St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an island nation belonging to the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean. The country is commonly referred to simply as St. Vincent. The entire territory measures at 150 square miles consisting of more than 30 islands and cays although only 9 of these islands are inhabited. With so many islands, there are plenty of attractions to visit when you travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The main port and capital city of St. Vincent is Kingstown. As part of its history, St. Vincent has been colonized by the French and British. Today, St. Vincent is a member of many top organizations including the Commonwealth of Nations, Organization of East Caribbean States and CELAC or Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
St. Vincent was used as location for one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, which helped to somewhat gain additional exposure for the country as a tourist spot. This also attracted more investors to the country. However, agriculture continues to be the primary source of economic growth in the island. Banana production, in particular, is the most important sector of the country’s economy. Despite that, unemployment continues to be a major issue in the country.
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar
Official Language: English is the official language in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Wi-Fi Availability: You can find many hotels, cafes and restaurants with unrestricted Wi-Fi access. However, not all can offer reliable or high quality connection. The airport has free Wi-Fi too.
Airport/s: The E.T. Joshua Airport is the main international airport servicing flights that travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Visa Required: St. Vincent and the Grenadines is part of the mutual visa-waiver agreement with the European Union as of May 2015. This means that all citizens from the Schengen area can travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines without a visa for a maximum stay period of 90 days. Meanwhile, the citizens of the following countries are required to obtain visa prior to travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines: China, Iran, Iraq, Dominican Republic, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Nigeria.
Driving: In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, you must drive on the left side of the road.
International Driver’s License Accepted? Unless you carry an international driving license, you must obtain a temporary driving license in St. Vincent.
Crime: The safety concern is on a serious level in St. Vincent. Crime rate on the island is higher than other Caribbean nations. Majority of the crimes are also considered serious offense including murder, assault, and rape.
Electrical Adapters: In St. Vincent, they use an electrical voltage of 230 volts at an electrical frequency of 50 Hertz.
Trivia: DID YOU KNOW that aside from white and black sand beaches, there are also gold sand beaches in St Vincent?
Food and Drinks in St. Vincent
Comprising of 32 islands and cays, the diversity of the food options in St. Vincent is reflective of its diverse food sources – from the ocean to the tropical forests. When you dine in any restaurant in the island, expect to be served dishes that are made with fresh and in-season ingredients.
The breadfruit has become some sort of symbol for the cuisine of St Vincent. It is closely tied to the heritage and culture of St. Vincent. It is an ingredient used in the country’s national dish. The tradition of serving and eating breadfruit started way back in 1793 when it was served to the slaves because it was cheap and easy to grow. Today, it is celebrated annually through breadfruit festivals observed in August wherein various forms of preparation for breadfruit are showcased.
Aside from breadfruit, arrowroot is another staple ingredient in the cuisine of St. Vincent. This starchy native crop is cleaned, dried and ground in order to make a flour. This flour is then used to cook a variety of other dishes such as cakes, biscuits or breads.
Lastly, seafood is a staple in every meal in St. Vincent. The most common types of seafood found in St. Vincent include mahi mahi, snapper, tuna, bonito and kingfish, to name a few. There is also an abundance of squid, octopus, lobster and queen conch in St. Vincent.
Travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines
La Soufriere – This active volcano is one of the major attractions on the island. Its last eruption was way back in 1979.
St. Vincent Botanical Gardens – This is considered as the oldest botanical garden in the tropical region, as well as the Western Hemisphere. This garden is located in the city of Kingstown. It is home to a wealth of tropical plant species, wherein some are found only in the island. The St. Vincent Botanical Gardens was first established in 1765.
Falls of Baleine – This is one of the finest natural wonders in the island of St. Vincent. It is hard to access but is totally worth it when you get upclose to the falls. This single stage fall features crystal clear waters that plunge to the ground from 60 feet above the ground. It is situated amidst steep cliffs and volcanic formations.
Black Point Tunnel – This tunnel, which is also referred to as the Jasper Rock Tunnel, was constructed in 1815. This is mainly popular as it was used as a location for the film Pirates of the Caribbean. The entire tunnel measures at 300 feet in length.