The Caribbean islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines offer an authentic and uncommercialised experience that has captured the hearts of countless visitors. Comprising the mainland (St Vincent) and 32 smaller islands and cays (the Grenadines), this country is steeped in authentic Caribbean culture, brimming with warm and friendly local people. There are so many unforgettable things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and this comprehensive guide is your key to discovering the best this stunning destination has to offer.
Now, you might be wondering, “Where exactly is this paradise you’ve described? How do I travel to St Vincent and the Grenadines?” Let’s dive in and find out!
Where is Saint Vincent and the Grenadines?
Hundreds of thousands of people visit SVG’s well-known neighbouring islands every year. It baffles us why St Vincent and the Grenadines isn’t more popular. But then again, the fact it is unspoiled by mass tourism is part of its charm.
11 Best Things To Do In St Vincent and the Grenadines
1. Go Island Hopping & Visit the Tobago Cays
Island hopping in St Vincent and the Grenadines is easier than you might expect and it allows you to explore the wonders of this Caribbean nation. With a collection of idyllic islands and cays scattered throughout the region, each offering its own unique charm and attractions, island hopping is one of the best things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
One of the must-visit destinations during your island hopping adventure is the renowned Tobago Cays. Situated within a stunning Marine Park, the Tobago Cays boast five impressively small, uninhabited islands that form a true tropical paradise. From the moment you set foot on these pristine shores, you’ll be mesmerised by the postcard-perfect scenery, the resident turtles swimming around the cays and the crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Snorkelling enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise, swimming alongside friendly Tobago Cays turtles, spotting brilliant starfish, and gliding past graceful stingrays will be just some of the magical encounters you’ll experience. It’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Getting Between the Islands
Getting between the islands in the Grenadines is relatively easy, with various transportation options available to cater to different preferences and budgets. Here are some popular ways to travel between the islands:
- Ferry Services: The Jaden Sun or Bequia Express ferries operate between the main island of St Vincent and some of the larger Grenadine islands, such as Bequia, Mustique, and Union Island. These ferries offer a convenient and affordable way to hop between the islands, and the journey typically takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the distance.
- Private Boat Charters: For a more personalised and flexible experience, you can arrange a private boat charter. Many local operators offer this service, and it allows you to customise your itinerary and explore the lesser-known cays and secluded spots at your own pace.
- Inter-Island Flights: If you prefer a quicker mode of transportation, you can opt for inter-island flights with SVG Air and other local airlines. The flights are relatively short, usually taking around 20-30 minutes.
- Yacht or Sailboat: The Grenadines are a popular destination for yachting and sailing enthusiasts. If you have access to a yacht or sailboat, you can navigate the waters independently and explore the islands at your leisure. There are several marinas and anchorages available for mooring.
- Water Taxis: In some areas, you’ll find water taxis that offer on-demand transportation between nearby islands and cays. These water taxis are a convenient option for short trips and can be easily arranged at the local harbours.
- Catamaran Cruises: For a more leisurely and scenic experience, consider joining a catamaran cruise. These day trips often include stops at various islands and snorkelling opportunities along the way, providing a relaxing way to explore multiple destinations in one excursion.
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Be sure to plan your island-hopping adventure in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Whether you’re seeking convenience, adventure, or a combination of both, getting between the islands in St Vincent and the Grenadines is all part of the adventure.
2. Tour La Soufriere Volcano
La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent is a natural wonder that commands both respect and fascination. Towering over the island, this active volcano stands as a testament to the raw power of nature and the ever-changing landscape of the region.
La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent erupted on 9th April 2021 for the first time in 40 years, sending a 10km ash plume into the sky. Our friends in Bequia (around 10 miles from St Vincent) were on the beach and witnessed a cloud of grey ash looming. They knew immediately the volcano had erupted and that it was only a matter of time before the neighbouring islands would also get an ash-covering.
Of course, St Vincent was sadly the worst to be affected, with many homes evacuated and damaged. The ability to hike and tour the volcano has only recently opened up to visitors again, with it being too dangerous immediately after the eruption.
The La Soufriere hike is a challenging adventure, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and definitely one of the best things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
You cannot hike the volcano without a tour guide. The tour is typically around 4 – 6 hours roundtrip, so it is one of the more adventurous things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The hike is approximately 8 km to the 4000-foot summit. At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views down into the crater and across the island.
🎒 Book your La Soufriere volcano tour:
3. Walk the Vermont Nature Trail
Starting near the top of Buccament Valley, the Vermont Nature Trail is a 2-mile hike loop that will have you looking in all directions admiring the lush tropical rainforest.
During the walk, look out for the strictly protected St Vincent Parrot, Amarzona Guildingii in its natural habitat, and the Whistling Warbler. There are many varieties of species said to live in this bustling rainforest surrounding and canopying the Vermont Nature Trail.
Vermont Nature Trail is easy to navigate, with directions and information guides when needed during the trail walk. The trail itself sweeps through Buccament Valley, which means you get to experience a beautiful rainforest backdrop and the tranquil sight of water running through the valley as you make your way around.
4. Chase Waterfalls in St Vincent
The dense tropical landscapes of St Vincent are home to cascading rivers and waterfalls. It really is an explorer’s dream, and with so many falls to splash around in, you won’t be lost for things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines if you love a good waterfall.
Here are some of the best waterfalls in St Vincent.
Dark View Falls
Dark View Falls is the most popular falls in St Vincent and perhaps one of the best waterfalls in the Caribbean!
After crossing a rickety bamboo bridge, continue on a short while until you come to a viewing deck overlooking the first falls. This is a great spot to take photos and there’s plenty of space if you want to take a picnic and enjoy a few Hairoun, the local crafted beer produced and bottled in St Vincent.
However, the magic doesn’t end there! Walk across the first falls and follow the trail up some steep steps until you reach some stepping stones ahead. Turn left and you’ll find the second waterfall at Dark View Falls. These upper falls are usually quieter than the first – we had it all to ourselves in the middle of the day while the lower waterfall was crowded, with people playing music and taking photos.
The upper falls are also bigger and better, with a natural, invigoratingly cold pool at the foot of the falls. I recommend spending most of your time at the second waterfall.
Dark View Falls Opening Times: 9 am – 5 pm.
Falls of Beline
The Falls of Beline is one of the more remote waterfalls in St Vincent. It is a little bit harder to get to, it’s said to be one of St Vincent’s finest natural wonders, plunging 60 feet into an open, freshwater pool.
As these falls are only accessible by boat, there are several moorings to facilitate boat arrivals and a footpath, bridge and landing platform. Although these developments have taken place, this doesn’t detract from the natural beauty of these falls.
Will Be Free Falls
One of the many falls located in South Rivers, Will Be Free Falls is perhaps one of the few waterfalls in St Vincent and the Grenadines that is growing in popularity.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get the time to discover this waterfall. However, there are a few helpful vlogs on Youtube showcasing how to navigate your way to the waterfall and the beauty of the falls itself.
Three Pond Falls
Time for a hidden gem waterfall! Three Pond Falls are three separate falls, one above the other, that cascade into natural pools. A visit to these falls is absolutely one of the best things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Getting to Three Pond Falls is the trickiest part. Set your GPS to Table Rock. From there, head up the flowing river and cross over it when you see an opening in the landscape to your left.
Follow the river bed for about 25 minutes, using your initiative to zig-zag across the river and riverbank. Be careful as some parts may be muddy and slippery. Generally, it is safer to get your feet wet and walk through the river to avoid slipping.
Keep going until you come to a deeper section of the river where you’ll find a large tree trunk that looks like it’s fallen across the river. You’re nearly there – the falls are just ahead.
You can get into the river (just below hip height) to climb over the tree trunk. Once you’re over the tree, keep going forward for a few more minutes until you reach Three Pond Falls!
Of all the waterfalls in the Caribbean that we’ve discovered, the seclusion, remoteness and beauty of Three Pond Falls have rendered it one of our all-time favourite.
Owia Salt Pond
Ok, so it’s not actually a waterfall but the Owia Salt Pond is a hidden gem in St Vincent that deserves to be on your list of adventures! Nestled on the northeastern coast of St Vincent, the Owia Salt Pond is a picturesque lagoon formed by volcanic rocks, creating a natural pool where fresh seawater mixes with the waves of the Caribbean Sea.
The result is a tranquil oasis with crystal-clear waters and a serene atmosphere, perfect for swimming, wading, or simply lounging in calm, soothing surroundings.
For the more adventurous, the pond offers a unique opportunity to indulge in a therapeutic natural spa experience. The mineral-rich waters are believed to have healing properties!
Given its remote location and to make the most of your experience, hiring a knowledgeable tour guide is essential. They will not only enhance your journey by providing valuable insights but also ensure your safety along the way.
When was the last time you could say you saw a waterfall inside of a deep volcanic canyon? Well, welcome to Trinity Falls!
These falls are located just four miles from Richard Vale Academy. After a 20-minute walk through the rainforest, you’ll find three powerful waterfalls separated by natural cliff face.
The trailhead to Trinity Falls was officially closed years ago as it was declared unsafe due to landslides. We therefore recommend only visiting these falls with a guide who has experience tackling this route.
5. Go Hiking
Hiking is one of the best things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines because there is an array of incredible hiking opportunities that cater to various difficulty levels, making them accessible to all. One common thread that runs through each hike is the rewarding views at the top.
Unquestionably one of the most difficult but rewarding hikes is the La Soufriere Volcano tour. However, there are many hikes to choose from. From touring the edge of a volcanic crater to hiking deep in the rainforest, here are some of the best hikes in St Vincent and the Grenadines:
- La Soufriere Volcano Hike, St Vincent (difficulty level: hard)
- Vermont Nature Trail, St Vincent
- Buccament Forest Nature Trail, St Vincent
- Cumberland Nature Trail, St Vincent
- Ma Peggy, Bequia
- St Hilaire, Bequia
- Mount Royal, Canouan
- Saline Bay to Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau
- Mount Taboi, Union Island
- East Coast Hike, Mustique
- Salt Pond Trail, Mustique
6. Snorkel or Dive
Getting under the wave has to be on your list of things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines. If you’re a snorkelling or diving fanatic, then you’ll love the plethora of beautiful coral, sea beds, shipwrecks and underwater ruins around the islands and cays. What’s more, there is a wide range of marine life such as Hawksbill turtles, sea horses, eagle rays, starfish, rainbow fish and many, many more.
The 1400-acre Tobago Cays Marine Park in the Grenadines arguably offers the best snorkelling in the Caribbean. It is home to a turtle colony (on Baradal Cay) and a 2.5-mile-long Horseshoe Reef where you will find an incredible array of marine life and vibrant coral.
Snorkelling and diving in Bequia, the second largest island in St Vincent and the Grenadines, is fantastic. This is where you’ll see Hawksbill turtles, seahorses, and eels, amongst other underwater wildlife. You can find gear and have lessons at Dive Bequia.
Over on Mustique, you’ll encounter sloping reefs and colourful marine life as well as 1918 gunship wreck, just 40 feet off the coast of Mayreau.
Some other incredible diving and snorkelling spots in St Vincent and the Grenadines are:
- The Bat Cave, St Vincent – a shallow passageway cut through the reef leading into a cave is perfect for underwater photographers but one of the most challenging dives in St Vincent.
- Lower Bay, Bequia – from the shore, snorkel to the reef found at the western tip of Lower Bay.
- Chatham Bay, Union Island – a popular spot for snorkelling in one the southern Grenadine islands.
- Anchor Reef, St Vincent – voted one of the top 100 dive sites in the world; a beautiful wall with fascinating coral reefs and swim-throughs.
- Layou Wall, St Vincent – a steep wall that descends 150ft.
- Capital Wrecks, St Vincent – three shipwrecks to discover; a dive best suited for those more experienced.
7. Discover the Pirate History of St Vincent
Immersed in a rich pirate legacy, St Vincent Island boasts an intriguing history beyond its pristine beaches and swaying palm trees.
During the 1800s, Black Point on the Windward coast stood as a significant pirate landmark. Today, the main attraction for tourists is the remarkable tunnel that remains from that era. This tunnel, skillfully carved through volcanic rock, once served as a passage connecting ships to factories and storing precious sugar canes. As you explore the tunnel, you’ll encounter caves where the sugar cane was once stored, providing a fascinating glimpse into the island’s past and the industry that thrived there.
Over the past two decades, perceptions of piracy in St Vincent have undergone a transformation, thanks to the influence of The Pirates of the Caribbean films. The captivating movie series chose the islands and cays of St Vincent and the Grenadines as their filming locations!
Wallilabou Bay, along the leeward Caribbean coast, stands as an iconic spot where scenes from The Curse of the Black Pearl were brought to life. Today, remnants of the movie set and the docks can still be found in the bay. However, the set has weathered over the years.
We recommend visiting Willilabou Bay with a tour guide to ensure it’s one of the best things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Filming for The Pirates of the Caribbean in St Vincent and the Grenadines didn’t only occur at Wallilabou Bay. Fort Charlotte, built on a hill overlooking the capital, Kingstown, was another spot used during filming, as was the beautiful, secluded island of Petit Tabac in the Tobago Cays.
8. Visit the Market in Kingstown
Located on the southwestern end of St Vincent, Kingstown is the bustling capital, main port and commercial centre of St Vincent and the Grenadines. If for no other reason than to experience the sharp contrast of Kingstown against the idyllic, unhurried villages, towns and islands across the rest of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Kingstown is a must-visit during your trip.
The lively Kingstown market is the perfect place to mingle with locals and pick up fruit and vegetables. You’ll also find larger supermarkets in and around Kingstown, which is a real treat compared to the limited choice in the little grocery stores on the smaller islands.
There are a few restaurants in Kingstown we recommend: The Melting Pot, The Cobblestone Inn, Vee Jay’s and the aesthetic Carib-Beans coffee shop.
A visit to Kingstown is a great way to experience life in a busy, working Caribbean city. Immerse yourself in the character-filled streets, the smells of local produce and street food and embrace all of the action this place has to offer.
9. Sunbathe at Young Island & Climb Fort Duvunette
One of the best things to do in St Vincent is head over to the tranquil haven, known as Young Island Resort, just off the serene south coast.
This private island retreat offers an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of St Vincent, with its pristine white sand beach relaxed atmosphere. Whether you choose to book a stay here or just visit to enjoy the beach, restaurant or other amenities, a 30-second speedboat journey is all it takes to transport you to this blissful retreat.
If you’re looking to stay at Young Island, to get to the Resort from the airport, book this private transfer from the airport to “Young Island Wharf”. The resort will then organise a boat to pick you up, as part of your stay.
Just 50 yards behind Young Island, you’ll find Fort Duvernette. It is difficult to see from the mainland as it is in the shadow of Young Island, but it can be seen from certain points along the coast.
Constructed as a defence for the colonial town of Calliaqua, which served as a hub for loading ships with precious sugar bound for England, Fort Duvernette is on its own tiny island, a volcanic plug measuring 58 meters in the sea.
To get up to the Fort, take the 250 steps skillfully carved into the rock and meander around the island. At the top, discover a collection of guns and original cannons as well as beautiful panoramas over St Vincent – climbing for the views alone is one of the best things to do in St Vincent and the Grenadines. See if you can spot the La Soufriere volcano from this vantage point!
You can catch a boat to Fort Duvernette from Mangoz Restaurant and it costs approximately $15 EC return per person.
10. Enjoy St Vincent’s Black Sand Beaches
St Vincent Island, with its volcanic origins, is home to stunning black sand beaches, a stark contrast to the paradisiacal white sand beaches found in the Grenadines. These ebony-coloured sands create a dramatic and alluring backdrop against the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
As you stroll along St Vincent’s black sand, you’ll be captivated by the island’s raw beauty and geological history. Beyond the visual splendour, the allure of St Vincent’s beaches lies in their secluded nature. Many of them remain unspoiled by tourism and are rarely frequented, so it’s likely you’ll have them all to yourself.
Here are some of the best black sand beaches in St Vincent:
- Rawacou Recreation Park and Argyle Beach
- Questelles Beach
- Bamberoux Beach
- Mt Wynne Beach (Mt Wynne is home to the oldest coconut plantation on the island)
- Brighton Beach
- Hope Beach
- Barrouallie Beach
- Wallilabou Beach
- Cumberland Beach
- Richmond Beach
Read Now: 12 Sensational St Vincent Beaches
11. Explore the Many White Sand Beaches
In stark contrast to the volcanic black sand beaches of St Vincent, the southern chain of Grenadine islands are home to some gorgeous, powdery white sand beaches.
The small island of Mayreau and Union Island, the southernmost island in the Grenadines, have some of the whitest sand we’ve ever seen!
Some of the best beaches in the Grenadines that you must visit are:
- Coconut Grove Beach Bar, St Vincent
- Young Island Beach, St Vincent
- Princess Margaret Beach, Bequia
- Friendship Beach, Bequia
- Lower Bay Beach, Bequia
- Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau
- Charlestown Bay, Canouan
- Saline Beach, Mayreau
- Kite Beach, Union Island
- Big Sand Beach, Union Island
- Chatham Bay, Union Island
- Campbell Beach, Union Island (hidden gem)
- Tobago Cays
- Morpion Island
- Palm Island beach – a private island, but non-guests can enjoy the beach and swimming
- Petit Nevis – uninhabited island, great snorkelling
- Isle Quatre – uninhabited island, a small beach but great to anchor up here for lunch
- Macaroni Beach, Mustique
- Lagoon Beach, Mustique
Read Now: 8 Bequia Beaches You Have To Visit
How to Get to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
To travel to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, there are several options by air, or a combination of air and sea.
Direct Flight to St Vincent (Mainland)
There is a direct flight from the USA to St Vincent with American Airlines and Air Canada offers services too. There are also direct flights from some European cities. The international airport in St Vincent is Argyle International Airport.
If you’re in the UK, from October 2021, Virgin Atlantic launched direct flights to St Vincent that now operate a few times a week.
Getting from St Vincent to a Grenadine Island
If you need to get to one of the Grenadine islands from St Vincent, you can easily hop on one of the Jaden Sun or Bequia Express ferries, departing frequently from Kingstown. Alternatively, you can fly between the main islands with SVG Air and other local airlines. However, this is a more expensive option and flights do not run as often as the ferries.
Connecting Flight via Barbados
An alternative route is to fly into Barbados before taking a connecting flight on a small passenger (propeller) plane with SVG Air to either St Vincent, Bequia, Canouan, or Union Island. However, this option is often significantly more expensive, and travel time is longer. Though, it’s a great way to travel if you’d like to add a few days in Barbados to your trip and explore the main attractions and visit some fantastic restaurants and cafes.
Should I Visit St Vincent and the Grenadines?
Yes! In St Vincent and the Grenadines, you’ll find a paradise adorned with majestic mountains, lush tropical landscapes, and pristine palm-studded shorelines. You can immerse yourself in the crystal-clear turquoise waters, stroll along black and white sand beaches, and discover the breathtaking underwater realm teeming with colourful marine life. Or, you can delight in the charm of vibrant Caribbean towns and villages and witness the grandeur of an active volcano.
If any of these things resonate with your ideal vacation, then a holiday to St Vincent and the Grenadines would be perfect for you!
Did You Know This About SVG?
Did you know? The allure of this beautiful Caribbean country is so captivating that many visitors never wish to leave. Some even choose to make it their second home, investing in properties or boats and spending a significant part of their year here. Others find themselves returning time and time again, cherishing unforgettable vacations. Find out why November is a great month to visit St Vincent and the Grenadines.
If you’re venturing to St Vincent and the Grenadines, it promises to be an unforgettable adventure!
Did you know that …
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