nevis -- money questions

Aug 8th, 2007, 05:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 504
nevis -- money questions

We are going to Nevis for 9 nights. Should we bring mostly cash or credit card? If we take money out of the atm there, we will get ECD. Do the restaurants accept this currency? Are prices on the menus in usd or ecd? In Europe, we are always careful that we are charged in local currency and pay the exchange rate on the credit card. Is that something to be concerned with here?

Also, does anyone know how much activities cost like hiking with a guide, a taxi guide for a day, the ferry to St. Kitts and horseback riding? I am budgeting $175 per day for meals and car but needed to know how much more for activities. Is $2,000 - $2,250 enough for everything (meals other than breakfast, car rental, activities)? I expect that at least a couple of days we will eat where the locals do. any suggestions where to eat? I know about all the really nice restaurants -- but what about less formal meals?

Also, is there any difference in price between the car rental companies? Of should we just wait until we get there to worry about it as the hotels have suggested?

mpkp is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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We always bring some US dollars but use the ATM's to withdraw EC$. You can use credit cards at most of the restaurants but will need cash for smaller places and some beach bars. The exchange rate is fixed so you don't get that inconsistency in CC transaction conversiions. It is better to pay in EC in the local shops and restaurants, anywhere where prices are quoted in EC.

The more upscale dining places usually list the prices in US$, and often the smaller places in EC. If it's not clear, just ask. There is usually a service charge added to your bill, so check when you get your tab.

We always tell our hotel in advance when we will want a car and they arrange it. At busy times of the year, it's wise to reserve in advance.

Not sure on the prices of activities, it really depends on what you do. I would take a look at the "What to do" section on and e-mail your questions to the hiking and horseback riding people. They usually offer a variety of tours.

cw is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 735
We have been to Nevis 3 times and used mostly a credit card. Last year we were charged a fee, but this year we got a card that did not have international charges on it and we were fine. We mostly used cash for taxis and tips for the staff. Grocery stores take EC or USD, but not credit cards. The ATM gave the cash in EC. Most of the restaurant menus had prices in both currencies.
I really can't remember what DH paid to hike, and I do mean HIKE, Mt. Nevis last year. He went with Jim Johnson who has a fantastic reputation on the island and was reasonable.
Have a bunch of fun!!!!
Less formal restaurants....We loved Chevy's right down the beach from the 4S....Good menu and good food and excellent hosts. Also, you might want to try Sunshines, if you are not in a hurry.
We stayed at Oualie Beach Hotel which is certainly informal, but can be a little pricey for food, but well worth it at night.

iw is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,832
You can feel good about EC. Everyone will accept it. If you look at the menu, it will generally tell you if it's in US dollars or EC. The same thing if the tip is included. They are so used to people asking if it doesn't state it. The ferry between Nevis and St. Kitts is approximatey $8.00 per person. I know that some of the hotels have their own horses and stables, and that may make a difference in pricing. Some of the best "local" food comes from the numerous roadside barbecues. I think you'll be just fine waiting on your rental car until you get to Nevis.
Knowing is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 226
You'll find lots of information on Nevis at

Great restaurant reviews on upscale and local restaurants, information on sites to see and ferry information can be found there.

Where in Nevis are you staying?

I always bring the local currency (EC) and a credit card for large purchases (upscale dinner, car rental, etc)

For a tour of the island I recommend Biddy Weekes. He is a knowledgeable and friendly guide. You can e-mail him at [email protected]

Have a great time and post a Trip Report when you return.

skbfan is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
If I'm going to be on the island for more than a few days I bring the local currency with me. I also use my debit card for most large expenditures like car rental, daytrips, or expensive dinner and use the cash for everything else.

Ummm, just out of curiosity, why would you wonder if restaurants on Nevis accept their own local currency? Have you ever experienced otherwise?
ejcrowe is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 04:58 AM
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Posts: 504
thanks everyone -- sorry ecrowe I realize that does sound stupid. I meant that if the menus were printed with usd prices, is that the way they wanted to be paid? Did it matter to them.

skbfan -- we are spending 5 nights at the Hermitage Plantation and then 4 nights at Nisbet Plantation. Originally, this was so that we could experience other places to eat since Nisbet only sells the rooms with breakfast and dinner but, after shopping around, we found we could get Nisbet with breakfast only through Travelocity or American express travel. But the two places seem quite different and Hermitage was giving us one night free so we are splitting the time.

This is our first time going to the Caribbean. when I first thought about it, I did not realize it would cost so much. I believe it will cost us between $5,000 and $6,000 for the 9 nights.
mpkp is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 735

I wish I could disagree with your trip cost assessment, but I can't. When our statement arrived last month from our trip, I asked DH if we'd had that amount of money's worth of fun!
Of course, the answer was yes!
Go and enjoy!!!!
iw is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,628
mpkp wrote: -I meant that if the menus were printed with usd prices, is that the way they wanted to be paid? Did it matter to them.

To answer your question - Generally speaking if the menu prices are printed in $EC or if you see both $EC & $US prices and if you are paying cash you can pay in either $EC or $US. If you are paying by credit card you'll be charged in $EC and your credit card company will bill your account in your home currency (using the currency conversion rate then in effect). Your credit card company may also assess a small "foreign transaction" conversion fee.

If menu prices are shown in just $US (you'll usually find this occurs at the major resorts) then if you are paying cash the vendor will expect you to pay in $US but may, upon request, accept $EC. If you pay by credit card the transaction will be billed to your credit card in in $US and then converted to your home currency as described above.

RoamsAround is online now  
Aug 9th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 264
Just ask you server to present the bill to you in US or EC. The island resorts, restaurants and stores are very accommodating. You might want to carry a calculator because there are a couple of stores that actually give you a better price if you pay in US. If you have extra EC left at your departure, use it to pay down your hotel bill. Or do as we do and keep it for your next visit! The ferry service between Kitt and Nevis is cheap by US standards and enjoyable. There is the new "Sea Bridge" service between islands (Nevis side is Cades Bay). I understand that the price to take your car is $75.00 EC and $8.00 EC per person. Check out for downtown Charlestown to downtown Bassetierre ferry info.
Enjoy your visit to Paradise! If you have any questions just ask the first person you come across. Nevisians and Kittitians are some of the nicest people you'll meet.
Nevisian is offline  
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