Top 10 Things to See and Do
1. The majestic (and still active) La Soufriere volcano crowns the island of St Vincent, and is one of the most scientifically studied volcanoes in the world. A picturesque three mile hike to the summit meanders through rainforest, bamboo groves and old lava flows. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, arrange a tour which allows you to descend from the rim down into the volcano’s crater and take a mineral mud bath!
2. From the dramatic black and gold volcanic beaches of St Vincent to the idyllic stretches of sugary white, palm fringed sands across the Grenadines, these islands have no end of variety on offer when it comes to beaches. Set out exploring to find your own remote cove, swim in the crystal clear waters that ring the Grenadines or simply stretch out and relax on the warm sand, rum cocktail in hand.
3. The Tabago Cays National Marine Park lies off the eastern coast of Mayreau, a collection of spectacular deserted islands protected by a horseshoe reef, with other rainbow-hued reefs and shoals scattered in orbit. Be sure to visit for some of the best diving and snorkelling in the Caribbean, as well as the unique opportunity to swim alongside turtles in a reef used as a protected nesting and feeding site!
4. Explore the rainforest along the beautiful Vermont Nature Trail, a looped path that crosses a river before winding up through the forest. Near the summit you will find a viewing point where the St Vincent parrot can often be spotted, alongside up to 35 other species of birdlife – be sure to keep your eyes peeled for armadillo and iguana too!
5. The St Vincent Botanic Gardens are some of the oldest in the western hemisphere, providing a serenely picturesque oasis of calm just half a mile from the chaos of Kingstown. Encompassing an immaculately landscaped 20-acre park abundant in towering trees and flowering bushes, it includes an aviary that is home to some of the islands last remaining endangered national birds, the St Vincent’s parrots.
6. Hoist anchor and take to the waters for some of the best trade winds and sailing and yachting conditions to be found anywhere in the Caribbean; highly professional boat and yacht hire companies operate across the island, and can cater to all levels of sailing ability.
7. Set aside a day to explore the vibrant capital city of Kingstown, a maze of cobblestone streets and covered walkways bordered by hilly landscape, always bristling with energy. Be sure to visit on a Saturday when the market is in town and the streets come alive with the chaotic bartering and frenetic energy of the pulsing crowds.
8. There is no better way to explore everything that this extraordinary Caribbean nation has to offer than by doing some island hopping; charter a yacht and discover your very own deserted islands to maroon yourselves on, or take a tour and marvel at the star-studded glamour of Mustique, languish on the beach in the laidback atmosphere of Bequia or sample the knock-out rum punch at St. Petit Vincent.
9. The Black Point Tunnel is a 113 metre long tunnel that was originally carved into the rock face by slaves in 1815 on the orders of the British colonial rulers; originally intended to provide a link from the north of the windward coast to allow goods to be loaded onto ships bound for Europe, it was more recently used as a filming location for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl’. Eerie and atmospheric, it is well worth a visit!
10. A hike through the towering mountains of St. Vincent, which boast their own microclimate, will take you past many dramatic waterfalls; reachable on foot or by boat, they are both an awe-inspiring sight and a great opportunity to cool off with a quick dip in the swirling waters of natural plunge pools.
Culture in St Vincent & Grenadines
St Vincent and the Grenadines boast a vibrant, multi-ethnic culture that is strongly linked to the sea and the boats that originally bought its settlers to the islands. Music and carnival play a large role in the islands’ culture, with the annual Vincy Mas carnival taking place annually over the course of 12 days towards the end of June on the island of St Vincent. Sport is also popular: the country has its own Football league, and a national rugby union team ranked 84th in the world.