A few decades ago, a 30-mile railroad was constructed on St Kitts Island to help carry the sugar cane crops to the colonial capital of Basseterre. Nowadays, this unusual narrow-gauge railroad serves a different purpose. Part of the Caribbean’s growing travel industry, the St Kitts scenic railway is one of the best ways to see this magnificent island in its entirety.
Besides being the most amazing railway tour in all the Caribbean Islands, the St Kitts scenic railway offers travelers some of the most beautiful train trips in the whole world!
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What you’ll see with the St Kitts scenic railway
Traveling through the central part of the island, the train will take you past several of the former sugar cane fields. And although the crops are barely cultivated, these sugar plantations and the sugar factory provide a fascinating glimpse not only into St Kitts history but the colonial history of all the Caribbean.
Nowadays, the countryside is populated with various productive farms full of cattle and fruit crops, but there are also some neglected windmills, and smokestacks still dominate the landscape. The small towns where you’ll see these farms also feature quaint homes and other interesting architectural buildings. Many travelers have also found that children frequently leave rural schoolhouses to watch the train of the St Kitts scenic railway. It’s something that both gives students and teachers a daily break from learning.
After leaving the station, the train will head north along the magnificent coast of St Kitts Island on the scenic rail. Two of the first items you may notice are the various side loading points next to the tracks, made for the harvested sugar cane.
When the train reaches the coast early on, you’ll also see the unspoiled country with the rainforest-covered mountains of St Kitts Island rising over the farms and villages mentioned before. At the center of the mountain chain, you will easily find the volcanic summit of Mount Liamuiga, visible across the entire island.
Stretching from St Kitts’s central mountain range are several deep canyons, some stretching all the way to magnificent cliffs on the coast. There are 24 steel bridges crossing these canyons, all of which are draws in themselves.
Many of this beautiful eastern Caribbean island’s most famous attractions are along the St Kitts scenic railway. As the train encircles the island, its driver will reveal locations such as Brimstone Hill Fortress, also known as the Gibraltar of the Caribbean. And while you’re admiring these historic landmarks and natural wonders, you will also learn about the island’s fictional history. To learn a bit by yourself, stop by the Basseterre Public Library after going on the St Kitts scenic railway to see a permanent display of photos from when the railroad was constructed.
Hop on the St Kitts scenic railway ride!
Unlike many other historic railroads, the St Kitts scenic railway train cars are as luxurious as the scenery. For this incredible ride, they ordered the construction of wonderful double-decker railcars. You’ll find yourself on a stunning open-air observation platform on the upper observation deck of the luxurious railcar. And down below, the air-conditioned vehicles are fitted with spacious seating, full-service bars, and even live entertainment, all of which give off a Caribbean vibe. If you want to miss something outside, the enormous windows would encourage you to enjoy all the sights.
Using 18 miles of original St Kitts scenic railway, this two-hour train trip is the perfect way to see the entire island in a very short time. As there are only 420 seats open per day, you should book tickets as early as possible through your resort or travel agent.
As travelers are offered captivating views of the Caribbean Sea, remote beaches, rainforest-covered mountains, majestic cliffs, and beautiful wildlife, the St Kitts scenic railway ride is the hottest experience on the island!
It is also possible to take a trip on the Sugar Cane Railroad during a shore excursion from one of the many cruise ships that visit St Kitts Island. Shuttles carry passengers from the pier straight to Needsmust Station. And, at the end of the trip, shuttles are ready to take you back to the pier or to any of the resorts on the island.
So if you’re looking for the perfect excursions to see the island or an unforgettable experience, you should hop on the St Kitts Scenic Railway train! For me, it was the first scenic railway tour of this sort and I loved it.
Featured image by RobDuch [CC BY-SA 4.0]
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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