Charlestown (Nevis), Saint Kitts and Nevis

The written history of Nevis begins with the account recorded by Columbus when he sailed by Nevis in 1493. The name Nevis is derived from “Nuestra Senora de Las Nieves” which means “Our Lady of the Snows”, because of the cloud-capped mountain reminding Columbus of snow. Prior to the Columbus saga, Nevis was named Dulcina “Sweet Island” by the Arawaks and later Oualie “land of beautiful waters” by the Caribs. Later in the 18th century, Nevis became known as “Queen of the Caribees.” Evidence of pre-ceramic people abounds with finely crafted stone tools and intricately colored pottery found. Over the years Nevis has made a number of significant contributions to the Caribbean and the world. Two men who played part in international history were Alexander Hamilton and Lord Horatio Nelson. On September 19, 1983, Nevis became part of an independent nation and form part of the sovereign democratic state of St. Christopher and Nevis. It has the unique constitutional arrangement of being part of the Federal Parliament while having a separate parliament of its own Nevis Island Administration headed by a Premier. The island is covered with ruins of the sugar plantation era, which declined in the late 1800s after slavery was abolished and the sugar beet created competition for sugar cane. Nevis is a paradise for nature lovers. There is excellent snorkeling just offshore and scuba diving around wrecks and natural reefs. There are rainforests, reefs and ruins, a fascinating destination for people who enjoy the natural side of the tropics.