St Vincent - An Enchanting ParadiseIn the north of St Vincent, La Soufriere Volcano, Owia Salt Pond and the Falls of Baleine can be reached by boat or, for the more adventurous, a rewarding trek through the verdant rainforests to the summit for breathtaking views. On the west coast is Wallilabou Bay, which was used as the fictional location for Port Royal in the Disney film “The Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl” and its sequel “Dead Man's Chest”. Inland, the Vermont Nature Trails meander through lush rain forest where the rare and colourful St Vincent parrot can be found.
The stone battlements of the imposing Fort Charlotte sit high above Kingstown, the capital and port of St Vincent, where a bustling crowd of vendors and shoppers wander amidst a colourful kaleidoscope of stalls selling fruits and spices. Meander along quaint cobblestone streets winding between colonial buildings and churches. The Botanic Gardens, founded in 1765, are the oldest in the Western Hemisphere and contain one of the original breadfruit trees brought from Tahiti in 1793 by Captain Bligh after the famous Bounty mutiny.
For more insight into the history of the island the Layou Petroglyphs and Black Point Tunnel are interesting to visit. St Vincent was originally inhabited by the Carib Indians and was originally named Hairouna, whose translation is ‘Island of the Blessed’. While the English lay claim to the island in 1627, the French were the first Europeans to settle on the islands shortly before 1700. African slaves, some shipwrecked or escaped from St Lucia or Grenada, sought refuge in St Vincent. These escaped slaves intermarried with the Caribs and became known as Garifuna. The abolishment of slavery in 1834 attracted many Portuguese immigrant farmers. French and English fought for decades over rights to St Vincent. On October 27, 1969, St Vincent was granted its associate statehood status which gave it complete control over all internal affairs.
St Vincent is among the top locations in the world for diving, snorkelling, and sailing. The clear, warm waters surrounding the island are home to an amazing underwater world with pristine coral reefs teeming with a magnificent abundance of colourful marine life. Diving ranges from gentle to exhilarating with an infinite selection of wall diving sites, wrecks, caves and caverns to explore. Snorkel in the turquoise waters of Tobago Cays, just a short boat ride away, and float among the hawksbill turtles and observe the wonderful variety of inhabitants of the Horseshoe Reef, from octopus, scorpion fish, spotted moray and queen angel fish.
The sea around St Vincent is considered to be some of the best cruising grounds in the world where sailing yachts may explore the deserted cays, rocks, sand bars and lagoons of The Grenadines and the delights of the awe-inspiring islands of Bequia, Mayreau and Union Island.
|Area||344 sq km/133 sq miles; 29 km/18 miles long 18 km/11 miles wide. The island has a total of 84 km of coastline|
|Language||Official language is English|
|Monetary unit||Eastern Caribbean dollar EC$ (fixed to the US dollar); US dollars are widely accepted|
|Climate||Tropical climate with little seasonal temperature variation averaging 27°c; average daily sunshine is 8–9 hours; seasonal rainfall between May and November|
|Airport||The E.T. Joshua airport is 1.5 hour from Richmond Vale Nature and Hiking Center|