Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Wed April 22 2015

Opinion Home | Far-Sighted Field Notes

  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | April 22, 2015 1:00 AM ET

    4 Ways To Capture Adventure In St. Kitts

    4 Ways To Capture Adventure In St. Kitts

    All photos by Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

    Mango trees and bright crimson ginger flowers fly past as I adjust my gaze. Peering down, I spot a hummingbird gliding over a cluster of bushes. The meaning of the term bird's-eye-view takes on new meaning as I grip my harness and soar through the rainforest on St. Kitts' Sky Safari zipline. Only 69 square miles long, this tiny Eastern Caribbean island packs the maximum amount of adventure travel opportunities. Here are four ways to experience adventure in St. Kitts:

    Rainforest Zipline

    Although I’ve experienced ziplines many times before, the St. Kitts Sky Safari offers a different high-flying excursion. Instead of holding onto the cable to sail across the tree canopy, the harness is designed so that you can ride in a seated position, with your hands free. It’s sort of like what I imagine a superhero feels whizzing through the air; total freedom and a connection to nature. Each platform bears a name that describes it — The Boss towers 250 feet above the rainforest and supplies the first dose of adrenaline, the Mango Tango is framed by a massive mango tree and at 1,000 feet in the sky, flies riders so fast there’s no time to be scared. Brimstone Blast overlooks the imposing Brimstone Hill Fortress, and the River Rocker shoots over the placid waves of the Wingfield River.

    The two-hour tour involves wearing pounds of equipment, trekking through the rainforest while toting a trolley carriage, all under the blazing island sun. In other words, it’s quite a workout. I unwound with the signature St. Kitts cocktail, Ting with a Sting. A potent mix of zesty grapefruit soda (Ting) and Cane Spirit Rothschild (Sting), one sip had me relaxed enough to sleep soundlessly until the next morning’s activities.

    Yoga With a View

    I greeted the new day with an early morning, outdoor session of flow yoga on the lovely grounds of the St. Kitts Marriott, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Mackel, the energetic instructor, started with steady breathing techniques,  then a few one-leg balancing poses. I followed along easily until he launched into more challenging poses, which required that I stop focusing on the waving palm trees and powdery sand that seemed to beckon me. The beach won out but I still managed to stretch enough to prepare me for my climb up Brimstone Hill Fortress.

    Scaling a Fortress

    The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is St. Kitts’ most notable landmarks and is one of the best preserved historical fortifications in North America. Constructed intermittently between the 1690s and 1790s,  the fortress is nearly 800 feet tall and supplies panoramic views of St. Kitts’ lush and hilly landscape as well as neighboring islands across the Caribbean Sea. I started my exploration at the Visitors’ Centre, which provides a 10-minute video overview of the Brimstone Hill Fortress. From there, I began the steep climb up a winding brick path to the fortress. The sun pounded down my back but I was rewarded with a stunning vista of cannons, bastions, and  a citadel against a backdrop of sloping hills and green forests. The walls of the fortress are composed of volcanic rock that glisten in the sunlight and echo with centuries of history.

    Biking Through Basseterre

    The very terrain that makes St. Kitts so beautiful also makes for a challenging bike ride. Somehow, I had forgotten about all those slopes and hills as I headed out for a bike tour of St. Kitts’ capital of Basseterre. Verdant, green vegetation surrounded the roads and a sea breeze wafted by occasionally but it wasn’t enough to trick my exhausted muscles into forgetting their pain. I accepted the tour guide’s offer to ride along in his truck and enjoyed the view of Basseterre’s 17th century architecture, highlighted by the Circus, a roundabout with a large bronze clock modeled after London’s Piccadilly Circus.

    Afterwards, I headed straight to the Marriott’s Emerald Spa, where I  melted into a Swedish massage by Reginald, my 6’2”, strong-handed masseuse. Using nut-free oil, he smoothed out every kink and ache in my arms and legs.  Leaving the early evening session, I glimpsed a vervet monkey scampering across the grass and pausing to glance at me. With greenish fur and a mischievous streak famous for stealing cocktails, the monkeys outnumber humans on St. Kitts so I guess a monkey stare can be considered an official St. Kitts greeting.


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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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