So far this is the first ever source of water that I have encountered that produced a liquid of quality expected to come from a bottle in a grocery store. Completely seriously and without a trace of exaggeration, the taste of the water is the same as what would come from a bottle of carbonated mineral water. The major difference is that there is no bottling plant around and the water is coming straight from a pipe directly connected to a reservoir where the stream pours into and accumulates. The scientific community has its explanation posted on a billboard right beside it to disperse any doubts of foul play. The locals are coming to the source with buckets for their household needs. It is a must see due to rarity and peculiarity. By the way, it truly deserves its name, SPA, despite the fact that is totally undeveloped for the purpose of treatments based on mineral water unlike its namesake in Belgium!
Layou and its carvings might be not that much in cultural/scientific/spectacular terms but one thing is for sure – it is bloody authentic. The carvings are done on one boulder only and apparently are part of greater story being told all over the island in different locations. This particular spot has some advantage over others such as clarity of the figures and degree of preservation. It is notable that the location has been “adopted” by the tourism-dreaming authorities and has been bought out of the private hands it used to be in. The spot includes a mini museum of sorts with some not-so-knowledgeable staff. For the sake of fairness, there is probably no scientific community as such on the island and the scope of these marks of past civilizations is too small to engage the big wigs in the field. In a way this is a blessing since the visitor is pretty much left on his own devises to enjoy an enigma as opposed to listening to a whole bunch of nonsensical statements about the invariable greatness of the people of the political entity on the island and their rulers of the day.
All over the islands there are various sets where Pirates of the Caribbean were shot. There was one beach in particular that has a lot of the set still there, it is a lovely beach, and there is a kick ass restaurant there! It is near Wallilabou - I can't remember the name of the restaurant but don't worry - everyone on this island knows this beach. We spent a whole day there. If you eat at the restaurant, you must get the fish creole - wonderful!!
This is an amazing spot in St Vincent - it is peaceful and tranquil but also happening! At Darkview falls it feels as though you are in a tropical paradise with 2 waterfalls. The parking lot at peek times is full of locals cooking, drinking and having fun - join them, they will welcome you. There are 2 waterfalls here and the hike to the second one is a bit rough as the path is washed out in one spot - but it is not that challenging and worth the short hike (20 minutes).
If you make it to SVG you must visit the Botanical Gardens which is right by Kingstown (capital city). If Mr Daniel himself is there - you must request him as a tour guide. He is the one who keeps the grounds and he is super entertaining. Our '30 minute' tour was over 2 hours and was chalked full of the most interesting plants and uses for plants ever! I think we paid 5 dollars EC for the tour and ended up each paying him 10 because it was sooo amazing!
If you are staying anywhere away from Kingstown, just take a public cab or a taxi to Kingstown (capital of St.Vincent) and walk around. Its safe to walk around the streets. Enjoy the old colonial buildings.
At 4,080 feet, this is one hell of a climb. You start at sea level and ascend to the top of this majestic volcano at your own pace. Hire a guide and take some bananas and water with you for power. You are going to need it. Walk slowly and at a good pace. Admire the changing beauty as you climb higher. The forest at one point is dense and rainforest. Eventually everything is drawfed and you are in the alpine forest. When you reach the black cinders, the last extreme part of the climb, you are almost there. Don't go too far or you will fall into the spectacular crater! You are now in the clouds and on top of the world. The ocean can be seen in the distance and the temperature is much cooler than below. Be prepared with a rain poncho or sweatshirt when the sudden burst of rain hits you. Sit back and pat yourself on the back for a breathtaking climb.
This is a short list of must sees:
On the main island of St. Vincent:
1) The Falls of Baleine - by boat only/swimming,
2) Owia Salt Ponds - Volcanic formations/swimming,
3) Montreal Gardens,
4) Trinity Falls - a rough ride to get there,
5) The Black Point Tunnel,
6) Scenic stops along the Leeward Highway,
7) Scenic stops along the Windward Highway,
8) La Souferie Volcano - not for the weak,
9) Wallilabou Falls and Park - swimming,
10) the Mesopotamia Valley,
11) Kingstown - not a pretty city, but worth
seeing in the city are:
a) Parliament (Called the Court House).
b) Police Station.
c) St. Mary's Cathedral of the Assumption
(Roman Catholic Church).
d) St. George's Anglican Church.
e) Botanic Gardens.
f) Government House (Gov. General's Mansion).
g) Fort Charlotte - For the views.
In the Grenadines:
A) On Bequia - Princess Margaret Beach,
Old Fort Country Inn, Port Elizabeth,
Frangiapani Jump-up, Moon Hole Settlement:
B) On Mustique - Basil's Bar, Macoroni Beach:
C) Canouan - Any beach, the old church in
the Carenage Beach Resort:
D) Tobago Cays - beaches, snorkel, scuba dive:
E) Union Island - 'Aquarium' in dock area.
Completed in 1806, Fort Charlotte is on a ridge 600 feet above the sea, giving a magnificent view across Kingstown and down the Grenadines.
It gives you an entire view across the capital of St. Vincent and it is worth a must see.
Petit Byahut - St Vincent - for snorkelling
Darveo Falls - St Vincent - for a shower
Fort Charlotte - St Vincent - check out the museum
Botanical Gardens - St Vincent - to see the rare St Vincent parrot
Princess Margaret Beach - Bequia
Friendship Bay - Canouan
Salt Whistle Bay - Mayreau
Horseshoe Reef - Tobago Cays - for snorkelling
North of St Vincent island is a very beautiful and refreshing waterfall called : Baleine Falls. It's a top excursion, organized by anyone on the island. This place being reachable ONLY by boat (1 1/2 hours by slow boat from Kingston). The picture lets you know about BALEINE FALLS
We did not find any other great thing in St.Vincent.
If you are on a tight budget, go to Bequia, the closest Grenadines island, good beaches and restaurants, more relaxed than St. Vincent. Excellent snorkelling just off the island.
But but but if you are RICH....make a Grenadines tour and go to the Tobago Cays south of the archipel. One of the best places in the Carribean for diving/snorkelling.....but bloody expensive...millionnaires often stop around this area.
Spend a few hours at Sandy Cay. It is a tiny spit of sand with nothing but an umbrella a short boat ride from the island. Straight out of a magazine. They will pack you a phenomanal picnic basket and drop you off. Only one couple at a time. There is some pretty good snorkeling right around the cay. Careful of the sun, you could get scorched. We went on our last day after taking in the sun all week and I still got burned. There is also another small uninhabited island close by where they will do the same for you. We didn't make it but I am sure it is wonderful.
Pure bliss. This is what some dream about when on a beach type vacation. I know I do.
Make sure you hikers climb Le Souffiere. What a wonderful, exilerating hike. Bring a sweatshirt. Gets real cold at the top of the crater. Lots of birds, bamboo, trees, and scenery. Ask for Dominique at the Young Island front desk. He is from France and from Dominica. He is a great guide and lots of fun. Also, make sure you take the airplane ride over to Union Island and hop on the Catamarran tour. It takes you all day from Union Island to Palm Island and other nearby island and to the keys where you snorkel and then have lunch. All the rum punch you can drink. Truly a wonderful experience. And always, make time to go shopping in downtown St. Vincent. A real experience.
The big island of St. Vincent is the best kept secret for scuba diving.
We dove with Bill 2's the owner of dive St. Vincent . Bills personality is a little out there, but underwater you would be hard pressed to find better! But do watch out for out of date tanks !
Pic is of a frog fish ( upper right 1/4 of frame)
How about some shopping? This is no shopper's mecca and there is no duty-free port, but you can buy some interesting handicrafts in Kingstown. Batik Caribe, a famous name in the Caribbean, produces beautiful batiks and tie-dyed fabrics. The St. Vincent Craftsman cooperative features work by local artisans. This includes beautiful wood crafted items of which I did buy. Prices are great. I bought a carving of a Rasta's head and regret I didn't buy more because I collect wood carvings-particularly masks.
On the road leading from the banana-boat docks is a shop at the Old Cotton Ginnery. While you're there, ask about visiting some of the artists in their homes in the countryside. At Noah's Arkade, next to Batik Caribe, you can buy more crafts and history books about the West Indies. Drop by the local markets for a few bottles of sun-dried peanuts and local spices. Caribbean hot sauce is famous.
Local ambience is all over. Don't go into the 'tents' and smoke something. It will be ganja!
Villa Beach, Kingstown, Caribbean
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
Petit St. Vincent
Good for: Solo
This is not on Union Island. It's a small 135 acre island, about a 10 minute boat ride from Union....more