Random Facts about the Island of Saint Kitts
Good Morning, Good Afternoon
You know you’re in Saint Kitts when most fellow pedestrians greet you with “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon,” at the appropriate time of day. It’s their friendly manner of recognizing you and demonstrating their courtesy.
Whether the citizens are your age, older or younger, they’re talking to you—don’t look around. The occasional exception may walk by without greeting you, but he or she stands a chance of being chided by a concerned citizen.
"You’ll also hear “good morning” or “good afternoon" by people boarding the bus, entering an office, joining the queue at the bank or at the grocery checkout counter.
Practice the greeting when you visit. It will make it easy to strike up a conversation and ask questions or simply get an opportunity to enjoy the dialect. If you don’t want to be bothered, there will be no penalty but why not exchange a greeting that will make you smile whenever you remember it?
Thank God for ATMs! They offer twenty-four hour service on the island. However if you must carry out your transaction in the lobby, know that regular banking hours are:
- Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
- Fridays 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
- Banks are closed to the public on Saturdays and Sundays.
The unofficial reason given for the short weekday hours is that bankers want to justify their ledgers early enough to join their working counterparts at the beach. You see, in Saint Kitts walking on the beach or wading in the water is not limited to the weekend. Some people schedule beach activities at the end of the work day twice or three times a week. Sounds good to me!
The buses are not the metropolitan-type 100 plus passenger carriers. They are vans and mini vans with the capacity of about 15 passengers. Most of them have some form of fancy, artistic decoration on the front.
Obviously, there are no turnstiles to pass through with your bus fare. Before you board, you stretch your hand over the passenger in the front seat and pay the driver.
- For a trip of five miles and under, the fee is $2.50 EC;
- Between 5 to 10 miles, $3.00;
- Over ten miles, $3.75.
No matter on which of the four rows you sit, you’re close enough to the driver to shout “Stop,” when you reach your destination. ( 2015: Bus stops are being built on the main roads throughout the islands, and passengers drivers are encouraged to use them).
Visitors who come in on cruise ships just for the day have the option of touring the city on rented bicycles, or traveling around the island in taxis or specialty travel vehicles.
Left Side Traffic
If you’re brave enough to drive on the island’s narrow roads, follow the lead of the other chauffeurs who are driving on the left side. Most of the vehicles seat the driver on the right side; but it is a challenge for the driver who sits on the left side while the passenger beside him sits on the traffic side.
Oh! And there are no traffic lights.
Tourists in Specialty Tour Vehicle
Watch Food Price Specials
At the grocery store, prices on some items will make you gasp and hold your breath.
- Cheddar Cheese ranges from $10.65 to $13.13 per pound;
- Red Beans are $7.30 per pound;
- Tomato Ketchup sells for $5.50 to $6.50 per 750 ml bottle;
- one pound of strawberries sells for $15.44 or more;
- one 15 oz. tub of Smart Balance (buttery spread) for $18.95.
At Subway (only one in the city), a steak and cheese sandwich costs $40.00. So does the average dinner entrée at one of the many fine restaurants.
But wait! You can afford to eat. These prices are quoted in East Caribbean (EC) currency, and are really reasonable when calculated in US money. Use The Money Converter to help you budget your spending. Usually the rate of exchange is $2.70 EC for $1 US. According to the online reviews from other tourists, the food prices are manageable and affordable by comparison with some other islands.
Best Buyin the United States, Canada, China and Mexico is a retail electronic store. In Saint Kitts and Nevis, residents recognize Best Buy as the name of a grocery supermarket with a Deli, a Bakery and a daily menu of delicious, locally prepared, take-out lunches. There are two Best Buy Supermarkets in Saint Kitts and two in Nevis. If the cleanliness and shopper-friendly layout in all four stores are as complimentary as they are at the Buckley’s store in Saint Kitts, these stores provide a pleasant shopping experience for island visitors.
So remember: In Saint Kitts, follow the Best Buy sign for grocery shopping, delicacies or hearty island cuisine, not for computer parts, cameras or iPods.
The Largest Church's Chicken in the Region
The St. Kitts Church’s Chicken which opened for business in December 2012 with 50 workers, is the largest in the Caribbean region. Mario Sabga-Aboud, the owner, has also introduced the Rituals Coffee Shop and the Rituals Sushi Bar to Saint Kitts.
So for the 2012-13 tourist season, there will be:
- one Church’s Chicken,
- one Kentucky Fried Chicken,
- one Subway,
- two Dominos Pizzas,
- one Rituals Sushi,
- three Rituals Cofee shops.
As yet, there is no McDonalds; but there is one Chinese and one Tex-Mex Restaurant.
However, there is no shortage of good food on the island. You can choose from American, French, Indian, Italian and Vegetarian Restaurants. Caribbean restaurants outnumber them all and there are finger-licking stops in just about every parish.
Note: The above facts are still true in 2016.
- St. Kitts: The Little Caribbean Island With Large Tourist Appeal
Saint Kitts is the little isle with a large potential when it comes to local attractions: black sand beaches, vintage architecture, fun entertainment, gourmet foods, mixed culture and friendly people.
You may like the island enough to desire permanent residence or to become a citizen. Saint Kitts-Nevis is listed among the Best Citizenship by Investment Countries right alongside Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA.
For a non-refundable donation to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), or by purchasing a piece of real estate for minimum of $400,000 you can participate in the island’s economic citizenship program. provides a detailed outline of the program as well as the application criteria.
Whether or not you choose citizenship, accept our friendly invitation to visit Saint Kitts.
© 2012 Dora Isaac Weithers
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