General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
ATMs Not all ATMs in the Caribbean operate like those in your home country. Some may only accept a four digit PIN number, so if yours is longer you may want to change it before your trip. Ensure you keep your travel money in your primary chequing account as some ATMs default to this account and will not allow you to choose another. Withdrawal fees are generally much higher outside your home country.
The main banks are Bank of Nevis (tel 869/469-5564), FirstCaribbean International Bank (tel 869/465-2449), RBC Royal Bank of Canada (tel 869/465-2389), RBTT Bank (SKN) Limited - Nevis (tel 869/469-5277), Scotiabank (tel 869/465-4141) and St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank (Tel 869/465-2204).
ATMs generally accept MasterCard and Visa on the Cirrus/Maestro and Electron/Plus networks. They dispense Eastern Caribbean dollars. The Scotiabank ATM in the casino of the Marriott Royal Resort & Casino also dispenses US dollars. The Bank of Nevis ATM does not accept foreign cards.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS Banks Mon-Thurs 8am-2pm Fri 8am-4pm Sat 8:30am-11am (only some)
Post Office In general, post offices are open weekdays 8am-3/3:30pm and Sat 8am-12 noon. Some may close at noon on Thurs.
CHURCHES/RELIGIONS Protestant, including Anglican, Baptist, Church of God, Jehovah's Witness, Methodist, Moravian, Pentecostal, Seventh-day Adventist and Wesleyan, as well as Roman Catholic, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Rastafarian are all represented.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$ or XCD), which is divided into 100 cents. Paper money runs in denominations of EC$5, EC$10, EC$20, EC$50 and EC$100 bills, and coins in 1¢, 2¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ and EC$1 pieces. US dollars are widely accepted. Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards and traveller's cheques.
To ensure hassle-free purchases during your trip, you may want to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling abroad.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS American Express: lost or stolen card, 336/393-1111 (call collect); lost or stolen cheques or cheque cards, 800/393-1210 Discover Card: 801/902-3100 MasterCard: 800/307-7309 Visa: 410/902-8022 (call collect) Western Union: T D C Airline Services, 469-5238 (Nevis)
DEPARTURE TAX A departure tax of EC$60/US$22 is payable in cash or by credit card at the airport.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS A passport is preferred, however, American and Canadian nationals can also use an original birth certificate with raised seal and official photo identification. British nationals require a full British passport with at least six months validity remaining on it. All visitors must also have sufficient funds for the duration of their stay and an onward or return ticket.
Nationals of other countries may require a visa. Consult your nearest St Kitts & Nevis consulate/embassy or call the Ministry of Immigration at 869/465-2521 ext 1519.
Note: As of January 23, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
Some countries require single/lone parents or other adults travelling alone with children to provide documents showing evidence of parental/custodial and/or access rights, and/or documents authorizing consent from the parents, legal guardian, and/or the court for the children to travel. Parents of adopted children, particularly those of a different nationality, should carry the proper documents.
NEAREST FOREIGN REPRESENTATION British High Commission: 268/462-0008 (Antigua), 869/466-8888 or 762-8888 (Honorary Consul in St Kitts for emergencies) High Commission of Canada: 246/429-3550 (Barbados; including after-hours emergencies), 800/387-3124 (toll free to Ottawa) US Embassy: 246/436-4950 (Barbados), 246/431-0225 (Consular section, Barbados), 268/463-6531 or 726-6531 (Consular Agency, Antigua)
As of October 26, 2006
British pound sterling
European Union euro
HEALTH STANDARDS Nevis has one hospital, Alexandra (tel 469-5473), located on Croddack Rd in Charlestown, and St Kitts has three: Joseph N France (JNF) General Hospital (tel 465-2551) on Buckley's Site in Basseterre, Mary Charles Hospital (tel 465-7398) on Main St in Molineux and Pogson (tel 465-6231) on The Alley in Sandy Point. There is also a network of health centres spread throughout the two islands.
Medical care is limited. Serious cases may require medical air evacuation to Antigua, Barbados or Miami in the US, depending on the circumstances. The nearest hyperbaric chamber is on the Dutch island of Saba. Hospitals and doctors may require immediate cash payment for services. Your home medical program may not provide payment for medical services outside your home country. Obtaining adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulance coverage, and consulting a physician or travel medicine specialist six to eight weeks prior to your trip to determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is recommended.
There are a number of pharmacies on the islands. On Nevis, Medical Centre Pharmacy (tel 469-5357, cell 662-9061) on Market St in Charleston offers 24-hour service. On St Kitts, Total Health Pharmacy (tel 465-7245) on the corner of Cayon and College sts in Basseterre is open Mon-Thurs 8am-8pm, Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 6:30-9pm and Sun and holidays 9am-12 noon and 6-9pm.
Do not touch the manchineel trees around Dieppe Bay beach or stand under them when it's raining. Their poisonous white sap contains an acid that severely burns skin.
Emergency phone numbers: Ambulance/police, 911 Fire, 333 (St Kitts) and 469-3444 (Nevis) Air ambulance, 465-2801
ILLEGAL ITEMS There are harsh penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs, and strict regulations for exporting or importing firearms, ammunition and explosives. It is an offence, even for children, to wear camouflage clothing.
For more information call the Customs & Excise Department at 869/466-7227.
POSTAGE On St Kitts post offices are located in Basseterre (tel 465-2521), Cayon (tel 465-7208), Dieppe Bay (tel 465-7367), Old Rd (tel 465-6206) and Sandy Point (tel 465-6296). On Nevis, the main post office (tel 469-5521) is located on Main St in Charlestown. In general, post offices are open weekdays 8am-3/3:30pm and Sat 8am-12 noon. Some may close at noon on Thurs. Airmail to North America can take one to two weeks and to the UK, two to three weeks.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 1 New Year's Day Jan (varies) Carnival Day Mar/Apr (varies) Good Friday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Monday May 1 Labour Day May/June (varies) Whit Monday Aug (first Mon) Emancipation Day Aug (first Tue) August Tuesday Sept 16 National Heroes Day Sept 19 Independence Day Dec 25 Christmas Day Dec 26 Boxing Day
SHOPPING HOURS Shops are generally open Mon-Sat 8am-4/4:30pm. Some close for lunch from noon to 1pm. Some close on Thurs afternoons and some stay open later on Sat.
TAXES Hotels and restaurants add a 9% government tax to bills.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS The phone system on St Kitts & Nevis is modern and cellular and Internet services are available.
The country code is 869. Local phone numbers have seven digits. Phone numbers in St Kitts start with 465 and 466, and those in Nevis start with 469. To call North America dial 1 + area code + local number. To call the UK dial 011 + 44 + area code + local number. For local directory enquiries dial 411, and for international directory enquiries dial 412.
Cable & Wireless (tel 465-1000, St Kitts; 469-5000, Nevis) provides telecommunications services. Pay phones are located around the islands and those marked Smart Phones take both coins and Smart Cards. Pre-Paid Calling Cards, which can be used with any Touch-Tone phone, and Smart Card phone cards are available at C&W offices and vendors around the islands.
To use American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa dial 1-800-744-7777 and follow the voice prompts. You can also dial 1-800 CALL USA to use US calling cards, major credit cards or to make collect calls.
For more information see the section in FAQs: Can I use my calling card from here?
Cable & Wireless (tel 465-3030) and Digicel (tel 466-3400) provide cellular roaming services. Check with your service provider to see if they have a roaming agreement with one of these companies. Caribbean Phone (tel 466-4692) rents cellular phones and sells prepaid international calling cards.
TEMPERATURES Average monthly temperatures range between 78°F and 84°F. The rainy season is May-Nov.
TIME ZONE The islands are on Atlantic Standard Time year round, which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer the time is the same as on the east coast of North America and during the winter, the time is one hour ahead. St Kitts & Nevis does not observe daylight savings time.
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.