Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an independent island country in the Caribbean Sea which constitutes the Windward Islands. The island Saint Vincent is in the north of the Grenadines archipelago. And the Grenadines is a group of many small islands. The archipelago is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The capital city is Kingstown.
The temperature on the archipelago remains the same all the years round, it is always about +26°C. The wet season is from May to July and during this period hurricanes and cyclones are very probable. It rains not that often from December to April. And the touristic season is from January to May which is the best period for spending the holidays in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The official language of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is English but the locals speak to each other the French dialect patois. The people on the island propagate Christianity.
This island is a must-visit for all those who like exotics and active holidays. The tourists can go underwater fishing, catamaran ride and have a sailing trip on a yacht along the coastline.
The underwater world is amazing here and no diver or a lover of snorkeling will be left indifferent. The tourists have a unique chance to dive with dolphins, to swim in the waterfalls and sunbathe on the beaches of Saint Vincent covered with black volcanic sand.
Those who enjoy country entertainments can go hiking or have a biking tour to the extinct volcanoes.
For a good shopping head to the capital city Kingstown. There are markets, shops and Duty-Free malls. The travelers can buy everything they want there.
One can get to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by plane. There are no direct flights between the archipelago and CIS and EU countries. The tourists can take a transit flight with a stop in the neighboring islands such as Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, Puerto Rico, Martinique and Saint Lucia.
If a tourist has a valid US visa, he or she can take a transit flight with a stop at hub airports in the USA or Canada.
The tourists can also travel to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by a cruise ship. But be aware that ships run between several islands in the Caribbean sea and make a stop in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines only for a couple of hours.
If the tourists are planning to stay in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for less than a month they do not have to obtain a visa. A permit for entering the country is issued upon arrival right at the airport. The tourists must have an international passport, return ticket, booking confirmation and money (cash, credit cards, bank account statements).
To extend your stay on the islands, you should go to the local Migration Department.
The time for processing the documents for a visa is about 10-21 days.
The Customs legislation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines does not restrict import and export of national and foreign currency. However, the tourists must declare any money. They can export only the sum of money they stated in the import declaration form.
The travelers can bring in alcohol and cigarettes for personal purposes.
It is not allowed to import art objects and items with a historical value. It is prohibited to export rare corals and products made of them.
The national cuisine of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was under a great influence of the European cooking traditions but it still preserved its authenticity. Seafood and fish are a staple food on the islands. The most popular fish dish on the island is roasted snapper.
On the islands, you can try the clams Lambi as they are cooked here by the local chefs.
The soups in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are light and almost dietary broths. The tourists will enjoy the taste of Callaloo (vegetable broth with stewed fish) and Ataluna (a delicate fish broth with clams). A tiny sea fish tri-tri is a delicacy here and it is the ingredient for a special fish curry.
A volcanic soil is ideal for growing fruits and vegetables and there is a great diversity of them on the islands. The locals use for cooking different types of bananas, arrowroot, breadfruit, and manioc. The chefs make manioc flour and add it to the desserts and flatbread Chocha.
Tea for the locals is any hot herbal drink.
All the cocktails on the islands are prepared with rum. In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, they brew light sparkling beer.
The official currency in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD). But you can easily pay with US dollars here. They are equally accepted.
To avoid losing your money when exchanging the currency, we recommend exchanging American or European currency into Eastern Caribbean dollar. Be aware that banks in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines stop working with private individuals at 1 p.m.
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. On the markets and in small shops, people prefer payments with cash.
There are ATMs in airports and banks.
The tourists can cash traveler’s checks in large stores, hotels and banks. The best rate is for checks in US dollars.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The capital city Kingstown is famous for its cobblestone pavement, souvenir shops located along the bay and Bedford street, marvelous fruit gardens on the hills and fantastic palm avenues. In the capital, the tourists will also see the old building of the colonial period and churches. A beautiful St. Mary’s Cathedral became famous due to a unique combination of architectural styles from the Roman arches to Mauritanian ornaments. In St. George’s Cathedral, everyone can see the Red Angel stained-glass window. Impressive Saint Vincent Botanical Gardens cover the territory of 8.1 Ha to the north of Kingstown. In the gardens, you will enjoy the beauty of tropical flowers and trees.
You can take a boat trip to the north tip of Saint Vincent and see the waterfall Baleine. The waterfall tumbles into a rock-lined pool. 14 km to the south of Saint Vincent is the Bequia island, a perfect place for fishing. There is the Bequia Marine Park where you can get by boat.
For a deep sea fishing and ecological tours head right to the fishing villages Layou, Barrouallie and Chateaubelair. Cottages are built here especially for the tourists right near the beaches with black volcanic sand.
Those tourists who like climbing and mountain trekking can climb La Soufrière volcano which is 1.200 meters high and it is located on the north in Saint Vincent.
Souvenirs in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
On the islands, the tourists usually buy nice souvenirs made by the local people. These are jewelry from sea shells and turtle shell. In souvenir shops of Kingstown, one can buy wooden figurines, leather bags and amulets protecting against the evil spirits.
In Saint Vincent, you can buy very nice miniature models of ships navigating the waters of the Caribbean sea.