St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Our expert review and guide.

For an incredible luxury Caribbean getaway, St. Vincent and the Grenadines lead the way. This archipelago of islands was designed with luxury in mind, and they deliver. The capital, Kingstown, has a great culture and history to explore. Many visitors then move on to one of the smaller islands, with their white beaches, perfect watersports, and deluxe resorts. This is the playground of the wealthy, and everyone else can enjoy it, as well.

About St. Vincent and the Grenadines 

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country in the Eastern Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles. St. Vincent is 18 miles long and 11 miles wide. The Grenadines are a group of smaller islands consisting of Bequia, Canouan, Mayreau, Mustique, Prune Island, Petit Saint Vincent Island, and Union Island. The capital of the entire group of islands is Kingstown on St. Vincent. 

Hiker among the buttress roots of a large specimen of Santinay tree, one of the tallest trees in the tropical rainforest on mainland Saint Vincent. Photo taken along the Vermont Nature Trail.

Soufriere is an active volcano on St. Vincent, the eruptions of which have enhanced the soil and made it very fertile for the growth of Caribbean fruits and vegetables. The island was within the sights of Christopher Columbus, but he did not land on or explore the island. Europeans didn’t settle on St. Vincent and the Grenadines until the early 1700s due to an unwelcome reception from the natives.  

St. Vincent is one of the few Caribbean islands where West Africans did not first arrive as slaves. In 1635, a group of African slaves escaped a shipwreck and managed to make it to shore, where they freed themselves and assimilated with the native tribe calling themselves Black Caribs.

The French eventually settled St. Vincent in 1719 but were battled by British forces. Both countries brought in slaves to work the thriving plantations. Following the emancipation of the slaves, plantation owners simply left the island, and the freed slaves took over the land and economy. St. Vincent and the Grenadines did not gain independence from Britain until 1979, and much of its history can be found in the National Trust Museum in Kingstown.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a special destination that was voted the Caribbean World Travel and Living Awards Islands in 2021 by Caribbean World Magazine. This prize was awarded despite the COVID problem and the eruption of the Soufriere volcano. As Minister James declared, “We are certainly one of the world’s most diverse tourism destinations.” Another award for St. Vincent and the Grenadines was the Best Sailing & Yachting Island of the Year. It made number four on the list’s best honeymoon destinations.

Thanks to British influence, English remains an important language on St. Vincent for 400,000 residents. It is the most widely used language in school, the government, and in the media. 

The Vincentian Creole is a form of English that draws its major influences from slaves. The slaves themselves created this form of communication to be able to understand each other. French Patois is used by some islanders of European ancestry. It is a mixture of French, Spanish, and English, with some Creole thrown in.

St. Vincent’s currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. Both the banknotes  and coins have the picture of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II imprinted.

What Is St. Vincent and the Grenadines Most Known For?

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is all about uncluttered white beaches, azure waters. Its scenery is one of the most stunning in the Caribbean. Visitors come here for the luxury resorts, coral reefs, and fantastic snorkeling. 

Kingstown, the capital of this gorgeous archipelago, should be explored before venturing out further.

Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens are a major Kingstown destination. This is a place of pure, rich tranquility filled with tropical flora and birds, including the exotic national bird, the colorful St. Vincent Parrot. This garden is almost 300 years old and began as a British plant breeding district mostly to grow medicinal plants. St. Vincent is extremely fertile, and this 20-acre garden fills the complete palette of colorful blooms that grow there. As a historical note, the Botanical Garden is where Captain Bligh came to introduce breadfruit to St. Vincent; today, breadfruit is the island’s national dish.

Food In Kingstown

Visitors to Kingstown will learn quickly that it is a great place for food. Join the locals for breakfast at the Sunshine Bakery (inside of Greaves Supermarket) for some of their coconut bread and the coconut-filled bun. These goodies fly out of the store, so come early. 

For lunch, Basil’s Bar was voted as having the best business lunches two years in a row. It might have something to do with the incredible stuffed samosas they serve. Their burgers, sandwiches, and cocktails are also award-winning favorites. Visitors should not confuse Kingstown’s Basil’s Bar with the Grenadines’ island of Mustique’s Basil’s Bar.

Dark View Falls

For an immensely satisfying hike from Kingstown, take a five-hour hiking tour to Dark View Falls. The hike up the 90-meter fall allows you to cool off and plunge into a cooling swimming spot. Keep climbing for more refreshing swimming pools and great views.

La Soufriere Volcano Hiking Tour

La Soufriere is St. Vincent’s active volcano and the highest point on the island. Here, you can feel the actual heat beneath your feet. The climb is 1,234 meters, and it takes approximately 4 hours (and another 4 hours back to the ground). Along the way, marvel at the lush green scenery, rain forest, the ocean, and many animals. From the top, you will be able to look down into the crater, and your entire body will feel the heat.

Best Regions to Visit In St. Vincent and the Grenadines

St. Vincent and the Grenadines visitors find there is plenty of adventure to be found after leaving beautiful St. Vincent. The Grenadine islands are a secret gem known to many elites.

Mustique Island

This private island is where former Princess Margaret went to be pampered with relaxation and luxury. It’s a deluxe gem accessible by boat. The beachfront Cotton House is the only resort on the island with fine in-house dining. There are also villas (with dressing rooms, marble bathrooms, and laundry service, of course) for rent. All your needs are tended to, including having your bags unpacked. And the weekly cruises at sunset come with the stay, as well.  Visitors get all their meals and snacks during their stay. Mustique provides the deluxe royal treatment.

The island is a haven for watersports. There is horseback riding (or pony riding for the lil ones), as well. 

Petite St. Vincent

It has been stated that the island of Petite St. Vincent is “without a doubt one of the most captivating and incomparable places one can venture to in this lifetime.” This is another private island with several miles of white sand and tropical greenery. The Petit St. Vincent Resort consists of villas with ocean views. No phones here to disturb the tranquility, but flags will get the attention of the staff. The resort is included in the Small Luxury Hotels of the World network. Guests can indulge in private picnics, barbeques, and oceanfront dining. There is a wine cellar, aged rums, and vintage champagnes. This is where luxury becomes reality. 

Palm Island Resort & Spa

Palm Island Resort & Spa is an adult-only resort with unparalleled accommodations and dining. Several white beaches perfect for watersports and a tropical interior surround guests with sheer bliss. Luxury spa treatments are available in the open air overlooking the beach, including couple massages, with two therapists providing side-by-side harmonized massages. 

Meals, including an afternoon tea, can be enjoyed in the resort’s restaurants, on the beach, or simply packed in a picnic basket. Everything is included in the price, including the weekly cocktail party. 

Indulge in the resort’s entertainment consisting of nightly reggae music made for dancing. On Tuesday evenings, watch a movie on the beach. Enjoy the rum tasting evenings or the crab racing event (locals put $2.00 on their favorite crustacean).

Best All-Inclusive Resort or Hotel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Young Island Resort

The Young Island Resort has several convenient packages. The “Stranded in Style” package includes five nights in an ocean-view cottage with one free night and has all-inclusive daily meals (except top brand liquors), which are served in oceanfront thatched-roof huts. Meals consist of freshly-caught seafood and fresh fruits. The entire resort is surrounded by fragrant jasmine in bloom. 

The Romance Package includes seven nights in an ocean-view cottage, two free nights, breakfast each day, 2 hour-long massages, and a bottle of champagne.

Each of the packages includes a welcome drink and daily fresh fruit and flowers.

All guests have unlimited access to kayaks, snorkels, and tennis equipment.

Best Resort or Hotel for Couples in St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Mandarin Oriental, Canouan

Mandarin Oriental, Canouan is rated as the number one resort in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This ultimate luxury hotel is on Canouan Island. The sand is white and the grounds flawless. All accommodations have ocean views and private balconies. The resort has beach cabanas, tennis courts, restaurants ranging from elegant to casual. Dine in their restaurant, on the beach, or the pool bar. 

The spa offers one to five-day wellness programs that include oceanfront treatment rooms, yoga, walking meditation, and watersports lessons. 

A private jet pickup from St. Vincent will get you from the main island to Caouan. 

Best Resort or Hotel for Families in St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Sunset Shores Beach Hotel

Sunset Shores Beach Hotel on St. Vincent offers watersports and equipment rental at its beautiful beach. The snorkeling is especially excellent, and there are tours to the neighboring Grenadine islands and other local attractions. Children have access to a children’s menu, highchairs, cribs, and babysitting services. 

Guests can dine at the inhouse restaurant that specializes in fresh seafood, and the adults can sip cocktails on the patio while enjoying the view. Saturday evenings at the Sunset Shores means barbeque by the pool with a cocktail from the poolside bar while watching the sunset. 

The nearby hiking provides some stunning trails and sights.  

Is St Vincent and the Grenadines safe?

The crime rate in St Vincent and the Grenadines is relatively low. Overall it is a friendly and welcoming Caribbean destination.

What country owns St Vincent?

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines gained independence from the United Kingdom on October 27th, 1979. They are now part of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Where is St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

St Vincent and The Grenadines is in the Eastern Caribbean Sea. It is made up of the island of St Vincent and a group of 32 smaller islands and cays known as the northern Grenadines. The southern Grenadines are part of the Caribbean island of Grenada.

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