The islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are as beautiful as the postcard-worthy photos you see here. They exude everything that people love about the Caribbean: warm white sand beaches, plenty of sunshine, sparkling blue water, and laid-back and friendly locals.
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Here are 19 of the best things to do in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
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Walk the streets of Kingstown to take in how the locals live. Visit the St. Vincent street market or buy a trinket from one of the shops in town. You can get a feel for the laid-back nature of the country by taking your time in the capital.
Snorkel with sea turtles in Tobago Cays
Hop on a day trip boat to take a short trip to the Tobago Cays. Many boats will provide snorkel gear if you request it, and bring you to the best spots to see underwater wildlife. Try the Sail Grenadines tour group with great reviews on TripAdvisor.
You can easily visit Bequia by a ferry that leaves from Kingstown at 8am, which returns from Bequia at 4pm. It costs around EC $40 for the round trip. As you arrive see the Moonhole homes, which were built into the cliffside in the 1960s by Thomas and Gladys Johnston. They are now abandoned, but you can see the clever use of local materials in their construction. Visit the boardwalk to eat and drink and stock up on local snacks. Take a quick water taxi to the pristine Princess Margaret Beach for swimming, snorkeling, and upright paddleboarding. Note that some places may shut down in the off-season, which is August to October.
Try local cuisine
If you visit the island, expect to try the national dish: Roasted breadfruit and fried jackfish. There are a number of fresh fruits grown on the island, like the ubiquitous bananas and the more elusive sugar apple (also known as a cherimoya, my favorite!). Some of the staples of Vincentian cuisine include arrowroot, bananas, sweet potatoes, salted fish, queen conch, lobster, curried goat, callaloo soup, and lots of varieties of locally-caught fish: mahi mahi, tuna, bonito, kingfish, jackfish, snapper, flying fish and marlin.
Take in the views from Fort Charlotte
Situated 600 feet above sea level on Berkshire hill, Fort Charlotte is a 40 minute walk from the center of Kingstown. You can also drive or take a bus. Fort Charlotte was built by the British during the colonial era in the 19th century, and it overlooks the harbor. You can see the nearby islands of Bequia and the Grenadines, and even Granada on a clear day if you bring binoculars. Guards give tours of the fort, and you can see cannons onsite from 1811. I was fascinated to find out at one point the fort held a leper’s colony, and you can still see the ruins of a leper’s bath near the sea below. Another interesting fact: The fort was used as a women’s prison as recently as 2015.
Try the The Pirates Package, Fort Charlotte and Beach, with Topdawg Taxi and Tours.
Climb La Soufrière volcano
You can see my personal experience climbing La Soufrière in Part 1 and Part 2 of my travel stories. La Soufrière is St. Vincent’s highest point at 4049 feet, as well as being an active volcano taking up a large portion of the island’s landmass. It last erupted in 1979 and is due to erupt again in the next decade or so. La Soufrière is French for “sulfur outlet” and there are many volcanoes in the Caribbean bearing the same name. You can hire a tour guide or join a group to climb La Soufrière, such as the La Soufriere Volcano Hike with Fraser’s Taxi and Tours. The hike takes about 3 to 4 hours from start to finish, unless you venture into the crater, which will add more time. The views at the top are spectacular, and although it is far from an easy trek it is very worth it.
Scuba dive on a coral reef
Charter or join a boat tour to take you on a scuba diving adventure. Many resorts and hotels on the island either offer diving or can book you with a local company. Try Dive St. Vincent for an all-inclusive dive package.
Take a catamaran day trip
St. Vincent is home to every type of boat imaginable, from the tiny fisherman’s skiffs to the huge, hulking cruise ships that dock at Kingstown. Catamarans are arguably the most fun! Many hotels offer catamaran day trips for a fee, or you can try a private company. Try the Tobago Cays Boating Adventure for the most beautiful water you’ve ever seen!
Walk the beaches and take a swim
A simple and free activity is simply just heading to the water and diving in! St. Vincent has white, black, and gold sand beaches so there is a beach waiting for you.
See the Dark View waterfalls
Located in the northwest portion of St. Vincent, the two Dark View waterfalls fall into calm, natural pools. It is about an hour and a half drive from Kingston. The hike to the falls is short and easy, and you cross the Richmond River and through a bit of rainforest. There is a welcome center and ticket booth, as well as a food kiosk and parking. Directly next to the falls there are gazebos, a changing room, picnic area and a viewing platform, as well as the bathing pools for swimming.
Visit the Botanical Gardens
St. Vincent’s Botanical Gardens cover 20 acres of land. It is cris-crossed with walking trails through hundreds of lush plants and trees. It is the oldest botanical garden in the Western Hemisphere, established in 1765. It once provided important fruits and vegetables to Vincentians. Now it also provides a home to St. Vincent Parrots and is active in conservation efforts to protect these birds. It costs EC $5 for adults and EC $2.50 for children 12 and under. Guided tours are available for EC $10 per person.
Hike the Vermont Nature Trail
The Vermont Nature Trail is a 2 mile hike through lush rainforest which takes about 2 hours. It’s about 30 minutes away from downtown Kingston. You can hear and possibly see St. Vincent parrots and the talkative Whistling Warblers. There are washrooms, a gift shop, and visitor’s center at the trailhead. It costs EC $5 to access the trail.
For a guided tour, try Vermont Nature Trail Tour with Topdawg Taxi.
Visit Rawacou Recreation Park
The main part of Rawacou Recreation Park is a beach and man-made water area for enjoying the outdoors. It’s about a 25 minute drive from Kingstown, and the fee for entry is EC $5. Sit under the shade of coconut trees as you enjoy food and drink from the on-site facilities. There are washrooms, changing rooms, and gazebos. Play volleyball on the court, gather round a fire pit with friends, or watch local entertainment on the performance stage (shows will vary).
Visit the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary on Bequia to see important conservation work in action. The sanctuary aims to keep eggs and baby sea turtles safe from poachers and other things that would harm them. Sea turtles are hunted frequently to make decorative objects like combs and trinkets. Eggs are collected for food or medicinal uses. Old Hegg tries to combat these issues by educating the public about sea turtles and helping hatchlings survive the first months and years of life before they are released.
Explore the Owia salt pond
The salt ponds are about an hour and a half outside of St. Vincent by car. Brave locals and tourists can be seen diving and jumping off of the nearby rock ledges into the sea. The shallows of the Owia salt ponds are for relaxing and watching these daredevils from a safe distance. There are coral reefs to explore, so bring snorkeling equipment! There are also gazebos and kiosks to purchase food and drink while you are relaxing in between swims.
Drink local rum and beer
Sunset Very Strong Rum and Hairoun beer are both made locally on St. Vincent. Rum punch is very popular and served at every bar and restaurant on the islands that I visited.
Surround yourself with nature at the Montreal Gardens
Like the larger Botanical Gardens in Kingstown, the Montreal Gardens filled with exotic plants and beautiful flowers. It is located in the Mesopotamia Valley on 7 acres of land. The plants are more chaotic and less structured than at the Botanical Gardens. There are tours available onsite without a reservation.
Visit Fort Duvernette
Fort Duvernette is also locally known as the “Rock Fort.” It sits 195 feet, and a lot of stairs, above sea level on a tiny island jutting out of the sea. You can get there for EC $10 by water taxi.
Swim the Falls of Baleine
The Falls of Baleine rush down a wall of rock 60 feet into a natural fresh water pool that’s great for swimming. Take extra care during the rainy season, where the falls can be faster and harsher. You can only access the falls by boat, so make arrangements ahead of time.
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