St Vincent and the Grenadines is an island chain with great variation in landscapes and character within a small area. You might choose to discover the real Caribbean in Bequia, spot stars in Mustique or enjoy outstanding snorkelling around the Tobago Cays.
All of the islands are great for water-based activities including snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing excursions and boat trips. The Grenadines offer excellent sailing opportunities, with quick journeys between the islands and leisurely cruising too - see below for more information about sailing and scuba diving in the Grenadines.
- Wander around Kingstown, the country’s capital city with its cobbled streets and colonial architecture. Overlooking the city is the historic Fort Charlotte, offering beautiful views of the city and surrounding islands.
- Visit the botanical gardens on the outskirts of Kingstown, where a guide can be hired to tell you about the tropical plants, flowers, trees and birds.
- Hike to the top of La Soufriere volcano, an uphill climb of about 2 hours through rainforest, thicket and cloud forest to the crater of the active volcano.
- Go on a coastal cruise, passing rugged cliffs and black sand beaches as you head up the west coast towards Wallilabou Bay, one of the locations used in the filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
- Relax on one of the island’s many lovely beaches such as Princess Margaret Beach where Jack’s Bar & Restaurant is located, and Lower Bay Beach which is home to De Reef Bar & Restaurant.
- Visit the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, where endangered hawksbill turtle hatchlings are looked after until they can be released back into the sea.
- Explore the Firefly Plantation, where visitors can discover the ruins of the old sugar mill, stroll through the orchards and banana plantations, or dine under mango trees.
- Visit Port Elizabeth, the island’s colourful main town which is set in a pretty bay with small area of local business, restaurants and boutiques. Relax in waterfront bars, stroll through picturesque streets or admire the typical gingerbread buildings. Fort Hamilton offers panoramic views over the town and Admiralty Bay.
- Learn about the ancient craft of model boat building at one of the workshops which continue to make replicas.
- Enjoy a picnic lunch on the picture-perfect Macaroni Beach, one of the most famous stretches of sand on Mustique.
- Visit Basil’s Beach Bar & Restaurant which hosts a barbeque buffet dinner with live music on Wednesdays, and a sunset jazz and blues evening on Sundays. The bar is also the home of the annual Mustique Blues Festival where musicians from around the world play in a picturesque setting.
- Go horse riding through the hills or along deserted beaches.
- Watch films under the stars at the Cotton House open air cinema, with weekly movie nights for adults and children.
- Play golf on the only golf course in the Grenadines, offering spectacular panoramic views from the highest holes and spotting the many tortoises that the island is known for.
- Visit the newly built Glossy Bay Marina.
These private island resorts both have a watersports centre, spa and many beaches to relax on. Other things to do include:
- Cycle around Palm Island and climb one of the hillside trails to enjoy stunning views over the island and out to sea.
- Hike up Marni Hill’s 275 ft summit on Petit St Vincent.
- Visit Union Island from Palm Island or Petit St Vincent to visit local markets or to go kite surfing.
- Go on a boat trip to the Tobago Cays where visitors can snorkel with turtles or over a coral reef, enjoy barbequed lobster on the beach and go scuba diving. The reef is a protected national park and can be busy in high season.
- Visit Mayreau, the smallest inhabited island in the Grenadines which boasts pristine beaches.
The Grenadines is a superb sailing destination, with plenty of anchorages in sheltered bays that were once frequented by pirates.
If you wish to charter a yacht, St Vincent is the best place to do this as it is the northernmost island and gateway to the Grenadines. Your yacht can be provisioned in advance of your arrival if you wish, or you can take a 5 minute taxi ride to the nearby supermarket.
On your departure from the marina at the south of St Vincent it's a 9 mile broad reach south to Bequia.
Heading away from Bequia you can either sail the 15 mile reach south west to Mustique or broad reach south to Canouan.
At the Tobago Cays, you can anchor behind the reef in sheltered water but take care not to drop the hook on the coral.
Palm Island and Petit St Vincent both have quiet, secluded anchorages allowing sailors to go ashore and dine in the exclusive restaurants.
The waters of the Grenadines are excellent for scuba diving in the Grenadines, with plenty of premier dive sites that allow divers to discover a spectacular underwater world. Many resorts on the islands offer scuba diving, plus there are a number of independent dive centres such as the Canouan Scuba Centre. Located in the heart of The Grenadines, the dive shop provides scuba diving excursions to suit all levels of ability, from complete beginners to experienced divers. It offers a flexible schedule to meet all requirements such as a two-tank dive in the morning and a sunset adventure to explore the marine life as light fades. New ScubaPro wetsuits are available in all sizes along with a selection of fins, masks and snorkels. It goes without saying that the PADI dive shop is fully insured and has also received numerous awards for excellence.
Dives sites in the Grenadines include the following:
Kingstown Wrecks: A dive site in Kingstown Harbour, just off the south coast of St Vincent, consisting of three separate wrecks which are almost on top of each other.
Anchor Reef: A pretty reef off the west coast of St Vincent which is so called because of the anchor buried within it. The reef starts at 30ft and drops to 120ft, home to plenty of fish, black coral and seahorses.
The Steps: Just off the south coast of St Vincent, this dive starts on a plateau at a depth of about 20ft then the seabed gradually slopes down to 60ft giving divers the perfect chance to look out for snappers, eels and turtles.
Mayreau Gardens: A popular site just off the small island of Mayreau, 40-60ft deep with ridges creating hills and valleys as well as walls, stunning coral and sponges and a chance of seeing eagle rays and barracudas. This drift dive means that the current sweeps you along making it accessible for most divers.
H.M.S Purina: Thought to be the wreck of an English warship that misjudged the reef, the 100ft-long dive site lies off the island of Mayreau at a depth of 40ft. It’s a perfect home for marine life as most of the ship has deteriorated leaving only a skeletal outline of the warship. However, the bow and stern of the wreck are relatively intact along with the captain’s toilet – a favourite spot for divers to photograph!
The Horseshoe Reef: This reef acts like the Great Barrier Reef of the Caribbean, protecting four of the Tobago Cays and home to green, hawksbill and loggerhead sea turtles. It’s shallow inside the curve of the reef and deeper and more dramatic on the outside.
Petit St Vincent
Mopion Reef: Located just off the coast of Petit St Vincent, this reef surrounds a tiny isle and is the perfect place to spot many types of sharks.
Charlestown Reef: A continuous reef on the outer side of Charlestown Bay with plenty of crevices and cracks making it an ideal home for a myriad of small sea creatures. This is recommended as a great dive for beginners and photographers.
Gibraltar: With an array of marine life including horse eye jacks, barracudas, mackerel, southern rays and lobsters, Gibraltar is made up of five pinnacles that start at a depth of 30-40ft before descending to100 ft. making it a great challenge for more advanced divers.
Bachelors Reef: This dive starts in the shallows and then drops down to 60-80ft giving divers an opportunity to spot lobsters, octopus and, if lucky, a nurse shark too.
Glossy: Located on the northern side of Canouan airport, the dive immediately drops down to 60ft and has numerous shelves and coral. This is home to a host of beautiful tropical fish including green morays, porcupine fish and ocean tiger fish. Thirty minutes into the dive you reach boulders which form a different habitat, creating excellent swimming troughs attracting large lobsters and tarpons.