Car Travel

Driving Tips: One well-kept main road circumnavigates St. Kitts and is usually clearly marked, making it difficult to get lost, though the northeast can get a bit bumpy and the access roads to the plantation inns are notoriously rough.

The roads on Nevis are generally smooth, at least on the most traveled north, west, and south sides of the island. The east coast has some potholes, and pigs, goats, and sheep still insist on the right-of-way all around the island. Drivers on both islands tend to travel at a fast clip and pass on curves, so drive defensively. Driving is on the left, British-style, though you will probably be given an American-style car.

Renting a Car: You can get by without a car if you are staying in the Frigate Bay–Basseterre area, but elsewhere you'll need to rent a car. On Nevis it's often easier to just take taxis and guided tours. On St. Kitts, present your valid driver's license and $24 at the police station traffic department on Cayon Street in Basseterre or fire station in Frigate Bay to get a temporary driving permit (on Nevis the car-rental agency will help you obtain the $24 local license at the police station). The license is valid for three months on both islands. On either island, car rentals start at about $45 per day for a compact; expect to pay a few extra bucks for air-conditioning. Most agencies offer substantial multiday discounts.

Contacts in St. Kitts

Avis. Avis has the best selection of Hyundai and Daihatsu four-wheel-drive vehicles on St. Kitts, as well as rental exchange on Nevis and complimentary pickup. South Independence Sq., Basseterre, St. Kitts. 869/465–6507; 954/284–5331;

Delisle Walwyn. Delisle Walwyn provides an excellent selection and the option of a replacement car for one day on Nevis if you rent for three days or more on St. Kitts. Liverpool Row, Basseterre, St. Kitts. 869/465–8449.

TDC/Thrifty Rentals. TDC/Thrifty Rentals has a wide selection of vehicles and outstanding service; it offers a three-day rental that includes a car on both islands. West Independence Sq., Central St., Basseterre, St. Kitts. 869/465–2991; 869/465–2511;

Contacts in Nevis

Funky Monkey Tours and Rentals. Funky Monkey Tours and Rentals lets you ride on the wild side in Polaris Ranger and Razor 4x4s; prices start at $135 per half day. You can also rent Vespas for $75 per day, as well as Sea-Doo wave runners. Or follow in their tire tracks, off-roading through the island on a three-hour Funky Monkey tour ($125). Nelson Spring, Nevis. 869/665–6045; 869/665–6245;

Nevis Car Rentals. Nevis Car Rentals has quality vehicles and service. Newcastle, Nevis. 869/469–9837.

Noel's Courtesy Garage. Noel's Courtesy Garage offers a wide variety of cars and jeeps for Nevis. Farm Estate, Nevis. 869/469–5199.

Striker's Car Rental. Striker's Car Rental has a good selection of vehicles. Hermitage Rd., Gingerland, Nevis. 869/469–2654;

TDC/Thrifty Rentals. Bay Rd., Charlestown, Nevis. 869/469–5430;

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