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St Vincent and the Grenadines Travel Guide

St Vincent and the Grenadines consist of the island of St Vincent and the chain of islands known as the Grenadines. Together, they form one of the more exclusive islands in the Caribbean, attracting many rich and famous vacationers. [1] Volcanoes, mountains, coral reefs, lush rainforests, hidden coves, and black sandy beaches define this Caribbean nation.[2]

The island of St Vincent is located about 20 miles southwest of St. Lucia. Barbados, on the other hand, is 100 miles to the east. To St. Vincent’s south are the Grenadines, which consist of 32 islands stretch over a 60-mile arc that extends all the way south to Petit St. Vincent, which is just a hair away from Grenada.[3]

The largest island of the Grenadines is Bequia, which is about 10 miles south of St. Vincent and measures 7 square miles in area. The other main islands are Union Island, Petit St. Vincent, Canouan, Mustique, Palm Island, and Mayreau. The other islands and cays are uninhabited, including the tranquil Tobago Cays.[4]

In total, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has about 150 square miles of land.

The main island, St. Vincent, is celebrated for its lush volcanoes and the mountain chain that runs north-south right through the heart of the island. The mountains are steep, densely forested, and streamed by downward-flowing waters. The highest peak on St. Vincent is the volcanic Soufriere, which rises to over 4,050 feet. The last time it erupted was in 1979, which did not cause as much damage as the two previous eruptions in 1902 and 1812. Layers of fertile ash have been deposited by the eruptions, producing lush vegetation throughout the island, especially in the Mesopotamia Valley. On the eastern coast, rocky beaches, choppy, and strong winds make for great surfing. In the western side, the beach sands are more fine and the sheltered bays make for better swimming.[5]

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a fun Caribbean country to explore because of its small size. However, trips are more difficult than the map would otherwise suggest. The roads are not the best. The 300 miles laid out are suitable only for Jeeps and four-wheel drive vehicles.[6]

Outside of Kingstown, Richmond is worth visiting. Even though it is only 15 miles north of the capital along the west coast, you should allot at least three hours to drive there and back. Along the way, you’ll find a number of photo opportunities and you might want to do a little exploring, picnicking, or even swimming.[7]

The main attraction of St. Vincent is its natural beauty, the friendliness and hospitality of its people, and the year-round sunshine. The south and east coasts are the most accessible by car, but most of the west coast can be reached as well. The interior, however, is more difficult to explore. The best way is to hike into these areas. You’ll be rewarded with beautiful walks highlighted by tropical rainforest sceneries and dazzling waterfalls – this is perhaps the best part about visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines. [8]

St Vincent and the Grenadines were inhabited by the Caribs.[9] Christopher Columbus arrived in 1498 and claimed it for Spain. It remained Spanish possession until 1627 when it was given to the British. The Caribs fought hard to keep their islands from the European invasion until they were defeated in 1795.

During the 19th and 20th century, St. Vincent suffered through a number of disasters including an 1812 volcano eruption, an 1896 flood, an 1897 hurricane, and additional eruptions in 1902[10] and the 1970s.[11] In 1979, St. Vincent and the Grenadines declared independence from the UK.[12]

Philpott, Don. Visitor’s Guide to the Windward Islands. Ashbourne: Moorland Publishing Company Ltd., 1996. ISBN: 0861905598.

“St Vincent and the Grenadines.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Vincent_and_the_Grenadines>

“St Vincent and the Grenadines Travel Guide – Overview.” < http://www.worldtravelguide.net/country/265/country_guide/Caribbean/St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines.html>

[1] Philpott, 164
[2] St Vincent and the Grenadines Travel Guide
[3] Philpott, 164
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] Id. at 166
[7] Id.
[8] Id.
[9] Philpott, 9
[10] St Vincent and the Grenadines Travel Guide
[11] St Vincent and the Grenadines
[12] Philpott, 12

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