Bananas and other agricultural products remain the staple of this lower-middle income country's economy. Although tourism and other services have been growing moderately, the government has been ineffective at introducing new industries. Unemployment remains high, and economic growth hinges upon seasonal variations in the agricultural and tourism sectors.
While the English were the first to lay claim to St. Vincent in 1627, the French would be the first European settlers on the island when they established their first colony at Barrouallie on the Leeward side of St. Vincent shortly before 1700. Carib Indians aggressively prevented European settlement on St. Vincent until the 18th century. African slaves, whether shipwrecked or escaped from St. Lucia or Grenada and seeking refuge in St. Vincent, intermarried with the Caribs. St. Vincent was ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1763), restored to French rule in 1779 and regained by the British under the Treaty of Versailles in 1783.
Slavery was abolished in 1834; the resulting labour shortages on the plantations attracted Portuguese immigrants in the 1840s and east Indians in the 1860s. From 1763 until independence, St. Vincent passed through various stages of colonial status under the British and it was granted associate statehood status on October 27, 1969, giving it complete control over its internal affairs. Following a referendum in 1979, St. Vincent and the Grenadines became the last of the Windward Islands to gain full independence.
Natural disasters have plagued the country throughout the 20th century. In 1902, Soufrière volcano erupted, killing 2,000 people. Much farmland was damaged, and the economy deteriorated. In April 1979, La Soufriere erupted again. Although no one was killed, thousands had to be evacuated, and there was extensive agricultural damage. In 1980 and 1987, hurricanes devastated banana and coconut plantations; 1998 and 1999 also saw very active Hurricane seasons, with hurricane Lenny in 1999 causing extensive damage to the west coast of the island.
Tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November).
Volcanic, mountainous. Highest point: Soufriere volcano (St Vincent) 1,234 m
The largest airport is E.T. Joshua Airport just outside of the capital of Kingstown. Most flights in and out are relatively local, mostly flying to nearby islands such as Canouan, St. Lucia, Barbados, and Saint Kitts. A new international airport is under construction and is estimated to be completed in 2015, at which time E.T. Joshua will cease operation.
The islands have many docks and bays, including two large enough to accommodate a cruise ship. Despite this, very few cruises stop in the country and the vast majority of travellers come to the country either by aeroplane or by yacht.
The island is relatively small, but the mountainous landscape makes it difficult to get around. The main highways run along the coasts and as such it is necessary to drive around the whole of the island to get from one side to the other. In terms of public transportation the island is served by a large number of privately owned vans that act as a bus service. These vans have an "H" at the beginning of their license plates, meaning they are "for hire." Cost to ride is EC$1. Many of them have graphics on the front. Driving is on the left.
Windward Islands - Windward Islands, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all crewed charter (no bareboat available) in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Operating from 8 international offices (USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Monaco).
The main language on the islands is English. As a former British colony, British spellings are more common than American spellings.
The currency of the country is the East Caribbean dollar, denoted by the symbol: "$" or "EC$" (ISO currency code: XCD), which is also used by seven other island nations in the Caribbean. The EC dollar is subdivided into 100 cents. It is pegged to the United States dollar at an exchange rate of US$1 = EC$2.70.
Coins circulate in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 cents and 1 dollar. Banknotes circulate in denominations of 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollars.
A helpful hint: When using US dollars, multiply the price you see by 0.4 and you will get change back. Most merchants accept both paper U.S. and all forms of EC currency. U.S. coins are not accepted, as the central bank does not accept them as currency.
Surfside Restaurant - between Calliaqua and Ratho Mill (turn at Sunsail)
In Kingstown, the water is safe to drink, but be a bit careful at some other locations. The water quality can vary depending upon the season of the year and how the water (often rain water) is collected. Bitter Lemon is a popular soda. Hairoun is a popular locally produced beer. Adventurous drinkers will want to try Black Wine.
Many tourists arrive in the Grenadines, stay at a resort, and never get the opportunity to interact with the citizens. If you want to get a taste of the true culture, consider a guest house or apartment in Kingstown. Fort View Guest House in Edinboro is a good choice. It is within walking distance of downtown Kingstown.
Hurricanes are an annual risk. The La Soufriere volcano on the island of Saint Vincent is occasionally active, but a sophisticated advance warning system is in place and resulted in zero casualties in its latest eruption in 1979.
The US government suggests that hepatitis A and B shots be given to anyone travelling in the Caribbean, however there are no major health risks in the country.
St. Vincent uses the North American style of calling codes, where all local numbers are seven digits. The area code for the islands is 784, which makes all international numbers for Saint Vincent in the form of 1-784-XXX-XXXX
Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines are fantastic both on land and water. From yachting around the cays to exploring the pretty St. George's harbor, these islands have lush green interiors abundant with coconut groves and banana plantations. Footprint's Handbook provides invaluable information on transport, accommodation, eating and entertainment to ensure that your trip includes the best of these charming islands.• Essentials section with useful advice on getting to and around Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines.• Comprehensive, up-to-date listings of where to eat, sleep and relax.• Includes information on tour operators and activities, from sailing in the gorgeous waters to visiting rum distilleries.• Detailed maps for the islands.• Slim enough to fit in your pocket.With detailed information on all the main sights, plus many lesser-known attractions, Footprint's Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines Handbook provides concise and comprehensive coverage of some of the Caribbean's most gloriously picturesque islands.
Describes the history, culture, climate, and wildlife of these Caribbean islands, and shows the natural beauty of their landscapes.
"I don't always design travel journals, but when I do they are the kind of travel journals that people throw parades for." - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
THE SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES TRAVEL JOURNAL has been carefully crafted by the legendary nomad Cormac Younghusband to help make your trip unforgettable, fun and organized—with plenty of room to help spur spontaneity and document new discoveries.
This journal can help you plan, live out and record every stage of your journey to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—from pre-trip, to getting there, to being there, to getting home, and afterwards.
"Saint Vincent and the Grenadines food is among the world's finest. They do this thing with the thing!" - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
The first part of the journal is for PRE-TRIP PLANNING and contains sections for important information, a page to write about what inspired you to make the trip, a page to write about the who, where, what, when, how of the journey, a page to make note of your travel companions, a number of pages to organize your travel research.* Plus, you will find sections for drafting an itinerary and keeping a journey to-do checklist.
The second part of the journal deals with GETTING THERE, containing sections to describe getting there and arriving.
The third part of the journal is all about BEING THERE. There are sections for: tracking the stuff you buy and for your daily adventures there are 50 two-page daily records to keep notes on: day #, date, weather, places visited, what happened today + thoughts on what happened, the highlight of the day and extensive notes (with a handy reminder list of things to write about). Because there are about 103,537 people in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, there's also a section to record the names and contact info of the people you meet along the way.
The fourth part of the journal is for GETTING HOME, that fateful day you depart and the days that follow. There are sections for describing your departure, for making your own top 10 highlights lists, a country radar to help you create a signature review of the country, and an afterwards where you can sum up the meaning of your trip.
When a trip is over, Cormac Younghusband recommends you start planning your NEXT TRIP. To help, there is a section where you can make a travel wish list.
Also included is a COUNTRY BRIEF to give you important info on the destination and a MAP to give you an idea of the lay of the land. Plus, at the back of the book there are sections for: generic packing ideas, measures and conversions, and pages for notes, sketches, maps and such
"Find a place in the world you haven't been, and go there. Keep on trucking, my friends" - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - * Research Such As: places to go / explore, places to stay, places to shop / must have souvenirs, cultural / sporting events to attend, historical / religious sites of interest, pubs-bars-places-to-party, beaches / forests / natural wonders to see, parks & gardens to wander through, things to eat and drink / dining experiences, festivals & events to attend, stuff for kids - seniors - and such, experiences to experience, important local customs, etiquette, laws, and such.
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"Why visit Saint Vincent and the Grenadines? Because, it's there." - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
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WHEREVER YOU'RE GOING, YOUNGHUSBAND WORLD TRAVEL JOURNALS HAS THE PERFECT JOURNAL FOR YOU.
A brief yet detailed report on the country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with updated information on the map, flag, history, people, economics, political conditions in government, foreign affairs, and U.S. relations.
A mesmerizing journey through a chain of tropical islands in a little known part of the Eastern Caribbean. The peaceful azure waters, lagoons, untouched rainforests and stunning white sand beaches will have you packing your bags to leave the world behind.There is a country of small islands in the West Indies, lost in time. Its mountainous terrain has helped in keeping its vast natural beauty intact. Thirty two islands with mystical names like Bequia and Mustique, St Vincent and the Grenadines is in the most blessed part of the Caribbean―dramatic mountains and beaches, fertile soil and plentiful rain. This idyllic setting has nurtured a gentle and simple way life yet one rich in adventure, social contact, and a dazzling variety of locally grown cuisine. Explore the rare flora, taste the fresh fruits, local fish and spices, and partake in Vincentian “liming” ―sharing food, drink, jokes and anecdotes, with no other intent than enjoying life. This collection of breathtaking photographs will revitalize both body and soul. 128 color photographs
This thorough, handy, and affordable guide to the 75-mile-long chain of islands that stretches from St. Vincent to Grenada is geared toward the savvy and sophisticated traveler. Highlighted are what to see and discover at this remote end of the West Indies. Covered are the relatively undiscovered destination of St. Vincent; the majestic Grenada (the Spice Isle), and the Grenadine islands—Bequia, Mustique, Mayreau, Canouan, the Tobago Cays, Union, Palm, Petit St. Vincent, Petit Martinique, and Carriacou.
Le chapitre Saint-Vincent-et-les-Grenadines du guide Ulysse Explorez les Caraïbes présente Saint-Vincent-et-les-Grenadines avec ses principaux attraits tels que Saint-Vincent et Kingstown, sa St. Mary’s Church et son Jardin botanique, et ailleurs dans l’île, Layou (pétroglyphes), les Trinity Falls, les Dark View Falls, Wallilalou Bay, Falls of Baleine, la Mesopotamia Valley, les Montreal Gardens et le volcan de la Soufrière, ainsi que les Grenadines et Bequia, leur chef-lieu Port Elizabeth et son Fort Hamilton, et ailleurs dans l’île de Bequia l’Oldhegg Turtle Sanctuary, en plus de Mustique Island, un choix de bons restaurants (L’Auberge des Grenadines et Mac’s Pizzeria à Port Elizabeth), sans oublier les magnifiques plages de Bequia (Princess Margaret Beach et Lower Bay Beach), ou encore le logement, du complexe balnéaire de Young Island aux hôtels, ainsi que les meilleures boutiques (au centre-ville de Kingstown et St. Vincent Craftsmen’s Centre sur Saint-Vincent, Mauvin’s Model Boat Shop à Port Elizabeth sur Bequia). De splendides photographies en couleurs illustrent le texte, aussi agréable à consulter qu’ultra-pratique grâce à sa structure facile à comprendre en un clin d’œil : l’outil idéal pour planifier un voyage et tirer le maximum d’un séjour à Saint-Vincent-et-les-Grenadines. Carte détaillée de Saint-Vincent-et-les-Grenadines avec localisation des principaux attraits et système d’étoiles pour repérer les incontournables.
"My wife and I took this book with us on a recent "Yankee Clipper" cruise from Windjammer. The book was quite useful with good descriptions (usually a paragraph or two) of the accomodations and restaurants on the islands we visited (Grenada, Mayreau, Bequia, Carricou, Tobago Cays). The authors were very up front about the experiences they DIDN'T like which helped us to avoid frustration. The book also had a nicely organized table of contents which helped navigate the book quickly... This is an excellent guidebook for the area and is highly recommended." -- Matthew Clark (Amazon reviewer) " 6 of 6 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable and worthwhile guide, November 14, 2003 By A Customer This guide is immediate and thorough; it give a host of places and activities that could fulfill even the most bored tourist's desires. The book is salted with the kind of personal experience that makes visiting these islands so special. They take us away from palm beaches, island vistas and rugged emerald mountains and put us in touch with the people who inhabit these beautiful places. From fishermen in Barrouallie to Rastas in the Port Elizabeth market and a botanist in St. George's, we get a sense of the lives that entwine to make up the fabric of these islands. Also, each section begins with a history of the place at hand, so important to understanding the southern Windwards. The authors have produced a journeyman labor, a product of discernment and enterprise tempered with warmth and humor. Those of us who have seen the southern Windwards as a special place for so long have reason to be thankful and relieved." -- Paul Tyler, Caribbean Compass Selected by the Caribbean Tourism Organization as "Best Guidebook to the Caribbean," it covers Mustique, Bequia, Palm Island, Tobago Cays, Carriacou, Mayreau, Petit St Vincent, St Vincent and Grenada, at the southern end of the Caribbean arc, just below St Lucia. St Vincent has the oldest botanical gardens in the Americas; on Bequia, some islanders still harpoon whales as their ancestors did; Grenada has pristine reefs and abundant natural beauty; and tiny Mustique, home to countless celebrities, has verdant mountains. The series of "Adventure Guides" are about living more intensely, waking up to your surroundings and truly experiencing all that you encounter. Each book offers a mix of practical travel information along with activities designed for everyone, no matter what their age or ability. Comprehensive background information - history, culture, geography and climate - presents a knowledge of each destination and its people. Regional chapters take you on an introductory tour, with stops at museums, historic sites and local attractions. The volumes also cover: places to stay and eat; transportation to, from and around your destination; practical concerns; useful websites; e-mail addresses; and tourism contacts. Detailed regional and town maps feature walking and driving tours.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Petty crime occurs. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. There have been instances of property being stolen from anchored yachts in the Grenadines.
Traffic drives on the left. Road conditions are generally poor. Mountain roads are narrow and steep with few guardrails or markings. Roadside assistance is not widely available. Exercise caution, particularly after dark. Drive defensively at all times.
Taxis and buses are relatively safe, but can be overcrowded and frequently travel at excessive speeds.
Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
Exercise caution when swimming, due to strong currents and undertow, especially around Trinity Falls, Warriacou and Mount Wynne. Do not swim alone, after hours or outside marked areas. Avoid deserted and unpatrolled beaches after dark.
Always hire an experienced guide and ensure that the trekking company is reputable for mountain expeditions to the northern area of Saint Vincent, due to limited police presence (notably in Trinity Falls, Falls of Baleine, and Soufrière).
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.
Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.
Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.
Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.
Possession of illegal drugs, including marijuana, may result in large fines or imprisonment.
Law prohibits civilians from importing camouflage material. Although camouflage clothing may be worn, one should not be fully outfitted (from cap to boot) in camouflage gear.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
If you are interested in purchasing property or making other investments, seek legal advice from appropriate professionals in Canada and in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines before making commitments. Disputes arising from such activities could be prolonged and costly to resolve.
The currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD).
The hurricane season extends from June to the end of November. The National Hurricane Center provides additional information on weather conditions. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.