St Vincent & the Grenadines
Just the name St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) evokes visions of exotic, idyllic island life. Imagine an island chain in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, uncluttered by tourist exploitation, with white-sand beaches on deserted islands, sky-blue water gently lapping the shores and barely a soul around.
While it may sound like a playground for the rich and famous, you don't need your own yacht to enjoy SVG. In fact cheap ferries make exploring this archipelago nation independently a breeze and with so many islands to choose from, there's sure to be one that perfectly meets your needs.
And while it's famed for its islands and beaches, the country offers more than just a relax in a hammock. There are volcanoes to climb, refreshing waterfalls to explore and great hiking throughout.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout St Vincent & the Grenadines.
Simply divine. Located just around the corner from Port Elizabeth, this is one of the loveliest stretches of sand on the island. It is backed by a wall of lush vegetation and the deep, calm waters are perfect for swimming. To get here on foot from Port Elizabeth, follow the Belmont Walkway right to the end of Admiralty Bay and look for the steps leading to a dirt path up the bluff. From town it's a short journey, but not ideal for those who fear heights. Alternatively, follow the vehicular access route, traveling on the main road south and turning down the signed narrow access road to the beach (about a five-minute, EC$25 taxi trip). Or arrive in style by getting a ride on one of the water taxis idling in the harbor. Note that if there is a cruise ship in port the sands here can get very crowded.
Not quite as famous as the island's star Princess Margaret Beach, this is an equally splendid stretch of sand that has a couple of places to get meals and a drink. Note: beware of manchineel trees here as they can cause a bad rash.
At this 'sanctuary,' a well-known institution on Bequia, turtle eggs are hatched and transferred to small concrete pools, ostensibly to give them a better chance in the wild. While there's no reason to doubt the good intentions of the ecologically minded owner, it's unclear whether the hand-reared turtles have the skills necessary to survive on their own or find it back to their birthplace to breed.
Modest in size, this 1829 Anglican church sits primly by the waterfront. It's usually always open if you want to look inside.