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St. Kitts and Nevis – Island information

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The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is a melting pot of different nationalities, cultures and diverse personalities. From beach lovers to fine dining gourmands, from culture vultures, soaking up the history at the heritage sites of Brimstone Hill and the sugar plantations, to the sporting types hiking in our verdant peak of a towering volcano above lush rainforests, and diving under our shimmering aqua-blue waters, witnessing massive beds of offshore coral, teeming with fish of every stripe and color. The Caribbean experience does not get more breathtaking than this. Though St. Kitts and Nevis may be small in size with a population of 55,000+, it is filled with a rich history, captivating culture and interesting facts you never knew about this hidden jewel in the Caribbean.

 Both islands were formed by volcanoes, all of which are now dormant. St. Kitts was originally named “Liamuiga“ (which roughly translates as “fertile land”), and Nevis was named “Oualie”(meaning “land of beautiful waters”) by the Kalinagos (Caribs) who originally inhabited the island.    St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population with Mount Liamuiga, the highest peak in the Lesser Antilles, rising majestically at 1,156 meters (3,793 feet).  The Lush rainforests that blanket the slopes of Mount Liamuiga ( St. Kitts) and Nevis Peak ( Nevis), is home to the very cute and mischievous Green Vervet Monkey. Within the federation, there are more monkeys than humans in a population of approximately 98,000 versus 55,000.

Brimstone Hill Fortress, formerly known as the “Gibraltar of the West Indies” is perhaps one of the best preserved examples of fort extant in the Caribbean to date. The 17th century Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by the British military engineers, and was built and maintained by the enslaved Africans and was fully completed in 100 years.

The pace of life in St. Kitts and Nevis may be a tad more laidback than what you’re used to, but never doubt the capacity of the locals and you to join in a lively ‘jump up’ at Reggae Beach. Island Life is to be lived according to your own recipe. Long languorous days at the beach, meeting new friends, pottering around the garden of your Caribbean home or joining in a lively debate at your local beach bar. Come and join us soon. Find your own piece of ‘Paradise’ with affordable St. Kitts and Nevis real estate, hospitable people, year round sunshine and long balmy evenings. We look forward to welcoming you to the sister isles.

 

Location

Saint Kitts and Nevis , officially known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is an island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles. 

Culture

English is the sole official language. Saint Kitts Creole is also widely spoken. 

Saint Kitts and Nevis is known for a number of musical celebrations including Carnival(18 December to 3 January on Saint Kitts).  The last week in June features the St Kitts Music Festival, while the week-long Culturama on Nevis lasts from the end of July into early August.  

Population

The population of Saint Kitts and Nevis is around 53,000 (July 2019 est.) and has remained relatively constant for many years.  The population is primarily Afro-Caribbean (92.5%), with significant minorities of European (2.1%) and Indian (1.5%) descent (2001 estimate). 

Geography

Saint Kitts and Nevis contains two terrestrial ecoregions: Leeward Islands moist forests and Leeward Islands dry forests. The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 4.55/10, ranking it 121st globally out of 172 countries. 

The country consists of two main islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, separated at a distance of 2 miles (3 km) by The Narrows strait. Both are of volcanic origin, with large central peaks covered in tropical rainforest. The majority of the population live along the flatter coastal areas. St Kitts contains several mountain ranges (the North West Range, Central Range and South-West Range) in its centre, where the highest peak of the country, Mount Liamuiga 1,156 metres (3,793 ft) can be found. Along the east coast can be found the Canada Hills and Conaree Hills. The land narrows considerably in the south-east, forming a much flatter peninsula which contains the largest body of water, the Great Salt Pond. To the southeast, in The Narrows, lies the small isle of Booby Island. There are numerous rivers descending from the mountains of both islands, which provide fresh water to the local population. Nevis, the smaller of the two main islands and roughly circular in shape, is dominated by Nevis Peak 985 metres (3,232 ft).  

Saint Kitts and Nevis contains two terrestrial ecoregions: Leeward Islands moist forests and Leeward Islands dry forests. The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 4.55/10, ranking it 121st globally out of 172 countries. 

Politics

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a sovereign, democratic, and federal state. It is a Commonwealth realm, a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Elizabeth II, is its head of state. The Queen is represented in the country by a Governor-General, who acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party of the House, and the cabinet conducts affairs of state. 

St. Kitts and Nevis has a unicameral legislature, known as the National Assembly. It is composed of fourteen members: eleven elected Representatives (three from the island of Nevis) and three Senators who are appointed by the Governor-General. Two of the senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, and one on the advice of the leader of the opposition. Unlike in other countries senators do not constitute a separate Senate or upper house of parliament, but sit in the National Assembly alongside representatives. All members serve five-year terms. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are responsible to the Parliament. Nevis also maintains its own semi-autonomous Assembly

Foreign relations

Saint Kitts and Nevis has no major international disputes. Saint Kitts and Nevis is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

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