For an adventurous & luxurious escape, head to the Caribbean island of Nevis

Located just two miles from St. Kitts in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies, Nevis is a quick plane ride and a welcoming escape for Miamians.

Think deserted beaches rivaling the most beautiful in the Caribbean and an inactive volcano rising more than 3,000 feet into the sky. The views are astounding.

Lead Photo of Sel Cisneros at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis by Mario Cisneros, @zeroeye

 

What to See & Do

Arrival at Nevis with a view of Nevis Peak. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts.

If unspoiled beaches hold the key to your perfect vacation, then Nevis should definitely be a must-visit destination on your list. The most popular stretch of sand on the island is Pinney’s Beach, but you won’t find any crowds here. Perhaps that’s because Nevis isn’t quite as well-known as some of the other nearby islands. And I should also mention that the locals go out of their way to welcome you and they’re some of the friendliest people I’ve encountered in the Caribbean. You’ll also want to visit Lover’s Beach, aptly named because there won’t be anyone else in this secluded spot. 

 

 

Hang with Monkeys

A pair of Nevis’ vervet monkeys in the wild. Photo by Joe Miragliotta, @joesdaily

Nevis is one of only three islands in the Caribbean with wild monkeys. These Vervet monkeys were smuggled in by early European settlers in the 1600s, and they’ve thrived throughout the last few centuries. I found the best place to spot them is either dusk or dawn in the thick tropical foliage up and around Nevis Peak. However, they particularly like the 15th hole of the golf course at Four Seasons Resort Nevis around sunset, and really … who wouldn’t? We must have seen hundreds of them darting across the grass. 

 

Sea Turtle Conservation Weekend

A green sea turtle in the waters off the coast of Nevis. Photo by Mario Cisneros, @zeroeye 

The beaches of Nevis are home to nesting sea turtles from June to October every year. And each July, the Florida-based Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) leads a group of volunteers in a midnight search for Hawksbill sea turtles. The program helps researchers study the migration patterns of endangered sea turtles that nest on the island. As part of the search team this year with David Godfrey, Executive Director of the STC, we trekked the beach. And after coming up empty handed the first night, we found three nesting sea turtles the next night! One of the turtles had yet to lay her eggs, so she was quickly released. As dawn approached, Dan Evans, senior biologist for the STC, outfitted the other two turtles with GPS satellite transmitters. With much fanfare and speeches from local dignitaries the next morning, Sylvia and Sundrop (yes, they have names! Local children helped pick them out) were released on the beach at the Four Seasons. You can track the turtles online at tourdeturtles.org.

 

Where to Eat & Drink

The exterior of Sunshine’s Beach Bar. Photo by Kara Franker, @karaonthecoast

A laid-back beach bar with quite the reputation, Sunshine’s Beach Bar & Grill is a local watering hole that you have to experience for yourself. If rum is your drink of choice, then prepare for a killer concoction that will literally knock you off your feet. The Killer Bee has known to take down even the most experienced of rum connoisseurs, or college frat bros for that matter. Whether you’ve developed an impressive tolerance for alcoholic beverages or not, the ingredients in this cocktail can wipe you out after just one or two. So what’s the secret sauce? They’ll never tell, but a few locals mentioned to me on the sly that Sunshine himself brews a mean moonshine. So sip slowly or risk passing out with the others on that soft white sand.

Specialty tacos at Four Seasons Resort Nevis. Photo by David Danzig, @bitesnsites

As to be expected, the dining options at Four Seasons Resort Nevis can’t be beat. It’s probably because General Manager Ed Gannon used to be a chef, so he’s taken the time to bring in some great international talent. There are five restaurants on the property led by Executive Chef Samuel Faggetti. 

Chef Andres Gonzalez is a creative mastermind in the kitchen and in a special chef’s table tasting with him at the helm, I was dazzled by his use of local ingredients. In a phenomenal dessert presentation, he turned a circle-shaped banquet table into a canvas where he dripped chocolate sauces, homemade tarts and exquisite gelatin bites haphazardly. It was a true work of art. He topped it all off by dropping orange-sized chocolate balls filled with ice-cream all over the table, breaking into pieces as they fell. It was heavenly.

Lobster barbecue is a Caribbean specialty not to be missed while in Nevis. Photo by Joe Miragliotta, @joesdaily

Chefs Greg Smith and Llewellyn Clarke will also tantalize the taste buds with local flavors. If you travel with a group, I recommend booking this dynamic duo for a private beach BBQ. They’ll throw dozens of giant local lobsters on the grill and fix you up a spread of fresh island delicacies that will leave you feeling more than satisfied. If you’re feeling adventurous, try Llewellyn’s famous Hot Pepper Sauce. And make sure you sample one (or more) of mixologist Kendie Williams’ refreshing cabana-style cocktails to wash it down.

 

Where to Stay

A beachfront cabana at Four Seasons Resort Nevis. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Nevis, @fsnevis 

Four Seasons Resort Nevis hits all the highpoints—from luxury rooms with panoramic water views to tons of activities that will keep you busy. Or not. The resort’s beach and private cabanas with butler service are the perfect place to do absolutely nothing. 

Stretching more than 350 acres, the resort offers yacht-style ferry service from St. Kitts to a private dock. Sip on a rum drink on the ride over and take in the expansive views of Nevis Peak. Once you arrive, you have plenty of options of things to do: three infinity pools, 10 tennis courts, a Robert Trent Jones II design golf course and a relaxing Japanese-inspired garden spa. Your best contact on the property for fun stuff to do is Mac Kee France, not only is he the Director of Recreation, he’s kind of like local royalty; he knows everything and everyone and he will hook you up with experiences that you’ll never forget.

Save on room rates if you visit during the summer, when you can score about 33 percent off peak season rates. Or splurge during the high season and book one of the private residential villas, complete with multiple bedrooms, private pools and full access to all the resort’s amenities. Rates from $520 per night.

Why Go: Monkeys, sea turtles, unspoiled beaches. It’s an easy getaway from Miami and perfect for adventurous families.

The Logistics: American Airlines offers a daily non-stop flight into St. Kitts. Flight time is three hours with tickets currently starting around $800. Upon arrival, Four Seasons Resort Nevis will taxi you to their yacht for transport to Nevis.  

Kara Franker is a travel writer with a beach obsession. Check out her blog at karafranker.com and follow her on Instagram @KaraOnTheCoast.

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