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Random Facts for Visitors to Saint Kitts in the Caribbean

MsDora grew up, received early education and taught school in the Caribbean. Read her love and pride of the region—people and place.

(1) Good Morning or Good Afternoon

You know you’re in Saint Kitts when most fellow pedestrians greet you with “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon.” Whether or not they know you, it’s their friendly manner of recognizing you and demonstrating their courtesy. The occasional exception may walk by without greeting you, but he or she stands a chance of being chided by a concerned citizen.

Welcome Banner in the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport

Welcome Banner in the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport

"You’ll also hear “good morning” or “good afternoon" by people boarding the bus, entering an office, joining the queue at the bank or at the grocery checkout counter.

Practice the greeting when you visit. It will make it easy to strike up a conversation and ask questions or simply get an opportunity to enjoy the dialect. If you don’t want to be bothered, there will be no penalty but why not exchange a greeting that will make you smile?

(2) Banking

Thank God for ATMs! They offer twenty-four hour service on the island. However if you must carry out your transaction in the lobby, know that regular banking hours are:

  • Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m (or 3:00 p.m.)
  • Fridays 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
  • Banks are closed to the public on Saturdays and Sundays.

The unofficial reason given for the short weekday hours is that bankers want to justify their ledgers early enough to join their working counterparts at the beach. You see, in Saint Kitts walking on the beach or wading in the water is not limited to the weekend. Some people schedule beach activities at the end of the work day twice or three times a week.

Royal Bank of Canada, St. Kitts

Photo by Viator

Photo by Viator

(3) Public Transportation

Passenger van in Saint Kitts

Passenger van in Saint Kitts

The buses are not the metropolitan-type 100 plus passenger carriers. They are vans and mini vans with the capacity of about 15 passengers. Most of them have some form of fancy, artistic decoration on the front.

Obviously, there are no turnstiles to pass through with your bus fare. Before you board, you stretch your hand over the passenger in the front seat and pay the driver.

  • For a trip of five miles and under, the fee is $2.50 EC;
  • Between 5 to 10 miles, $3.00;
  • Over ten miles, $3.75.

In 2015, the government began to enforce that buses stop at designated spots, instead of stopping at any place a passenger yelled, "Stop." Official bus stops are still being built on the main roads throughout the islands.

Visitors who come in on cruise ships just for the day have the option of touring the city on rented bicycles, or traveling around the island in taxis or specialty travel vehicles.

Tourists in Specialty Tour Vehicle

random-interesting-facts-about-the-island-of-saint-kitts

(4) Left Side Traffic

If you’re brave enough to drive on the island’s narrow roads, follow the lead of the other chauffeurs who are driving on the left side. Most of the vehicles seat the driver on the right (traffic) side; but there are some vehicles which seat the driver on the left side sits on the traffic side.

On February 1, 2018, the first three traffic lights were installed in the city of Basseterre.

(5) Grocery Prices

At the grocery store, prices on some items will make you gasp and hold your breath.

  • Cheddar Cheese ranges from $10.65 to $13.13 per pound;
  • Red Beans are $7.30 per pound;
  • Tomato Ketchup sells for $5.50 to $6.50 per 750 ml bottle;
  • one pound of strawberries sells for $15.44 or more;
  • one 15 oz. tub of Smart Balance (buttery spread) for $18.95.

At Subway (only one in the city), a steak and cheese sandwich costs $40.00. So does the average dinner entrée at one of the many fine restaurants.

But wait! You can afford to eat. These prices are quoted in East Caribbean (EC) currency, and are really reasonable when calculated in US money. Usually the rate of exchange is $2.70 EC for $1 US. According to the online reviews from other tourists, the food prices are manageable and affordable by comparison with some other islands.

(6) Best Buy

Best Buy in the United States, Canada, China and Mexico is a retail electronic store. In Saint Kitts and Nevis, residents recognize Best Buy as the name of a grocery supermarket with a Deli, a Bakery and a daily menu of delicious, locally prepared, take-out lunches. There are two Best Buy Supermarkets in Saint Kitts and two in Nevis. If the cleanliness and shopper-friendly layout in all four stores are as complimentary as they are at the Buckley’s store in Saint Kitts, these stores provide a pleasant shopping experience for island visitors.

So remember: In Saint Kitts, follow the Best Buy sign for grocery shopping, delicacies or hearty island cuisine. For computer parts, cameras or iPods. look for the Harper's Office Depot.

(7) Places to Eat

There is no shortage of good food on the island. You can choose from American, French, Indian, Italian and Vegetarian restaurants all over the city. Caribbean menus are in abundance and there are finger-licking stops in just about every parish. The Port Zante Food Court in Basseterre provides a variety of cultural flavors, and the Frigate Bay resort area features several fine dining venues.

For the tourists who want a familiar taste, American franchise foods have been springing up slowly but surely.

For tourists who want a familiar taste

American Fast FoodStreet Address, Basseterre, St. KittsDate Opened

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Bay Road

1996

SUBWAY Restaurant

Corner of Victoria Road and Cayon Street

2007

Domino's Pizza

Fort Street

2007

Domino's Pizza

Buckley's (western outskirts of Basseterre)

2009

Church's Chicken

Central Street

2012

Burger King

Central Street

2017

(8) Citizenship

You may like the island enough to desire permanent residence or to become a citizen. Saint Kitts-Nevis is listed among the Best Citizenship by Investment Countries right alongside Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA.

For a non-refundable donation to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), or by purchasing a piece of real estate for minimum of $400,000 you can participate in the island’s economic citizenship program. provides a detailed outline of the program as well as the application criteria.

Whether or not you choose citizenship, accept our friendly invitation to visit Saint Kitts.

© 2012 Dora Weithers

Comments

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 03, 2015:

Greensleeves, I hope I succeed in getting you to visit. Will you please drop the tourist bureau a line to suggest that they employ me (smile)? Thanks for your kind encouragement.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 03, 2015:

Greensleeves, I hope I succeed in getting you to visit. Will you please drop the tourist bureau a line to suggest that they employ me (smile)? Thanks for you kind encouragement.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on January 03, 2015:

My thanks to St Kitt's own independent one woman tourism guide and promoter, MsDora!! You should really be employed by the tourist industry because I'm sure that proportionately your hubs do more to attract visitors than any number of official tourism campaigns :)

I particularly like the opening paragraph. Friendly greetings, hospitality and a sense of community are values too often lost in major cities and western cultures, and yet will do more than anything else to make tourists feel welcome and at home. I feel more inclined to visit St. Kitts each time I read one of your hubs about local life. Alun

Clara Kish from Mt. Perry. Ohio on May 01, 2013:

MsDora. I just got my answer to where Saint Kitts is . I just read your Hub on it ,very interesting and nice pictures,too. Over here we used to have to stop on the road for cattle crossing to go across the road to be milked , then they had to go back, some farmers had a bout 100 at the time, and they are not in a hurry to cross the road , like children ,I guess they want to play, so we have that in our country ,too.

Love, Clara

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 14, 2013:

Joan, we're on the same page regarding our love for our country. Thanks for adding the animals crossing the road. Even with them, our island is a wonderful place to live.

Joan from St Kitts on March 14, 2013:

Lol. I love this article. You are so right about the conversation with the postal clerk in the USA.

My conversation usually begins with 'I like your accent. Where are you from, Jamaica?'

'No St Kitts'

St Kitts? Where is that ? ...lol

Being a fellow Kittitian, so much things come to mind that I can add but I will just add this one funny thing.

You know that you have arrived to St Kitts, when you are travelling around the island ( which takes about 1-2 hours -non stop depends on your speed) and the 'taxi cab' or 'local bus' stops several times to allow 'goats' 'sheep' 'cows' or 'chicken' to cross the road safely.

It can be laughable at time, but St Kitts is a wonderful place to live.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 04, 2012:

Hi Paul, thanks for your interest. Population quotes usually include our sister island of Nevis (both have the same government). The population of the two-island federation is between 50 to 53 thousand. You can get to Nevis in 2o minutes by sea--a great scenic journey. You'll enjoy the visit. There's more about Saint Kitts and Nevis among my travel hubs.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on December 04, 2012:

MsDora,

This is very interesting information about your home on St. Kitts. I have never visited the Caribbean, but I think a trip to your island would be great. Just out of curiosity, how many natives live on St. Kitts? Voted up and sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 28, 2012:

Alocsin, you're right. I will send you the hub I wrote previously. Thanks for your comment and your interest.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on October 28, 2012:

These are quite interesting facts for St. Kitts, but I'd think they are more useful for people who want to live there. What tourist attractions does the island have? Perhaps another hub describing that would be interesting. Voting this Up and Useful.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 27, 2012:

Thanks to you also Cherry, for sharing yours. I lived in Trinidad for two years--on the Caribbean Union College campus in Maracas Valley. Hope you like life in New York.

Cherry Ann from New York on October 26, 2012:

Interesting hub MsDora. lol you brought back memories for me with the Good Morning and Good Afternoon. I grew up in Trinidad but now reside in the U.S. and let me say this when i traveled regularly and went back to Trinidad i did complain about no one answering me when i said Good Morning to them, even on the bus full of people not one would answer...lol..I also thought the bus up here would stop anywhere but i was in for a surprise, it passed my stop and i had some walking to do. Thank you for those memories.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 22, 2012:

Yea sailor, you got the music right. Glad you like it. St. Eustatius (one u after the first E) is just a few miles north of Saint Kitts. Hope you can visit the island some time.

thesailor from Seven Seas on October 21, 2012:

We used to go near the islands for bunkering, if I'm not mistaken. We're more closer at St. Estatius (Did I spell it right?) though, but I like to hear the music being played at the local radio stations, from calypso to reggae, etc. :)

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 16, 2012:

Thanks, francis. I try, especially when writing about this beautiful island.

francis5k from New York, New York on October 16, 2012:

informative blog! goodjob!

Linda on October 14, 2012:

Thanks Dora, I'll have time on my hands soon so I just might take you up on that! Stay well and blessed.

Monica on October 14, 2012:

Dora, it looks wonderful there. I would love to see it someday.

Donna on October 14, 2012:

Thanks for the reminder of what it's like to live in St. Kitts.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 13, 2012:

Pavlo, I know you'll like the island so start piling up your old junk. If you can't afford citizenship, just get your ticket to come for a vacation. Glad you found the facts interesting!

Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on October 13, 2012:

It was interesting to read! It is very unlikely I ever have a chance to visit it unless sell my old junk, collect 400000 USD to buy a citizenship! :) I like your hub!

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