St Vincent, part of the Windward Islands, is one of the lushest and most alluring islands in the Eastern Caribbean. You will find this tropical gem south of St Lucia, west of Barbados, and northeast of Grenada. St Vincent is of volcanic origin.
The highest point is La Soufriere, a 4049 ft high active stratovolcano with a crater lake. Due to about 150 inches of rainfall annually, this island is rich with flora and heavily forested. The leeward side of St Vincent has more sandy beaches and bays, while the leeward side is rocky and steep.
The capital of St Vincent and the Grenadines is Kingstown, located on St Vincent. The most rewarding way, of course, is to explore St Vincent on a crewed yacht charter.
The first settlers to arrive here were various Amerindians. It has been recorded that the Ciboneys arrived here from South America around 5000 BC. Followed by the Arawaks and Carib Indians, who were named St Vincent Youloumain.
In Layou, you can see a 1300-year-old petroglyph showcasing the island’s rich history. Christopher Columbus is credited with seeing the island in April 1498 and giving it its name. Several European nations attempted to claim this area, but the French were the first Europeans to settle.
They also brought African slaves to work on the plantations, as did the British when they took control of the island in 1762. In 1834 they abolished slavery in St Vincent. Independence was granted in 1979, but the country decided to remain within the British Commonwealth.
There is no wrong time to visit St Vincent and the Grenadines. The proximity to the equator creates a tropical, hot, and humid climate all year round. In short, highs are around 88-90 F, and the temperature rarely dips below 75 F.
You can expect a relatively cool and dry season from January to late April. During the rainy season from June to November, rain generally falls in short, heavy showers. This is also the hurricane season. But the island’s location south of the Caribbean arc prevents hurricanes from rarely having a significant impact.
The abundant rainfall on St Vincent, as a result, provides the island with this lush tropical flora. Expect rainfall of fewer than 4 inches only in February, March, and April. Furthermore, the crystal clear ocean water is warm enough for swimming all year.
Places to See on St Vincent
Kingstown is the colorful capital located along St Vincent’s southern coast. Beautiful cobbled streets, rolling hills, magnificent scenery, and a busy harbor. Admire the city’s 18th-century buildings along Bay Street. Kingstown is often referred to as The City of Arches. Because there are 400 arches in this capital.
Kingstown Produce Market – a vibrant market in a three-story complex located at Upper Bay and Bedford Street. The perfect stop to get some fresh local fruit, produce, and souvenirs.
Kingstown Grenadines Wharf – restaurants and stores
Botanic Gardens – half a mile further north of the city is the island’s peaceful sanctuary, the Botanic Gardens. It was created in 1765 to grow spices and medicinal plants. You will find fragrant plants and trees in addition to an aviary housing 500 endangered parrots. It is essential to realize that it is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere.
Dark View Falls – Walk across a bamboo bridge, crossing a peaceful river to witness St Vincent’s most beautiful sight. Two spectacular waterfalls cascade down high cliffs and plunge into natural ponds. A delightful and romantic spot indeed.
More Places to See on St Vincent
Fort Charlotte – a British colonial-era fort overlooking the harbor of Kingstown on Berkshire Hill. From 601 feet elevation, you will enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the island’s Leeward side. Grenada can be seen especially on a very clear day.
Layou – you can see 1300-year-old petroglyphs on the side of a large 20 ft rock here. Since the petroglyphs are on private property, making arrangements through the Tourist Bureau in Kingstown is advisable.
Wallilabou Bay was where the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” was filmed. Wallilabou Heritage Park is a lovely and peaceful place. You find the perfect place for a picnic, including a small waterfall. It is located on the Wallilabou River, on the Leeward coast of St Vincent. The park was at one time a plantation.
You can walk on a nature trail through the lush Buccament Valley to enjoy the sights and sounds of the rainforest. Trinity Falls has three falls dropping down 100 feet, and in addition, the 60 ft sheer falls of Baleine must be on your to-see list.
Things to Do
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling – St Vincent is called the “Critter Capital of the Caribbean.” An abundance of marine life flourishes in the coral reefs. Baby sea horses, frogfish, manta rays, and reef sharks. Furthermore, you might even encounter sea turtles in crystal clear waters. Best dive spots include Anchor Reef and Critter Corner. Anchor Reef, only a few yards further off the coast of Kingstown, rewards with a black coral garden. At Indian Bay, the seagrass and boulders of Critter Corner are home to a wide variety of fish.
Hiking – St Vincent offers several very picturesque hiking trails. With a licensed tour guide, trek up to La Soufriere. The Rabbaca Trail leads up to the crater’s edge. Although consult SVG Tourism Authority for a tour guide. Just 5 miles north of Kingstown, the Vermont Nature Trails will reward you with a wide variety of wildlife. Such as St Vincent’s rare parrot, hummingbirds, and other bird species. These trails, located in the Buccament Valley, also offer spectacular scenery.
More Things to Do
Participate or watch Vincy Mas – The biggest and most important festival in St Vincent and the Grenadines. If your crewed charter takes place during this time, it is a must-see activity. This colorful and vibrant music, heritage, and dance celebration start towards the end of June. It will last 12 days. Thousands of visitors are attracted to dynamic street parties, calypso, and steel drum performances. As well as parades showcase vibrant, colorful, and exquisitely designed costumes.
Independence Day – October 27. St Vincent and the Grenadines celebrate their independence with parades and many other festivities. It became the last of the Windward Islands to gain independence. Now it is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elisabeth II as the head.
Gastronomy Highlights St Vincent
Experience some of the best fresh seafood with a Caribbean touch. Plus, roasted breadfruit with fried jackfish, madongo dumplings, and buljol.
Flow Wine Bar and Kitchen – Kingstown, at the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Marina. Wonderful location, elegant ambiance, and excellent food and live music.
Veejays – Kingstown Bay Street – Caribbean and seafood
French Verandah Restaurant – Overlooking Villa Beach at the Mariners Hotel, Arnos Vale. A waterfront hotel at the southernmost tip of St Vincent. A superb variety of fresh local fish. International menu.
Jack’s – at the Buccament Bay Resort. Steakhouse and seafood.
4 Shells Fish Joint – Calliaqua. Rated as the best Caribbean and seafood in Calliaqua.
Black Baron – Cumberland Bay – Caribbean food with a distinctly French touch.
Bush Bar – Leeward Highway Vermont. Only 5 minutes off the highway but a true hidden gem. Ideal if you are looking for an authentic experience. Relax, dine and enjoy Vincy culture.
Marinas and Anchorages on St Vincent
Ports of Entry – Blue Lagoon, Kingstown, Ottley Hall, Wallilabou Bay, Young Island Cut
Chateaubelair Bay – the most northern and a very deep anchorage. The sandy area off the Beach Front Bar is the best spot.
Troumakar Bay – another deep but also small and pleasant leeward anchorage. The town is located on the hillside above the bay.
Cumberland Bay – near Wallilabou. A well-protected and very secluded anchorage. But not recommended when northerly swells are running.
Wallilabou – One of the most popular anchorages along the coastline of St Vincent. Moorings are set out in the center of the bay by the Wallilabou Anchorage Restaurant. Which is also a port of entry to clear customs. A sequel to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” was filmed here.
Barrouallie – in Princess Bay. Anchor north of the town dock. Not advisable when northerly swells are running.
Layou – just north of Buccament Bay. Anchor off town in the southeastern end of the bay.
Buccament Bay – south of Lapaze Rock.
Young Island – anchor in Young Island Cut or use some of several moorings.
Calliaqua Bay – located on the northeastern shore of Calliaqua Bay lies Barefoot Yacht Charters. Just before the entrance to Blue Lagoon. It offers dockage and moorings, a dinghy dock, and laundry. As well as a restaurant and bar.
Blue Lagoon Hotel, Marina, and Yachting Centre – in Ratho Mill. Customs clearance office. Floating docks for 25 boats of up to 50ft plus mooring options. Max draft to enter 6.5ft. A hotel with 26 well-appointed rooms. As well as restaurants, bars, and boutiques. A mini-market, dive center, and swimming pool are for your enjoyment.
Ottley Hall Marina and Shipyard – a large, full-service marina with 22 slips for yachts up to 200 ft in length. In addition to electricity, water, and showers, it has a covered dry dock and a small grocery store.
Kingstown – Kingstown Harbour. As well as a cruise ship dock, you can clear customs here. Immigration is located at the end of Bay Street. Kingstown is not as popular for cruising yachts as Young Island and Blue Lagoon.