Explore St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and discover a secluded world of natural beauty that is cradled in history; once named “Hairoun” – Land of the Blessed. With archaeological evidence indicating that the first inhabitants arrived as early as 150 AD, the Kalingo (or “Caribs”) arrived around 1450 AD. Spotted by Columbus in 1492, the island was officially named St. Vincent in 1498. French settlers first arrived in the early 1700’s, and after many battles, the British took control of the island in 1763. In the mid 1800’s, a steady flow of immigrants arrived from Portugal. In 1979, St. Vincent and the Grenadines gained independence.
Today’s visitors enjoy a relaxing Caribbean experience far from the crowds, and surrounded by an abundant variety of scenery and wildlife to explore and discover.
From breath taking views, gleaming waters to black sand beaches, waterfalls and rainforests, nature trails, a volcanic peak that rises 4,000 feet, historical buildings and cathedrals, petro glyphs, quaint fishing villages, and the oldest botanical gardens in the western hemisphere, St. Vincent & the Grenadines has many adventures to offer.
The island is a playground and paradise for bird watchers, whale & dolphin watchers, and nature lovers. Enjoy some of the finest scuba diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean, home to 225 different species of fish. Take a day trip to the Tobago Cays, and enjoy St. Vincent & the Grenadine’s protected turtle sanctuary or visit the site at Wallilabou Bay where scenes from “Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl” were filmed.
Soufriere Cross Country Trail (La Soufriere Volcano)
The volcano last erupted in 1979, and is still one of the most studied in the world. Take a hike along the Soufriere cross country trail, up the mountain for 3.5 miles. Venture down inside the mouth of the volcano, if you dare, to view the settlement inside the crater, along with geothermal vents and volcanic mud. To get to the beginning of the trail, you will first travel to the windward coast through picturesque banana and coconut plantations. The trail ends, on the west side of the island. This adventure will take you all day so you must get an early start!
The Botanical Gardens
Visit the oldest Botanical Gardens in the western hemisphere, established in 1765. It is home to exotic plants and shrubs including a breadfruit tree from the original plant brought by Captain Bligh (of The Bounty) in 1793. You will also find more than 170 different species of both migratory and native birds including parrots that will carry on a conversation.
Kingstown Public Market
Where Hillsboro, Upper Middle and Bedford Streets converge, the Kingstown Public Market is open every day. But Saturday is the best day to visit, when vendors selling everything from breadfruit and melons to chili and spices spread out on the pavement block after block.
Perched on a ridge 660 feet over Kingstown, Fort Charlotte was built in 1806. Today’s visitors admire the historic fortifications and take in sweeping views.
Breath-taking views of a richly fertile valley where bananas, nutmeg, cocoa, coconuts, breadfruit and many root crops flourish. Rivers and streams merge before tumbling over the rocks of Yambou Gorge in to the sea.
Dark View Falls
An uncommon experience with two individual waterfalls and natural pools are perfect for cooling off with a quick dip.
Owia Salt Pond
Located on the northeast coast, drive two hours along the scenic coastal road to swim in pools of sea water captured by lava peaks and ridges, as waves from the Atlantic Ocean crash against the natural barrier.
St. Vincent Distillers Limited
Home of Captain Bligh XO, 2014 winner of the World Rum Awards, the operation began in the early 1900’s under the name of Mt. Bentick Estates and leveraged the sugar cane plantations that were plentiful on the island. Still today, surrounded in lush agricultural countryside, with access to pure mountain water, rum masters, skilled craftsmen and oak barrels, produce fine produce for true connoisseurs.