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Home > Destinations > St. Vincent & The Grenadines

St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Young Island, St. Vincent and The GrenadinesBright sunshine; clear skies; sea colors with various hues of blue and green. Pleasant temperatures around 80ºF all year round.

Tranquil valleys and clear streams flanked by majestic mountain peaks; super-abundance of singing birds and tropical fruits; friendly and hospitable people. These and more make St. Vincent & The Grenadines the ideal choice for the independent traveler.

Whether you arrive by sea or air you will be greeted by a friendly host, excellent cuisine, and breathtaking views.

Tropical flowers and shrubs send their fragrance in the air. Birdsong and bright sunlight will wake you in the morning. A look through you window will entice you into the warm Caribbean ambience.

The chain of islands, 32 in all, provide vacationers with some of the Caribbean's finest offerings. A great starying point is St. Vincent, the largest island. Here are some of the highlights:

Just a mile or so from E.T. Joshua Airport is the bright and bustling capital - Kingstown. Every week, huge cargo ships dock at the jetty to load the islands' main export - bananas - for the long journey to Europe.

Kingstown market - a real Caribbean market - where you can choose from many varieties of fruits and vegetables: mangos, oranges, lemons, tangerines, pineapples, bananas, breadfruit and more are on offer.

The Kingstown fish market - recently built - will also excite you with its range of kingfish, snapper and grouper.

In the northern part of town, visit the historic Botanic Gardens - the oldest in the Americas. Here you will find offspring of Captain Bligh's original breadfruit tree, alongside a species of plant and parrot unique to St. Vincent.

Just outside Kingstown, at over 600 feet, is Fort Charlotte, completed by the British in 1806 during their struggle with the French and the Caribs for control of the island. Original canons still wait for action on the battlement and the barracks have been converted into a pictorial museum illustrating the island's colourful history. It is easy to transport yourself back to the last century and to appreciate then location of the Fort, with a commanding view over the sea and the whole south of St. Vincent.

A coastguard lookout post puts this view to good use to this day. On a clear day, you can see as far as Grenada, some 60 miles to the south. Looking north, enjoy the views of the west coast and Mount St. Andrews, the southernmost of the peaks, which form the backbone of St. Vincent. The duty watchman will be pleased to let you use his powerful binoculars to view far off yachts.

Pappas Grass, St. VincentSt. Vincent is divided into two distinct coastal structures Windward (east) and Leeward (west).

The Leeward (west) is endowed with a series of spectacular slopes and valleys running down into tranquil waters and beaches such as Ottley Hall,Mount Wynne and Kearton's Bay. One of the valleys, Buccament, also boasts a casino and a nature trail. The trail is ideal for picnics and for a sight of the elusive St. Vincent parrot. The drive up the meandering Leeward highway takes you through the villages of Layou and Barrouallie to Chateaubelair and Richmond, where the road ends with the sea on your left and mountains with the Soufriere Volcano in sight.

At the northwestern tip of the island are the breathtaking Falls of Baleine, only accessible by boat but an experience not to be missed. Fresh mountain water plunges 60 feet into a natural pool, before running down towards the sea. Standing beneath the Falls is pure exhilaration. A long way to go for a shower but well worth it.

The Windward coast is equally rewarding but very different from the Leeward side. Here you will be immediately aware of the contrast by the roaring sounds of the Atlantic waves, which rush unceasingly onto rugged cliffs and beaches formed by volcanic lava. Amidst all of this is the refreshing smell of the sea brought in by the trade winds, which constantly fan the shoreline.

The Windward Highway heads northwards along the coast, through some of St. Vincent's most fertile agricultural lands, to Georgetown, once the centre for sugar production and still the source of Vincentian rum.

Once across the Dry River, you can continue north to Sandy Bay, Owia and Fancy, the northernmost settlement in St. Vincent. Stop off at the Owia Salt Ponds, a popular site with a good view of St. Lucia 20 miles to the northwest.

Heading inland from the Dry River is a trail climbing through the rain forest to the crater of La Soufriere, St. Vincent's volcano. It is an arduous hike, best started early in the morning, but the view into the crater is ample reward.

Sailing south from St. Vincent, the first island you reach is Bequia, the largest of the Grenadines. The journey from Kingstown lasts about an hour - spend the time watching flying fish skimming over the waves alongside your boat.

Grenadines SailingAs you sail into Admiralty Bay, the white sands of Princess Margaret Beach glisten on your right just a short ride by water taxi from the main jetty. In the south of the island, find Friendship Bay, a horseshoe-shaped haven of calm with perfect conditions for swimming and watersports.

For centuries, Bequians have made their living from the sea as sailors, fishermen, whalers and boat builders. You will still see boats constructed in the traditional way at various points along the coast. Take time to admire the skill and craftsmanship of the boatbuilders. Everywhere the atmosphere is relaxing and you will not want to tear yourself away.

When you laevce Bequia, head south past the towering rock islands of Battowia and Ballicaeu, towards the magic and mystery of Mustique. Looking out across the turquoise blue waters and white coral sands, it is plain too see what attracts the rich and famous to this small gem in the wide ocean.

Luxuriuos villas blend into the scenery with meticulous attention to prserving the natural; vegetation and the island's privacy.

One of the features of the Grenadines scenery, which adds to their fascination, is the scenic view of other islands. On Mustique to the Southwest is Mount Royal, in Canouan to the West is Isle a Quatre Petit Nevis and Bequia.

Canouan is a crescent-shaped island with some of the best, most private beaches in the Caribbean. Still largely untouched by man, Canouan is a superb place to get away from it all and unwind. For the more energetic, the clear blue waters are ideal for a variety of watersports, or you can walk to the abandoned village in the north of the island, destroyed by a hurricane in 1921, and see its marvelous church.

The beaches at Glossy Bay and on the stunning windward coats are the stuff which dreams are made of. To reach the windward beaches you must cross the narrow spine of hills that form the backbone of Canouan, before emerging in paradise.

South of Canouan is the island of Mayreau and the celebrated Tobago Cays, reputed to be unsurpassed for sailing and snorkeling. In these waters, you will be astounded by the infinite variety of brightly coloured tropical fish and coral, all protected from the ravages of the sea by the impressive World's End Reef.

Looking south from St. Vincent or any of the Grenadines, you will see the peaks of Union Island piercing the horizon. Union is somewhat reminiscent of Tahiti, dominated by mountains that fall away to palms and sands at the water's edge. The views of the surrounding islands are quite breathtaking.

Union Island has two small towns, Clifton and Ashton, joined by the south coast road with magnificent views over a coral shelf towards Carriacou and the other Grenada Grenadines. Clifton is the centre of activity with a choice of three hotels to suit a range of tastes. There are also several shops that serve the local community and the multitude of yachts always anchored in Clifton.

Union has relatively few beaches but the trip to Big Sand on the north shore should not be missed.

Union Island is the ideal launching pad for the short trips to the Tobago Cays, Palm Island, Mayreau and Petit St. Vincent can all be reached in minutes by motorboat or a little longer under sail. Excursion operators will sail you around the unique tropical paradise in an unforgettable day's sailing and snorkeling.

On Palm Island, The Palm Island resort, just a mile from Clifton in Union Island, is today a beautiful island surrounded by white sand beaches, but the island's beauty is only a recent phenomenon. Once swampy and known as Prune Island, it has been totally transformed by planting vast quantities of Palms, thus giving the island its new name. From west facing Casuarina Beach, you have a perfect view of Union Island and you can swim in clear blue waters among yachts and tropical fish without a care in the world.

The southernmost point in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the exclusive resort island of Petit St. Vincent (PSV). Privacy is the natural way of things here - the tiny island is surrounded by beach and you will almost always have a stretch entirely to yourself.

Like the rest of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, PSV is exclusively Caribbean.

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