Island hopping in the beautiful Caribbean: St Vincent & the Grenadines.

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”

Bob Marley.

Arriving at Argyl International Airport was a smooth, easy process and the first passport control, thus far, to kindly place a visa stamp in my passport.

My accommodation, Buttercup Cottage Apartments, was situated in Arnos Vale, a small town located near the old airport. Set in a beautiful rural backdrop, it’s a 15-minute bus journey from Kingstown.

The narrow streets, arched stone doorways and covered walkways of Kingstown conjure up a Caribbean of banana boats and colonial rule. It heaves and swells with a pulsing local community that bustles through its thoroughfares and alleyways. The frantic pace and it’s unpolished edges inspires many to take the first boat down to the calm of Bequia. However, there are a few locations worth taking the time to visit in the town.

Fort Charlotte can be reached on foot, but it’s a long hard slog up a very steep hill. The best way to get there is by taking a mini bus (5 ECD) and then walking (down hill) back into town. The views from the fort are spectacular. St Vincent Botanic Gardens are the oldest gardens in the western hemisphere. A beautiful oasis in an otherwise chaotic town. St Mary’s is the most eye-catching of Kingstown’s churches.

Fort Charlotte.
Botanic Garden.
St Mary’s Church.

History lesson: In 1783, after a century of competing claims between the British and French, the Treaty of Paris placed St Vincent under British control. In 1969, in association with the British, St Vincent became a self-governing state. On October 27, 1979, it was cobbled together with the Grenadines as an independent member of the British Commonwealth.

A short ferry trip (1-hour) from Kingstown is the beautiful island of Bequia (beck-way). It is said to be the most perfect island in the whole of the Grenadines. Stunning beaches, and some beautiful hikes, make this island a must visit.

Bequia harbour.
Bequia harbour.

Peggy’s Rock is a gorgeous hike! There are several ways to access this beautiful viewpoint – the long loop, starting at the main dinghy dock in the town of Port Elizabeth, walking the boardwalk and then the road about 2.7 miles to the trail head, then up-up-up to the summit and 360° views. You complete the loop by climbing down the opposite side to Lower Bay where you can stop for lunch or drinks or a dip in the ocean. Then back along the beach and over the headland to town and back to where you started. It takes approximately 3 hours.

The view from Peggy’s Rock.
Friendship Bay.

Backpacking possibility rating: quite possible. Finding cheap accommodation is relatively easy – with prior preparation. Eating out is cheap. Beer cheap, wine expensive. Supermarket food on par with UK prices. Self catering facilities help keep the costs down. Local transportation and museums are very cheap. Country score: 8 out of 10. A great country to visit. Hassle factor, moderate level in the capital Kingstown. Outside of the capital most people are very friendly. Annoyances, the speed that the local buses travel, and the volume of the music inside.

The route.

Next stage: St Lucia.

About Richard Griffith

My first independent travel experience was a trip to Israel, in 1997, it was here that I caught the 'travel' bug! In 2001 I took an 8-month sabbatical and traveled around South East Asia. Since then I have managed to visit most of Eastern Europe along with India, Bangladesh, and a few other destinations in between. I love travel and I love meeting new people.
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