubbling underwater hot springs off the coast. Go bird watching at one of the many pond colonies, or take a trip through the Valley of Giants.
Explore Basseterre on Saint Kitts, a beautiful town of colonial architecture and brightly-painted houses, local markets and church spires rising above quiet plazas. In late December, the streets come alive with the week-long Sugar Mas Carnival, while the action is to be found year-round at the Strip on Frigate Bay, a nightspot for dancing and steel bands playing reggae on the sands.
For those looking to indulge during their yacht charter, St Kitts and Nevis have high-end resorts offering luxury spas and excellent golf courses, as well as some fine dining restaurants. of course, you could just relax on your yacht with a private masseuse and eat elegant meals on deck, or perhaps go ashore for a luxury beach barbeque at night, phosphorescence glowing in the water as it laps gently at the shore.
While glamour is certainly to be found on these islands, these are peaceful nature islands at their heart, with a strong focus on preservation and eco-tourism. Within easy reach of the more cosmopolitan islands of Antigua and St Barths, the nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is a stunning addition to a Caribbean yacht charter.