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World Travel Guide > Guides > Caribbean > St Kitts And Nevis

St Kitts And Nevis travel guide

About St Kitts And Nevis

Palm-fringed beaches? Check. Limpid lagoons? Check. Tropical rainforests? Check. The twin-island nation of St Kitts and Nevis embodies everything travellers have come to expect from the Caribbean, except, that is, for the crowds.

Somehow, this vibrant island state has remained under the radar of mass tourism, carving out a niche as an alternative destination for those looking to avoid more mainstream Caribbean islands.

The smallest sovereign state in the Americas, St Kitts and Nevis are compact and easy to navigate, which is just as well because the pace of life here is slow – and proudly so.

St. Kitts is the larger and more developed of the two and is home to the laidback capital, Basseterre, a former colonial outpost renowned for its historical monuments, vibrant markets and lively beach life.

Dominated by Mount Liamuiga, a dormant volcano carpeted with verdant rainforest, Kitts is also home to the defunct British fortress, Brimstone Hill, one of the best preserved citadels in the Americas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Remnants of the sugar cane industry, once the beating heart of the Kitts economy, remain; old sugar plantations have found new lives as bijous hotels and restaurants, while the island's narrow-gauge railway, once used to transport the cane, has become a popular attraction.

And then there's Nevis. Fanned by trade winds and dominated by an active volcano, this island is the quieter of the two. The scenery remains relatively unchanged by progress; its undulating landscape punctuated by plantation-style hotels which offer lazy lunches and charming lodgings.

Those looking for something more adventurous can pass the days hiking through forests, pedalling down mountain trails or surveying the island's coral reefs, which are popular with scuba divers and snorkelers.

There is little competition for space on Nevis' powdery beaches, and, for the discerning gastronome, there are plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from.

St Kitts and Nevis will, alas, not stay under the radar forever. The authorities are keen to boost tourism and those familiar with this corner of the Caribbean will be hoping they do it without diluting the islands' many charms.

Key facts

Area:

261 sq km (101 sq miles). Saint Kitts: 168 sq km (65 sq miles). Nevis: 93 sq km (36 sq miles).

Population:

56,183 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

199 per sq km.

Capital:

Basseterre.

Government:

Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state:

HM King Charles III since 2022, represented locally by Governor-General Sir Samuel Weymouth Tapley Seaton since 2015.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Terrance Drew since 2022.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for St. Kitts and Nevis on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities.

Entry and borders

All COVID-19 entry requirements were removed on 15 August.

See Entry requirements for further information.

Changes may take effect at short notice. Travellers should regularly check the St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism Authority websites St. Kitts Tourism and Nevis Tourism Authority for updates and information on travel requirements.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be assigned a case worker who will monitor you until you recover. You will need to remain isolated until you receive a negative COVID-19 test result. If your condition is more serious, you will be transferred to a hospital.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Healthcare in St Kitts and Nevis

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in St Kitts and Nevis.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

Keep up to date with the latest information from the Government Information Service.

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

Most visits are trouble-free, but there have been incidents of crime including murder, armed robbery and sexual assault.

You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your accommodation is secure. This also applies if you are staying on a yacht. Be vigilant at all times. Take care when walking alone off the busy main roads and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, particularly after dark.

Only use licensed taxis and take particular care at late night street parties, especially during the festival season.

Don’t carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. If possible, leave valuables and travel documents in a safety deposit box or hotel safe. You should check that the hotel safe is securely fixed before using it to store your items.

Road travel

Driving is on the left. To drive on the island you must get a local temporary driving licence. The car hire companies will usually assist with this process. You must present a valid UK driving licence.

Take care when driving on the roads as there can be potholes and speed bumps. Observe the speed limits. You should take extra care on minor roads and in rural areas where there are narrow roads and blind corners. Pedestrians often walk on the roads and indicators are not always used.

Take extra care when driving at night as some roads are unlit. Road signs and hazards may not be easily visible.

Don’t stop if you’re flagged down by pedestrians. Keep car doors locked when driving.

In the event of an accident, call the police and don’t move the vehicle.

Taxis aren’t metered. Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations. Agree the fare in local currency with the driver before you set off. You can often pay in US dollars as well as EC dollars.

Public transport is available and cheaper. Minibus drivers may drive above the speed limit.

Swimming

Take great care at all times when swimming as currents can be deceptively strong and not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags. You should monitor all beaches carefully and obey any local warnings.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in St Kitts and Nevis, attacks can’t be ruled out.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

There are severe penalties for all drug offences. Pack all luggage yourself and don’t carry anything through Customs for anyone else.

It is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.

Local attitudes towards the LGBT community are mostly conservative throughout the Caribbean. Public displays of affection (such as hand-holding or kissing) between opposite or same-sex couples are uncommon. Certain homosexual acts are illegal. LGBT travellers should be mindful of local attitudes and be aware that public displays of affection may attract unwanted and negative attention. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

This page has information on travelling to St Kitts and Nevis.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in St Kitts and Nevis set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how St Kitts and Nevis’ entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate

All travellers

The government removed all COVID-19 entry requirements on 15 August:

  • There is no requirement for pre-arrival testing
  • There is no requirement for testing on entry
  • There is no requirement to be fully vaccinated
  • There is no requirement to quarantine

This applies to citizens, residents and non-residents of St Kitts and Nevis.

Travellers are advised to complete the embarkation form before departure for St Kitts and Nevis – this will make the arrival process in St Kitts and Nevis speedier.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

Passport validity

If you are visiting St Kitts and Nevis, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date you arrive.

Visas

British passport holders don’t need a visa to visit St Kitts and Nevis.

On entry, you will be granted a specified period to stay. If you wish to stay longer you must apply and pay for an extension of stay through the St Kitts and Nevis Immigration Department.

It is an offence to overstay the entry period or to work without a work permit.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from St Kitts and Nevis.

Entry requirements may change from time to time. You should check with the St Kitts and Nevis High Commission in London before you travel.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Departure tax

The departure tax is now included in the cost of your airline ticket.

Returning to the UK

Check what you must do to return to the UK.

If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.

See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website.

Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Dengue fever is endemic to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in St Kitts and Nevis. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

UK health authorities have classified St Kitts and Nevis as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

The main government hospital can cope with many types of treatment but serious cases may mean emergency evacuation.

Medical treatment in St Kitts and Nevis can be expensive. Make sure that you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. Before choosing to be treated at a private facility, you should check their policies on pre-payment. Private clinics may not accept medical travel insurance as payment for treatment.

Hurricanes

The hurricane season normally runs from June to November. This means tropical storm conditions are possible. You should follow and monitor local and international weather updates from the US National Hurricane Centre and follow the advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders.

See our Tropical cyclones page for advice about how to prepare effectively and what to do if you’re likely to be affected by a hurricane or tropical cyclone.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes are a potential threat and tremors are felt occasionally in the Caribbean. In the event of an earthquake, you should be directed by the local authorities. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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