An often overlooked southern Caribbean destination, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines actually comprises of 32 beautiful islands. Put more on the map as the filming location of Pirates of the Caribbean, from St. Vincent's lush tropical rainforest full of eco-adventures, to the idyllic beaches, coral reefs and turquoise lagoons of The Grenadines, SVG is a tropical paradise for yachting, scuba diving, enjoying nature, and relaxing in luxurious hideaways.
Summit 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. with two trail options. Dominating the north of the island, Rabacca is the most popular hiking route as you pass through the rainforest, montane thicket and cloud forest before arriving at the volcanic rock and ash-strewn rim of this magnificent crater.
Marvel at the Botanic 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. Occupying 20 acres, the Gardens celebrated their 240th anniversary in 2005. See breadfruit brought over by Mutiny on the Bounty’s Captain Bligh and the national bird, the St. Vincent Parrot. Entrance still remains free today.
Sail the Tobago Cays
Rent a charter for the day or week and island hop in the Tobago Cays, a family of five sibling islands protected by a horseshow reef. A popular destination for kite surfing, scuba diving and beachcombers alike, frolic at the film location of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Plan a Romantic Picnic on Mopion
Mopion, the quintessential deserted island, has a tiny sand bar perched atop a coral reef combines bright white sand and turquoise waters to create an idyllic setting for an intimate picnic spot. If you’re a diver, Mopion Reef, just off Petit St. Vincent, can be a good place to see sharks.
Dive Mayreau Gardens
Rated number five for best dive sites in the Caribbean, Mayreau Gardens is an expansive coral reef formation and a great drift dive. Crinoids, garden eels and flamingo tongues are common here. Also off Mayreau is Puruni, the wreck of a 1918 British gun ship that is lying in only 40 feet of water, is great for beginners as well as advanced wreck divers.
Hike to Dark View Falls
One of St. Vincent’s most accessible and picturesque waterfalls, Dark View Falls is a mere 10-15 minute hike. It’s no stroll in the park though, be prepared to cross a river bridge made of long bamboo poles. Your reward at the end is worth it though as the cascading falls separate into two pools great for bathing.
Celebrate Vincy Mass
Vincy Mas kicks off in St. Vincent at the end of June and runs through early July with festivities including the King and Queen of the bands, the Miss Carnival show, calypso and steel band competitions, and Carnival Monday featuring J’ouvert – an early morning celebration that precedes Tuesday’s Mardi Gras parade.
Sail the Friendship Rose
The Friendship Rose, operating out of Bequia is a timeless island charter. After running a ferry service for 20 years between St. Vincent and Bequia, today the 100-ft. schooner offers cruises between Bequia and the Tobago Cays, and Bequia and Mustique, with snorkeling, diving and nature watching along the way. Enjoy food and beverages as you watch for dolphins and turtles from the bow, wind blowing in your hair.
Anchor Reef, voted one of the top 100 dive sites in the world, is a spectacular wall dive with swim-throughs and a lovely coral reef formation. Never dived before? Many of the resort hotels in St. Vincent offer Scuba Diving Courses, as do the tour operators. Where better to learn?
Plan a Visit to Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary
Bequia is home to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, a nursery for endangered hawksbill turtles. Learn about conservation from the one fascinating owner who has dedicated his life to saving the turtles, raising them and releasing them back into the ocean.