In SKN! Visit Charlestown-Nevis’ Capital

DISCOVER CHARLESTOWN

Charlestown, the capital of Nevis, is a very special place famed for its charm and the easy-going genuineness of its people. Take a walk up and down the delightful streets of Charlestown and you’ll see one of the best remaining examples of the colonial era in the Caribbean.

SIGHTS

Museum of Nevis History  This two-story Georgian-style building was the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton in 1757. Hamilton lived on the island until the age of nine.  Later in his life he helped draft the U.S. Constitution and was the first secretary of the Treasury. He was an outspoken advocate of the emancipation of slavery.The building today, known as Hamilton House, houses one of the island’s two museums on the first floor. The second floor is the meeting room for the Nevis House of Assembly. The lovely stone building was built around 1680, but was destroyed in an earthquake in 1840, and was restored in 1983. Its historic value coupled with its beautiful setting on Charlestown harbour make it an island treasure and a delightful place to spend an afternoon.

SOUNDS

Cricket  Come watch both men and woman play cricket Thursday nights in the season in Grove Park in Charlestown. In true British tradition, cricket is the leading sport both played and watched on Nevis. Matches are played between January and mid-July, both locally and regionally.

Or you may choose less of a rumpus…

Visit any place outdoors in Charlestown and listen to the birds sing and, in many places,…lay way back to enjoy the sounds of ‘peace and quiet.’

SURREAL EXPERIENCES

The Heritage Trail  Start in Charlestown on the first stop of this trail that offer the more enterprising and enthusiastic trailblazer very unique experiences.  Bloggers have posted many photos on their sites and shared so many of their vast experiences while walking, driving, and horseback riding along parts of the Trail.  Here’s an excerpt from Heritage Trail, by Suzanne Gordon–one ‘blazing’ account of what one may expect:

Visiting the historic sites of Nevis is no longer a mystery. Just hit the trail—The Nevis Heritage Trail, that is.  As you travel around the main road, and up and down side roadways, notice the color green and blue trail marker signs, punctuated by the well-known green vervet monkey…

By following the trail, it is possible to understand the history of Nevis and its many aspects from the English settlers to the enslaved West Africans who were brought to Nevis. The trip around the island will tell the story of the slave trade, the religious development, and the  military activity that was related to the protection of the sugar that was being exported from the island…

In Charlestown, beginning at the port, there is a map of the town displayed near the ferry ticket booths…Many religious sites are on the trail, including three in Charlestown: the Charlestown Methodist Church , St. Paul’s Anglican Church and School, and the Jewish Cemetery most of which can be seen on foot…

Green, vervet monkeys, a slave market where up to 7,000 enslaved people were traded for 15 years on the island, and a viewing of the very last functioning sugar mill, not to mention a most notable Baobab Tree, the largest on the island, showcase the richness of what will be found along the trail, with no shortage of “surprises.”.

SIMPLY SATISFYING

Gallows Bay  Located in Charlestown, Gallows Bay is wide, sandy and scenic. Come here to sun-worship. You may also be offered fresh catches from fishermen as its very popular with the local baiters.

The Written History of Nevis…

The written history of Nevis begins with the account recorded by Columbus when he sailed by Nevis in 1493. The name Nevis is derived from “Nuestra Senora de Las Nieves” (“Our Lady of the Snows)” because of the cloud capped mountains.

Prior to the Columbus saga, Nevis was named Dulcina (“Sweet Island”) by the Arawaks and later Oualie “land of beautiful waters” by the Caribs. In the 18th century, Nevis became known as “Queen of the Caribbees.”

Over the years Nevis has made a number of significant contributions to the Caribbean and the World. Two men who played part in international history were Alexander Hamilton and Lord Horatio Nelson. Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of America and its first Secretary of the Treasury was born in Nevis on January 11, 1757.  Nelson, Britain’s most famous admiral, used Nevis as a base of operations in the mid-1780’s and married a Nevisian, Frances Nisbet in 1787.

Nevis continued to be part of the British colonial holdings until 1967 when it achieved Associated Statehood with St. Kitts. On September 19, 1983, Nevis became part of an independent nation and formed part of the sovereign democratic state of St. Christopher and Nevis. It has the unique constitutional arrangement of being part of the Federal Parliament while having a separate parliament and its own Nevis Island Administration headed by a Premier.

Visit Nevis!…Scroll below to help inform you on…

GETTING TO NEVIS

Arriving by Air

The Vance W. Amory International airport is a compact airport with a new modern terminal, new control tower and a runway extension. Previously known as Newcastle airport, it was renamed in 2002 after Vance Amory, a current Premier of Nevis.

Arriving by Sea

Many visitors say travelling by boat is the only way to arrive on Nevis. The views of Mount Nevis, the dormant volcano, as you approach the island are stunning.

Nevis daily departure schedules with as early/late as times

Charlestown Ferry via Mark Twain, Carib Breeze, Carib Surf, Sea Hustler — 7am/9pm

CURRENCY  East Caribbean (EC) dollar, which can be obtained at any bank. Most stores and businesses accept US dollars or travellers’ cheques, but change will be given in EC. US coins are not accepted. The exchange rate is fixed at US$1.00 = EC$2.70.  Euros and GBP are accepted at banks on the island, with exchange rates fluctuating daily.

Credit Cards:  Most hotels, restaurants, and businesses accept credit cards, but it’s best to check before you travel. Bank ATM machines will provide EC funds through some credit cards.

Banks: Open Monday-Thursday 8am-2pm; Friday 8am-4pm

ATM 24-Hour Service Cirrus and Plus Systems generally accepted:

  • Bank of Nevis Ltd

  • Bank of Nevis

  • Bank of Nova Scotia

  • FirstCaribbean International Bank

  • Nevis Credit Union

  • RBTT Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago

  • St. Kitts-Nevis National Bank

MAILING The General Post Office, located in Charlestown.

  • Open Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 3:30 pm

  • Closed Saturday and Sunday

CHURCHES

 There are over 50 churches and 11 denominations on Nevis. Worship services are usually held on Sundays and Saturdays but some churches do meet during the week for prayer and bible services. All churches welcome visitors.

Weddings  Nevis is a very elegant and romantic venue for a wedding. You can choose from picturesque churches, historic plantations, soft, sandy beaches or beautiful tropical gardens. All will make your special day a memorable occasion. Hotels, tour operators and wedding coordinators will give you all the help you need and guide you through the simple formalities.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

  • Dial 9-1-1

  • Police, 469-5391

  • Alexandra Hospital, 469-5473

  • Fire Services, 469-3444

COURTESIES

Tipping:  A service charge of 10% is generally included in restaurant bills, but it’s best to ask (if you want to give more, please do!). Hotels add 20% to their bills, including 10% service and 10% VAT.

Dress: Bikinis, bare chests and bare feet are for the beach only. Dress for dinner is generally ‘casually elegant’ so jackets and ties are not required for men at any of the restaurants.

Custom: Join in with the local ritual of saying “good morning” and “good afternoon” even to total strangers. They won’t be strangers for long.

Tourist/Visitor Etiquette: Before taking photographs of residents or their homes, please be respectful and ask for permission.

COMMUNICATIONS

Radio Stations

Telephones

  • For an overseas call, dial 1 or dial 3-5-5 and then follow the instructions for using a credit card.

  • Phone cards for use locally or overseas are available through Digicel and Lime. Chippi is another telephone company on Nevis, while internet services are provided by Lime.

GETTING AROUND NEVIS  Take a walk… You probably won’t walk all the way round the island but a stroll, especially around Charlestown, is a great way to experience the history, sites and meet the people of Nevis. ...or…

Take a taxi!

Available at the airport, hotels and in Charlestown, the capital. Look out for their bright yellow license plates which start with the letters T or TA.

Take a bus!

Buses are small minivans with names painted on the front. Flag one down to board anywhere on main roads. Look for green license plates with H or HA.

Rent a bike!

Cycling is popular with the locals and is a great way for visitors to explore. Rent bikes from bike shops, or simply ask your hotel to arrange a rental.

…Or…

Since Nevis is a small island–just thirty-six square miles in size–it may come as no surprise to learn that you can comfortably drive around the island in a short period of time along its twenty- mile main road which runs all the way round.  Make a turn onto an intersection off the main road and be led to, and through, charming villages and sites in the interior of the island.

Drive a car!

Rental cars (with red license plates beginning with letters R or RA) are available all over the island. Cars drive on the left here, so most rentals are right-hand drive.

 

St. Kitts was once known as the Gibraltar of the West Indies for its domination of 18th- century colonial battles. How the island rose to become the world’s leader in sugarcane cultivation, an inspiration for the industrial revolution in the process.

Contact Us

Government Headquarters
Church Street, Basseterre

Mon – Fri: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Government of St. Kitts and Nevis © 2022. All Rights Reserved