About St.Kitts & Nevis
The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis), located in the Leeward Islands, is a federal two-island nation in the West Indies. It is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population.
The capital city and headquarters of government for the federated state is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts. The smaller state of Nevis lies about 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Saint Kitts, across a shallow channel called "The Narrows". Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be settled by Europeans. Saint Kitts was home to the first British and French colonies in the Caribbean.
Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and white sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Christopher Columbus first spotted St. Kitts in 1493, when it was populated with native tribes, but the Europeans didn't colonize until the British arrived in 1623. Its strategic location and valuable sugar trade led to an advanced and luxurious development that was among the best in the Colonial Caribbean.
Saint Kitts and Nevis is a twin-island federation whose economy is characterized by its dominant tourism, agriculture and light manufacturing industries. Sugar was the primary export from the 1640s on, but rising production costs, low world market prices, and the government's efforts to reduce dependence on it have led to a growing diversification of the agricultural sector. In 2005, the government decided to close down the state-owned sugar company, which had experienced losses and was a significant contributor to the fiscal deficit. Former sugar plantations still dominate the St. Kitts landscape, however many of the cane fields are being burned to make room for land development, especially on the northern side of the island, in the parishes of Saint John Capisterre and Christchurch. The agricultural, tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore-banking sectors are being developed and are now taking larger roles in the country’s economy. The growth of the tourism sector has become the main foreign exchange earner for Saint Kitts and Nevis. The country has also developed a successful apparel assembly industry and one of the largest electronics assembly industries in the Caribbean.
St. Kitts is dependent on tourism to drive its economy. Tourism to the island has been expanding since 1978. 2010's figures are still being calculated, but in 2009 there were 587,479 arrivals to Saint Kitts compared to 379,473 in 2007. This growth represents an increase of just under 40% in a 2 year period. As tourism grows the demand for vacation property increases in conjunction.
The country has two main islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis. The highest peak, at 1,156 meters, is Mount Liamuiga.
The islands are of volcanic origin, with large central peaks covered in tropical rainforest; the steeper slopes leading to these peaks are mostly uninhabited. The majority of the population on both islands lives closer to the sea where the terrain flattens out. There are numerous rivers descending from the mountains of both islands, which provide fresh water to the local population. St. Kitts also has one small lake.
Population (2010 est.): 49,898 (growth rate: 0.8%); birth rate: 14.2/1000; infant mortality rate: 9.9/1000; life expectancy: 74.4; density per sq mi: 283
The climate of St. Kitts and Nevis is classified as tropical marine with a wet and a dry season. Generally, steady northeast trade winds and tropical oceanic cyclonic movements influence it. Furthermore, the islands enjoy warm even temperatures with a mean of approximately 24–27 °C (75.2–80.6 °F) and the humidity is low at 71%. Seasonal and diurnal variations in temperature are small. Rainfall is mainly orographic and increases in amount and frequency with the altitude. Except for the Southeast Peninsula which is very dry, mean annual rainfall ranges from about 16 inches (406 mm) in the coastal areas, to about 60 inches (1,524 mm) in the central mountain ranges but, from May to October rainfall is heavier while temperatures are a little hotter. Real Estate
The St. Kitts and Nevis real estate market provides investors a great opportunity to purchase Caribbean property at an affordable price. Many of the Caribbean islands, like Barbados, have very high entry prices that make property ownership all but a dream for most, but St. Kitts and Nevis are different. Interestingly enough the Caribbean markets have held up very well during the recession, and of course both islands enjoy all the benefits one would expect from a Caribbean destination. Real estate prices in St. Kitts and Nevis have increased steadily since the early-2000s, though the islands are still much less expensive than most Caribbean islands.
Here, an unhurried way of life remains the norm, and vacationers from around the world experience a lifestyle that's relatively uncorrupted by the bustle of modern life. St Kitts and Nevis is a truly spectacular location. A closely tied duo of volcanic islands, nestling in the heart of the azure blue Caribbean Sea. Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and white sandy beaches combine to make St Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean.
St Kitts remains un-crowded and unspoiled, with excellently preserved ecosystems. Whilst just 68 sq miles, this fertile island is blessed with a 3,792-foot extinct volcano, amazing lava formations, tropical forest and seaside lagoons. There are superb opportunities for boating and scuba diving too.
Colonial architecture abounds in the capital, Basseterre. Around the island, from quaint and quirky, to grand and luxurious, you can shop, dine, gamble and dance the nights away, any way you choose. Then wake to sunshine and blue skies, for a game of golf on a Championship course, a day of retail therapy, or a refreshing spa experience.
St. Kitts and Nevis is a nation in the West Indies made up of two volcanic islands. Both the larger, busier St. Kitts and smaller Nevis boast picture-perfect beaches around lush rain forest interiors. The two islands are connected by frequent ferries, so no matter which island you choose to stay on, your itinerary can include the attractions of both.
Culturama is a 12-day festival held annually on Nevis in late July and early August. It is similar to carnivals on other Caribbean Islands, with the streets, churches, hotels and squares of Nevis filled with music, dancing, parades, concerts and food. Crowds of locals and tourists gather for the showcase of the culture and arts of Nevis held in celebration of the emancipation of slaves in the 1830s. See the Miss Culture Queen and Talented Youth pageants, live bands and fashion shows among many other festivities.
Nevis Peak is the 3,232-foot-high summit of the volcanic cone that forms the island of Nevis. Its slopes are covered with dense rain forest, flowering fruit trees and ferns, which provide beautiful surroundings for a day-long hike to the top. The Nevis Tourism Authority recommends hiking with a professional tour guide if you intend to tackle an ascent because of the rough and often muddy terrain. Hiking up Nevis Peak is strenuous and challenging, says Jim Johnson of the Nevis tour company “Top to Bottom,” but the reward is breathtaking views over the island and ocean and sometimes to neighboring islands beyond. On the way you may see vervet monkeys and innumerable tropical birds and butterflies. Top to Bottom Whitehall Nevis 011-869-469-9080 walknevis.com
St Kitts Scenic Railway
St. Kitts Scenic Railway, billed as the “Last Railway in the West Indies,” was built from 1912 to 1926 to transport sugar cane from fields to the sugar mill in Basseterre. Take a ride on the comfortable train, combined with a journey on a sightseeing bus, to see the sights of the island on a three-hour tour. The circular tour of St. Kitts takes you through fields of sugar cane, past pineapple plantations and tropical fruit trees. The train crosses tall girder bridges, winds around the volcanic slopes of Mount Liamuiga and along the scenic Atlantic coast. You may see the neighboring islands of Nevis, St. Barts, St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius on a clear day. View the spectacular scenery from the double-decker railcar’s open-air observation platform or the air-conditioned lower level. St. Kitts Scenic Railway Sands Unit A6, Bay Road Basseterre, St. Kitts 011-869-465-7263 stkittsscenicrailway.com
Sky Safaris at Wingfield Estate
Sky Safaris offer the chance to take a zipline eco tour through the rain forest on the historic Wingfield Estate, a former sugar plantation known as the first English settlement in the West Indies. During a two-to-three-hour adventure, soar through the air on a series of five ziplines which vary from 140 to more than 1,350 feet in length. The tour begins with the shortest line, the 140-foot “Monkey Trainer” then you proceed to the longest, “The Boss,” which carries you 250 feet above the rain forest floor. The remaining three ziplines take you through some of the biggest trees on St. Kitts and provide sweeping views of the landscape. Riders may travel at up to 50 mph, but you are able to adjust your own speed as you ride. On certain ziplines, you can ride side by side with a friend or race each other. Guides provide information about the ecosystem during the tour, which also includes a shuttle service to and from Basseterre and a safety orientation. No experience is necessary to participate, but you must be at least 6 years old and weigh between 60 and 275 pounds. Wingfield Estate Sky Safaris at Wingfield Estate St. Kitts 011-869-466-4259 skysafaristkitts.com
Education is free and compulsory for 12 years. Elementary education lasts for seven years followed by four years of secondary education at the first level and two at the second level.
A National Committee on Education was established in 1991 to examine all aspects of the education system at the primary and secondary level. Issues under consideration included introducing technical and vocational education and training; economic trends and the education system; administration and management of the education system; and teachers and their work conditions.
In 1993, there were 7,068 students at the primary level. Secondary-level schools employed 322 teachers and enrolled 4,402 students in the same year. By 1998 there were a total of 68 primary and secondary schools, with a combined enrollment of 21,946. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was 19 to 1 in 1999. In the same year, public expenditure on education was estimated at 3.3% of GDP.
Primary education in this Caribbean island nation is intended for children aged between 5 and 12. After 2 years of automatic promotion a series of tests is introduced, although the main purpose of this is to gauge suitability for middle school. Main outcomes are appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, oral expression, and problem solving ability.
Middle schooling follows for 4 years. Students who leave after this education phase may go straight on to work, enroll at an advanced vocational center, or join the national skills training program.
The 2 years of optional secondary school are the final phase of university preparation. At the end of year 1 students write the Caribbean examination council general proficiency examination. With 5 passes, they could go on to work, or complete 6th form at one of 2 local schools.
The advanced vocational education center provides competency-based skills training through a 30/70 mix of theory and practical experience. Anybody aged 16 and older may use this opportunity to prepare for work, or to further sharpen their skills.
List of School & Colleges
There are eight publicly administered high/secondary level schools in St Kitts-Nevis, and several private secondary schools.
Public high/secondary schools
Cayon High School (CHS)
Basseterre High School (BHS)
Washington Archibald High School (WAHS)
Verchilds High School (VHS)
Sandy Point High School (SPHS)
Charlestown Secondary School (CSS)
Gingerland Secondary School (GSS)
Saddlers Secondary School (SSS)
Private high/secondary schools
St Theresa's Convent School and St. Joseph's School –
Merged in 2010 to form Immaculate Conception Catholic School – Kindergarten to Grade 11 – the traditional Caribbean final secondary school grade.
Lyn Jeffers Secondary School
Lyn Jeffers Primary School
Saint Christopher Preparatory school
Medical University of the Americas
Ross University Veterinary School
International University of the Health Sciences