Timothy Tye
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Travel Tips

Clifton Harbour, Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesClifton Harbour, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island nation in the Caribbean. It comprises the main island, Saint Vincent, and two thirds of the Grenadines. The Grenadines are a chain of islands stretching south of Saint Vincent until Grenada. The entire chain, including Saint Vincent itself, is part of the Lesser Antilles chain. They are on the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea, separating it from the Atlantic Ocean.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines covers 389 sq km (150 sq mi) and has a population of 120,000 (2011 estimate). English is the official language here. The majority of the population are Anglicans. The capital and biggest city is Kingstown. The country was a former British colony, and today it is an independent constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state.

Ponton de Saline Bay, Mayreau island, the GrenadinesPonton de Saline Bay, Mayreau island, Grenadines
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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Traffic is four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-4). The official currency here is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD). Traffic is driven on the left here, just as in Britain. The phone IDD code is +1-784.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. It is to the west of Barbados, to the north of Grenada, and to the south of Saint Lucia. The country experiences a tropical climate with little variation of temperature. There are two distinct seasons, the wet and the dry. The wet season is from May to November.

Union Island, the GrenadinesUnion Island, Grenadines
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The administrative division of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is called parish. There are six all together, namely Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George and Saint Patrick. Each has a capital, with the capital of Saint George being also the capital of the national capital.

The islands now known as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were inhabited by the Carib tribe when Europeans discovered it. However, the aggressiveness of the natives prevented a European settlement to be established there until 1719, when the French took control of the island. By then, the island of St Vincent already has a population of Garifuna. These are descendants of African slaves who were shipwrecked on the island and subsequently intermarrying with the native Caribs.

The British took over Saint Vincent in 1783 through the Treaties of Versailles. It gained full independence from Britain in 1979. On 25 November, 2009, a referendum was held asking the people to vote on whether they wish to continue as a constitutional monarchy or to adopt a new constitution as a republic. Only 43% of the voters supported the proposal, far short of a two-thirds majority for it to be passed.

Planning your visit to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The main gateway to Saint Vincent and the Grenedines is the E.T. Joshua International Airport (SVD) in Arnos Vale near Kingstown. It only receives flights from other islands in the Caribbean such as Antigua, Barbados, Grenada and Saint Lucia. A new international airport, the Argyle International Airport, is under construction and is expected to be operational from 2012. The new airport will have four times the capacity of the present airport.

Recommended Travel Guidebook

My favorite travel guidebook for further reading in preparation of your trip is the Caribbean Eyewitness Guide, because it follows a format that I find useful to users, not to mention I have also contributed to some of the titles in the Eyewitness series of guidebooks.

Major Towns in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  1. Kingstown

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