Popular because of its title as the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis, Basseterre is the hub of transportation on the island and tourists quickly learn that there is little value to them here outside of this. Home to the airport, the cruise terminal, and an official port of entry, you'd have a hard time gaining entry to St. Kitts without first setting foot somewhere on land in Basseterre. Once you've arrived; however, you are free to make this busy business town your home base as you explore the rest of St. Kitts, or move on to a quieter environment.
There are three ways to get to Basseterre, and fortunately all of them lead directly to the capital city. They are to fly, sail, or cruise. Each has its own merits, and typically this choice comes down to expense and which mode tourists feel most comfortable utilizing.
The transportation options available to tourists within Basseterre are likely to be similar to what you'd expect to find on any other vacation: rental cars, taxis, and buses. Because it is an island, there is one more option to add to the list, and that is a ferry that travels between St. Kitts and her smaller sister island of Nevis.
Named for the first prime minister of the country, the(SKB) is located about two miles northeast of Basseterre. In December of 2006, a $17 million(USD) renovation project was completed, expanding the parking apron so that it could hold six airplanes at once, and resurfacing the 8,002 foot runway so that it can more easily handle the weight of a commercial jumbo jet.
Now, the airport welcomes non-stop flights from the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean via airlines such as, , and .
Port Zante is the official port of entry for St. Kitts, and it just so happens to be located in Basseterre. The process for clearing in is similar to most other destinations in the Caribbean, and there is a customs charge. The good news is, you can ask for a Boat Pass and sail over to Nevis without having to clear customs once more. Get all the details about sailing to Basseterre when you read this.
St. Kitts is not a huge cruising destination, but it does see its fair share of luxury liners each cruise season, usually from CUNARD, Princess Cruisers, Radisson 7 Seas Cruisers, and Sea Dream Yacht Club. The pull into port at Port Zante, which in recent years has been revamped to include numerous shopping spots and restaurants in order to attract cruisers.
Basseterre is a great place for tourists who would typically be worried about driving in a foreign country to gain some experience. The roads are well cared for, and even though traffic moves on the left side of the road, which is the opposite from the United States, and local drivers are known for being friendly drivers. Want to learn more about driving and renting a car in Basseterre? Click here.
Those who don't want to take the chance of driving themselves around, or perhaps are not old enough or have some other reason why renting a car isn't an option for them, taxis are widely available and highly recommended. This may not be the most cost effective form of transportation if you use it too often, but there are few other reasons anyone would be discouraged from hailing a cab. Learn all about this service here.
Riding a bus in Basseterre is an experience like no other. The buses here, which are privately owned but government licensed, are actually large vans, often painted brightly, and featuring the name of the bus company scrawled across the side. Names like “Zion Train” and “Who Loves You Baby” are common, and you just know hopping on is going to be fun. To be sure that the bus you pick is appropriately licensed, check the plates. They should be orange and have the letter “H” printed on it.
You can flag a bus down any time you see one rather than wait at a specific bus stop, though those do exist as well, and buses will drop you off anywhere along the route. Your fare must be paid in local currency, which is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, and it costs $2.50 (or under $1in U.S. Dollars) for a trip of less than five miles, EC$3 ($1.11 USD) for a trip that is between five and 10 miles and $3.75 ($1.39 USD) for a trip over 10 miles.
Ferries are an important transportation option for tourists who have plans to make sightseeing on St. Kitts' sister isle of Nevis a part of their trip. There are several different ferry services that commute between Basseterre and Charlestown (on Nevis) several times a day, making a journey that takes about 45 minutes and costs under $20(USD) per adult each way depending on the service you choose.
With all of this information laid out before you, you are now tasked with the responsibility of deciding which options are going to be the best for you on your island getaway.
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