St. Vincent and the Grenadines constitute an independent nation in the Windward Islands. A densely green and mountainous island, St. Vincent measures 18 – 1/2 miles long and 11 – 1/4 miles wide, covering 345 square kilometers. The population is approximately 107,000.
The Grenadines are a chain of islands stretching from St. Vincent to the north, to Grenada to the south. The northernmost Grenadine is Bequia, with its Admiralty Bay visited by yachtsmen from around the world. At the southernmost extreme of the Grenadines is the small resort island called Petit St. Vincent, a world-famous getaway.
Mustique, Canouan and Union Island have airstrips with scheduled and charter flights available. You’ll find luxurious, getaways and hotels throughout the islands. St. Vincent and the Grenadines are among the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, having the enviable position of being able to offer the visitor an uncommon vacation with plenty of variety. There is something to be enjoyed by everyone.
Shown here is the Government Building in the capital, Kingstown.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a rich and interesting history. The islands are believed to have first been inhabited as long as 7000 years ago by the Ciboney, a race of primitive hunter-gatherers. About the time of Christ, they were displaced by the Arawaks who originated in the Orinoco Basin area of South America. The Caribs moved in around 1000 A.D. Suffice it to say there are some rewarding archeological experiences awaiting interested tourists.
During the 18th century, cotton was grown in St. Vincent, but after the island became British, sugar cane became the foremost crop. However, due to the decline of the sugar industry in the late 19th century, arrowroot became the crop of choice. Arrowroot is now grown with bananas, which are the two chief export crops, in places like Mesopotamia and Owia. Other crops like coconut and cassava are grown by small farmers. Livestock and fishing are also important mainstays of the economy.
St. Vincent is entirely volcanic in origin, being mostly composed of ash and other fragmented material. The northern end of the island is dominated by La Soufrière , St. Vincent’s volcano, which rises over 4000 feet above sea level. The origin of the name is not known, but it seems likely that it is from a combination of the French words for “suffer” and “sulfur”. From the crest there are spectacular views of the crater, the landscape of St. Vincent and, beyond this, of other nearby islands. Due to the frequent rains and a rich volcanic soil, St. Vincent has a rich abundance of fruits, vegetables and spices.
Although the island is volcanic with steep mountain ridges, there are plenty of waterfalls and valleys as well. The Falls of Baliene , accessible only by boat, lie north of the Richmond Beach. The 60 foot freshwater falls stream from volcanic slopes and form a series of shallow pools at the base.
Mesopotamia Valley , a great, fertile bowl with a froth of mist, is cool enough to grow grapes along with bananas, cocoa and nutmeg and more. Streams and rivers come together here to tunnel over the Yambou Gorge.