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.

Welcome Banner in the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport
Welcome Banner in the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport | Source

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?

The Circus intersection in the City of Basseterre
The Circus intersection in the City of Basseterre | Source

Banking Hours

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!


Public Transportation

Passenger van in Saint Kitts
Passenger van in Saint Kitts | Source

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

Source

Watch Food Price Specials

Food Prices

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 Buy

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

Church's Chicken on Central Street
Church's Chicken on Central Street | Source

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.

Citizenship

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

More by this Author


Comments 21 comments

Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

Pavlo Badovskyy 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

It was interesting to read! It is very unlikely I ever have a chance to visit it unless sell my old junk, collect 400000 USD to buy a citizenship! :) I like your hub!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Pavlo, I know you'll like the island so start piling up your old junk. If you can't afford citizenship, just get your ticket to come for a vacation. Glad you found the facts interesting!


Donna 4 years ago

Thanks for the reminder of what it's like to live in St. Kitts.


Monica 4 years ago

Dora, it looks wonderful there. I would love to see it someday.


Linda 4 years ago

Thanks Dora, I'll have time on my hands soon so I just might take you up on that! Stay well and blessed.


francis5k 4 years ago from New York, New York

informative blog! goodjob!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, francis. I try, especially when writing about this beautiful island.


thesailor profile image

thesailor 4 years ago from Seven Seas

We used to go near the islands for bunkering, if I'm not mistaken. We're more closer at St. Estatius (Did I spell it right?) though, but I like to hear the music being played at the local radio stations, from calypso to reggae, etc. :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Yea sailor, you got the music right. Glad you like it. St. Eustatius (one u after the first E) is just a few miles north of Saint Kitts. Hope you can visit the island some time.


Cherry4 profile image

Cherry4 4 years ago from New York

Interesting hub MsDora. lol you brought back memories for me with the Good Morning and Good Afternoon. I grew up in Trinidad but now reside in the U.S. and let me say this when i traveled regularly and went back to Trinidad i did complain about no one answering me when i said Good Morning to them, even on the bus full of people not one would answer...lol..I also thought the bus up here would stop anywhere but i was in for a surprise, it passed my stop and i had some walking to do. Thank you for those memories.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks to you also Cherry, for sharing yours. I lived in Trinidad for two years--on the Caribbean Union College campus in Maracas Valley. Hope you like life in New York.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

These are quite interesting facts for St. Kitts, but I'd think they are more useful for people who want to live there. What tourist attractions does the island have? Perhaps another hub describing that would be interesting. Voting this Up and Useful.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Alocsin, you're right. I will send you the hub I wrote previously. Thanks for your comment and your interest.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

MsDora,

This is very interesting information about your home on St. Kitts. I have never visited the Caribbean, but I think a trip to your island would be great. Just out of curiosity, how many natives live on St. Kitts? Voted up and sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Hi Paul, thanks for your interest. Population quotes usually include our sister island of Nevis (both have the same government). The population of the two-island federation is between 50 to 53 thousand. You can get to Nevis in 2o minutes by sea--a great scenic journey. You'll enjoy the visit. There's more about Saint Kitts and Nevis among my travel hubs.


Joanmaynard profile image

Joanmaynard 3 years ago from St Kitts

Lol. I love this article. You are so right about the conversation with the postal clerk in the USA.

My conversation usually begins with 'I like your accent. Where are you from, Jamaica?'

'No St Kitts'

St Kitts? Where is that ? ...lol

Being a fellow Kittitian, so much things come to mind that I can add but I will just add this one funny thing.

You know that you have arrived to St Kitts, when you are travelling around the island ( which takes about 1-2 hours -non stop depends on your speed) and the 'taxi cab' or 'local bus' stops several times to allow 'goats' 'sheep' 'cows' or 'chicken' to cross the road safely.

It can be laughable at time, but St Kitts is a wonderful place to live.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Joan, we're on the same page regarding our love for our country. Thanks for adding the animals crossing the road. Even with them, our island is a wonderful place to live.


clara kish@yahoo. profile image

clara kish@yahoo. 3 years ago from Mt. Perry. Ohio

MsDora. I just got my answer to where Saint Kitts is . I just read your Hub on it ,very interesting and nice pictures,too. Over here we used to have to stop on the road for cattle crossing to go across the road to be milked , then they had to go back, some farmers had a bout 100 at the time, and they are not in a hurry to cross the road , like children ,I guess they want to play, so we have that in our country ,too.

Love, Clara


Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 23 months ago from Essex, UK

My thanks to St Kitt's own independent one woman tourism guide and promoter, MsDora!! You should really be employed by the tourist industry because I'm sure that proportionately your hubs do more to attract visitors than any number of official tourism campaigns :)

I particularly like the opening paragraph. Friendly greetings, hospitality and a sense of community are values too often lost in major cities and western cultures, and yet will do more than anything else to make tourists feel welcome and at home. I feel more inclined to visit St. Kitts each time I read one of your hubs about local life. Alun


MsDora profile image

MsDora 23 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Greensleeves, I hope I succeed in getting you to visit. Will you please drop the tourist bureau a line to suggest that they employ me (smile)? Thanks for you kind encouragement.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 23 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Greensleeves, I hope I succeed in getting you to visit. Will you please drop the tourist bureau a line to suggest that they employ me (smile)? Thanks for your kind encouragement.

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