Travel: The Caribbean: St. Kitts
There are few things more breathtaking than a landscape where the ocean marries the mountains. The island of St. Kitts, with its British flair and pristine beaches, may be only 69 square miles, but it’s covered with expansive mountains that make it a perfect island for adventure. Formerly known as St. Christopher, this West Indies isle has been minimally developed, leaving it uncrowded and unspoiled — ideal for traipses through rainforests, volcano exploring, and scuba diving and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.
Located in the Frigate Bay area, the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino is the largest top-notch, full-service resort on the island (stkittsmarriott.com). What you get: a spa, an 18-hole course, a casino, 450 guest rooms and suites, and a seemingly endless array of restaurants, lounges and bars. Plus, it all sits on pristine Atlantic Beach — a 10-minute walk from where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean.
Spice Mill Restaurant (spicemillrestaurant.com) offers authentic Caribbean dining (think conch fritters with pineapple cabbage salad and lemon ginger aioli) right on Cockleshell Beach. The Marriott has several onsite options, including Royal Grille Steakhouse, with its killer chocolate soufflé. For seafood lovers, Blu’s ocean views and selection of fresh fish can’t be beat. Reggae Beach Bar is the real deal for a Margaritaville-type bar, and has a menu packed with fruity frozen drinks (made with real fruit).
By day, embark on an exhilarating hike up 3,792-foot-tall Mount Liamuiga — a dormant volcano! — with Greg’s Safaris (gregsafaris.com). The rugged three-mile hike — complete with friendly visits from green vervet monkeys through dense rainforest — peaks at the volcano’s rim, where you’ll have lunch while peering into the crater below. Soar overtop the canopied rainforest and enjoy a birds’-eye view of the island with a zipline adventure from Sky Safari Tours (skysafaristkitts.com).