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A Relaxing Day with the Black Sands of Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts

A Relaxing Day with the Black Sands of Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts

by Mary Chong
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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.

A Relaxing Day with the Black Sands of Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts

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.

A Relaxing Day with the Black Sands of Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts

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.

A Relaxing Day with the Black Sands of Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts - Cruise Terminal Taxi Stand

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.

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!)

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A Relaxing Day with the Black Sands of Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts

List of free facilities are at Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts

– Restrooms (not wheelchair accessible)
– Showers
– Shade (tree coverage as well as thatch umbrellas)
– Hammocks
– Lounge chairs
– Picnic tables

There is also a small gift shop, bar and restaurant.

TIP: There is an upper level to the beach where the entrance and facilities are with space for wheelchairs as well as shade.

A Relaxing Day with the Black Sands of Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts - Hammock with view of the cruise ship

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.

TIP: Repay the kindness of free lounge chairs, umbrellas, restroom and showers by purchasing food or drink. Beer special was six beers for $20 or buy one Caribe beer for $6 and get one free.

A Relaxing Day with the Black Sands of Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts

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.

A Relaxing Day with the Black Sands of Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts | #Caribbean #cruiseport #StKitts #beach

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.

Here’s a quick 1-minute video of our day at the beach in St. Kitts.

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!

A Relaxing Day with the Black Sands of Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts | #Caribbean #cruiseport #StKitts #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


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Vibeke March 6, 2018 - 4:20 pm

Looks like an interesting and beautiful beach. It is so good that you include the free services. Always good to know they have free showers. Do you have to get there early to get a hammock? I would love to visit more beaches in the Caribbean. Would love to go on a cruise there as well. Thanks for sharing :D

Mary Chong March 7, 2018 - 1:44 am

As far as I could tell, there were always hammocks available as people were always coming and going…

Sandy N Vyjay March 6, 2018 - 7:06 am

The Shipwreck beach looks like a nice family getaway. Great to see so many free facilities. There seems to be something for everyone. Right from water sports for those seeking recreation and free lounge chairs for people wishing to laze around. The place promises a relaxing time indeed.

Francesca Murray March 5, 2018 - 9:46 pm

The video was a really nice touch. That’s so funny I came across this today as I was just telling my boyfriend this afternoon that I really would like to go to Nevis. I didn’t know that St Kitts had black sand beaches. I love black sand beaches! You just put it even higher on my list now ?

Mary Chong March 7, 2018 - 1:45 am

St. Kitts really is a lovely island to visit – hope you get to go there one day sooner rather than later!

LaiAriel Samangka March 5, 2018 - 5:46 pm

Wow, I rarely see black beach like this one, and it seemed to be really enticing. I love to feel the ocean breeze as it touched my surface and this is truly perfect for me. The panoramic view of the ocean is really beautiful. I also appreciate that you have included all the necessary information like how to get here and the amenities of this beach. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Iuliana Marchian March 5, 2018 - 12:07 pm

This is such a wonderful experience and your advice is great. Shipwreck Beach St. Kitts looks very attractive, especially now in winter when most of us are stuck in the house and struggle with heaps of snow. I will definitely add this place to my bucket list, and hopefully, this will lead to a new trip in the near future.


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