Beautiful white sand beaches and marine activities give this small country a global identity. But you know as they say, there’s a lot more in an identity!
1. While the country is made up of 32 islands and cays, only 9 of them are actually inhabited.
2. The country is home to the oldest botanical gardens in the Western Hemisphere which were formed back in 1765 and having been conserving rare species of plants since that early a time.
3. Kingstown is actually referred to as the “City of Arches” because the city’s buildings have approximately 400 arches!
4. The national bird the Amazona Guildingii is endemic to the Antilles region. It is commonly called the Saint Vincentian Parrot.
5. The volcanic origin of the country has caused a number of the beaches in the country to have dark sand. Meanwhile, tourism ensured the pristine maintenance of those blessed with white sand and naturally it comes as no surprise that these are flocked with resorts and hotels.
6. The hit franchise Pirates of the Caribbean actually shot multiple scenes from their first 3 instalments in this country!
7. At the country’s second largest island, Bequia, whales have been spotted for years.
8. Its name was actually bestowed upon it by Columbus in tribute to a Spanish saint named “Saint Vincent” Saragossa when he reached here in 1498. “Grenadines” meaning pomegranates actually refers to the specs of small islands spread around nearby.
9. Meanwhile, the Caribs or the early inhabitants would call it “Hairoun” meaning the “Land of the Blessed”.
10. Interestingly, the Spanish history states that these Caribs were actually cannibals suggesting that evidences of human trophies and cannibalism of war captives were discovered. However, whether this was the case or whether this was stated to justify their killing cannot be confirmed.
11. The breadfruit is not only a key ingredient to the staple diet of the country but also considered by many locals to be an intrinsic part of its identity.
12. It is narrated that Captain Bligh of the UK Royal Navy actually brought 66 breadfruit plants and species to Saint Vincent back in 1736 and the Botanical Garden even today has a sucker from one of those plants. Now that is one long life!
13. More than 225 species of fish are said to live in the waters of Saint Vincent!
14. The country has an active volcano called La Soufriere meaning “Sulphur Mine” in French. Its eruption in 1901, nearly wiped off the last of the Carib culture. Thankfully, the eruption of 1979 was predicted in time to evacuate people.
15. It is one of the only 3 countries in the world to prohibit disclosure of confidential information to other jurisdictions under the Preservation of Confidential Relationships (International Finance) Act, 1996. Information is permitted to be released in case of criminal matters. To an extent this has been regarded by foreigners to be a financial secrecy law!
Trip Leader Niyati’s Recommendations:
1. When two beaches have been named as the premier white sand beaches, I of course urge you to visit them! Villa and Indian Bay to make for the ideal beachy day!
2. And if you want to enjoy the water and its stunning blues but from the comfort and luxury of a yacht then you should know that Bequia is often lined with yachts and can fulfil this dream.
3. As for the ones who find their minds tickled by history, Fort Charlotte was constructed in 1806 and at a time housed over 600 men in troops. Today it is overlooking the bay and also sharing stories of the land that you would then be standing on.
4. The best of all has to be the Tobago Cays – uninhabited isles which make for dreamy dive sites. Yachts often simply dock themselves here, meanwhile, you get a chance to do scuba diving and snorkelling here, which I would certainly urge you to! You can even give kiteboarding a shot in this country! They have special course too.
5. Our hiker friends can also hike up to the La Soufriere volcano and take up the Rabacca trail if they’re looking to walk around amidst nature and explore on foot.
6. As for the beaches, there are plentiful with Saltwhistle Bay (Mayreau) and Macaroni beaches, both, certainly being worthy of visits.
How to Reach:
In order to reach Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, you will have to take flights with two or even more layovers via London, Barbados or Trinidad & Tobago.