Interesting facts about Saint Kitts and Nevis

saint kitts and nevis flag

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a dual-island nation situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

The official name of the country is the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

St. Kitts and Nevis shares maritime borders with Antigua and Barbuda, Sint Maarten (Netherlands), Venezuela, Montserrat (United Kingdom), and Saint Barthélemy (France).

The official language is English.

It is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Saint Kitts and Nevis was estimated to be 55,712 people.

The country has an area of 261 square kilometers (100 square miles); The land area of St. Kitts is about 168 square kilometers (65 square miles), being approximately 29 km (18 mi) long and on average about 8 km (5.0 mi) across. Nevis is 93 square kilometers (36 square miles).

saint kitts and nevis map

The capital city is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts. It is one of the oldest towns in the Eastern Caribbean founded in 1627 by the French, under Sieur Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc.

basseterre

Both islands were formed by volcanoes, all of which are now dormant.

St. Kitts, the larger of the two islands, is roughly oval in shape except for a long, narrow peninsula to the southeast. The Narrows, a 3-kilometer- (2-mile-) strait that separates the two islands. The circularly shaped Nevis is surrounded by coral reefs.

The highest peak, at 1,156 meters (3,793 feet), is Mount Liamuiga on St. Kitts. Visitors can hike through pristine tropical forest to its summit, a 1-kilometer- (0.6-mile) wide volcanic crater, which contained a shallow crater lake until 1959.

mount liamuiga

Saint Kitts and Nevis has 135 kilometers (84 miles) of coastline.

St Kitts and Nevis glory in idyllic curves and stretches of soft, golden sands.

Most locals and visitors consider Cockleshell Beach to be the country’s best beach. It is a secluded stretch of powder-white sand. Over 3 kilometers (2 miles) long, it offers a splendid view of our sister island of Nevis, since it sits directly on the Narrows – the channel between the two islands.

cockleshell beach

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a well-preserved fortress on a hill on the island of St. Kitts in the Federation of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis in the Eastern Caribbean. It was designed by British military engineers, and was built and maintained by African slaves. It is one of the best preserved historical fortifications in the Americas.

brimstone hill fortress

When Christopher Columbus explored the islands in 1493, they were inhabited by the Carib people. Today, most of the inhabitants are the descendants of African slaves.

The British settled on St. Kitts—formerly St. Christopher—in 1623, and on Nevis in 1628. The French settled on St. Kitts in 1627, and an Anglo-French rivalry lasted for more than 100 years. After a decisive British victory over the French at Brimstone Hill in 1782, the islands came under permanent British control.

saint kitts and nevis history

The islands, along with nearby Anguilla, were united in 1882. They joined the West Indies Federation in 1958 and remained in that association until its dissolution in 1962. St. Kitts–Nevis-Anguilla became an associated state of the United Kingdom in 1967. Anguilla seceded in 1980, and St. Kitts and Nevis gained independence on Sept. 19, 1983.

Saint Kitts and Nevis economy is characterised by its dominant tourism, agriculture and light manufacturing industries.

St. Kitts was known throughout the world as a sugar-cane island and is still commonly known today as Sugar City.

With its rich soil, St. Kitts and Nevis grow a wide variety of fresh produce. Abundant seafood and meats such as goat add to the diet. The style of cooking is fairly simple, flavored much like other West Indian cuisine.

seafood

Rum is as popular on St. Kitts and Nevis as it is throughout the Caribbean.

It’s said that St. Kitts is so fertile that even the monkeys are green, and you’ll see colonies of them scampering freely beside the roads and beaches. Their ancestors were the pets of 17th-century French settlers, brought over from West Africa.

The two biggest occasions in the social calendar are the St. Kitts Music Festival. This festival is held end of June every year and attracts a variety of international artistes for the 3 day event. The other being St. Kitts-Nevis National Carnival – also known as Sugar Mas – which takes place around Christmas and the New Year.

Saint Kitts was named “Liamuiga“, which roughly translates as “fertile land“, by the Kalinago (Carib) Indians who originally inhabited the island. The name is preserved via St. Kitts’s western peak, Mount Liamuiga. Nevis’s pre-Columbian name was “Oualie”, meaning “land of beautiful waters”.

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