St Vincent-Grenadines General Information
St Vincent-Grenadines General Information about this country in the southern Caribbean consists of the main island, St Vincent, and a chain of smaller islands. The following information will help you with planning your luxury yacht charter.
St Vincent: History of the Islands
St Vincent has had a tumultuous past, thanks to its Carib history and the 3,000ft (950m) Soufriere volcano that dominates the island – but it looks forward to a peaceful future basking quietly in the sun.
This fertile and mountainous island was one of the last in the Caribbean to be colonized by Europeans. When they did move in, the Carib Indian inhabitants put up a fierce struggle to maintain their independence.
You can see evidence of the island’s earliest inhabitants in rock carvings at Layou. You can walk on a nature trail through the lush Buccament Valley to enjoy the sights and sounds of the rainforest. The Trinity Falls, three falls dropping 100ft (30m) to a natural whirlpool, and the 60ft (18m) sheer Falls of Baleine is a must. And you can also take a refreshing dip in the Owia Salt Pond.
Volcanic eruptions have deposited ash that acts as a superb fertilizer, making the island a riot of tropical vegetation. There are marvelous botanical gardens near the capital of Kingstown; high on a promontory above the town is Fort Charlotte, the island’s primary defense, from which there are beautiful views.
Kingstown is also the jumping-off point for The Grenadines, a string of 30 tiny islands spreading south along a 45-mile (72 km) arc. Some are well-developed but never crowded; others are little more than a lonely, unspoiled beach and a collection of houses. Together they all offer some of the best sailings in the world.
You can glide from island to island in an hour or so in trade winds of 10-25 knots, swim ashore to a beach bar, watch giant sea turtles, and bump into visitors from all over the world for a drink at sunset.
Beautiful St Vincent & the Grenadines has remained untouched by mass tourism. On this 18 by 11-mile island (500 sq km), the hotels, restaurants, and bars retain the charm of a family setting.
Here are a few St Vincent-Grenadines general information that will be helpful before you start on your island getaway:
- Capital: Kingstown, St Vincent
- Population: 112,000
- Currency: Eastern Caribbean $; US$1=EC$2.68; US$ widely accepted
- Official language: English
- Political status: independent nation, member of the Commonwealth
- Entry requirements: Passports are required for US and Canadian Citizens.
- Area: St. Vincent, 133 square miles (345 sq km). The Grenadines have an area of 17 square miles (44 sq km).
- Religion: mainly Anglican with some Catholic churches.
- Business: Banking hours are 8 am to 1 pm, Monday to Thursday, and 3-5 pm on Fridays. A bureau de change is open at the airport every day, except Sunday, until 5 pm. The main banks are Barclays Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Caribbean Banking Corp, St Vincent Co-operative Bank, National Commercial Bank of St Vincent, and The Grenadines. Shops are open on weekdays, eight am-noon and 1 pm-4 pm, and on Saturday, eight am-noon. Credit cards are accepted in tourist centers.
- Electricity: 220 volts, 50 cycles.
- Telecommunications: the international dialing code for St Vincent is +1 784, followed by seven digits. On the islands, use the seven digits only.
- Time: GMT-4
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