Why Go to St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Imagine it: Thatched-roof cottages rise over turquoise waters; the sweet scent of tropical flowers and rum punch fills the air; bronzed sun-worshippers sprawl along isolated white-sands, hemmed by shimmering waves, coral reefs, and sleek yachts. The only thing luring you away from your beach towel is the intriguing network of secluded islands floating in the distance. Welcome to St. Vincent & The Grenadines.
If you don’t want to spend your days sunning along one picturesque isle (St. Lucia) or savouring conch with throngs of tourists on two (St. Kitts & Nevis), then you should venture to St. Vincent & The Grenadines. With 32 remote islands and cays boasting emerald hills, postcard-worthy harbours, and boutique hotels, this Caribbean destination makes a perfect escape. Devote a few days to exploring St. Vincent, the biggest island in the chain, before sailing to Mustique, Canouan, and Bequia—some of the Grenadine’s finest (and exclusive) hideaways. However, exploring this quiet, less-travelled tropical paradise requires many hours in transit (there’s no direct flight from the U.S.) and a thick wallet.
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St. Vincent & The Grenadines Travel Tips
Best Months to Visit
U.S. News editors analyzed weather and price trends to recommend the top times to visit.
Best Time To Visit
What You Need to Know
- Yes, real pirates lived herePirates once occupied St. Vincent & The Grenadines. Today no one will pester you for loot, but if you venture to Wallilabou Bay, you can catch a glimpse of the scenic backdrop featured in The Pirates of the Caribbean.
- No, you can’t sport camoWearing camouflage attire is prohibited throughout St. Vincent & The Grenadines, as police uniforms feature a camouflage pattern.
- No, don’t touch Manchineel treesThese unsuspecting trees are poisonous, so resist the urge to eat one of their apple-like fruits, and stay clear of their sap (a dreaded source of excruciating blisters).
How to Save Money in St. Vincent & The Grenadines
- Ask about service fees You should expect to find a 10- to 15-percent service charge added to your hotel and restaurant bills. Ask whether gratuity is included to avoid tipping more than necessary.
- Visit in fall or spring Come during May, June, or November and you’ll find fewer crowds, comfortable temperatures, and reduced hotel rates. Major resorts drop their rates by up to 40 percent in the off season.
- Plan ahead If you’re traveling during peak season, book several months ahead of time to save on your hotel room and airfare.
Culture & Customs
Getting Around St. Vincent & The Grenadines
The best way to get around St. Vincent & The Grenadines is by taxi. Taxis are plentiful on St. Vincent and the bigger islands, and fares are reasonable for short trips. Taking a cab is probably the easiest way to get to your hotel from St. Vincent’s ET Joshua Airport (SVD), located a few miles southeast of Kingstown. Renting your own set of wheels on St. Vincent, Bequia, and Mustique is also an option, but it’s not recommended as roads can be somewhat tough to navigate. Buses are another popular means of getting around St. Vincent, Bequia, and Union Island; however, they tend to be overcrowded and cramped. To get to The Grenadines, head to St. Vincent’s central harbor in Kingston, where numerous ferry companies shuttle passengers between St. Vincent and the islands daily.
St. Vincent & The Grenadines has five major airports. Most visitors fly into ET Joshua Airport (SVD), but you can also opt to fly into the small airstrips found on Canouan (CIW), Bequia (BQU), Mustique (MQS), or Union Islands (UNI).
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Entry & Exit Requirements
You’ll need to present a valid passport and a return or ongoing ticket to enter St. Vincent & The Grenadines. There is a $40 XCD (about $15 USD) departure tax from the islands that applies to travellers above the age of 12. You can pay the tax in either Eastern Caribbean dollars or U.S. dollars at the airport prior to departure. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State website.