St. Kitts, the details

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Jan 31st, 2014, 10:46 AM
  #1
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St. Kitts, the details

Hello! My husband and I are off to St. Kitts in Feb. I have been checking out related posts and have found some valuable information, many thanks. I did have a couple of questions that recent visitors might be able to help with. First, I was wondering about car rentals. The only site I have found is Bullseye. I wondered if someone could suggest others and if booking in advance is recommended. Also, how are the roads and traffic. My next question is about public transportation and how easy it might be to get to attractions using local buses or how costly taxis might be. We will be staying on Basseterre Bay between the town and Frigate Bay.
Because of the cruise ship crowds, we wondered also about booking any tours in advance and if there are any preferred tour companies. We want to visit the volcano and some of the plantations and not sure if this would be best on days we have a car rental or to use a tour group.
Very excited to explore the islands (plan to get to Nevis as well). Thanks for your consideration.
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Jan 31st, 2014, 03:24 PM
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First, Bullseye is one of the largest car rental companies on St. Kitts. They are very reputable.

Second, you should know that in the majority of instances rental rates will be virtually the same for the same size/model vehicle no matter which company you rent from. If you find a company offering lower rates (for the same size/model vehicle) you can pretty much be assured it will an older, high mileage vehicle and the savings will only amount to a few dollars per day.

Third, you can find the names and contact info for just about every car rental company on the island on the following websites:
http://www.stkittstourism.kn/explore...car-rental.php

http://www.discover-stkitts-nevis-be...-agencies.html

Fourth, if you are traveling during President's Week you'd be wise to reserve your rental car ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Since February starts "tomorrow" and you already know your travel dates there's no reason why you shouldn't just reserve your rental car now (assuming you want to rent one) and have one less thing to worry about.

Fifth, roads are narrow and twisty but fairly easy to navigate. With the exception of Basseterre there's basically only one "main island road" that circumvents the norther 2/3's of the island and a single road that goes from Frigate Bay to the tip of the Southern Peninsula. It's difficult to get lost. Traffic can be heavy in downtown Basseterre but you won't encounter much traffic anywhere else. You will be "driving on the left".

Regarding "Public transportation" - Taxi fares can mount up pretty quickly - on average 2 or more round trips a day in a taxi to almost anywhere will cost you more than a rental car and in some instances a single R/T to some of the out lying points of interest will exceed the daily cost of a car rental.

You can find a schedule of taxi rates here: http://www.discover-stkitts-nevis-be...evis-taxi.html Based on where you are staying, when figuring rates use the chart for "To/From Basseterre".

St. Kitts doesn't have "busses" as you probably know them. They do have "vans" that the locals use to travel along the main island road between outlying villages and downtown Basseterre. They DO NOT run on any schedule and for the most part they DO NOT go to any of the major points of interest. For instance, if you wanted to go to Romney Manor or Brimstone Hill you be dropped off on the main road but still have about a mil uphill walk to each of those sites (the hill to Brimstone is very steep). There are NO Busses going between Basseterre and Frigate Bay and NONE go to any of the beaches on the Southern Peninsula.

Regarding Tours - Definitely use a guide to hike to the top of the volcano. Here are links to two very reputable tour guides: www.gregsafaris.com and http://roystontoursstkitts.com . Normally you can book tours on the day you want to go but, as with renting a car, if you are traveling during President's Week or if you have a specific day the you MUST do a particular tour it is wise to book in advance. You can drive or take taxis on your own to visit plantations, the batik factory, Brimstone Hill, the Petroglyphs, the Black Rocks lava flow and many other sites.

Again, if you are traveling during President's Week definitely make your reservations earlier rather than later.

Whew!!! You asked a lot of questions - I hoped this answers most of them. Have fun on your trip.
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Jan 31st, 2014, 03:56 PM
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Dear RoamsAround, thank you for your prompt and detailed response! Very informative and very helpful. Didn't realize I asked so many questions until I started reading your answers . We are in St. Kitts from Feb 10-17. Are you referring to the week of Feb 17 as Predident's week? I'm Canadian so I forgot about this particular holiday, oops. Think we may miss most of it. I like the looks of the tour guides you posted. I'm going to put together a wish list and work out the best way to cover the bases. Our first vacation here and first in a long time that is not an all inclusive. We like to explore and meet the locals and experience the food and culture. Thank you for your help. Oh just one more question. Do you know if you can take rented cars on the ferry to Nevis?
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Feb 1st, 2014, 03:09 AM
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OH NO! More questions!!! - just kidding.

This year President's Day is on February 17th which means "President's Week" runs from February 15 through February 23. You are missing most of it so you should be OK.

Some car rental company's (Bulls Eye is one of them) will let you take the car over to Nevis on the Car Ferry, others won't - you have to ask the company you choose to be sure. TDC (aka Thrifty) has a reciprocal agreement so if you rent a car on St. Kitts you can get a car on Nevis for the day at no extra cost so you can take the passenger ferry between islands - it's much less expensive than the car ferry. You just have to make arrangements with TDC a day or two ahead of time.

NOTE: The Passenger ferries go between Basseterre and Charlestown. The car ferry is different and goes between Major's Bay and Cades Bay.
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Mar 5th, 2014, 08:58 AM
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I am going to St. Kitts, St. John, and St. Lucia in May and am struggling to figure out what island is better for which activity. I would like to Zip Line, Snorkel, and then just have a lazy beach day. Can anyone help with which activities are better on which island!! So confused!
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Mar 5th, 2014, 09:36 AM
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Zip line - St. Lucia ranks #1, St. Kitts ranks #2, St. John - no zip lines

Snorkeling - St. John ranks #1, St. Lucia a distant #2, St. Kitts even a more distant #3.

Beaches - St. John #1, Beaches on St. Kitts & St Lucia are comparable to each other but don't hold a candle to the ones on St. John - both will have darker sand. The beaches around St. Lucia will be more picturesque then the ones on St. kitts because of the denser natural foliage along the perimeters.
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Mar 5th, 2014, 10:15 AM
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Awesome thanks, and when I said St. John, it really is Antigua. Does that make a difference?
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Mar 5th, 2014, 10:17 AM
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We also were going to do the Harrison Caves at Barbados? Good choice? Sorry so many questions, but you seem to have all the right answers
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Mar 5th, 2014, 10:52 AM
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Yes, it makes a difference:

Antigua has a zip Line - on a par with St. Kitts

Antigua's beaches are not as good as the ones on St. John but they are still better than St. Kitts & St. Lucia - plus there are lots more to choose from (legend says there are 365 beaches on Antigua).

Not much snorkeling around Antigua - best is accessible only by boat. So, realistically none of the islands on that list are noted for having great snorkeling. I'd say the "best" of the bunch would be St. Lucia but it depends where on St. Lucia you snorkel. The better snorkeling is not anywhere near the cruise ship port.

I've never been to Harrison Caves on Barbados sio I can't comment on that.
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