The Top Eco-Adventures in SVG
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ (SVG) high caliber of natural surroundings, essentially untouched by development, gives visitors access to the kinds of experiences that are quickly disappearing throughout the world. Hikers can trek to an active volcano, to secluded waterfalls for a quick dip or to private, pristine beaches hidden by lush foliage. Jeep safaris, bike trips and walking tours thrust explorers into parts of the islands that few people have ever laid eyes upon. And beaches, be they made of black or white sand, become natural experiences in their own right, with long deserted shorelines with palm trees to explore.
As the largest of the islands, St. Vincent has the most to offer in the way of land-based natural attractions. From hiking trails to black sand beaches to historic gardens, the activities here practically demand that eco-tourists spend at least a day or two exploring the island’s interior.
The Botanical Gardens
One of the most popular natural attractions in St. Vincent is the Botanical Gardens, a collection of exotic plants, flowers and trees that bear the distinction of being the oldest such gardens in the Western Hemisphere.
La Soufriere Volcano
La Soufriere, the volcano that formed St. Vincent over ages of eruptions, today beckons hiking enthusiasts to reach its majestic summit at 4,048 ft. Visitors have two options for reaching the top. The eastern trail, beginning near the town of Georgetown, is the easier and more popular of the two, stretching for three and a half miles. The western trail, on the other hand, is a rougher trek lasting about seven hours, but boasting better scenery along the climb. Hikers reaching the top of the volcano will enjoy breathtaking views of the crater.
Thanks to St. Vincent’s wealth of inland waterfalls, hikers can enjoy rewards of a different kind at the end of their trails. Trinity Falls, sitting at about a 30-minute hike into the forest, features three separate cascades, 40 ft. in total, flowing into a serene circular swimming pool before another 10 ft. drop into a second natural spot for a swim. At Dark View Falls, visitors can watch the water flow from a stone swimming pool at the bottom after crossing a bamboo bridge.
Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary
Bequia is home to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, a nursery for endangered hawksbill turtles. The creatures are nurtured for the first 18 months of life before being tagged and set free in the ocean. Visitors to the sanctuary get a first-hand education on the lives of sea turtles.
The Tobago Cays not only offers some of the best sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving in the world, but also has small sand beaches that are perfect for an afternoon barbeque.