Arrival Briefing
Part 1

Only small planes land in Nevis. You may have to take the ferry over.

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Area: Nevis is only about 7 miles in diameter, covering 36 square miles.

Language: English

Population: about 10,000, mostly concentrated around Charlestown, Nevis.

Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time, 1 hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Rainy Season: September is the rainy month, although showers can occur any time of year in the highlands.

Documents: Everyone needs a passport except for U.S. citizens, who need either a voter's registration card or birth certificate and a photo ID, such as a driver's license.

Currency: Based on the Eastern Caribbean dollar, with the rate of exchange pegged at US$1 = EC$2.70. American currency is accepted everywhere. Not all Nevis hotels take credit cards but--and this tells you how genteel the island's traditional clientele has been--many will take personal checks. Banks are open Monday through Saturday from 8-noon and on Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.   

Taxes & Tipping: A 7% room tax plus a 10% service charge. Tipping in Nevis restaurants is 10-15%. The departure tax is US$10.

Electrical Current: Nevis is a mix with some hotels at 230 volts, 60 cycles; others are at 110v 60 cycles.

Getting There: St. Kitts still has the only runway for large jets. LIAT ( flies into Nevis from San Juan, St. Kitts, Antigua and St. Maarten. Ferry service from St. Kitts aboard the 150-passenger M.V. Caribe Queen is possible for only US$4 each way), but the boat runs only in early morning and late afternoon. Further, it does not run on Thursdays (maintenance day) or Sundays. An alternative is the 110-passenger M.V. Spirit of Mount Nevis that sails on Thursdays and Sundays for US$6 each way. Call 869/469-9373 for more information.

Getting Around: Since Nevis is all of 36-square miles in size, it is possible to make a grand tour in a single (long) day. The one disadvantage in driving yourself around Nevis is that many of the mountain roads consist of just two narrow ribbons of concrete.

Road capacity in such stretches: one car at a time. It's easy to stray from the straight and narrow, and scrape the undercarriage as you veer onto the low shoulders. Fortunately, this type of damage is not readily apparent when a car is returned.

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