Jagged volcanoes soaring above azure and turquoise seas, dense rainforests in myriad shades of green, rolling fields of sugarcane--welcome to St. Kitts. Along with its neighbor, Nevis, St. Kitts presents an exotic landscape more common to Polynesia than the Caribbean. The islands' terrain, rich soil, and climate made them ideal locations for raising sugarcane. In fact, St. Kitts and Nevis were once the crown jewels of the Caribbean. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Spain, France and England vied for control of the islands, with the English finally winning out in 1787. Today, British and French heritage is evident on both islands. Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts, boasts fine, restored colonial buildings. Impressive Brimstone Hill Fortress, called the "Gibraltar of the West Indies," is one of the most impressive fortresses in the Caribbean.