Business opening hours
As a general guide you can expect the following:
- Banks: Monday to Thursday 8am – 2pm; Friday 8am – 4pm; Saturday 8:30am – 11am.
- Shops: Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm; Saturday 8am- 1pm.
Light summer clothing may be worn all year. Dress is informal, even at elegant hotels and plantation inns. Nudity is not permitted at any beach. Swim wear or scant clothing should never be worn in towns or villages. Long pants and hiking shoes are recommended for hiking. You should also note that it is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.
Credit cards and currency
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) is the local currency used on St Kitts and Nevis and can be obtained at any bank. Most places accept US dollars, but change will be given in EC. Most hotels and restaurants and larger stores accept credit cards, but local stores seldom do. Bank ATM machines will give EC dollars through Visa and Mastercard. There are 24-hour ATM machines at all of the banks.
We suggest you take US$ or £GB and exchange them for EC$ in St Kitts or Nevis. Obviously, travellers cheques are safer than cash.
We can arrange car or jeep hire for you when you book your holiday or our agents will be pleased to arrange car or jeep hire for you locally. They will arrange all necessary permits as well as insurance and your vehicle will normally be delivered to and collected from your accommodation. There is a good network of paved roads and whilst most of the main roads are in good condition, there are many more potholes in country areas. Please note that driving is on the LEFT. You will need to take your current UK driving licence with you.
Please consult your accommodation fact sheet (which we will send out with your tickets), for details about plugs and sockets etc at your particular hotel or villa.
All hotels will offer necessary assistance. Pharmacies are very well stocked with all usual medications. There is a general hospital in Basseterre, St Kitts and Charlestown, Nevis.
Mosquitoes and other pests
While the islands have very few creepy crawlies and the like, mosquitos can be a nuisance. We suggest you take precautions by using repellent creams and sprays both day and night.
The water is of good quality and suitable for drinking. It is collected from direct precipitation, mountain springs and wells and is chemically treated for purification. Locally bottled water is also available.
Safety and security
Virtually all the thousands of visitors to St Kitts & Nevis each year have happy and trouble-free holidays. This is a friendly island and visitors are very much welcomed. However, even in these idyllic surroundings you should not become complacent about safety and security. Isolated incidents, although very rare, can occur here as they can in any part of the world and visitors should exercise common sense wherever they travel. If you are staying in a villa, the owners or housekeeper may give you specific security instructions for that property when you arrive. We would advise visitors to use taxis at night whenever possible if you do not have a rental car. Restaurants will always offer help with calling taxis to and from their premises.
We also advise all our clients travelling anywhere in the world to consult the Foreign Office website for detailed up-to-date travel advice. Visit www.fco.gov.uk for information and feel free to talk to our staff for clarification of any information the web page contains.
Local calls are inexpensive and telephones are readily available. Many European mobile phones will work in St Kitts & Nevis however it is advisable to check with your service provider before travelling to confirm roaming facilities and texting options. Some villas provide cell phones for your use while you are on the island and the bigger hotels have in-room phones.
Tax and tipping
There is 15% VAT on meals at hotels and restaurants. Most also add a 10% service charge, but some do not, so check your bill before you settle. Additional gratuities are at your own discretion.
The travel guide book to St Kitts & Nevis that we recommend you use is the Bradt Guide to St Kitts & Nevis, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Click here to go to the Footprint travel guides website, where you can buy a copy online.
Lock up as you would at home. Most hotels have safety deposit boxes and we advise you to use them. It is sensible to only carry a minimum amount of cash with you when you are out and we would suggest that you do not take valuables to the beach or leave possessions on view in your hire car. The police emergency number is 911 in St Kitts & Nevis.