Trust me when I tell you that St. Vincent and The Grenadines is a collection of some of the most gorgeous green gems you will ever encounter in the brilliant blue Caribbean sea. If you love the ocean, enjoy solitude, appreciate Mother Nature, and want an authentic island escape, SVG is where you need to be. With just 389 square km to play with, this small Caribbean nation offers a surprisingly wide range of diversions suit to all tastes. If you’re short on time however, here are 6 things you must do in St. Vincent and The Grenadines.
Owia Salt Pond
If you’re seeking calm, clear waters and Insta-worthy backdrops head north to Owia Salt Pond. A popular spot for residents and visitors alike, the pond paints a dramatic picture with towering, foamy waves crash against massive dark rocks. While there, you can join the adventurous local kids making daring jumps off the ledges into the rough surf or you can follow my lead and simply indulge in a relaxing soak in the salt water pools. Be mindful that getting there entails sitting through an hour long drive as well as walking down (and then back up) a couple hundred steps, but I promise you it’s well worth the trip.
As far as forts go, Fort Duvernette is the most remarkable one I’ve been to in the entire Caribbean. Accessible only by boat, it’s situated at 195 ft above sea level, atop a tall, narrow rock in the middle of the ocean. Getting to the top means climbing a few hundred steps that snake along the side of the “island”, but you won’t regret the workout when you see the stunning views waiting for you at the summit. Please note, this excursion isn’t for anyone with a fear of heights. However if you don’t fall into this category, add this activity to your list. You won’t be disappointed! Pro tip: visit the fort in the evening when the sun begins to dip and the temperature cools down – you’ll also have the added treat of an amazing sunset!
Even if all you have is one day, you have to make it to Bequia! The perfect location for beach-bumming in peace and quiet, Bequia is exactly what you think of when you envision paradise. With adorable seaside eateries, lush greenery, idyllic beaches, and hardly anyone around, it’s the off-the-grid-bliss we all dream of. With limited time, you can set up camp on Prince Margaret Beach, where the white sand and blue waters collide to create postcard perfect scenes. It’s worth noting though, that many of the island’s establishments shut down during the off-season from August to early October. If you’re heading to St. Vincent and The Grenadines during this period, I recommend these tips to make the most out of your day:
- Catch the 8 am ferry from Kingstown (EC $40 round-trip).
- Get breakfast at a restaurant along the boardwalk, which is less than 5 minutes walk from the port.
- Pop into a little mini mart on the main street and stock up on snacks and drinks to take you through the rest of the day.
- Hire a boat to take you to Princess Margaret Beach where you can frolic in the water all day (approximately US $20 one-way).
- Make arrangements for the boat to pick you up around 3:40 pm to catch the 4 pm ferry departure.
Go for the history, stay for the views. Rising 600 ft above the city of Kingstown, Fort Charlotte simultaneously delivers a somber reminder of the Caribbean’s tragic and complicated past, as well as stunning views of St. Vincent’s leeward coastline. Once upon a time, this relic was manned by 600 soldiers and 34 cannons, now it serves as a popular attraction for persons who want to take in the haunting beauty of its towering brick walls, as well as appreciate its panoramic views that seem to stretch on forever.
Lounging on the beach of an abandoned luxury resort may not sound like a great way to spend the day but trust me, it is! The once sprawling, all-inclusive hotel used to be St. Vincent’s premier getaway location. Now, it’s a ghost town with dredged pools and abandoned bungalows serving as an eerie reminder of the glamour that once was. One thing that hasn’t changed however, is the gorgeous stretch of coastline bordering the property. Buccament Bay still features pristine white sand, cool, clear waters and dramatic dark rock formations that create stunning ocean scenes.
Pirates of the Caribbean Museum
Don’t go to St. Vincent’s Pirates of the Caribbean Museum expecting elaborate displays or cool memorabilia, but still go anyway. Trust me. The no-frills establishment is located on a preserved portion of the set where several of the movies in the franchise were filmed. Maintained by a friendly groundskeeper who charges you “as much as you can afford” to enter, the museum showcases a haphazard but interesting collection of scripts, images, film reels and props used in production, including a hang man’s noose and several coffins. You can even take a stroll along the very jetty Captain Jack Sparrow stepped ever-so-casually onto just as his ship sank to the bottom of the ocean!
St. Vincent and The Grenadines are truly a special group of islands that have mastered the art of maintaining their authenticity. If you’re eager to experience real island living without too many distractions, put this Caribbean destination on your bucket list ASAP. Once your flight is booked, be sure to check out my 5-day St. Vincent and the Grenadines itinerary for tips on how to make the most of limited time.
What about you? Have you ever been to SVG? If yes, what were some of your favourite experiences? Share them in the comments!
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