With its towering emerald mountains, unspoiled natural attractions, and turquoise coves fringed by white, gold and black sand beaches, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been called a tropical idyll. As the Caribbean of yesteryear, it’s no wonder the French and the British fought over the island chain for most of the 18th century. Everyone wants a piece of paradise.
Located in the Southern Caribbean, nestled between St. Lucia and Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is considered by many as a pristine island Utopia; consisting of 32 islands and cays, only nine of which are inhabited. Whether an eco-adventurer, a water-sport lover, or just, well, a lover, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a charming remoteness that caters to all travellers.
Aptly named the “Critter Capital of the Caribbean,” St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a remarkable diversity of sea life teeming in its waters. Some believe the melding of currents from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea, along with a wide variety of underwater habitats (rock formations, coral reefs, sandy slopes), make the country’s aquatic world unlike any other. Snorkellers, divers and sailors alike are sure to encounter frogfish, seahorses, anemones, nurse sharks, octopuses, schools of colourful fish, squadrons of manta rays and even a bale of green turtles. Boasting one of the biggest coral reefs in the Caribbean, there is very little marine life that can’t be spotted here. In fact, Anchor Reef has been voted among the top 100 dive sites in the world for its magical reef formations and magnificent marine life.
For those who prefer to experience aquatic life from above sea level, sailing opportunities are plentiful. With distances between islands ranging from two to five hours, it’s easy to customize a one-day or one-week itinerary. Take advantage of plentiful paradisiacal ports of call—from quaint villages and volcanic beaches to uninhabited islands and protected wildlife preserves, including Tobago Cays, a marine park of small sibling islands protected by a horseshoe reef. The numerous charter companies cater to sailors of all proficiencies, allowing visitors to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to personalize their on-board experience and truly captain their dream vacation.
|CREATE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE|
There are other captivating sites to be discovered—on land and in the air. The Botanical Gardens on the outskirts of Kingstown offers a jaw-dropping collection of exotic flowers, plants and trees and, founded in 1765, is the oldest botanical garden in the Western Hemisphere. The aviary at the Gardens allows glimpses of SVG’s indigenous parrot, the strikingly beautiful blue and gold St. Vincent Parrot.
But to see some of the more than 500 of these parrots in the wild, along with a host of other species taking flight, take a hike. The Vermont Nature Trail takes hikers deep into the interior of St. Vincent, along three kilometres of well-marked, groomed trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding forest. Or, hike along scenic coastal paths, up to La Soufriere volcano at 1,214 metres or to stunning, secluded waterfalls.
Go off-road and reach remote spots that offer the sort of seclusion enjoyed only by the adventurous. Jeep and bicycle tours allow access to far-flung parts of the islands and can be easily arranged at most of the hotels on the islands. Off the western side of the island, enter the renowned Bat Cave. Slide into a kayak and paddle out to an underwater cave with a shallow passageway and a long tunnel that allow snorkellers to observe two rare species of bats. Travel even farther by ferry to discover bountiful eco-adventures on the island of Bequia, home to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary.
|PLAN A PERFECT PAIRING|
For romantics, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is unmatched. There is no lack of settings for an unforgettable engagement, wedding or honeymoon. For couples, the only challenge is choosing one. Sandy white beaches, hilltops at sunset, quaint churches, historic forts or sunny sailboats—love is in the air, everywhere. Making your fantasy wedding a reality is easy on St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the country is home to wedding planners, caterers, photographers and hoteliers who assist visitors in customizing the perfect event. Any union in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is truly a match made in heaven.
To learn more, visit discoversvg.com