The first Caribbean island I ever visited was St Kitts. It was the first stop on our Caribbean cruise and I was taken aback by how gorgeous and green it was.
In my head, the Caribbean had always been made up of white sand beaches and palm trees, but I’d never really considered what it might be like inland.
Arriving in St Kitts and Nevis
Our second stop on our Caribbean cruise – the first being the island of Madeira – and we’d chosen to prebook one of the activities on offer: The St Kitts Scenic Railway Experience.
We disembarked at Port Zante in Basseterre and were greeted by colourful buildings and a busy plaza teeming with people.
Local reps pointed us in the direction of our tour bus and it wasn’t long before we were climbing aboard the ‘Last Railway in the West Indies’.
The St Kitts Scenic Railway
Built between 1912 and 1926, the railway is an amazing way to see the island. Each double-decker train car has an open-air, upper deck, giving you 360° views of the scenery.
The train departed the station and the grand tour began. Our Tour Director told us about the history of the island and pointed out significant landmarks. A staff member took our drinks order and we were treated to frozen daiquiris while watching the stunning scenery go by.
We stayed quite close to the coastline for most of the journey, venturing across steel bridges and deep gullies, winding our way past farmhands working in the fields and through small villages where children waved from school playgrounds. We were treated to local delicacies and entertained by the three-voice acapella St Kitts Railway Choir as they sang Caribbean folk songs.
As the train continued to wind it’s way through the countryside, we passed old sugar can estates where we could see the abandoned windmills and chimneys.
It’s easy to say St Kitts took my breath away. The black sand beaches on one side and the volcanic Mount Liamuiga on the other, it felt unreal. We passed from the coastal route deeper into lush green vegetation where the sea disappeared from view.
After two hours of exploring what St Kitts had to offer, we returned to the station, although it felt like we’d only just left.
The final part of the experience included a 45-minute bus tour that wound its way through the streets of Basseterre.
Would I recommend this experience?
100% yes. If you’re planning a cruise or a trip to St Kitts, I would definitely recommend the Scenic Railway Experience. It’s probably one of the most memorable experiences from our cruise and we loved every second. We felt like we’d stepped back in time and got to truly connect with the history of the island.