St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Photo by Christian Lendl.

Near to South America, this island nation is a part of the Lesser Antilles and home to a little over 100,000 people. Originally owned by the United Kingdom, the 150 square mile nation declared independence in 1979. Rather remote and overlooked by many tourists, the nation consists of the main island, St. Vincent, and a chain of smaller islands, the Grenadines.

Getting there requires a couple of flights, but it’s worth the effort to see the black sand beaches. Expect a layover in Atlanta, Charlotte or Miami, or to fly directly out of New York.

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Photo by Jason Pratt.

Beaches and watersports abound here, with dive trips to the surrounding areas readily available. One locale is Tobago Cays, a cluster of five small islands surrounded by coral reefs. Protected as a national park, the cays are uninhabited and the perfect place for snorkeling in the clear blue water, where spotting turtles isn’t out of the question.

On St. Vincent, discover the black volcanic sands at Buccament Bay Beach or Questelle’s Bay Beach, which both feature the unique sands. Hop to other islands by boat. Both Bequia and Canouan offer gorgeous beaches with world-class diving and snorkeling. Canouan is also home to luxurious resorts and spas.

Photo by Jason Pratt.

For those looking for a truly exceptional experience, one shared by the likes of fashion designers and rock stars, head to the island of Mustique. It’s privately owned and dotted with exclusive accommodations, and as such, doesn’t have public transportation and is, unsurprisingly, far more expensive than the surrounding islands. Macaroni Beach is a must for any Mustique visitors, with its elegant stretch of white sand dotted with palm-topped cabanas.

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Like the rest of the Caribbean, this is the dry season for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It sees the least rain in March, with only marginally more in February and temperatures remain steadily in the mid 80s during the day and the upper 70s at night.

Photo by Jason Pratt.

Where to stay: The islands offer a range of accommodations, including some top resorts. On Mustique, consider The Cotton House. With beachy elegance, its 17 suites and cottages offer private plunge pools and verandas and embrace Caribbean luxury. St. Vincent has the Buccament Bay Resort, an all-inclusive hotel situated on a beautiful stretch of beach, with an exquisite pool and deck for daytime lounging.

Don’t Miss: The St. Vincent Botanic Gardens, the oldest in the western hemisphere; the local flavors available at the Public Market in Kingstown.

Flight time: 14 hours, with layover
Airport: E. T. Joshua Airport
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar
Language: English
Cost: no data currently

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For more information, visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines tourism website

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