Saint Vincent was originally named Hairouna “The Land of the Blessed” by the native Caribs who originally inhabited the island. Located 90 miles west of Barbados, St Vincent is one of an archipelago of 32 islands and cays known as “the Jewels of the Caribbean”. St Vincent is an un spoilt tropical haven with secluded beaches and spectacular backdrops of high mountain peaks and valleys cloaked in lush tropical forest with cascading waterfalls.
In the north of St Vincent, Owia Salt Pond and the Falls of Baleine can be reached by boat or, for the more adventurous; a rewarding trek through the lush rainforests to the summit of La Soufriere Volcano, the beautiful Trinity Falls or the more recently discovered Dark View Falls 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. Inland, and not to far from the Buccament Bay Resort is the Vermont Nature Trails, where the rare and colourful national parrot of St Vincent the Amazona Giuldingii can be found.
Kingstown is the capital and main port of St Vincent, and sitting high above it is the stone battlements of the imposing Fort Charlotte. 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. While the English lay claim to the island in 1627, the French was 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 or Black Caribs. The abolishment of slavery in 1834 attracted many Portuguese immigrants 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 has the reputation of the “Critter Capital of the Caribbean.” And is fast becoming among’s 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 and an abundance of colourful marine life. Snorkel in the turquoise waters of the Grenadines, just a short boat ride away, and float among the turtles and observe the wonderful variety of inhabitants of the Horseshoe Reef, from octopus, scorpion fish, spotted moray and queen angel fish.
St Vincent is soon to become one of the top tourist destinations in the Caribbean, the construction of the new St Vincent international airport will see a larger number of visitors to the St Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, Union Island, Canouan and the rest of the grenadines.
|Visa requirements||No Visa Requirement|
|Languages spoken||English, Creole|
|Currency used||Eastern Caribbean Dollars|
|Area (km2)||389 km2|
|Country name||St Vincent and the Grenadines|