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About St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Mayreau

Located at 61° 12′W 13° 15′N in the southern portion of the Lesser Antilles, as a nation, St. Vincent & The Grenadines encompass the island of St. Vincent (133m² or 344 km²) and about two thirds of the cluster of small islands to the south (The Grenadines), covering a total area of 150m² or 389km². St. Vincent itself is volcanic, mountainous and barely inhabited in its interior, resulting in high density developments in more accessible areas. The island’s highest point is Soufriere, an impressive 3,864ft (1,178m). It is a volcano that has erupted as recently as 1902 and again in 1979. St. Vincent was originally called Youloumain, and also Hairouna – which is now the close name of its main brew!

Fun things to do: diving, snorkelling, cruising, fishing, hiking, visiting places of historical interest as well as Pirates of the Caribbean film sites.

Local businesses

Going to St Vincent & The Grenadines and wondering where to stay, what to do, where to eat and how to get around? We’ve got you covered with our list of hotels, restaurants, activities, car hire, shopping & more. Browse through for more details.

Experiences

Try watersports, golf, scuba diving, tours & more

Transport

Hire a car, jeep, bicycle or scooter to travel around the island

Events

Annual events

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Events in January

24-Jan-18 to 7-Feb-18
Mustique Blues Festival (Mustique)

This popular event with daily live music from 9pm promises to be another classic year with headline acts such as Joe Lewis Walker, Ian Siegal, Rich Estrin, Murali Coryell, Tia Gouttebell and Amar Sundy.
More information

18-Jan-18 to 21-Jan-18
Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest  (Bequia)

four-day event, still including one night of world class Blues from the Mustique Blues Festival, but also with a wide range of international, regional and local artists of all musical genres who loved the laid back vibe of the island coming together to bring a feast of entertainment to the islands residents and visitors alike.
More information

Events in Feburary

24-Jan-18 to 7-Feb-18
Mustique Blues Festival (Mustique)

This popular event with daily live music from 9pm promises to be another classic year with headline acts such as Joe Lewis Walker, Ian Siegal, Rich Estrin, Murali Coryell, Tia Gouttebell and Amar Sundy.
More information

Events in March

14-Mar-18 to 14-Mar-18
National Heroes Day (St. Vincent)

Public Holiday

30-Mar-18 to 30-Mar-18
Good Friday (St. Vincent)

Public Holiday  A day of church services for all denominations throughout the island

29-Mar-18 to 2-Apr-18
Bequia Easter Regatta (Bequia)

A fleet of more than thirty traditional local boats from Bequia and her neighbouring islands, some no more than 12 feet long, others a majestic (by comparison) 28 feet in length and capable of extraordinary speed and agility, compete out on the sparkling waters around Bequia.
More information

Events in April

1-Apr-18 to 1-Apr-18
Easter Monday (St. Vincent)

Public Holiday 

29-Mar-18 to 2-Apr-18
Bequia Easter Regatta (Bequia)

A fleet of more than thirty traditional local boats from Bequia and her neighbouring islands, some no more than 12 feet long, others a majestic (by comparison) 28 feet in length and capable of extraordinary speed and agility, compete out on the sparkling waters around Bequia.
More information

Events in May

1-May-18 to 1-May-18
Labour Day (St. Vincent)

Public Holiday

21-May-18 to 21-May-18
Whit Monday (St. Vincent)

Public Holiday

May to May
Canouan Regatta (Canouan)

This festival of boat races, sports and games, calypso competitions, street jump and beauty pageants is held in late May/early June.
More information

May to May
Maroon Festival (Union)

The Maroon draws from ancient harvest rites brought from West Africa by the slaves that were taken to work on the cotton plantations. The day-long festival takes place on a full moon in May and includes songs, dances and drum rhythms, handed from generation to generation.

Events in June

Jun to Jun
Carnival (Union)

Jun to Jun
Bequia Carnival (Bequia)

Bequia Carnival takes places at the end of June, and is a delightfully informal and spontaneous affair.

29-Jun-18 to 10-Jul-18
Vincy Mas (St. Vincent)

The hottest carnival in the Caribbean'
More information

Events in July

Jul to Jul
Canouan Carnival (Canouan)

Public Holiday

Jul to Jul
Fisherman's Day (Bequia)

Public Holiday

29-Jun-18 to 10-Jul-18
Vincy Mas (St. Vincent)

The hottest carnival in the Caribbean'
More information

9-Jul-18 to 9-Jul-18
Carnival Monday (St. Vincent)

10-Jul-18 to 10-Jul-18
Carnival Tuesday (St. Vincent)

Events in August

1-Aug-18 to 31-Aug-18
Breadfruit Festival (St. Vincent)

A tasty celebration of St Vincent & the Grenadines' 25 species of breadfruit and their historical importance.

Events in October

26-Oct-18 to 27-Oct-18
Independence Cycling Classic (St. Vincent)

27-Oct-18 to 27-Oct-18
Independence Day (St. Vincent)

Public Holiday

Events in December

16-Dec-18 to 24-Dec-18
National Nine Morning Festival (St. Vincent)

Nine Mornings is a unique Vincentian festivity associated with the Christmas season.  Nine Mornings before Christmas, Vincentians awake in the early hours of the morning and partake in a range of activities, among them sea baths, dances (or in local parlance, fetes), bicycle riding and street concerts.  In the rural areas, the final morning of the festivity usually ends with a steel band “jump-up”.
More information

25-Dec-18 to 25-Dec-18
Christmas Day (St. Vincent)

Public Holiday

26-Dec-18 to 26-Dec-18
Boxing Day (St. Vincent)

Public Holiday

History and Culture

Pre-European History

First thought to have been inhabited by the Ciboney, an Amerindian, peace-loving, agricultural people. They were supplanted by the Arawaks, a more sophisticated group, traces of whom can still be seen in the petroglyphs at Layou and rock carvings near Akers. Eventually the war-like Caribs arrived and vigorously fought off any attempts at colonisation until 1719. In the meantime, in 1695 a Dutch slave ship was shipwrecked and a group of survivors climbed ashore in St. Vincent. In due course, they merged with the Caribs and a new race was formed, known as the Black Caribs. They, in turn, had children who became known as the Yellow Caribs and those later became known as the Garifuna (Cassava Eaters). The Black Caribs and the Yellow Caribs were intent on fighting with each other so eventually they decided in 1700 to occupy separate parts of the island to prevent further bloodshed.

The new arrivals…

The Caribs allowed the French to create some settlements, the British were not so favoured. After complex struggles between all parties, Britain finally took control from both the Carib and French, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1783 and the 5,000 remaining Caribs were deported to an island off Honduras. Only a smattering of Caribs remain on St. Vincent in the Sandy Bay area. Like the French before them, the British also used African slaves to work plantations of sugar, coffee, indigo, tobacco, cotton and cocoa until full emancipation in 1838. The result was that the economy declined; Soufriere blowing its lid and covering much of the farmland with ash was the final blow.

A new era

In 1925 a Legislative Council was inaugurated but it was not until 1951 that universal adult suffrage was introduced. Britain granted internal self-government to the island in 1969 and Vincentians became responsible for their own affairs. On Oct. 27, 1979 St. Vincent gained full independence within the Commonwealth from Britain.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines are characterised by stability and are known for their genuine hospitality towards both their neighbours and visitors from the rest of the world. Agriculture is the mainstay of the population, with banana cultivation being the primary produce. The fertile soil, particularly in the Mesopotamia Valley, is known to the surrounding islands as the Vegetable Bowl! Since the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean, tourism is opening up. The Grenadines have always been a favourite of sailors because of the calm waters, fantastic snorkelling and diving, and the delight of wading ashore on an islet.