To take a vacation on an island with a 4,048-foot-high volcano that is still very active that has erupted as recently as 1979, may not sound like a dream vacation for most, but St. Vincent Island (on which this volcano is located) and the Grenadines truly are destinations that seem plucked right out from fantasy. The islands are part of the Lesser Antilles chain. If Christopher Columbus didn’t realize what beauty he stumbled upon when he hit the waters of the Caribbean, he certainly would think so if he sailed up to them today!
Known as St. Vincent and the Grenadines, this 32-island nation of Windward Islands are located between St. Lucia and Grenada. With an area that measures 18 miles long and 11 miles wide and dominated by the active volcano, La Soufrière, considered the youngest volcano on the island, St. Vincent is inhabited by about 100, 000 but welcomes about the same number of people yearly to St. Vincent and neighbouring Grenadine islands as Mustique, Canouan, Bequia, and Union Island. Let’s not forget that there are also several cruise ship tourists who stop over for day visits. It is a popular vacation destination for travellers from the United Kingdom and the United States.
The thick canopied rainforests, mountainous range, and 84 kilometres of coastline that includes not only white-sand beaches but the rare and mystical black-sand beaches endure an average annual temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. To avoid the rainy season of May through to October, you may have to give up a few degrees to enjoy the cooler months of November through to February. Of course “cooler” in the Caribbean is likely nowhere near the cooler range of temperatures most travellers are truly avoiding back home!
Two of the most popular past-times to join in on are yachting and diving. If you are new to sailing you can opt to take on a sailing course to learn how to charter your own way or you can hire a chartering crew. For experienced divers, you’ll have a chance to see a spectacular underwater fissure that is essentially part of the structure of a half-submerged cave and is where you will encounter hundreds of rare bats. It is a rare experience that will be a highlight of all your life experiences travelling! See the wonderful coral formations at Anchor Reef, and for the expert divers, get a chance to dive down to three shipwrecks at the Capital Wrecks dive site.
For the less intensive water activities, take to snorkeling to see some of the more shallow reefs. Consider heading over to Tobago Cays to swim with the playful green turtles. Plan a kayaking adventure, kite surf or windsurf to your heart’s delight!
For inland adventures, why not hike to the top of La Soufrière volcano? It hasn’t erupted in a while! From atop the volcano, see the stunning panoramic views of the island’s surroundings. Hike along towards the crashing sounds of the enticing waterfalls and the swirling of the river pools where you can take a break and go for a relaxing swim. Perhaps you would like to walk along a trail that will lead you deep into the rainforests to explore the flora and fauna and catch sight of some exotic critters, including the rare and remarkable St. Vincent parrot.
Last but not the least; enjoy the many beaches of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Prince Margaret Beach and Lower Bay Beach on Bequia Island are two popular locales with plenty of bars and restaurants to keep your palette satisfied. Find your way to Saltwhistle Bay on Mayreau and you will find a new definition for perfection.