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Day trips from Nevis and other questions...

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I'm getting down to the final planning stages for an upcoming trip to Nevis in mid November. We'll be staying at the Mount Nevis Hotel and I'll be renting a car and driving on the left for the first time. I've tried to get answers from the hotelier's daughter in their NYC booking office, but she has been less than diligent in getting back to me, even after multiple emails. NOt to be daunted, I figure I'll get the info I need right here at Fodors.

Does any one car rental place stand out over the others? Can you give me an estimate on daily rates? Is there a Nevisian driver's license I need to get, and if so, can the rental car company take care of it for me?

My husband and I are taking this trip to celebrate our joint fall birthdays. I'd like to plan a surprise day trip for him to another island. St. Kitts is clearly the easiest one to do, but we'd like to try something else if possible. If St. Barths is swingable, I'd love to surprise him with this, as he loved his travels to that island but hasn't been back since the 1980s. We'd also love to try Saba or Statia if direct flights are available.

Based on my previous readings, it seems that we'll want to try to spend some time at Pinney, Oalie, and Newcastle beaches. Are there any small gems of a beach that we shouldn't overlook?

We love to snorkel and understand that Nevis isn't noted for it. However, we're easily pleased and would still like to know recommendations for places to snorkel from the beach. We'd also be interested in a 1/2 or full day catamaran/sail trip and would be glad to know any operators you can suggest.

Can't wait to try out as many restaurants while we're there. Would like to plan one very special evening meal for the birthdays and so far am leaning toward Montpelier. Do you have other recommendations instead?

We only have 6 days/5 nights on the island, so we'd like to sample this and that rather than plan full days of activities. We can go on a hike starting on our hotel premises, so we won't look for further hiking than that. We might take a look at the botanical gardens, we might take a look at one or two historical sights, but mostly we just want to relax, enjoy the beauty of the island and its culture, and take everything in. If there are any must-see or must-do activities in your opinion, I'd love to know what they are. Thank you!

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