Nevis is currently promoting its unspoiled nature. Based upon my recent trip, I see exactly why. Nevis is the perfect place to commune with tropical nature and admire the the flora and fauna produced by a year-round amazing climate and routine rains that can nourish just about any kind of plant.

The only bad thing about traveling from the US to the island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, is traveling from the US to St. Kitts and Nevis.

In order to¬†get to the Robert L. Bradshaw (The National Hero and first Premier of St. Kitts) International Airport on St. Kitts from my home in Dallas with any time left in my day, is to depart DFW airport at 5:45 am. With a normal morning routine, that means waking up at 3 am, just to arrive at the airport in time for boarding especially with the long winding snake they call a security line at 4:30 in the morning (no point in being earlier than that – there’s no chance the line will be open before then, and even Starbucks isn’t open that early in the morning.)

Thank goodness for Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check! The morning flight is full of Regular Commuters and cruise passengers who didn’t take the advice of their wise Travel Advisers and leave a day early. That means lots of children, lots of carry-on luggage, and lots of cranky people. The good news is that, most of the time, the flight departs early and arrives even earlier, giving you a reasonable amount of time to walk the (apparent) ten miles between your gates at the Miami international airport.

If you have the same kind of trip, be sure to bring a snack or two, because the short one-hour (sometimes 2-hour) layover in Miami isn’t enough time to grab a sandwich, and there is another three hours of flight time ahead of you. But, hey, on the plane you get the privilege of paying $5 for a headset to watch an older movie (sorry, they are first run movies, right?) on a tiny little teeny weeny little screen invariably positioned immediately above your head. What luxury!

St. Kitts Airport

The arrival into St. Kitts is a throwback to yesteryear. The runway doesn’t have taxiways, so your plane turns around at the end of the runway and heads over to the terminal. You exit the plane down a set of stairs pushed up to the front and rear of the plane (note to self – do not sit in the middle of the plane. It will make you the last person into customs.) With luck, it won’t be raining when you arrive, although, even if it is, it will be over very quickly.

Customs and Passport Control are simple and efficient. On my half – empty flight of about 80 people, the last person made it through just as the last bag fell onto the conveyor belt. One important note, though; Be sure to fill out your entire customs form (top, bottom, and back). Many people were delayed for quite a while because they had not filled out the form correctly.

Before you leave customs by passing by one of four agents at the exits, I recommend stopping by the small duty free shop near the exit. Like everything else on this trip, it’s the way things used to be…a 750 ml bottle of absolute vodka for US$11, and Grey Goose for US$28, for example. I also recommend the CSR, a local sugar cane liquor, reminiscent of cachasa (a sugar cane liquor from Brazil), that is great with lime juice and sugar, or with the local grapefruit soda, Ting. The CSR plus Ting drink is often called a Ting with Sting.

There are three ways to get from St. Kitts to Nevis. 1) Some resorts (Four Seasons and The Hermitage) have their own private boats. 2) Some have a meet and greet service where, if you give your resort your flight information, you will be met by a hotel representative, transferred to a taxi for a 10 to 15 minute ride to the south end of the island from where the water taxi leaves to Nevis, a seven-minute boat ride across the narrows to the pier (at the Oualie beach resort) and then a short taxi ride to your resort (most are within 15 minutes.), and 3) arrange it all on your own by regular ferry, the choice is yours.

We were lucky enough to be invited to join the group on the Four Seasons ferry for a 30 minute cruise to the resort, where we were greeted (as is typical for a Four Seasons Resort) by most of the resort staff. Please understand that, if you end up on the larger of their two boats, that the level of luxury present on the Four Seasons private boat, is not consistent with the luxury at the resort. The resort is far superior to the crossing between St. Kitts and Nevis. The crew is nice, but the boat is simply transportation and is treated as such.

The Nature of Nevis

The island is about as low key as a Caribbean Island can get. As with most of the Caribbean, the people are the island. The people of Nevis are amazingly friendly and helpful, and, because of the British School tradition, over 97% of them are literate. The residents are very proud of their country and are extremely happy to talk about their history and, to many people’s surprise, American History. You see, one of our famous Vice Presidents (and there are very few of those), was born and raised on Nevis. His name was Alexander Hamilton. There is even a museum (at his birthplace) dedicated to his life, and death (killed by a pistol at 20 paces, by Aaron Burr).

Nevis is not a shopping destination, although a walk through the downtown shops can be enjoyable. It is a destination for relaxing, and being disconnected. There is some Cell service, but it can be incredibly expensive ($2/minute for calls, $20/MB for data), and decent internet connectivity. So I recommend you just completely disconnect, and enjoy amazing tropical sunsets, drinking a local version of the Rum Punch (served with a dash of Trinidad Angostura bitters, and a bit of fresh nutmeg).

Believe me, the sunsets are as good as it gets, because the sunset, when viewed from anywhere on the west side of the island, happens conveniently close to the island of St. Kitts. So you not only get a photo of a beautiful sunset, but also a nice picture of St. Kitts under a yellow, pink, and purple sky. What could be better than that. As I said, if you are looking to commune with nature, I would certainly consider Nevis…naturally.