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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > January 2016 > ALTERNATIVE CARIBBEAN

ALTERNATIVE CARIBBEAN

In centuries past, Caribbean pirates knew which out-of-the-way islands they could hide out in – today, these six retreats offer their own bounty to escapist travellers
A beachside view from Nevis’s north coast towards the island of St Kitts.

Secret Islands Of The Caribbean

Nevis

POPULATION 12,000

SIZE 36 square miles

NOTABLE RESIDENTS Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the USA, was born on Nevis, and it was also here that Lord Nelson fell for Fanny Nisbet, the daughter of a sugar plantation owner

PIRATE SCORE 9/10 – Once known as ‘Queen of the Caribbees’ for its riches, Nevis was a magnet for pirates, who ambushed laden merchant ships

The main house at Montpelier Plantation

The twin islands of St Kitts and Nevis were among Britain’s frst Caribbean colonies, and vestiges of the colonial era can be seen all around. Nevis is the smaller, quieter sibling; it has eschewed high-rise hotels and cruise ships to preserve its local charm. The island is dominated by a 985-metre dormant volcano whose slopes, forested with mango and papaya trees, are home to vervet monkeys; old sugar plantations and villages of ‘gingerbread’ houses dot the lowlands that gently descend to palmbacked beaches and a piercing blue sea.

DO SOMETHING Nevis is packed with unspoiled nature, and offers the perfect terrain for biking; mountain trails connect former sugar plantations inland, while the island’s loop road will have you pedalling past cheerfully coloured chattel houses and tiny churches (bike hire from £10 per day from Oualie Beach; bikenevis.com).

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