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Introducing St Kitts

St Kitts definitely has a beat, and it’s not just the one blasting from the many minibuses hauling folks hither and yon. Basseterre is a fascinating place to wander and very much the commercial heart of the island. Locals bustle shop to shop making their purchases and there’s only a bit of compromise offered for tourists and that’s at the cruise-ship dock.

The island’s past is very palpable in the northern areas, where abandoned sugarcane fields climb hills dotted with plantation inns and sleepy villages. The most stunning landmark is Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site that preserves a vast 18th-century British hilltop fort.

South of Basseterre a very different vibe rules. The area around Frigate Bay is thick with condos and mega-resorts such as the Marriott. On the west side you’re rarely more than a stone’s throw from a party, with beach joints rocking on until well after midnight.

But it’s on the southeast peninsula where the biggest changes are happening. Until recently, only goats patrolled its sunbaked hillsides and beaches remained largely footprint-free. Now fast-forward to the future and envision an entire snazzy new township called Christophe Harbour, built to lure the ultrarich and catapult St Kitts to the top of the luxury travel market. One island, many faces.