Adventures in the Caribbean: Opportunities Abound on Nevis

IMG 9302

Yesterday I shared my experiences hiking and biking on Nevis as part of a series of posts based around my recent visit to the Caribbean island, which is extremely accessible both on foot and bike. But those opportunities for adventure were just the tip of the iceberg, as there are still plenty of other things to do there for those who prefer to be a bit more active while visiting this little slice of paradise. In fact, I think you’ll find a surprising number of adventurous things to keep you busy.

This being the the Caribbean, both snorkeling and diving are certainly two great choices for keeping you occupied. In fact, the island has a five-star PADI certified dive center located near Oualie Beach, and there are plenty of great spots to hit the water located not far from shore. In fact, their are abundance of dive sites that sit within a 5 mile radius of Nevis, which means it doesn’t take long to reach them, and they usually aren’t very crowded.

As you would expect, these dive sites offer visitors a chance to spot hundreds of different tropical fish, as well as sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, and other aquatic animals. There are a number of large coral reefs in the region as well, which provides some excellent opportunities to explore those ecosystems as well. There are even several ship wrecks not far off the Nevis coast, which are always interesting and attract a lot of sea creatures as well. One such dive includes a tug boat that is submerged in just 20 feet of water, which makes it very easy to reach and swim around as well.

In addition to good hiking and biking on Nevis, you can also choose to explore the landscapes there on horseback. Travelers can elect to take a ride along historic trails that wander through some of the villages on the island, while passing by the remnants of plantations that date back to the 17th century. And for a romantic end to then day, considering taking a ride on the beach at sunset. The views are spectacular and sublime.

Despite being a small island, Nevis has a lot to offer the outdoor athlete. Running and cycling are two very popular sports, with opportunities to run and ride both on the road and trail. For a good challenge, take on the ring road, which encircles the entire island. It is only 21 miles (33 km) in length, but it features a climb up the infamous Anaconda Hills that will definitely test your legs. And if that is too far, you’ll still find plenty of rolling hills in other parts of the county as well, including a really tough ascent on the approach to the Montpelier Plantation Resort.

DSC 0855

While I was visiting Nevis the country’s annual triathlon was even taking place. This event is a perfect excuse to visit Nevis for endurance athletes, as the race makes up for its lack of a relatively small field by having some excellent triathletes from all over the world enter. This race is billed as the “most beautiful triathlon in the world,” and for good reason. The swim takes place in the waters just off shore, while both the bike and running segments take place on roads set right along side the beach. You may suffer some from the heat and humidity, but you won’t notice quite so much thanks to the views. And if you’re looking for an even bigger challenge than a triathlon, why not try the Nevis to St. Kitts Cross-Channel Swim instead?

For a more relaxed way to explore the island, check out the Funky Monkey Tours, which take travelers to various historic and naturally beautiful sites around the island via 4×4 utes. These tough little off-road vehicles can transition from pavement to dirt without missing a beat, and are a great way to see some of the island’s more historic sites, including Hamilton Estate, which was once home to Alexander Hamilton when they lived on Nevis Island.

IMG 0025

Some other options for seeking active adventures on Nevis include visiting the island’s botanical gardens, drop by Oualie or Pinney’s Beach, play around of golf on the local links, or even go drag racing at the St. James Raceway. The point is, there are always plenty of things to see and do on the island, despite its quiet and more subdued nature.

My stay on Nevis was an all-too-brief four days. But in that time, I learned everything I needed to know to want to go back. I personally like the more relaxed atmosphere I found on the island, and the people that live there are incredibly accommodating and welcoming. Of course, I also found plenty to keep me occupied, often being quite active in the morning and more relaxed in the afternoon. If you’re the kind of traveler who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of some of the other places in the Caribbean, but still wants plenty of activities to keep you busy, then Nevis needs to be on your list of places to go. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

Kraig Becker