The main island of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines chain of islands, St. Vincent floats peacefully in the waters west of Barbados, down the southern end of the Caribbean Sea, and is a member of the Lesser Antilles Islands.
Whilst its main town of Kingstown can often be a flurry of colour and commotion, the island is usually overlooked, meaning secluded escapes and hidden hideaways are easy to find. St. Vincent’s range of quiet, sandy beaches are the perfect place to unplug from the hustle and bustle of life.
Visitors on cruise lines such as Princess Cruises, Silversea, Costa Cruises and SeaDream Yacht Club can find peace and serenity at St. Vincent.
Towards the southern tip of the island, along the western coast, is Kingstown, home to St. Vincent’s main cruise port. The cruise terminal is a short walk from Bay Street – the town’s main drag.
The cruise terminal is well equipped with shops; however, the main strip of Kingstown is a short walk away should you require anything else.
Facilities nearby include:
How to Get Around
Kingstown is easily discovered on foot; however, taxis tend to line up outside the cruise terminal should you prefer transportation to sites like the Botanic Gardens. Make sure you negotiate the price beforehand as taxis are generally un-metered. Discovering the area by ‘bus’ (i.e. minivan) is also possible as they ride loops around different parts of the island. These minivans are arranged fairly informally and tend to be much cheaper than taxis.
Travel times from the port:
It is a 5 minute journey to the centre of Kingstown
It is a 20 minute journey to the Botanic Gardens
It is a 3 hour and 6 minute journey to Argyle Beach.
It is a 3 minute journey to the centre of Kingstown
It is a 5 minute journey to the Botanic Gardens
It is a 26 minute journey to Argyle Beach.
Currency – St. Vincent accepts the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$). Coins can be found in silver 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents and 1 dollar coins. Bank notes come in denominations of EC$5, EC$10, EC$20, EC$50 and EC$100 dollars.
Time Zone – St. Vincent runs on Atlantic Standard Time all year round, which is 4 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Weather – St. Vincent experiences a tropical climate with fairly consistent temperatures every day of the year. Average daily highs rise to around 29 degrees Celsius while the average lows fall to around 23 degrees Celsius. The summer months, however, tend to feel hotter as humidity levels rise between July and September, although summer is also the wet season and can help cool things down.
Downtown Kingstown – For a taste of local life, spend some time strolling through downtown Kingstown. A walk along Bay Street is best for souvenirs but the outdoor market along the waterfront is where most of the colour and chaos happens. You’ll find a hive of activity with locals hawking everything you could possibly think of – from fruit to footwear. Head a little further for the Kingstown Produce Market where you’ll see people haggling over their fresh supplies for the week.
Botanic Gardens – The Botanic Gardens originally cultivated medicinal plants for the military during the 1700s but is now committed to the conservation of the island's rare flora and fauna. Locals and visitors alike often bring along a picnic or simply spend an afternoon admiring the array of magnificent blooms and towering trees. A small aviary also stands in the gardens and is home to a breeding program of the rare Amazon Parrot. St. Vincent’s Botanic Gardens is one of the oldest in the Western Hemisphere and is also a popular site for public events, weddings and photography.
Beaches – Depending on what sort of seaside experience you’re after, St. Vincent has a range of beaches to satisfy all types of day-trippers. Roughly 20 minutes by car from Kingstown is Buccament Bay - its stretch of soft sand is best for swimming and general lazing about. Those who like the beach but don’t want to get sandy can head to Villa Beach instead. Its waterfront is kitted out with restaurants, shops and water activities like snorkelling or swimming but the beach lacks a solid strip of sand. Argyle Beach, on the other hand, is something a little different. Its shores are volcanic black and the waves are fierce to match, but here lies some of the most stunning views over the Caribbean.