Leave Island Any Time
Anybody who intends to do some island hopping in the Caribbean is bound to meet LIAT. This entity is not just a company; it is an experience of mythical proportions and rather quintessentially Caribbean at that. So feel blessed! Do-it-themselves travelers are usually preparing long before the take-off and one of the methods is reading about what you are going to be flying in the Internet posts of similar folks or the guide books(less reliable option). L(eave)I(sland)A(ny)T(ime) was cursed by approximately 90% of the writing populace and the margin of error in this case is extremely thin. Nevertheless despite the apprehension a feeling of curiosity and a hope that your case might be different steadily sinks in. The day of reckoning comes though and you realise that every single word of the disgusted LIAT customers is true. The flight from Barbados directly to Kingstown lasts around 35 min. The cost for return ticket is close to 250USD. For this amount one would receive approximate punctuality of one hour (being late). It also would include some last minute changes in the game plan and diverting the flight from St. Vincent to Grenada, because of some divine reason. This stint together with the disembarking time would add another hour or so to your direct flight. At the end you end up in Kingstown instead of at 22:00, at midnight and might as well cross your fingers that a taxi is going to be still around to take you some place to sleep if you can ever do so after this emotional rollercoaster. I suspect the mixed feelings that come to mind when the name LIAT is mentioned are akin to being enamoured with your torturer just because you have shared so much together and the time between the “sessions” becomes way more enjoyable.
- Budget Travel
- Luxury Travel
- Adventure Travel
Transportation options are not varied on St. Vincent. It is going to be a minibus or minibus-cum-taxi. The first one is inexpensive but crowded while the second costs arm and leg, considering the location but offers flexibility and comfort. So the choice is yours. It seems the negotiated price in case of the taxi version is mostly about distance and not time. A trip from the botanical garden to Fort Charlotte and then back to downtown would cost you 50 East Caribbean dollars but you can stay at ramparts practically forever. Here is the time mention that even the Caribbean drivers have certain limits of patience. There was a suggestion that he would go and do an errand for 15 MINUTES and come back. Why not, the views are superb there is no such a thing as rush under the tropical sun. After 40 MINUTES a decision was taken to leave this sanctuary of the Gods and do the trip to town on foot instead of waiting for a losing cause. Another hour passed in strolling gently down the hill, taking pictures of domestic animals and checking important lookouts. Almost at the last bend before town the driver suddenly appeared rushing to collect his customer and money. Incredible!
- Adventure Travel
- Budget Travel
bus or collective taxi
on these islands you can ride by taxi which are normally for tourists and so expensive or you can take take a collective taxi also called bus - a van of about 9 seats which can become more if packed in the right way ;-) - which usually costs 1 EC$ (0.4 US$) if the run is in town or, here in Kingstown, to the airport and 1.50-2.00 EC$ to increase if out of town according to your destination...
I flew Carribean Star from St. Vincent to the island of St. Lucia but various flying companies operates from and to the Grenadines, the other Caribbean islands, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Canouan.
There is an exit tax of 35 EC$ - Easter Carribean Dollar - or 14 US$ while the nice thing is that they accept the lugguage check in even some hours before take off so if you don't know where to leave your bags in the meantime, this is an idea...
You can reach the islands only by sea or by air so this ends to be such a usual mean of transport that can be not exactly on time without any special notice so don't trust always its punctuality...
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