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Are there any black sand beaches with calm clear water that you would recommend?

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Are there any black sand beaches with calm clear water that you would recommend?

 

We were just in St. Kitts last September and went to the Shipwreck beach bar/grill at South Friar's Bay. There is a black sand beach there. The water was very clear and calm the day we were there. We loved it and it was perfect for us, but this beach isn't for everyone. There are steps that lead down to the beach from the bar. The beach itself is narrow and there is room for one row of loungers and palapas for shade, but there was no charge to use these loungers. As I mentioned, the water was very calm the day we were there and we didn't have an issue with the water coming up under the loungers, although it was a little close until the tide went out. If it's windy or choppy, that may be an issue. For that reason, there are large nails in the palapas to hang belongings from. We loved the views, which included nice views of Nevis. There is a swimming side and a snorkeling side. If you're facing the water, the snorkeling side is on the right. There have been warnings about many sea urchins and that water shoes are recommended. I did notice them in the snorkeling side at the reef, but never noticed any in the swimming side. Shipwreck itself has hammocks above the beach and additional loungers. We stuck with beer that day, St. Kitts' native beer, Carib, which we really enjoyed. We didn't order any food from the Shipwreck, so I have no opinion on it or prices.

 

We really enjoyed our time here and would go back, but again, it's not for everyone. I'll attach a few pictures to give you an idea of what to expect.

 

Inside the Shipwreck beach bar/grille:

IMG_0310-1.jpg

 

Clear water (if you notice the green marker...to the right of that is the snorkeling side, to the left is the swimming side)

IMG_0306-1.jpg

 

This isn't a wide beach but that didn't matter to us.

IMG_0295-1.jpg

 

The views (that's St. Kitts' sister island, Nevis, in the distance)

IMG_0314-1.jpg

 

View from up near the bar/grille

IMG_0309-1.jpg

 

More loungers above the beach, located next to the building

IMG_0308-1.jpg

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Thank you so much it looks beautiful! Trying to decide between there or Reggae beach bar but my DD wants to see the black sand beach.

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Thank you so much it looks beautiful! Trying to decide between there or Reggae beach bar but my DD wants to see the black sand beach.

 

This most recent time was our second time to St. Kitts. First was in May 2013 and we went to Reggae Beach (Cockleshell Beach) that time. That was also nice and had a wider beach. They do charge for loungers/umbrellas there, I'm thinking it was about $10.00, but it's been a while so I forget exactly what we paid. Very reasonable though. You can't go wrong with either, but if you're looking for black sand, Shipwreck/South Friars Bay is where you'll find it.

Edited by pghsteelerfan

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Did you prefer Shipwreck or Reggae?

 

That's a tough one. Personally, I liked Shipwreck/South Friars, but in all honesty the weather that day would be my deciding factor. If I noticed that it was windy and the water was choppy, I'd probably stick with Reggae/Cockleshell Beach since it is a wider beach.

 

I did forget to mention the distance. Shipwreck/South Friars is only about 10 - 15 minutes from the cruise center and the cost of a taxi to get there is cheaper. Since we went to Brimestone Hill Fortress before going to Shipwreck, we had a set price for a taxi for the day. I'm thinking the cost to Shipwreck/South Friars is $4.00 per person, each way, but I'm not sure. It takes about a half hour to get to Cockleshell and the cost for a taxi is $28.00. The day we went, we had to wait until they filled a taxi/van, but in doing so, it was only $7.00 per person, each way. There were only two of us, so having the full van helped with the cost.

 

I don't know what you're planning for a budget, but it is possible to do both, depending on how long your ship will be in port. Is this your first trip to St. Kitts? If so, whether you go to Shipwreck or Reggae, you'll go over Timothy Hill, which has a beautiful overlook where you can see both the Caribbean and Atlantic side of St. Kitts. Most taxis do stop there, but sometimes you have to ask (attaching a picture).

20150925_105228-1-1.jpg

 

 

I just went and found the pictures I have from our cruise in 2013 when we went to Cockleshell Beach. Our loungers weren't at the Reggae Beach Bar/Grill, but on the section of beach right next to it. We were in their for drinks when dodging rain that day, but I forgot to get pictures of the inside.

 

Cockleshell Beach - we were basically the first ones there, but it did get more crowded as the day went on.

100_1869.jpg

 

This is a picture of Cockleshell beach from the very end. The Reggae Beach Bar/Grill is at the opposite end and that's where most of the people were:

100_7130.jpg

 

This was our view of Nevis that day, but it's much prettier on a nicer day.

100_7139-1.jpg

 

The view from our loungers. In the left of the picture is a rock jetty, the Reggae Beach is just on the other side.

100_7145.jpg

 

You can barely see it since it's tucked back off the beach among the trees, but this is the Reggae Beach Bar/Grill and beach area.

100_1873_1.jpg

Edited by pghsteelerfan

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What was the name of the blacks and beach. Ship wreck? How much would a taxi run to the beach pp?

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Shipwreck is a beach bar/restaurant located on South Friar's Beach, which has a black sand beach. It is about a $15-16 taxi ride away from the port area.

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Great photos. We will be there in a few days.

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The pictures are wonderful thanks! I'm leaning towards going to Shipwreck and I'm so excited to visit there. Now, I just have to wait until October:)

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The pictures are wonderful thanks! I'm leaning towards going to Shipwreck and I'm so excited to visit there. Now, I just have to wait until October:)

 

Thank you about the pictures, hopefully they were able to give you an idea of what both beaches look like. We really liked Cockleshell, but there was just something about South Friars (Shipwreck), that we loved. I have a feeling October will be here before you know it. :)

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Great photos thanks for posting them! We've been to Cockleshell beach before, we'll try Shipwreck beach this time. Cruising in 23 days!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Shipwreck is a beach bar/restaurant located on South Friar's Beach, which has a black sand beach. It is about a $15-16 taxi ride away from the port area.

 

 

Is this per person round trip? There will be four of us.

 

 

 

 

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Is this per person round trip? There will be four of us.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums mobile app

 

I'm not 100% positive on this, since we had a package deal when we were there (went to Brimestone Fortress first), but I'm almost certain that we were quoted $4.00 per person, each way, to Shipwreck/South Friars. It's not very far from where the ships dock, about 15 minutes away. Cockleshell Beach (southern end, farther out) is $28.00 per cab, each way and that can take 20 minutes to a half hour.

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We had a few people from our roll call that went to Shipwreck because they wanted to see the black beach. They posted a picture of it once they got there with the caption "Black sand beach my a**. There was next to nothing and barely a small strip along the edge of the water. So I'm wondering if it varies during the time of the year or the tide.

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Most of the beaches have issues with erosion depending on the weather(hurricanes & tropical storms).

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Clear water (if you notice the green marker...to the right of that is the snorkeling side, to the left is the swimming side)

IMG_0306-1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

More loungers above the beach, located next to the building

IMG_0308-1.jpg

 

 

In the "snorkeling area" to the right, how deep is this water? From the pictures it looks very shallow...like almost so shallow that swimming over top of it could cause some scrapes? It may just be the clarity of the water that is making it look like this, but I was just wondering.

 

Did you snorkel there? What did you think about it? Just some of the "normal" things to see there or was it pretty good with coral and all?

 

 

On the second picture, if you get a seat up above, how do you get down to the water? Is there steps/stairs or do you just track down a sandy hill or something?

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In the "snorkeling area" to the right, how deep is this water? From the pictures it looks very shallow...like almost so shallow that swimming over top of it could cause some scrapes? It may just be the clarity of the water that is making it look like this, but I was just wondering.

 

Did you snorkel there? What did you think about it? Just some of the "normal" things to see there or was it pretty good with coral and all?

 

That water was VERY clear that day, just beautiful. But to be honest, I'm not positive on if it was shallow enough that you could get scraped up swimming over top of it or not. Our loungers were on the swimming side and I spent a lot of time in the water there. I had gotten to "know" Valentinebaby1 through our Valor reviews on CC and actually met on our Liberty cruise, so once they arrived, we just hung out in the water with a drink and visited. In her Valor review, she mentioned a sand bar and they had told me about the sand bar. They'd seen sand dollars and empty conch shells there, so they showed me where that area (sand bar) was. I really wanted a sand dollar, so I spent more time snorkeling out over that sand bar and just ran out of time before we'd need to get ready to leave. When I came back in, I swam over the snorkeling area but I didn't get scraped at all. I'm not saying there aren't areas where that could happen, I just don't know for sure. In that picture, see that lighter color water just beyond the darker areas on the snorkeling side? That's the sand bar. It was about 12 - 15 feet deep and there were sand dollars and conch shells. I got one of each but had to "free dive" for them, it was worth it though. Again, since that was getting close to the time our taxi driver was going to pick us up, I didn't spend any time actually snorkeling in that area but from what I saw swimming in, I wish I had. It looked like it would be pretty decent snorkeling. Nothing like St. Lucia, but still looked decent.

 

All is not lost....Valentinebaby1's DH got some good pictures when he was snorkeling and she posted them in her review. Attaching the link to

Valentinebaby1's Liberty Review - should start on St. Kitts/Shipwreck section (Page 9), snorkeling pics start on Post #177.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2266205&highlight=liberty&page=9

This is another one of my pictures from the beach in front of the snorkeling area looking down towards Carambola Beach Club. It may give you a better idea of the snorkeling area and how deep it is.

 

IMG_0317-1.jpg

 

On the second picture, if you get a seat up above, how do you get down to the water? Is there steps/stairs or do you just track down a sandy hill or something?

 

Yes, there are stairs in the restaurant that lead right down to the lower section of the beach. You can see them in this picture that I got of the building from the water.

 

IMG_0320-1.jpg

Edited by pghsteelerfan

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They'd seen sand dollars and empty conch shells there, so they showed me where that area (sand bar) was.

 

In that picture, see that lighter color water just beyond the darker areas on the snorkeling side? That's the sand bar. It was about 12 - 15 feet deep and there were sand dollars and conch shells.

 

Yes, there are stairs in the restaurant that lead right down to the lower section of the beach. You can see them in this picture that I got of the building from the water.

 

 

Are these dead sand dollars? You had mentioned you wanted one and dove down to get it. Do people just throw these shells and stuff back in the water and they don't move with the tide going in and out? I would think if they didn't have any animals in them, they wouldn't stay in the area.

 

I will have to check out the sand bar area. Is it just a small area and then it dips down deep around it?

 

Thanks for the info on the steps leading down to the beach section. I do have a question about the area in the picture (to the right of the place if you are facing the ocean). Is this a more leveled off area that you can sit at that is bigger? Maybe the beach gets wider over there?

 

IMG_0317-1_zpsjghis7ep.jpg

 

IMG_0320-1_zpsnnqhgjsn.jpg

 

 

 

I had almost made up my mind that I was going to go to Carambola's just because I know it's "nicer" down there and more of a "pristine" type of place to go. But I really want to snorkel here and I want to see the black sand beach. However, I'm afraid that we might not see the black sand. This is because some of our roll call from March went here instead of to Reggae with the rest of us and they were very disappointed in the beach. This is what it looked like that day:

 

12993349_524121294441874_5936636778161386710_n_zpsjs7vo8lu.jpg

 

 

I wonder why Shipwreck gets the black sand and not Carambola? Just the way the waves flow into that area?

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Are these dead sand dollars? You had mentioned you wanted one and dove down to get it. Do people just throw these shells and stuff back in the water and they don't move with the tide going in and out? I would think if they didn't have any animals in them, they wouldn't stay in the area.

 

The sand dollars were dead, fairly easy to spot too since they are bleached out white. The area isn't covered with them, but there are several there. The conch shells were empty, animal cut out (harvest hole towards the top). They were covered with some greenish funk but I kept one. Valentinebaby1's DH gave me three others, but two were larger and I was going to be tight with luggage space, so I left those two, and kept the small one. I also kept the smaller one I found. I brought several zip lock freezer storage bags (gallon sized) and double bagged the shells to avoid any stink. Soaked them in 50/50 bleach/water at home - the one is gorgeous and looks like a creamsicle. I'll attach pictures of both.

 

I will have to check out the sand bar area. Is it just a small area and then it dips down deep around it?

 

Not really a small area. I'm not good at measuring distance, but it's where the water gets a little deeper once you're behind the coral and rocky area in both the swimming and snorkeling side. You can see it because the water is a lighter shade because it's all sand. I don't know if it's an actual "sand bar", but that's what we've been calling it for lack of a better word to describe it. I don't know if there are shells/sand dollars over beyond the swimming side or not since I didn't get out that far in that area.

 

Oh, swimming side, over to the left (if you're looking out toward the water) I also found some empty conch shells. Some are half buried, most are bleached white though and on the smaller side. There are some really cool smaller shells in the swimming side - brought several back.

 

Thanks for the info on the steps leading down to the beach section. I do have a question about the area in the picture (to the right of the place if you are facing the ocean). Is this a more leveled off area that you can sit at that is bigger? Maybe the beach gets wider over there?

 

IMG_0317-1_zpsjghis7ep.jpg

 

IMG_0320-1_zpsnnqhgjsn.jpg

 

I didn't really notice while I was there (and I walked that way for pictures), but it does look that way in the pictures. There is apparently someone who does massages, so I don't know if that's where they set up or not.

I had almost made up my mind that I was going to go to Carambola's just because I know it's "nicer" down there and more of a "pristine" type of place to go. But I really want to snorkel here and I want to see the black sand beach. However, I'm afraid that we might not see the black sand. This is because some of our roll call from March went here instead of to Reggae with the rest of us and they were very disappointed in the beach. This is what it looked like that day:

 

12993349_524121294441874_5936636778161386710_n_zpsjs7vo8lu.jpg

 

 

I wonder why Shipwreck gets the black sand and not Carambola? Just the way the waves flow into that area?

 

Oh wow, the picture you attached from March looked more like the sand we saw at Cockleshell (Reggae) Beach, not really black at all. (???) When we were there last September, it was definitely black sand. There was some lighter sand mixed in but that was mainly in the water, but the sand on the beach was mainly black. When I was talking to Valentinebaby1, she mentioned she was disappointed from the change she noticed from their first visit in October 2013. She said the beach was wider then and that it appeared heavily eroded this time. We both heard it was from recent storms but we also noticed/heard of erosion in other islands. I also noticed some erosion at Sapphire Beach this time compared from 2013 and the "beach" at Maho was all rock, no sand. We didn't go, but heard about that and that's why we decided to pass on that. I don't know if they have sand shipped in to Shipwreck or Carambola or not, but it was definitely black when we were there.

 

Carambola...I didn't walk down there but I've also heard that the sand is not black there and the beach is wider. I'm not sure why the difference between Carambola and Shipwreck, but since you mentioned the flow of the water so I just looked up "Google Earth" and saw that there is some kind of rock jetty that appears to be protecting the beach some in front of Carambola - that could be part of it (attaching screen shot of map).

 

20160704.jpg

 

According to the map, it appears there are a couple of other places between Carambola and Shipwreck. I've never heard of either. If you were wanting to stay at Carambola but still wanted to check out the snorkeling/Shipwreck, it's definitely walkable. I didn't walk down to Carambola, but could see it and it looks like it might be about a 10 minute walk.

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I know there is a picture limit, so I wasn't sure where I was at to add these to the previous post. I told you I'd attach a picture of the sand dollar and the one conch shell, so here they are. :)

 

This is the sand dollar. It's about the size of the palm of my hand. It's different than typical east coast USA sand dollars. The Caribbean sand dollars have six holes and the east coast USA ones have 5 holes.

 

2015-11-13%2016.36.30.jpg

 

This one isn't very big, but the color is gorgeous. I was really surprised when this one cleaned up. Just a 50/50 bleach/water soak for about a half hour.

 

2015-11-13%2017.44.31.jpg

 

I don't know if you'd be interested or not, but attaching link to Valentinebaby1's Valor review (October 2013) for more pictures she had of Shipwreck before the erosion. Shipwreck section starts on Page 10, Post #195. If the beach is replenished, this may give you a better idea of what you may see. I haven't been there in almost a year and beaches do change, so I don't know what it looks like right now. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1931793&page=10

Edited by pghsteelerfan

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We stopped at Cockleshell beach in June 2015.

My daughter took this pic. We are thinking of going back there in June 2017 (we are taking exact same cruise out of san juan)

IMG_6973.jpg.a88e1231672d68b92c5805b70cd2420e.jpg

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Oh wow, the picture you attached from March looked more like the sand we saw at Cockleshell (Reggae) Beach, not really black at all. (???) When we were there last September, it was definitely black sand. There was some lighter sand mixed in but that was mainly in the water, but the sand on the beach was mainly black. When I was talking to Valentinebaby1, she mentioned she was disappointed from the change she noticed from their first visit in October 2013. She said the beach was wider then and that it appeared heavily eroded this time. We both heard it was from recent storms but we also noticed/heard of erosion in other islands. I also noticed some erosion at Sapphire Beach this time compared from 2013 and the "beach" at Maho was all rock, no sand. We didn't go, but heard about that and that's why we decided to pass on that. I don't know if they have sand shipped in to Shipwreck or Carambola or not, but it was definitely black when we were there.

 

Carambola...I didn't walk down there but I've also heard that the sand is not black there and the beach is wider. I'm not sure why the difference between Carambola and Shipwreck, but since you mentioned the flow of the water so I just looked up "Google Earth" and saw that there is some kind of rock jetty that appears to be protecting the beach some in front of Carambola - that could be part of it (attaching screen shot of map).

 

 

 

According to the map, it appears there are a couple of other places between Carambola and Shipwreck. I've never heard of either. If you were wanting to stay at Carambola but still wanted to check out the snorkeling/Shipwreck, it's definitely walkable. I didn't walk down to Carambola, but could see it and it looks like it might be about a 10 minute walk.

 

Hmm, I may have to look up these other places along the beach and see if there's anything out there on them and what they have to offer. I want to see the black sand (if it's there), but just not sure about the "rustic" Shipwreck beach that we might take the chance of not getting a front row seat. I do want the snorkeling though. Any idea if there's snorkeling over at Carambola?

 

I know there is a picture limit, so I wasn't sure where I was at to add these to the previous post. I told you I'd attach a picture of the sand dollar and the one conch shell, so here they are. :)

 

This is the sand dollar. It's about the size of the palm of my hand. It's different than typical east coast USA sand dollars. The Caribbean sand dollars have six holes and the east coast USA ones have 5 holes.

 

Well that's neat and something I have never heard. Thanks for the lesson. (I could give you lessons on the names of the fish you were asking about because I'm almost sure I know most of the fish I ever encounter, and you can give me neat lesson about non-related fish stuff! :D :p We make a good team!)

 

This one isn't very big, but the color is gorgeous. I was really surprised when this one cleaned up. Just a 50/50 bleach/water soak for about a half hour.

 

 

 

I don't know if you'd be interested or not, but attaching link to Valentinebaby1's Valor review (October 2013) for more pictures she had of Shipwreck before the erosion. Shipwreck section starts on Page 10, Post #195. If the beach is replenished, this may give you a better idea of what you may see. I haven't been there in almost a year and beaches do change, so I don't know what it looks like right now. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1931793&page=10

 

Wow your conch shells turned about beautiful!!

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We stopped at Cockleshell beach in June 2015.

My daughter took this pic. We are thinking of going back there in June 2017 (we are taking exact same cruise out of san juan)

 

Yea, we did that back in March. I really don't have a desire to go back there now. :)

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