Sitting by the hotel pool is mandatory on any tropical vacation. However, there’s so much more to see in places like St Kitts if you’re willing to do some driving! What makes it such an awesome Caribbean destination is that you can see St Kitts in one day by rental car, or take a whole week to explore. Our favorite experience was the day we circled the entire island. So when planning out your St Kitts vacation, make sure to include this epic road trip tour in your plans!
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One Day in St Kitts Driving Route
There is one major road that circles the island starting in Basseterre, and one single stretch that cuts down the southern peninsula. We were staying at the Park Hyatt St Kitts so we planned to cut up the road to the capital city. From there we would drive around the island clockwise.
Our St Kitts rental car company provided a map of the island and that alone was more than sufficient to navigate our route. We didn’t use a GPS, but that is only because we are very confident with our map skills! We were also comforted that there was only one road around the island.
Getting Your St Kitts Rental Car
Renting a car is pretty straight forward on your St Kitts vacation. Yet, there’s a few things you should know beforehand. Check out our tips below and leave us a comment at the bottom of this post if you have any questions.
- If you‘re traveling in high season book it as far in advance as possible. There is a limited number of St Kitts rental cars. Unfortunately, when they’re taken you’re out of luck!
- You have to be 25 years or older and have a valid drivers license from your country of residence.
- A one time St. Kitts license rental fee of $25 USD is collected. We had to pay in cash and it was separate from our St Kitts rental car payment.
- Rent from the airport if you‘re doing a car for your full stay, or from the hotel if you only want it for a day or two. That way you don’t have to go back into Basseterre and pay the additional taxi costs.
- Drivers use their horns as a friendly greeting. Don’t be alarmed if you’re constantly being honked at while driving in St Kitts!
Driving in St Kitts Tips & Laws
While we have traveled all over the world, we were shocked to realize that we had never driven on the opposite side of the road! At first we were nervous, but overall excited to explore anyway. Below are a few tips and important things to know before driving in St Kitts.
You NEED an international St Kitts drivers license that costs $25 USD. No need to plan ahead because every rental car company has them. It’s literally just a piece of paper that they stamp.
The steering wheel is on the right side of the car. Being from the United States it slowly became a joke in our group for how often we would try to get into the car on the left side.
You drive on the left side of the road. Once again, depending on where you come from this can be normal. It’s good to be traveling in a group so your friends can remind you!
Starting Your St Kitts Tour
Make sure to leave as early in the day as possible, especially if you only have one day in St Kitts! We really can’t stress this enough. Give yourself time to make all the stops you might want, but remember the trip will often take longer than you expect. Also, do not try and drive both St Kitts AND Nevis in one day.
We were so excited to spend this whole day exploring both islands, but boy was that a mistake. There is far too much to do and see on each island. If you do want to see both get a two day rental car from your hotel and give St Kitts and Nevis its fair shake!
Planning Your Day Driving in St Kitts
Plan for a full day away from your hotel, but remember it won’t necessarily all be driving. In total, the route we took from our hotel and back was 50 miles. When we left the Park Hyatt we were told to plan for about an hour of driving and to add on some time for stops and photos.
After a small mix up at our hotel (meaning they ran out of cars) we left around 10am. After a full day of driving in St Kitts we were back in time to catch sunset at 6:30pm. Needless to say, it took us a FULL DAY of exploring on our St Kitts vacation. We did stop quite a bit to take photos and beach hop. Still, we would be hard pressed to find any tourist who can drive that incredible loop in just one hour.
→ 10 Fun Facts About St Kitts and Nevis For Your First Time Visiting
Ultimate One Day in St Kitts Tour
1st Stop: South Friars Bay
- This gorgeous beach on the Caribbean side is a MUST STOP on your St Kitts tour.
- They were currently building another luxury hotel so we’re not sure how accessible it will be in the future. For now it is for snorkeling, swimming, and long walks on the beach.
- The cruise ships dock in the main harbor, but you are sure to see some luxury yachts taking up real estate.
2nd Stop: Basseterre
- There is so much to do in this small capital hub so plan to spend at least an hour.
- You can shop at all the duty free jewelry places, and don’t miss out on the yummy bakeries in town! Surprisingly, our favorite was a salt fish puff pastry for breakfast. Now fish pastries might sound strange, but remember the national dish is also stewed salt fish!
- One thing to note as we’ve said before… Watch out for cruise ships when looking for what to do in St Kitts! We stopped just as two were being let off and there was immediately a sea of people overrunning the small town.
3rd Stop: St. Thomas Anglican Church
- We pulled into this old church not knowing what to expect. It’s beautiful if you seek out old Churches and cemeteries, but it has deteriorated with time.
- Took some photos of the outsideand it was well worth the quick stop on our one day in St Kitts tour.
4th Stop: Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park
- We can’t say it enough, but we LOVE Unesco World Heritage Sites. It was so exciting to see that St Kitts had one!
- If you can get past the winding uphill road, this 18th Century Fortress is packed with history. It also displays sweeping views of St Kitts and the neighboring islands.
5th Stop: Kittitian Hill
- This hotel will make you question why you didn’t stay here on your St Kitts vacation! It was recommended to us as a place to stop for lunch on our St. Kitts tour. While we arrived too late, that didn’t stop us from taking in the incredible views.
- Set between Mount Liamugia and the Caribbean Sea, this sustainable resort would blow away anyones expectations on first impression. This is 100% on our list for where to stay on our next visit.
6th Stop: Arthur’s Bar & Restaurant
- This fun restaurant and bar is set right on the beach in Dieppe Bay.
- Enjoy local seafood and fun cocktails while taking in the view of neighboring Sint Eustatius and Saba!
7th Stop: Coopers Bar-Glenda’s Place
- Even after just eating a light lunch at Arthur’s, we had to stop at Coopers Bar- Glenda’s Place after countless locals recommended it.
- It does have a rundown exterior and the little to no atmosphere, but the food was absolutely delicious!
- They tell you what they have fresh for the day. After a quick wait you’ll be treated to the best meal on the island.
8th Stop: Timothy Hill Overlook
- When you think of the best things to see St Kitts, this iconic overlook most likely pops into your mind.
- A St Kitts vacation would not be complete without a stunning photo taken here. There is a large car park and often stands selling fruits and souvenirs from the islands as well.
Have any questions on driving in St. Kitts or want to share your own island itinerary? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte and Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where to Stay on Your St Kitts Vacation
Ultra Luxury (High End) – Park Hyatt St. Kitts – This is not only the best hotel in St Kitts, but possibly all of the Caribbean! The setting in the middle of St Kitts and Nevis is absolutely gorgeous and will be beyond your wildest dreams. As far as 5 star Caribbean hotels go Park Hyatt St Kitts is one of the most elite!
Fun Vacation (Mid Range) – Ocean Terrace Inn Hotel – This beautiful hotel is situated in the hills of St Kitts and overlooks the harbor and Caribbean sea below. Featuring a pool side bar and restaurant, ocean terrace has everything you need for your stay on St Kitts and Nevis.
Hostel Life (Budget) – Culture House – While there aren’t any hostels on St Kitts, the Culture House provides a fair budgeted yet comfortable option on the island. The bed and breakfast atmosphere will be a great place to lay your head and relax!
For more places to stay after driving in St Kitts you can explore the latest prices here!
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars for renting vehicles. A quick travel tip is to ask for a discounted weekly rate rather than booking 2-3 days.
Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we flew from Norway to Poland for under $20 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld can be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around the world. From food tours to skip the line entry passes!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Great article. Inspired. We are staying in Nevis. Do you know if there is a connection between Nevis and St kitts by car? i.e. a car ferry or would I need to rent a car on st kitts?
Yes, you can take the Sea Bridge Ferry with your car! Not sure of the car rental options on Nevis but the boat only takes 20 minutes (-:
Be sure to check out Sunset Reef St Kitts on your next vacation. St Kitts’s newest luxury boutique resort, situated on the Caribbean Sea. Sunsets are spectacular and the infinity pool is amazing.
Sounds so amazing!! We will definitely check it out next time we’re in St Kitts (:
I loved the ride and the story, I look forward reading your next adventure and seeing your wonderful photographs. Greatings!
Thanks Sandy! We love St. Kitts. Can’t wait until our next trip there (:
Can you tell me the road conditions between port zante ( cruise ship) and The Park Hyatt ? My DH is not fond of hair pin curve roads.
Hi Mari! From what I recall there are no hair pin curves. The road is paved and the drive is very beautiful. There is even a nice lookout that you can stop at on the way to the hotel. 🙂
Great article with lots of helpful info.
I am a tour operator in St. Kitts. Another fun way to explore the island is to rent one of our scooters or atv’s and explore.
Hi Liz! We love using ATV’s and Scooters to explore. Next time we visit we’ll be make sure to get one for the day!
Hello! Nice post! we have been having a lot of difficulties renting a scooter in St Kitts because there are none available near the cruise port. For pereira Tours it will be good to have a stand near the cruise port as well.
We will pass this info along! Thanks for reading ( :
You can find me standing in front of the Smoke n Booze store. I recommend prebooking as they sell out quickly! Cruise passengers can e-mail me at [email protected]
Hi Brigitte and Jake
A good friend showed us your article. Great job!
Thank you for mentioning us and understanding our passion. We will continue to give visitors of St Kitts Nevis a cultural affordable alternative accommodation option.
Hi John! Happy to share about our visit to the island. We had a wonderful time and hope to return again soon. 🙂
Do you think a rental car for one day is enough to see everything? My wife and I will only be in St. Kitts for 5 days and want to spend most of our time at the hotel.
A rental Car is fine for one day if you plan to just explore St. Kitts. If you want to also do Nevis you will need it for two! Have fun and be sure to check out our other posts on St. Kitts!
I was worried about renting a car in St. Kitts but after reading this it sounds easy. I’m going for a week next spring would you rent a car for the whole time or just a day or two? Thanks for all the info.
Hi Holly! Depends on what you want to do! I liked just having a car to explore so I could fully relax and take advantage of the water sports on the other days! Just know if you plan to do both the island of St. Kitts and also Nevis plan to have the car for at least two days!