Black sand underfoot, the cool ocean breeze, the view of green hilled mountains disappearing into the clouds, and the sound of the surf greet me at Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts.
Unspoiled, laid back, and no frills; Shipwreck Beach offers the total Gilligan’s Island experience with rustic charm. We spent the day enjoying the black sand and sunshine on her shores on a recent cruise holiday through the Caribbean and had a fabulously relaxing time.
Located along the area of St. Kitts known as South Friars, it’s perfect for a day at the beach for people of all ages and capabilities, and it’s only a 15-minute ride away from the Cruise Port. The surf is a bit high, but the water is shallow. Best of all, admission and facilities are free — and we all love FREE.
How to get to Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts
Disembark the cruise ship and walk towards the main building with the three arches. Located on the right-hand side, you’ll see a taxi/tour stand. Tell one of the drivers or the attendant at the booth your destination, and they’ll find you a shared cab. The government regulates all taxi fares, so there is no fear of being scammed.
The cost to Shipwreck Beach is $4US/person each way for a shared cab. You may have to wait until they get a group together going in the same direction if you are a party of two. We only had to wait about 5-minutes and were promptly seated in an air-conditioned mini-van with a family 6.
On your way to Shipwreck Beach, you’ll pass by Frigate Bay Beach, Timothy Hill (where you can have a photo stop and capture the sight of the Atlantic Ocean on your left and the Caribbean Ocean on the right) and Carambola Beach Club, which is directly next to our destination.
NOTE: Carambola Beach club is very upscale and charges a fee for chairs and umbrellas and is very popular with cruise passengers. The day we were on the island, the entrance was blocked due to a private function – Seabourn Cruise Lines had rented the entire facility for their guests for the day and were tendering their passengers back and forth from the ship directly to the shore.
The beaches in St. Kitts are all public, so once we found our perfect spot at Shipwreck Beach, Ray took a leisurely stroll along the shoreline to check out Carambola and admire the luxury.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: Our cab driver told us that Cockleshell Beach is the best of all the beaches because it’s the farthest away from the port (approximately 25 minutes drive from the port and $7US/person) and offers a very long and wide shoreline. (We’ll save this tip for our next visit to St. Kitts!)
List of free facilities are at Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts
– Restrooms (not wheelchair accessible)
– Shade (tree coverage as well as thatch umbrellas)
– Lounge chairs
– Picnic tables
There is also a small gift shop, bar and restaurant.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: There is an upper level to the beach where the entrance and facilities are with space for wheelchairs as well as shade.
Next to the entrance are a few signs alerting of the presence of monkeys. I didn’t see a single one in the forest. The only monkeys I ever saw were the stuffed ones in the shopping area and the monkeys waiting for their photo opportunity (for a fee) at the cruise port.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: Repay the kindness of free lounge chairs, umbrellas, restrooms and showers by purchasing food or drink. The beer special was six beers for $20 or buy one Caribe beer for $6 and get one free.
I overheard people at the bar saying that they spotted octopus, and squid in the water along with the usual fishes. If you didn’t pack your snorkelling gear, equipment is available for rent.
If you are a fan of water sports, you’ll find rentals available including Jet skis.
We watched one of the ships excursions arrive for a SUP adventure, and although it did seem challenging with the wind and the waves, only a few people seemed to lose their balance and fall into the ocean.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: Watch out for sea urchins nesting on the black coral reef. There are posted signs at the entrance and next to the bar indicating safe swimming zones.
The island of St. Kitts is home to many luxury resorts and upscale beach experiences, but sometimes you just want something simple, and that’s precisely what we found at Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts.
I hope you enjoyed your time at the beach!
Read about Shipwreck Beach on TripAdvisor.
For more cruise port beaches:
– One Pristine Day at Turners Beach in Antigua
– Avoid the Cruise Ship Crowds at Sapphire Beach, St Thomas USVI
– White Sand Seclusion at Governor’s Beach Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos