Enjoy fun in the St Kitts sun with these water-based activities
Besides its spectacular beaches, water-based sports are one of the primary reasons so many people love the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, one of the most picturesque, lush isles in the West Indies. While it’s fast becoming one of the top destinations in the region for European travellers and a host of other travellers from across the globe, it’s still managed to remain unspoiled and undeveloped enough to offer a unique charm with lots of wide open spaces, tropical rainforest, volcanic peaks and powder sugar-like sands that sit at the edge of crystal blue waters, which happen to be ideal for all sorts of activities.
Snorkelling and diving
With vibrant coral reefs, hawksbill and green turtles, stingrays and brightly-coloured tropical fish, the astonishing clear waters that surround the island make it a divers’ and snorkellers’ paradise. Most dive sites are located just a mile offshore, and by joining any one of multiple excursions available, you’ll be taken to spots where remarkable visibility and lots of diversity awaits, including wrecks and shallow reefs.
Snorkelling right off the beach is possible in some places too. White House Bay is just one example, popular for its typically calm, sheltered waters. Because there are rocks here, in results in an abundance of marine life and coral. Other beaches good for snorkelling including Dieppe Bay and Turtle Beach, as well as North and South Frigate Bay.
If you want to take the fun up a notch, outfitters like St. Kitts Water Sports offer a Jet Ski Snorkel Adventure which brings guests on a guided two-hour jet-ski tour from Reggae Beach to the gorgeous waters of Shitten Bay. You’ll get to start out with a cruise on a jet ski, followed by an unforgettable snorkelling adventure where you might see creatures like green turtles, spotted eagle rays and angel fish, as well as magnificent coral.
Glass bottom kayak tour
If you want to see some of that impressive marine life without getting wet, St. Kitts Water Sports also offers a Glass Bottom Kayak Tour. The glass bottom allows paddlers to see right down into those clear waters, as if looking through a snorkelling mask. This is also the ideal way to explore St. Kitts’ scenic coast, moving past steep cliffs and remote bays, while viewing pelicans, cormourants and frigate birds as well. Even if you’ve never taken out a kayak before, as the kayaks used are extra stable, prior experience isn’t necessary.
Night tours are especially impressive, allowing kayakers to experience a journey like no other. Bright LED lighting lights up the night sky with a brilliant array of colours for a surreal feeling you’ll never forget. Those lights also help to attract lots of exotic, colourful fish, while the glass bottoms allow paddlers to see all the way to the sea floor with HD clarity. For those who would prefer to head out on their own, Reggae Beach Watersports offers kayaks for rent in the southeastern part of the island at Saint George Basseterre Parish.
Standup paddleboarding, or SUP, has exploded in popularity in recent years. Sort of a cross between kayaking and surfing, it’s a really fun way to get out on the water while getting an excellent core body workout at the same time. With St. Kitts’ flat, calm waters, the magnificent scenery and glorious sunsets, the isle is an SUP paradise – and, particularly from Reggae Beach, renowned for its glorious sunsets. Just imagine paddling across the Caribbean as the sun goes down, it might just be the highlight of your holiday. With the wind and currents on your side, it makes paddling easier too, giving you more time to soak up that scenery. St. Kitts Water Sports offers lessons, rentals and tours.
Kiteboarding, a craze that got its start in the mid-1990's, is one of the hottest water sports around. This heart-pounding experience will get you up on a small surfboard where you’ll be propelled across the water by a large kite. While you won’t instantly become a pro, this activity is surprisingly easy to learn if you’re a beginner.
St. Kitts Water Sports Is home to the island’s only kiteboarding school, which offers certified instructors that provide lessons on Turtle Beach, situated along the southeast peninsula. An ideal spot to learn the sport with steady cross onshore winds and calm shallow waters, you’ll be able to get up on your board in no time. Plus, this long, white sandy beach tends to get few visitors, so you’ll be able to focus on learning without having to worry about a lot of other riders or beachgoers. With a little practice, before you know it, you’re likely to feel comfortable enough to head out on your own.
When you aren’t in the mood to exert a tonne of energy, try a relaxing catamaran cruise instead. There are a wealth of options to choose from, like Leeward Island Charters which offers luxurious cruises aboard either the 78-foot Spirit of St. Kitts, or her sister ship, the 67-foot Eagle. Blue Water Safaris brings passengers along the island’s breathtaking coastline, into a secluded cove where you’ll have the opportunity to jump right into the Caribbean and snorkel through the stunning turquoise waters to ogle at all of the rich sea life.
St. Kitts is also an incredibly alluring yachting destination, and sailing your own yacht in one of the world’s best locations is an experience like no other. The marina, found at Port Zante, offers gorgeous anchorages, and will put you in the heart of the capital city of Basseterre, an attractive waterfront town that charmingly encapsulates an exceptional blend of modern and old in this part of the Caribbean. You’ll be just a few minutes away from the fascinating historic centre, as well as the Ballahoo Restaurant which is the home of St. Kitts Yacht Club.
If you aren’t fortunate enough to have your own yacht, Individual Yacht Charters offers privately owned, individual sailing yachts available for Bareboat or Crewed Charter. Leeward Island Charters is another option, with a fleet that was all locally built right on St. Kitts.
Fishing enthusiasts will find the ultimate paradise on St. Kitts too. The Caribbean is renowned for offering some of the best sport fishing on the planet, and this island is no exception. Thanks to conservation efforts, the fishing here is even better than ever, with man-made reefs created by sinking boats and old cars attracting even more fish to the area. Deep sea and reef fishermen and women will have the chance to catch trigger fish, snapper, grunt, blue marlin, kingfish, mahi mahi, shark, sailfish, white marlin, tuna and wahoo. All the necessary gear can be rented at any one of the dive shops on the island, or you can join a fishing charter. Chartering a boat with a team of experienced anglers who are familiar with the area is probably your best bet for bringing back a great catch. They include all your bait, tackle, drinks, snacks, and sometimes a full meal.
There are a number of deep sea operators on the island, including Leeward Island Charters as well as Blue Water and Same Lake and the concierge at your resort hotel can easily make the arrangements for you.
If you want to try your luck on your own, there are three spots especially known for their outstanding fishing opportunities. Monkey Reef, south of Shitten Bay, is home to Monkey Shoals, an atoll of coral that stretches for about a mile situated about three miles offshore that’s renowned for an abundance of fish. Dieppe Bay Coastline, is a small black sand beach that’s protected by a major reef and home to all sorts of marine life, while and Sand Bank Bay, also known as Gong's Beach, is a well-protected cove on the Atlantic side with calmer waters that not only offer excellent fishing, but chairs and umbrellas for rent, along with soda, water cocktails and beer.