St. Kitts & Nevis – a two island Federation is situated at the northern end of the Leeward Island chain in the eastern Caribbean and is located about 360 kilometers [200 miles] south of Puerto Rico and to the North of the Windward Islands.
The total land area is 269 sq. Km. (104 sq. Mi) and the 2 islands are separated by a 2 mile stretch of water. St. Kitts has sheltered beaches and forested volcanic mountain slopes with many streams. Nevis, also of volcanic origin, rises gently from the white sand beaches to the Nevis peak located centrally.
The high central body of St. Kitts is made up of three groups of rugged volcanic peaks split by deep ravines. The foothills, particularly to the north, form a gently rolling landscape of sugar-cane plantations and grassland, while uncultivated lowland slopes are covered with thick tropical woodland and exotic fruits such as papaya, mangoes, avocadoes, bananas and breadfruit.
Some 3 km to the south and only minutes away by air or ferry is the smaller island of Nevis which is almost circular in shape. The island is skirted by miles of silver sand beaches, golden coconut groves and a calm, turquoise sea in which great brown pelicans dive for the rich harvest of fish. There are pleasant coral beaches on the island’s north and west coasts.
The capital is Basseterre on St. Kitts. With a population of 48,393, St. Kitts & Nevis’ economy is diversified. Tourism, Financial Services, Light Manufacturing and Telecoms have become key sectors for investment. Every effort is being made to expand food and livestock agriculture as well as fisheries, which contributes 6% of GDP. Industry contributes 24% of GDP and the services sector accounts for 70%.
It is expected that Tourism will continue to be the engine that drives the economy in the foreseeable future and the Federation currently attracts over 200,000 visitors annually. The construction of the 900 room Royal St. Kitts Beach Resort and the 480 room Paradise Beach Resort were able to push the number of available rooms on the islands close to 4,000.
St. Kitts is the home of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchange which are two important pillars of the Regional Financial Sector.
The official language is English and as a member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean (OECS), its currency is the EC Dollar (EC$) which trades at US$1.00 for EC$ 2.70.