The sister island to St. Kitts, the quiet island of Nevis gets overlooked on maps and guidebooks. The tropical and quiet island maintains many treasures and undeveloped lush real estate that recently is beginning to be discovered. In 1493 on his second voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus noticed a cloud-covered volcanic isle, which he named Nieves- the Spanish word for "snows" - as it reminded him of the Pyrenees. The tip of the volcano is the island's highest peak at 3,232-ft. Nevis is best known for its variety of beaches ranging from soft white to volcanic black sand. One may explore the island by bike or car around its 21-mile road. Smaller back roads allow the adventurer to discover old plantation ruins, vast rainforests and observe the green monkeys in their natural habitat.
For the avid hiker, horseback rider or dirt road biker- Nevis is right for you! A variety of trails lead you through the unspoiled rainforests and allow you to get back to nature. Diving is also great around the island. Although there is not as abundant a sea life as some neighboring islands, Nevis does offer a variety of dives that allow you to explore caves, see beautiful reefs and occasionally swim with a school of barracuda! The Caribbean Sea is warm year round allowing for swimming, snorkeling, wind surfing and other water sports. Leeward Island Charters offer daily sailing trips on their catamarans- a must trip! If you wish to read that book gathering dust on your shelf for years- any of the palm trees and beaches will offer the perfect tranquil space to allow you to get lost in the pages!
The Nevisian people are very proud of their island and are happy to show their home country to visitors. For two weeks starting at the end of July, Nevis has a huge festival called Culturama. During the celebration the locals hold a variety of beauty and talent contests along with relay races, games and entertainment. The streets of downtown Charlestown are filled with the locals liming, sipping on Carib beers and eating BBQ chicken. At the end of the festival a street parade takes place starting in Gingerland, the original main town on the island. Music begins to blare at 4am calling people out of their homes to come and join the parade. The people jam all the way down the mountain to the city of Charlestown where the festivities continue on and the music doesn't stop. It is the one time a year that the island may be heard a few miles out to sea! If coming to visit during this time- you can easily avoid Culturama if your plans do not wish to include the ongoing festivities.
Religion plays a very important role in much of the local population. There are over 50 churches on the island ranging in faiths including Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ, Jehovah Witness and Unitarian. Most restaurants and shops are closed on Sundays. The locals wear their Sunday best to church but open their doors to visitors in flip-flops. There are a percentage of locals who are Rastafarians, the religion followed by the late Bob Marley. Adhering to the vegan diet and characteristic with their dreadlock hair, the Rastafarians add to the Caribbean vibe of Nevis.
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