Nevis Old Sugar Mill Building
Begin your day in Nevis while on a yacht charter through the Caribbean. There is a world of flora and fauna to be explored in this area. In the hills, the comical Green Vervet monkeys chatter and scamper. This island jewel is 7 miles long and 5 miles wide filled with the essence of colonial plantation West Indies.
Nevis, a fertile volcanic island just 7 miles long and 5 miles wide, shares a sovereign state with the neighboring island of St. Kitts. Home to approximately 10,000 residents and 30,000 Green Vervet Monkeys, Nevis reflects the Caribbean from last century and colonial West Indies life. Nevis was named by Christopher Columbus, who when sailing by in the late 1400’s, thought the volcanic summit ringed with clouds looked like a snow (Nieves) capped mountain. Initially inhabited by the Arawak Indians, Nevis became an important tobacco and sugar cane commercial island in the 1700’s. After a tug of war between the English, French and Spanish, Nevis came under English rule from 1783 until 1967. Nevis achieved independence with St. Kitts in 1983.
Flying Hummingbird at a Strelitzia flower
On shore, Nevis has a wide range of flora and fauna. One of the local island industries is making wines from various fruits and flowers, which they are happy to sell to any visitors. There are still a number of colonial plantation houses, mostly now lovely hotels, where the essence of yesteryear can be enjoyed along with an ice cold drink on the veranda. Hike, bike, or rent a horse and ride along the many trails at the base of the volcano, always on the lookout for the Green Vervet Monkeys, originally brought to Nevis during the plantation days as pets for plantation families. These monkeys now run wild in this tropical paradise.
Nevis Botanical Gardens
The capital city of Nevis, Charleston, has an antique core of old cobblestone streets and colonial buildings. On the waterfront, you can still see the quick sailing skiff trading boats bringing in supplies from neighboring islands under full sail. The Museum of Nevis History is worth visiting with displays from the Arawak Indian times through colonial plantation days. Be sure to visit the birthplace and childhood home of Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and founder of the U.S. Coast Guard. Alexander Hamilton first traveled to the U.S. as Aide de Camp for George Washington in the American Revolutionary War. And, of course, the Nelson Museum, which tells of Nelson’s life and times in the Caribbean and of his marriage to local Nevis resident, Fannie Nesbit. The Botanical Gardens of Nevis cover seven acres with roses, orchids, cacti, palms, and other local flora and fauna, and are well worth a visit for those with a botanical interest.
Overall, relax in the laid back lifestyle of Nevis, unhurried in today’s world and absorb the old West Indies culture and plantation life of long ago.