The twin-island nation of St Kitts and Nevis, situated in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean, is shaped rather like a tennis racquet and ball - the larger St Kitts is separated from its ball-shaped southern counterpart, Nevis, by a two-mile (3km) channel called The Narrows.
At first glance, the small, sleepy islands appear to be forgotten in time, a pair of quiet, lush and natural islands that convey nothing of their former prosperity and turbulent history. From their wealthy position as the most illustrious sugar colony in the Caribbean in the early 18th century they became the centre of conflict as European powers fought for control of the islands, and the surrounding waters were an irresistible attraction for pirates who lay in wait for the riches transported on the merchant ships.
Imagine an island that St Kitts has set aside more than a quarter of its land as a National Park, with a rainforest that is actually expanding in size rather than shrinking. This is St. Kitts. An island surrounded by new and untouched dive sites, marked by massive beds of coral, teeming with fish of every stripe and colour.
Nevis covers 36 square miles. There is no hustle and bustle and attracts a particular type of visitor that appreciates something different and a peaceful and tranquil environment.
These islands have become the tourist pearls of the Caribbean, valued today more as a tropical paradise than a major sugar producer, with clear and inviting waters, sandy beaches and a natural splendour to stun even the most avid city slicker. Together with a diverse range of activities, historical sites, and the charm of their two capital harbour towns, the volcanic islands are a seductive blend of colour, sunshine and luxurious relaxation.
Electrical current is 230 volts, 60 Hz, but a 117-volt supply is available in most hotels. Round three-pin plugs and three-pin rectangular blade plugs (as in the UK) are in use.
English is the official language.
No vaccinations are required for travel to the islands, but a yellow fever certificate is required from visitors travelling from a yellow fever infected country. Travellers are recommended to be up to date with routine vaccinations and boosters. There is a risk of Dengue fever, Chikungunya and Zika virus transmission. Pregnant women should avoid non essential travel and precautions against mosquito bites should be taken. There is a high incidence of HIV/AIDS. Medical facilities are adequate, but limited, and health insurance is essential, which should include emergency air evacuation. Most doctors and hospitals expect cash payment. For up to date information please see https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/st-kitts-and-nevis/health
A 10% service charge is usually included in hotel and restaurant bills, otherwise it is customary to leave 10-15% of the bill depending on the service. Taxi drivers receive 10-15% of the fare.