St Vincent and The Grenadines Travel Guide

St Vincent and The Grenadines Holidays – Tours & Adventures Travel Guide

PureTravel Says
“Scattered like emeralds on the turquoise Caribbean Sea, lies the 32 magnificent islands that make up St. Vincent’s and the Grenadines in Caribbean sea. Part of the of the Lesser Antilles archipelago of islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is located between the islands of St Lucia and Grenada. Enchanting sailors for centuries and continuing to do so, these islands offer excellent opportunities for island hopping, sailing, diving and splendid hiking trails. Sparsely developed, these islands are blessed with unrivalled natural beauty both on land and under the water and unblemished beaches and lush tropical rainforests. Together, these remote islands offer the ultimate opportunities for outdoor adventures in the Caribbean and escape from the stressful world.”

St Vincent and The Grenadines Holiday Highlights

History & Culture - The Amerindians who named it Hairoun, which means “Land of the Blessed”, initially settled St Vincent. Later both the French and the British claimed it. However, the island first permanent settlers were African slave’s survivors of a Dutch shipwreck. It was only with the treaty of Versailles in 1783 that the British assumed control of St Vincent. Relying on imported slave labors, the islands flourished with the cultivation of sugarcane, cocoa, coffee and cotton. By 1979, These islands were granted independence by the British.

Today, the identity of native Indian population has become fused with the post emancipation of the African slaves and this can be observed in the customs and way of life of the contemporary Vincentian. It for this reason that 90% of the population in St Vincent and the Grenadines are of African descent known as the “Garifuna”. Traditional customs and cuisines like cassava bread making, basket weaving and boat building, the essence of the Vincentian heritage today, was an outcome of that intermingling.

St Vincent - The administrative and commercial hub for these islands, St Vincent naturally has the most number of tourist attractions for any visitors here. The capital city, Kingstown has also the largest number of attraction congregated in one place. Places of interest around the city and its surrounding include:

- Kingstown Market
- St. George’s Anglican Cathedral
- St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral
- Kingstown Methodist Church
- Fort Charlotte
- Fort Duvernette
- Black Point Tunnel

Nature & Wildlife - The Island rich volcanic soil also provides a wide diversity of flora and fauna for the nature lovers to enjoy. Sites worth visiting include:

The Botanical Gardens - The garden was founded in 1762 and is regarded as the oldest botanical garden in the Western Hemisphere. This garden was also the original destination of Captain Bligh’s of the HMS Bounty. The highlights of this garden include the descendant of one of his original breadfruit trees. Visitors here can also get a close-up view of the national bird, the St Vincent Parrot or scientifically known as Amazona Guildingii.

Vermont Nature Trails - The Trail is a forest reserve with great hiking trails and an abundance of birds. Species found here include:

- Banaquit
- Great Egret
- Green Heron
- Magnificent Frigatebird
- Purple-throated Carib
- Bare-eyed Thrush
- Brown Booby
- Eared Dove

Other places that will appeal to nature lovers are:

- Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary
- Owia Salt Pond
- Trinity Falls
- Falls of Baleine,
- La Soufrière, an active, but dormant volcano

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling - As with all Caribbean islands, St Vincent has her own share of diving sites worth exploring. Some of the more popular sites are:

- New Guinea Reef
- Bottle Reef
- The Forest
- The Garden
- The Wall

Islands Of The Grenadines

Mustique - This quaint island just 1.5 miles wide and 3 miles in length is regarded as the "escape island" of the crème de la crème. The island main attraction lies in its unspoiled and unblemished white sand beaches. Places and events of interest include:

- Britannia Bay
- Endeavour Bay
- Gelliceaux Bay
- L'Ansecoy Bay
- Macaroni Bay
- Mustique Blues Festival

Bequia, “The Big Little Island” - The largest of the Grenadine islands, Bequia is located nine miles South of St Vincent. Beside from the rich diversity of pelagic that can be found here, her cultural heritage long associated with the sea is the main attraction of this island. Sights of interest on this island are:

- "House of Parliament"
- “Mountain" peak
- Admiralty Bay
- Belmont Walkway
- Bequia Easter Regatta
- Bequia Mt. Gay Music Fest
- Cinnamon Garden
- Claude Victorine's Art Studio
- Frangipani Hotel, birthplace of Sir James "Son" Mitchell, the ex Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
- Friendship Bay
- Gingerbread Hotel, with its beautiful facade of elaborate "gingerbread" fretwork.
- Hamilton Fort
- Lower Bay
- Moonhole
- Mount Pleasant
- Park Beach
- Port Elizabeth
- Princess Margaret Beach
- Spring and Industry
- Spring Pottery and Art Gallery
- Spring, Industry and Park

Canouan - Situated in the center of the Grenadine chain of islands, the island has an area of only 3.2miles sq. A sleepy and laid-back island, the main attractions of this island are:

- Charlestown Bay (also known as Grand Bay)
- Diving at Corbay, Maho Bay, Friendship Bay and Rameau Bay
- Tennis

The Tobago Cays - The Tobago bay comprises the large Horseshoe Reef that rim five uninhabited islets. Together, these islets have some of the best diving and snorkeling spots in the Caribbean region. Places of interest include:

- Horseshoe Reef
- Petit Rameau
- Barabe
- Petit Bateau
- Jamesby
- Petit Tabac featured in the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl"

Mayreau - West of the Tobago Cays and the smallest of the inhabited Grenadines. Mayreau boast of a land mass of just 1.5 sq miles. The location of this makes it a perfect home base to enjoy some of the best snorkeling and diving spots of the surrounding minor islands. Some of the pristine white sand beaches in the region also surround this island. Hiking trails are also available for those who want to enjoy nature’s gifts. The highlights of this island include:

- Saline Bay
- Salt Whistle Bay
- The Catholic Church located in the quaint little village on the island.
- The salt pond

Palm Island - Formerly known as Prune Island, this private all-inclusive resort offers the ultimate hideaway for those who are nature lovers. Covered with Palm trees and quaint cottages, this 135 acres tropical getaway extrudes a rustic charm of elegance among the tranquility of the Caribbean. This resort is fringed by five unblemished beaches with the most popular being Casuarina Beach.

Petit St. Vincent - Regarded as one of the best resort for escapists and romantic honeymoons, this 113 acres resort is the creation of Haze Richardson. The two miles of white sand beaches and crystal clear waters are superb for sailing and diving. Visitors here also have the option of picnic excursions to Petit St. Richardson, located nearby.

Union Island - Situated halfway between the island of St Vincent and Grenada, Union Island has an impressive cultural heritage to offer its visitors. The numerous festivals celebrated on this island are testimonial to that legacy. The main festivals celebrated on this island include:

- Maroon Festival
- Easterval
- The Cake Dance

Other attractions that this island holds include:

- Clifton Harbour
- Grand de Coi
- Newlands Reef
- Anchorage Yacht Club
- Lagoon Reef
- Frigate Island
- Chatham Bay
- Bloody Bay
- Big Sands
- Richmond Bay
- Fort Hill
- The Pinnacle
- Basket Pond

When To Go

The Grenadines toward the south are drier and slightly warmer than St Vincent. The dry season in St Vincent runs from January to May. July is regarded as the wettest month while April is the driest month. With the high season running from December through mid-May, the cooler and wetter month will make a good time to go, a respite from the hot and humid tropical climate.

Top Tips

  • The Manchineel trees are a type of flowering plant of the spurge family. The bark, fruit and leaves of these trees are poisonous. Make sure that you do not stand under this tree during a rain shower.
  • Most restaurant bills have a 10% service charge added to them. Therefore no further tipping is required.

Classic Itineraries

  • Tobago Cays - Visit the Crown of the Caribbean – these picturesque islands are the essence of the Grenadines islands experience.
  • Canouan - Relatively untouched by commercial development, this island makes the perfect escapist destination.
  • Kingstown - Rich in culture and warmth of the people, this city is an ideal destination to relax the stressful mind.
  • Mustique - If you want to rub shoulders with the cream of upper society, then this is the perfect destination.

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