Caribbean Tourism

St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Shopping - St Vincent

Kingstown market (do not take photos of the vendors) and Bequia have excellent fresh vegetables and supermarkets. Grocery and wine availability is improving, with several gourmet provisioning spots catering to yachts and guests staying on the island; Standard Grocery, Lower Middle Street, Kingstown, T4561553; CK Greaves Co Ltd, Upper Bay Street, Kingstown...

History

By the time Columbus discovered St Vincent on his third voyage in 1498, the Caribs were occupying the island, which they called Hairoun. They had overpowered the Arawaks, killing the men but interbreeding with the women. The Caribs aggressively prevented European settlement until the 18th century but were more welcoming to Africans. In 1675 a passing Dutch...

Government & Economy

Government St Vincent and the Grenadines is a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth. The Queen is represented by a Governor General. There is a House of Assembly with 15 elected representatives and six senators. Sir James Mitchell has called for constitutional reform, but no action has been taken. Economy The St Vincent economy is largely based on...

Other Sports

Tennis Many of the more expensive hotels have tennis courts but there are others at the Kingstown Tennis Club and the Prospect Racquet Club. On Bequia, tennis is offered at three hotels: Friendship Bay, Spring and Plantation House. Sunsports at the Gingerbread complex offers tennis and other sports. Squash Squash courts can be found at the Cecil Cyrus...

Places to Eat - Union Island

Food is expensive in all the shops and stalls as it has to be imported, but there is a good French-run shop at Clifton for food and drink, visit it before sailing to the Tobago Cays. Clifton Beach hotel has a good restaurant and bar. The Anchorage restaurant has been criticized for serving bland, overpriced food, the occupants of the shark pool are given...

Places to Eat - St Vincent

Kingstown is improving with new restaurants offering better choice for dining out. The better restaurants, eg the French Restaurant, are in the beach area several miles east. Vee-Jay’s restaurant on Lower Bay St is friendly and offers good local food, open Mon-Sat 1000-1900, Fri until late, also Vee-Jay’s Rooftop Diner & Pub on Upper Bay St, T457-2845/...

Places to Eat - Mayreau

Good food and drinks at reasonable prices can be found at Dennis’ Hideaway. J & C Bar and Restaurant, has the best view of the harbour with soft music, boutique, room for a large group, good lobster, fish and lambi, for parties of four and over the captain’s dinner is free; Island Paradise, everything is prepared fresh, good lobster, fish and curried...

Places to Eat - Mustique

Basil’s Bar and The Raft, T4584621 for reservations. For seafood and nightlife, open from 0800, entrées EC$10-75. Locals’ night on Mon with buffet for EC$35 excluding drinks and dancing, Wed is good. On Sat go to the Cotton House. Reservations required at the Cotton House and Firefly. Up the hill from Basil’s is the local Piccadilly pub, where rotis and...

Places to Eat - Bequia

Apart from hotel restaurants, Mac’s Pizza on Belmont Beach, T4583474, is recommended. Very popular, get there early or reserve in advance, even in low season, also takeaways, try the lobster pizza, pricey but covered with lobster, don’t add other ingredients. Le Petit Jardin, Back St, T4583318. French and international, open daily 1130-1400, 1830-2130,...

Food & Drink

The national dish is fried jackfish and breadfruit. The island’s rum is called Captain Bligh, and the local beers are Hairoun and EKU. Hairoun is excellent and won a gold medal at the 1993 Brussels beer festival.

Festivals

St Vincent’s carnival, called Vincy Mas, is held in the last week of June and the first week of July for 10 days. In 1997 Vincy Mas celebrated its 20th anniversary. Mas is short for masquerade, and the 3 main elements of the carnival are the costume bands, the steel bands and the calypso. During the day there is J’Ouverte, ole mas, children’s carnival and...

Flora & Fauna

St Vincent has a wide variety of tropical plants, most of which can be seen in the Botanical Gardens, where conservation of rare species has been practised since they were founded in 1765. There you can see the mangosteen fruit tree and one of the few examples of spachea perforata, a tree once thought to be found only in St Vincent but now found in other...

Entertainment - St Vincent

Several hotels have live music some evenings. Emerald Valley Casino, T4567824. Call for transport, closed Tue. Basils Too, T4584205. Offers lunch, dinner and dancing on Villa Beach by Young Island. Check for happy hours at bars for lower-priced drinks, snacks and often entertainment. Aquatic, in Villa (see restaurants). Is the main nightspot on the island,...

Entertainment - Bequia

Jump ups on Tue at Plantation House, Thu at Frangipani with barbecue and steel band, Tue and Sat at Harpoon Saloon with steel band, occasionally at De Reef, sometimes Sat night at Friendship Bay, string band several nights a week at Gingerbread. Check bars for happy hours. There is something going on most nights either at Admiralty Bay or Friendship Bay,...

Diving & Marine Life

The underwater wildlife around St Vincent and the Grenadines is varied and beautiful, with a riot of fish of all shapes and sizes. There are many types and colours of coral, including black coral at a depth of only 30 ft in places. On the New Guinea Reef (Petit Byahaut) you can find three types of black coral in six different colours. The coral is protected...