Walk around the Saturday morning market in the port of Kingstown, and listen to the soundtrack of vendors and shoppers amid the stalls of tropical fruits and spices … oh, it’s so easy to imagine a West Indies unchanged over half a century. Here in the capital, the cobblestone streets lead to colonial buildings and churches built in the early 1800s, and the stone battlements of venerable Fort Charlotte still overlook the always-blue waters of Kingstown Bay.
St. Vincent & the Grenadines is a nation of 32 islands – some of them, including Mustique and Petit St. Vincent, among the more exclusive private islands in this tropical sea. Sailors and divers often see the island mostly as a gateway to other islands in the chain, but St. Vincent can be proud of both rich history and a rugged natural setting.
Travel to the leeward west coast for fishing villages and tranquil sandy beaches (and the island’s best dive sites), or to the east coast for dramatic, wind-swept cliffs and rocky shores. For a close-at-hand private resort, you could swim to 25-acre Young Island, about 200 yards off St. Vincent’s south coast. Still, even today much of St. Vincent’s interior remains inaccessible by car (a fact that warms the hearts of serious hikers), including the lovely Falls of Baleine; located at the northwestern tip of the island, the falls can be reached overland by a long trek, but most visitors take the easy way and arrive by boat. Either way, a shower in the pool under the falls caps a St. Vincent day to remember.