St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Where to go and What to See
Peter Harris of the Trinidad and Tobago Historical Society even
said, "The displays are good, and there are a lot of impressive artifacts both in stone and pottery. The great bathead potrest with its ferocious teeth is particularly well displayed, and reminds one of the curved prow of a Polynesian War Canoe. The museum is a must for any visitor to St. Vincent."
Situated in the Botanical Gardens, the Archeological Museum houses a magnificent collection of stone tools and artifacts. In front of it are planted shrubs which might have been found in the compound of an early Indian home.
Black Point Tunnel
This tunnel was drilled in 1815 by Colonel Thomas Browne with
the help of Caribs and African slaves. It is 350 feet long and
links Grand Sable with Byera Bay. Black Point Tunnel was drilled
to enable quicker transport of sugar from estates of the north
of the island. The tunnel was constructed at a cost of five thousand pounds. Remnants of the blast holes are still seen in the volcanic rocks. Layers of deposits of volcanic ash can also be observed.
Located on approximately 20 acres of land and overlooked by the
Governor General's House, the Botanial Gardens are the oldest
in the Western Hemisphere having been established in 1765. Among
the tropical trees and shrubs is a breadfruit tree descended from
the original tree brought to the island by Captain Bligh (of the
Bounty Fame) in 1793.
Falls of Baleine
The Falls of Baleine is one of St.Vincent's finest natural wonders. Located on the Northern tip of the Leeward Range, this site is a designated wildlife reserve with a brilliant waterfall that tumbles into a large bathing pool.
Completed in 1806, the Fort is on a ridge 600 feet above the sea,
giving a magnificent view across Kingstwon and down the Grenadines. There are interesting paintings of the Black Caribs history by Lindsay Prescott in what used to be the officer's quarters in the Fort. Fort Charlotte is only a few minutes drive from Kingstown, or a good 20-30 minute hike.
This volcano last erupted in April 1979. The climb to its peak
(over 3,000 feet) is only for the energetic. This is a day's journey and hikers are recommended to leave early in the morning. You drive 2 miles through the coconut and banana plantations to where the foot of the trail begins. The ascent to the crater is about three miles. The trail leads you along steep volcanic ridges verdant with bamboo and other tropical trees. The energetic hiker can continue down the West Side Trail and terminate his hike of 10 or 12 miles in Chateaubelair on the Leeward (west) side of the island.
The panoramic view offered here is probably unsurpassed in the
Caribbean. The richly fertile valley is thickly planted with with
bananas, nutmegs, cocoa, coconuts, breadfruit and root crops such
as eddoes, tannias, and dasheen. Mountain ridges rise all around
with Grand Bonhomme dominating at 3,181 feet. Rivers and streams
come together at Mesopotamia to tumble down to the sea over the
rocks of Yambou gorge.
North of Mesopotamia is Montreal which is worth a visit. St. Vincent's Montreal Gardens is not a city, indeed it is little more then a name on a map, but it is high up in the mountains and has magnificent views across ridges and valleys to the sea. The gardens have a wealth of pink, red and white anthurium lilies growing under citrus trees.
Nature Trails - Buccament Valley
The trails start near the top of Buccament Valley. There are two
and are marked clearly. They lead through typical tropical rain
forest where there is a chance of seeing (and/or hearing) the
St. Vincent Parrot, Amazona guildingii, Whistling Warbler,
both unique to St.Vincent and strictly protected nationally and
internationally. Also to be seen are the black hawk, the cocoa
thrush, the crested humming bird, the red-capped green tanager,
green heron and several other interesting species. This is an
area very suitable for a picnic.
Owia Salt Pond
The Owia Salt Pond is located on the northeastern coast of St.
Vincent close to the Carib village of Owia. The tour of Owia involves a two hour drive along the scenic eastern coast of St. Vincent; along the way one can see the Rabacca Dry River (an ash flow from the 1902 eruption of the La Soufriere volcano), Black Point Tunnel dug by the British in 1815 using slave labour, and some of the best black sand beaches in the world. Owia is home to for many of the indigenous people of St. Vincent. Be sure to take a dip in the famous Salt Pond.
Petroglyphs and Rock Carvings
There are interesting excised drawings on rocks done by pre-Columbian people, probably Siboneys, but may be later by Arawaks and Caribs. The best known and most easily accessible is near the pretty fishing village of Layou, by a river about one-quarter of a mile from the main road. There are also some at Villa Beach.
St. George's Cathedral
To quote Buisseret and Clarke, "The nave and at least
the lower stages of the tower date from 1820 and the galleried
interior is a charming example of the late Georgian architecture." There are some beautiful stained glass windows, three on the East by Kempe and a large one on the South of Munich glass.
St. Mary's Roman Catholic School and Presbytery
The original was built in 1823, enlarged in 1877 and 1891, then
renovated in the early 1940s by Dom Charles Verbeke. There are
several styles of architecture involved, the dominant being Romanesque. The interior of the Cathedral is richly ornamented.
St. Vincent Craftsmen Centre
There is no better way to get to know the essential character
of an island and its people than through native handiwork. At
St. Vincent Craftsmen, just a short walk from Central Kingstown,
a wide and colorful variety of handiwork items made on the island
can be seen. The center itself, now mainly a marketing outlet
and craft shop, is located on the compound where the fabulous
sea island cotton for which St. Vincent was long famous was bought and sold. At the shop, you can browse uninterrupted among a variety of objects crafted from straw, clays, bamboo, coconut, wood, and available metals. From skills developed, the fashioning of a new and authentic Vincentian type jewellery has been created and is at the center for you to inspect. St. Vincent Craftsmen are also famous for their beautiful variety of handmade West Indian dolls. If you wish to remember your visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines with something authentically local in character, a visit to the Craftsmen Shop will be highly rewarding.
These unspoilt islands are a must for the visitor wanting to have
the ultimate in peaceful vacations. Fishing, sailing, swimming
and snorkelling are at their best in these enchanting islands,
which have some of the finest beaches in the world. There is a
daily service (Monday to Saturday) by motor vessel travelling
to Bequia and two days a week to the other islands of the group
(Canouan and Union Island). The larger islands of Mustique, Canouan, Bequia and Union all possess airstrips for light aircraft (19 seaters).
This waterfall is set in a deep volcanic canyon about four (4)
miles from Richmond Vale Academy. The tour of the falls from Kingstown involves a two (2) hour drive along the Leeward Coast of St. Vincent to Richmond. There is also a fortyfive (45) minute hike through some lush rainforest to the falls. Trinity Falls is perhaps the most beautiful waterfall in St. Vincent.