St. Kitts—a beautiful Caribbean island with rich history and stunning views. Sure, you can go swimming, snorkeling, or beach bumming just like on any other island in the world, but what you can’t do anywhere else is visit the Brimstone Hill Fortress. If you prefer to do activities that are unique to the area you’re visiting, this is a must do.
Set on the west side of the island, this National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the 17th century. Built by African slaves, it was a British military inspired fortress designed to protect the island from intruders coming by boat. Built high up on the hill, guards could see unwanted guests in plenty of time to take action.
You can drive there on your own, take a taxi, or go on an organized tour group. We went on a tour group that also included some other highlights of St. Kitts. This gave us about an hour to tour the fortress on our own, which was a decent amount of time. You could easily spend much more than an hour here, so think about that when choosing how to visit.
Be prepared to gets your steps in! There is so much to explore at this nearly 40 acre site. The path from the parking lot up into the fort is steep and will certainly test your fitness level! It is worth the climb, though, and along the way, the views get better and better.
On top of the citadel is a large, circular area with cannons surrounding all sides. The cannons were very impressive and made for some great photos—the sheer size of these babies is something to see! The views of the island and the water are breathtaking, and the stonework and architecture top it all off. Although it wasn’t created purely for beauty, I can only imagine what it would have been like to be up here two and three centuries ago—especially on a clear day. It was a little cloudy when we visited, but that makes it look cool, too!
Down below the lookout is several rooms built into the ground with even more cannons. Other rooms are decorated with artifacts and great information about their historical significance. This is where people lived, worked, and stored their goods while manning the fortress. Some rooms are set up as part of the museum displaying what it may have looked like when in use, and other rooms are empty. Audio and video history lessons are available to learn even more. If you’re a history buff, you’ll truly enjoy this!
Outside of the main fort are other buildings and fragments of what used to be. A downhill walk to the other side of the parking lot will get you over here.
This lush island really adds to the landscape of the Brimstone Hill Fortress. It’s wonderful to have history preserved so well, and makes for a memorial vacation day. This is just one of the great things to do in this Caribbean dreamland! Stay tuned for more adventures in St. Kitts!