TORONTO, ON (May 18, 2022) – The main island of St. Vincent can sometimes be missed by travellers on their way to the idyllic Grenadines, but is full of wonderful surprises and plenty of things to see and do that will have you coming back for more. Here, visitors can experience black sand beaches, vibrant markets, tropical gardens and so much more.
In April 2021, La Soufrière volcano erupted on St. Vincent, prompting evacuations of the immediate area, followed by a long clean-up as ash covered much of the island. Fast forward a year, and while the immediate area around the volcano – including its hiking trail and scenic viewpoints – is still off limits, tourism is starting to rebound, with new hotel openings and plenty of activities to keep every day filled with fun in the sun.
Staying on the main island gives travellers direct access to take on eco-adventures in breathtaking natural surroundings, a refreshing change of scenery for anyone looking to get active after years of staying home, with plenty of space for social distancing! St. Vincent, with its distinct appeal and authentic Caribbean vibe, offers a growing number of accommodation options, from upscale boutique properties to value hotels that make the perfect home base while adventuring around the island.
Check out some of the top eco-adventures on the island of St. Vincent:
Swimming in the Dark View Waterfalls: Situated at the foothills of the Richmond Peak, on the north west of the leeward side of St. Vincent, the Dark View Falls are two spectacular waterfalls, one above the other, cascading down high cliff faces and plunging into natural pools. There is a short and easy hike to the falls through rainforest and across the Richmond River via either a bamboo bridge or conventional bridge. You pass through a clearing in the middle of a pretty bamboo grove before reaching the first tall waterfall. Another short, but more difficult, walk will take you up to the second waterfall, directly above the first. The waterfalls flow all year from a tributary of the Richmond River.
Touring the St. Vincent Botanical Gardens: Located on the northern outskirts of Kingstown are the island’s famed Botanical Gardens. One of the most important and popular sites on St. Vincent, the gardens are peaceful, lush, and home to a wealth of flora and fauna. Along with being the oldest botanical gardens in the Western Hemisphere (established in 1765), it is also an important conservation site, particularly for the St. Vincent parrot.
Diving in the ‘Critter Capitol of the Caribbean’: On the main island of St. Vincent, the leeward coastline is full of exciting dive sites to take on. Some believe the currents of the Atlantic and Caribbean seas combine in such a way to make a richer diversity of life here, which is why St. Vincent has been nicknamed the ‘Critter Capitol of the Caribbean’ for divers. Popular dive sites include the Bat Cave, a half-submerged cave through a shallow cut at Buccament Bay, along with Capitol Wrecks, the site of three shipwrecks all in recreational dive depths but best suited to experienced divers.
Taking a Dip in the Owia Salt Water Pond: Traditionally used as a therapeutic bathing pond, the Owia Salt Water Pond is sheltered from the sea by volcanic boulders, making the waters calm to explore. Reef fish and even coral formations add colour and life to what is a unique and peaceful natural phenomenon located on the North Eastern Coast of St. Vincent. The recreation site is a two-hour scenic drive through tropical vegetation and rolling hills along the Eastern Coast of the island.
Where to Stay:
The southern tip of St. Vincent is where visitors can find a number of hotels to choose from, all just 15 minutes from Argyle International Airport and 20 minutes from the capitol city of Kingstown.
Options here include the brand new La Vue Boutique Hotel & Beach Club, which opened its doors in December 2021; Beachcombers and Paradise Beach Hotel, both charming and modest beachfront hotels offering incredible views of Young Island Resort and many other Grenadine islands in the distance; Mariners Hotel, which can arrange exciting excursions for its guests including sunset yacht cruises and a Scuba Package with Dive St. Vincent for those looking to explore the beautiful waters of the Caribbean; and the Hotel Alexandrina, a family-owned hotel perched on the hillside overlooking the sea with traditional room and apartment-style accommodation to choose fro
Getting There: Air Canada plans to reintroduce its direct flights from Toronto later this year. For the latest information, please check the Air Canada website.
For the latest on entry requirements and travel protocols to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, please visit http://health.gov.vc
About St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG):
A collection of 32 islands and cays in the Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines boasts the best of what the authentic Caribbean is renowned for. The Grenadines which stretch 45 miles south from the main island of St. Vincent, include eight inhabited islands: Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island and Petit St. Vincent (PSV). The Tobago Cays (home of SVG’s national marine park) is a horseshoe shaped reef that shields five deserted islets and is known to have some of the best sailing waters in the world. For more information on the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, please visit www.discoversvg.com