Welcome to Nevis
From its beginnings as Dulcina, or 'Sweet Island' during the
time of the island's first inhabitants, to Oualie, or 'land of
beautiful waters' as named by the Carib Indians, Nevis has always
been a paradise to those who lived there, and is like finding a
pearl hidden in the Caribbean oyster for those who visit today.
Christopher Columbus derived the present-day name of Nevis from his
sighting of the island in 1493; the island's cloud-capped volcanic
peak reminded him of snow, or 'nieves' in Spanish.
Small and round, Nevis is about seven miles (11km) long and five
miles (8km) wide, an unspoilt and serene island that is delight for
nature lovers and for those seeking an escape from the stresses of
the modern day world. Its single volcanic peak rises 3,232ft (985m)
above the verdant rainforest filled with tropical flowers and
animals, and the beaches and clear waters that surround the island
provide the ideal holiday environment for swimming, sunbathing and
During the 18th century Nevis gained undreamt-of wealth from its
sugar industry and became known as the Queen of the Caribbean sugar
islands, with a social life that became as decadent as it was
extravagant. Today grand estate houses and once lavish hotels lie
in ruins, and sugar plantations remain untouched as they have been
since the decline of the most coveted trade in the Caribbean
towards the end of the 18th century.
A sad decline it might have been then, but the charm of its
small towns, the genuine hospitality and friendliness of the
people, and the laws controlling over-development and natural
conservation, are attractions far more endearing to visitors today.
Lavish manors have been preserved and rank among the best
plantation inns in the Caribbean, and architectural gems and
historical relics hold hours of exploration amid the natural
splendour that covers the island.
Today, Nevis has a reputation of elegant living, with one of the
world's most exlusive resorts and spas, golf courses, a variety of
restaurants and bars, and beautiful gardens and beaches. A vacation
in Nevis is sure to recharge any traveller's batteries.
Information & Facts
Nevis experiences a classic tropical climate with the cooling
north-easterly trade winds that moderate the temperature. With no
definite seasons, the average daytime highs are much the same
throughout the year with the average temperature reaching 79°F
(26°C). The months between July and November are more prone to
rainfall when the hurricane season prevails, humidity is higher and
the temperatures are slightly hotter.
English is the official language.
The official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD), which
is divided into 100 cents. It is tied to the US dollar at a rate of
US$1=EC$2.70. Most businesses accept US Dollar notes as payment,
but change is given in EC$. Travellers cheques and major credit
cards are widely accepted, and major currencies can be exchanged at
banks, with US Dollars the cheapest to exchange. Most banks are
closed on weekends, but provide 24-hour ATM services.
Local time is GMT -4.