Basseterre Travel Guide

Discover the charm and beauty of Basseterre with our comprehensive travel guide. Learn about the must-see attractions, food and drink scene, where to stay, local culture, and more.

A Comprehensive Traveler’s Guide to Basseterre, Saint Kitts

Basseterre, the capital city of the island of Saint Kitts, is a picturesque town filled with historic landmarks, natural wonders, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, explore the island’s rich history, or indulge in the local food and drink scene, Basseterre has something for everyone.

In this comprehensive travel guide, we’ll take you through the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and local customs to help you plan your perfect trip to Basseterre.

List of Places to Visit in Basseterre

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Basseterre has a rich cultural and historical background, and it’s evident in the number of museums and historical landmarks you can visit. Here are some of the best ones to check out:

  • National Museum of Saint Kitts: showcases the island’s history, culture, and people with interactive exhibits and artifacts.
  • Independence Square: located in the heart of Basseterre, Independence Square is a great place to stroll around, people-watch, and learn about the island’s independence history.
  • Saint George’s Anglican Church: constructed in the early 1800s, Saint George’s Anglican Church is a testament to colonial architecture with its white wooden structure.
  • Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park: a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Brimstone Hill Fortress is a beautifully restored 17th-century fortress that served as the British Army’s main military base in the West Indies.

Natural Attractions of Basseterre: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

If you’re into outdoor activities and exploring nature, Basseterre has plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the best natural attractions to visit:

  • South Friars Bay: a beautiful white sandy beach located on the island’s south coast, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachside activities.
  • Mount Liamuiga: the highest peak on Saint Kitts, with a height of 1,156 meters. It offers a challenging hike that rewards visitors with stunning panoramic views of the island.
  • Caribelle Batik: a restored 17th-century sugar plantation that has been converted into a batik factory and gardens where you can see the process of batik making and purchase handmade batik clothing and accessories.
  • Timothy Hill: a scenic lookout point that offers breathtaking views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Basseterre

Basseterre offers some of the most scenic hiking and biking trails that allow visitors to discover the island’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Here are some of the best routes:

  • Christophe Harbour Trail: a 6km trail that takes visitors through some of the most breathtaking landscapes on the island, complete with ruins, forested areas, and stunning coastal views.
  • Scenic Railway: a 40km railway that runs around the entire island, offering visitors a unique vantage point for sightseeing.
  • Mount Liamuiga Volcano Hike: a challenging 6-hour hike up Saint Kitts’ tallest peak, that rewards visitors with stunning views of the island and the neighboring islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Barths.

Best Things to Do in Basseterre: Activities and Tours

From water-based activities to cultural excursions to exciting tours, Basseterre offers visitors a wide range of things to do. Here are some of the best activities and tours not to miss:

  • Island Safari Tour: a thrilling off-road tour that takes visitors through the heart of Saint Kitts’ rainforest, old plantation estates, and hidden gems.
  • Catamaran Cruise: a relaxing and picturesque sail around the island, with stops for snorkeling, swimming, and scenic views.
  • Zipline Adventure Tour: a thrilling adventure that takes visitors through the forest canopy, zip-lining across the lush green forest and verdant valleys of Saint Kitts.
  • Beach Day Experience: a lazy day spent on one of the island’s beautiful beaches, complete with beachside activities, drinks, and snacks.

Week-Long Itinerary for Basseterre

If you’re planning on spending a week in Basseterre, here’s an itinerary that lets you explore the island’s best attractions while also allowing plenty of time for relaxation and exploration.

Day Activities
Day 1 Arrival and check-in at the hotel
Day 2 Island Safari Tour in the morning, followed by an afternoon at South Friars Bay beach
Day 3 Guided tour of Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, followed by lunch in Basseterre
Day 4 Zipline Adventure Tour in the morning, followed by an afternoon exploring the historic downtown area
Day 5 Mount Liamuiga Volcano Hike in the morning, followed by a relaxing afternoon at the hotel
Day 6 Catamaran Cruise in the morning, followed by an afternoon exploring the island’s botanical gardens
Day 7 Beach Day Experience, followed by a farewell dinner at one of the island’s best restaurants

Food and Drink Scene of Basseterre

Basseterre offers visitors an eclectic mix of indigenous and international cuisine, with fresh seafood and exotic fruits that are a must-try. Here are some of the best dishes and local beverages not to miss:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Salt Fish and Dumplings: a traditional Kittitian breakfast dish made with salted codfish, served with boiled green banana dumplings and sweet fried plantains.
  • Lobster Thermidor: a savory dish prepared with freshly caught Caribbean lobster, cooked in a creamy white wine sauce and topped with cheese.
  • Conch Fritters: spicy fritters made from conch meat, green onions, and a mix of seasonings, served with tartar sauce.

Local Beverages

  • Ting: a tangy and refreshing carbonated grapefruit drink that’s a popular local favorite.
  • Carib Beer: brewed in Trinidad and Tobago, Carib beer is a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.
  • Mount Gay Rum: originated in Barbados, Mount Gay Rum is a Caribbean classic and one of the region’s most well-known rum brands.

Where to Stay in Basseterre: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Basseterre offers a variety of accommodation options, ranging from luxury hotels to budget guesthouses. Here are some of the best options to choose from:

  • Marriott’s St. Kitts Beach Club: a luxury beachfront resort with stunning ocean views and excellent amenities.
  • Belle Mont Farm: a rustic eco-resort that offers a unique experience, nestled in the rainforest, with a farm-to-table restaurant and luxury guest cottages.
  • Sugar Bay Club Suites & Hotel: a budget-friendly accommodation option that offers comfortable rooms and excellent value for money.

What to Buy in Basseterre: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Basseterre is known for its local crafts, jewelry, and artwork, all of which make great souvenirs to take back home. Here are some of the best things to buy in Basseterre:

  • Batik clothing and accessories: handmade batik clothing and accessories, available at the Caribelle Batik factory.
  • Local spices: Saint Kitts offers some of the best local spices, including nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.
  • Island art: take home unique artwork that’s inspired by the island’s landscapes and culture.

Local Culture and Customs of Basseterre

Basseterre has a unique cultural identity, shaped by its history and traditions. Here are some of the local customs and quirks to keep in mind:

  • Cricket is a popular sport in Saint Kitts, and locals take the game seriously.
  • Basseterre has a laid-back and relaxed culture, but visitors are expected to dress modestly when visiting religious sites or attending formal events.
  • Kittitians are welcoming and friendly, and it’s common for locals to greet strangers with a friendly smile and wave.

Best Time to Visit Basseterre

Basseterre’s tropical climate means that the island is warm and sunny year-round, with a high season from December to April. The best time to visit depends on your preferences and what you’re looking to do. If you want to avoid the crowds and peak season prices, consider visiting during the shoulder season, from May to November.

Do’s and Don’ts of Basseterre

Here’s a quick list of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while visiting Basseterre:


  • Respect the local culture and customs.
  • Try the local cuisine and drinks.
  • Wear sunscreen and insect repellent.


  • Wear revealing clothing in public areas or religious sites.
  • Leave valuables unattended.
  • Drink tap water without boiling it first.

Safety and Health

Safety in Basseterre

Basseterre is a safe destination for visitors, but like any other place, it’s important to take some safety precautions while traveling. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t leave valuables unattended on the beach or in your rental car.
  • Be cautious when traveling around the island at night.
  • Check local crime rates and stay alert in areas with reported incidents.

Health in Basseterre

Saint Kitts has a moderate risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever, so it’s important to take necessary precautions and use insect repellent. Visitors should also check with their primary care physician about any necessary vaccinations or medications before traveling to Basseterre.

Getting to Basseterre: Transportation Options and Logistics

Basseterre is easily accessible through different modes of transportation. Here’s what you need to know:

Airports Near Basseterre

Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport serves as the main airport for Basseterre, offering direct flights to major North American and European cities.

Bus Stations Near Basseterre

Basseterre has a reliable and affordable bus system, with buses traveling throughout the island.

Other Options

Taxis, rental cars, and private transfers are also great options for getting around the island.

How to Get Around in Basseterre

Basseterre is relatively small and easy to navigate, making walking and cycling great options for exploring the city. Taxis, buses, and rental cars are also available for those who prefer to travel more comfortably.

Where to Go Next from Basseterre: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re looking to explore more of Saint Kitts and Nevis, here are some nearby destinations worth visiting:

  • Nevis Island: home to beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and stunning views of Mount Nevis.
  • Charlestown: the capital of Nevis, known for its 18th-century architecture and cultural landmarks.
  • Pinney’s Beach: a long stretch of white sandy beach on Nevis, perfect for water sports and relaxation.
  • Saba Island: a small island located near Saint Kitts, known for its stunning marine life and diving opportunities.


Basseterre is a charming and inviting destination that offers visitors a glimpse into the Caribbean’s rich culture and history. With its natural beauty, friendly locals, and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder that Basseterre is considered one of the Caribbean’s hidden gems. Use our comprehensive travel guide to plan your perfect trip to Basseterre.