After spending several nights in Basseterre, the capital city of St Kitts, it finally dawned on me that we’d actually never properly seen the city. We’d been pretty much zipping through the island from one fun activity to the next but hadn’t had any real time in the city.
To correct that, we set off on a little tour of the city…
Basseterre is the part of the island where the cruise ships come in to dock so the crowd here is fairly varied with lots of visitors and locals seamlessly interweaving into the city.
We started off at the central clock before making our way over to Independence Square.
Nice as the name might sound now, once upon a time, this actually was where the slaves from Africa were traded.
If you look at one of the houses here, you can see in the basement areas, little windows with iron bars which is where the slaves were kept until market day when they were sold off in the square. Back then, the slave market used to be called Pall Mall square and upon gaining independence, was turned into Independence square.
Across the square stands the grand Immaculate Conception Catholic Cathedral, a place that’s definitely worth popping into when you’re around the square.
We then carried on, still on the square to the gallery café, a fantastic spot for not just grabbing a great cup of joe (and cakes) but also for checking out and snagging yourself some local art.
For a relatively small space, the Gallery Café is almost labyrinthine – art installations, leading to workrooms, to café, lounge areas and even a cute, outdoor garden area – perfect for soaking up the sunshine with your sweet treats.
The owner showed us around the space – a place with so much history and believe it or not, it’s very own honey supply! There are bees in one of the outdoor panels – the bees arrived there on their own and they provide free honey for the owner – talk about a “sweet house”!
After a little pit-stop to caffeinate, we carried on through the city – stopping off every so often to check out a pretty church, cute street or to grab a cold drink as a respite from that Caribbean heat.
Eventually, we ended up in a local restaurant – El Fredos, for lunch… and yes, another rum punch!
I went for the garlic prawns and provisions (provisions are essentially veg, plantains, dumplings, yams…etc, stuff to go with your meats). Lloyd went for the ribs and my food envy knew no bounds! They looked soooo good (couldn’t tell you what they tasted like though – he wouldn’t let me have even a tiny little bite! 😄)
We then headed back toward the harbour, where – at the last minute, I decided we might as well dip in quickly to Port Zante; the shopping area, for a quick nosey around before heading to the rainforest to get very, very dusty!
Our “dust-creator” happened to be an ATV tour we would be taking across the island and into the rainforest! Seeing as this was not our first rodeo, so to speak – I came mentally prepared to get covered in dust – and to see some really great spots on the island.
Funnily enough, despite having done ATVing in the past, I was oddly shaky to start with. That wore off quickly and before you knew it, we were zipping through the lush green forests of St Kitts in search of fantastic views.
ATVing on smooth roads is kinda fun – you can take things up a notch here but the real fun, in my opinion, is when you have to navigate through uneven terrain.
It’s an exercise in fortitude to figure out how to get through certain roads – one that you can actually have fun with because you have a guide there with you who A.) will check out experience/confidence levels and take you on a path appropriate to your displayed levels and B.) will keep an eye out on you so you don’t get into trouble!
By the time we arrived back at the drop-off point, pretty much every inch of us was covered in dust and we’d had an absolutely amazing time! (Kinda like how we did with the Dune Buggies albeit in much cooler temperatures this time as it was in the evening, not midday like before).
That evening, we changed hotels and headed away from the city of Basseterre to a quieter, more resort-y part of the island (the driver referred to it as the Beverley Hills of St Kitts). Apparently, this is the part of the island where the folks with a fair bit of cash build their homes.
Our home here would be the Marriot Hotel, one of the oldest hotels on the island and central to the development of tourism on the islands as this is where a lot of guests tend to stay.
The Marriot also has access to a beach – something I made very good use of that night (as you might have been able to tell from our Instagram stories) before heading over to the pool for wines cocktails and pre-dinner cooling off time.
We finished off the evening at Carambola Beach Club – a nice chilled little spot (apparently not so chilled when you arrive on certain days of the weekend when the party is in full swing) that’s perfect for cocktails by the ocean.
It’s also a great place to head to for dinner! The food we had was so good here – my only reservation here would be that after that huge lobster we had a Sprat Net the night before – the lobster portions here slightly smaller than you’d expect (St Kitts has some of the biggest lobsters so you always have high expectations when it comes to lobster on this island 😄).
To be fair though, after prawns for starters for me and a Ceasar salad for Lloyd, my main meal was actually lamb chops with lobster, so the lobster was, I guess, always meant to be more of a side-dish situation. (Lloyd went for the beef for mains, by the way).
Dessert was finished off with a caramel pie/crumble situation (can’t remember the exact name now) but it was sooo sooo good!
And so, with another amazing meal in St Kitts, we hit the hay – thoroughly knackered but very eager to explore even more of the island.