Caribbean Escape: Get to know St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Going to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is the ideal destination for those with the itch to explore.

The multi-island Caribbean nation, located in the Lesser Antilles between St. Lucia and Grenada, is made up of 32 islands, only a handful of which are inhabited. If you’ve never thought of going, make this the winter you put SVG on your must-visit list.

You won’t be disappointed no matter which island you drop your bags at, and if you feel like moving beyond the first stretch of soft white sand you set foot on, you have plenty of options for venturing to other islands.

While we didn’t get to see every island on our visit, here’s what we did have the opportunity to see, and consequently fall madly in love with.

St. Vincent

St. Vincent will likely be your first stop on a trip to SVG and while many travellers choose to transit to other islands quickly, it’s well worth sticking around. This is the largest of the islands and home to Kingstown, the nation’s bustling capital. St. Vincent is an ideal jumping off point for visiting other islands via ferry or short flight depending on where you’re going. It’s also home to beaches, great hiking (including the challenging trek up La Soufriere volcano), shopping and water sports.

Bequia

Bequia is a bright, colourful island that makes for a good day trip from St. Vincent, or if you have more time, a two or three day stop on an overall SVG itinerary. Known as the “jewel” of the Grenadines, the island is full of charm. Shop for souvenirs in the quaint capital or Port Elizabeth, stop for a rum punch at the laid back yet elegant Bequia Beach Hotel (also the perfect spot to stay on the island), or simply enjoy the white sand beaches at your disposal.

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Palm Island

Palm Island is a private island resort that has made it onto quite a few must-visit lists over the past few years. Once you arrive (and vow never to leave) it’s not hard to see why. The all-inclusive resort island is surrounded by white sand beaches, aquamarine water and swaying palms. Lounge in a hammock, take a dip in the pool, walk or bike the island’s nature trails (bikes are available for use free of charge), snorkel or dive, or just get really used to what it truly means to get away from it all.

Young Island

You can actually see Young Island from St. Vincent. Some say you can make the trip between the two by swimming, but that’s not something we had the arm strength to attempt. Thankfully there’s a 24/7 shuttle that gets you between the two in about 10 minutes. Young Island is a quiet island retreat with a small beach and private cottages scattered throughout the property, all with an open-air shower and private patio. The vibe is laid back, the food is excellent, there’s a pool and tennis court and it’s really tough to back up and leave.

Tobago Cays

The Tobago Cays are a cluster of five uninhabited cays and happened to be a highlight of our visit. This is an exceptional spot to snorkel as the crystal clear water is ideal for getting a good look at the abundance of colourful fish and coral in the area. Not only that, you might also get the chance to spot a sea turtle or two while you’re here. Getting to the Tobago Cays to snorkel or dive can be done via tour operators on several of the islands or through many hotels and resorts.

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