Sugar cane has been one of the most popular crops in the world for decades. Because it grows well in warm climates, European settlers have seen a potential for prosperity in Caribbean destinations such as St Kitts Island (Saint Christopher Island). Upon conquest, forests were cut down and replaced by sugar plantations for the manufacture of molasses, rum, and raw sugar.
St Kitts Island, the largest and wealthiest English colony in the Caribbean, once held 68 profitable plantations on a 68-acre surface. Things began to improve in the 19th century, though. With the end of slavery, the fall in the prices of the Caribbean sugarcane industry, and the increase of European beet sugar crops, Caribbean plantations have started to vanish.
Sugar cane on St Kitts Island
Today, St Kitts Island is one of the few Caribbean islands that still cultivate sugar cane. However, sugar fields are now state-run, with the whole crop being handled in one government-run factory.
However, nowadays, St Kitts Island is better known for its idyllic sugary sand beaches than for its sugar cane. While it is still less populated than other Caribbean destinations, the varied activities offered on St Kitts Island rival those of its neighbors.
What remains of a once-thriving sugar industry clearly introduced a special historical dimension to the range of tourism choices on St Kitts. Vacation packages for St Kitts Island include tours to the plantations and manufacturing facilities. In addition to these rare remnants of the sugar trade, the island also has a number of historic sites, from petroglyphs to plantation homes, and the formidable Brimstone Hill Fortress. But, while the present state of St Kitts tourism is profoundly intertwined with this interesting history, the island actually has much more to offer than most know.
Basseterre, the island capital
Basseterre is the beautiful harbor capital of St Kitts Island. It still bears the marks of settlement and sugar development, and the governments’ dedication to biodiversity, both urban and natural, offers visitors a rare glimpse into past centuries. Since state law says that no new buildings can be taller than the palm trees, the capital has fully maintained this colonial charm. But new shops and restaurants are now lining the sidewalks, creating a distinct feeling of Caribbean luxury.
Exploring St Kitts Island
Outside the capital, the St Kitts scenery is more like a tropical paradise than any other island in the world. Plant and animal life are plentiful, particularly in the rainforests surrounding the majestic Mount Liamuiga. Beyond being a popular destination for a new generation of eco-travelers, St Kitts gives anyone the opportunity to stroll and appreciate unspoiled nature.
Travelers can enjoy fishing and sailing on beautiful waters. And under the sea, untouched coral reefs and barnacled shipwrecks are waiting to be discovered by snorkelers and scuba divers. Check out this St Kitts diving video:
St Kitts tourism helps dive shops and tour guides, giving travelers a wide choice of inexpensive diving trips. There has also been an increase in golf tourism on St Kitts Island. The construction and renovation of several Tournament Quality Courses by award-winning architects has put St Kitts on the international golf map. More and more, the vacation packages in St Kitts reflect these unique travel opportunities.
Despite all the amazing things to do in St Kitts, the island has yet to be explored by the public. When you’re flying to St Kitts Nevis, you won’t waste your time waiting in line or battling traffic. Instead, you’re going to be relaxing while gazing at crystal blue waters from your beach chair.
You’re going to experience natural beauty as you’ve never seen before and also experience some of the finest resorts and restaurants in the Caribbean. Nature may be a draw, but none of the luxuries of the Caribbean are missing. With stunning resorts and a captivating setting, St Kitts Island is able to deliver the best of all worlds.
Your travel guide to St Kitts and Nevis
Cristina Popescu is a Romanian blogger who has been traveling since 2008. She has visited 100+ countries across all the continents and accumulated firsthand knowledge about beautiful travel destinations. There is nothing she won’t try at least once in a lifetime and she wishes to encourage others to get out and see the world, too.
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