St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a single country comprised of many islands. The archipelago is part of the southern Windward Islands. Stunning reefs and undersea life makes snorkeling and scuba diving especially thrilling. Rich, volcanic soil produces fragrant, delicious and exotic crops. By land or by sea, the natural surroundings are breathtaking. The climate and sailing conditions are ideal. Why charter in the Grenadines? Because it is a paradise, and it is unlike anywhere else on earth.
The Grenadine islands are relatively close together. This sample itinerary begins and ends in St. Vincent. However, chartering one way from St. Vincent to Grenada is also very popular. You could visit the same islands, possibly one or two more, but in a different order. One of the advantages of a private yacht charter is that every itinerary is customized to individual interests and priorities. Even when you have a plan, it’s flexible. You can always change your mind, linger a day longer, or add a stop to visit new friends.
Day 1: St. Vincent to Mustique
St. Vincent is the archipelago’s main island and the administrative capital. It provides goods and services to the smaller islands in the chain. St. Vincent has spectacular, natural features. La Soufrière is a 4,049-foot-high, active volcano. It dominates a landscape of undulating thick forests that drop down to black-sand and white-sand beaches.
St. Vincent is the preferred starting point for down island exploration. Most charter yachts prefer embarking from the beautiful Blue Lagoon, located at the south coast city of Calliaga.
It’s a 16-mile passage from the Blue Lagoon to Britannica Bay on Mustique Island. This sophisticated, world class, private island offers seclusion and tranquility. Controlled development has attracted a wealthy, international clientele, who own about 90 palatial mansions sprawled across 1,400 acres. The landscape is bucolic, with green hills sloping down to sparkling white sand beaches. Snorkeling around the coral reefs is out of this world. Explore charted nature trails by foot, bike or horseback, or take a taxi tour. Visit famous Basil’s Bar and Restaurant, perched on stilts over the Caribbean Sea. The panoramic views are amazing and you’re sure to meet some interesting people.
Day 2: Canouan
After a short, pleasant sail downwind arrive at Charlestown Bay on Canouan’s west side. This tiny island of heavily forested mountains has a rich history stretching back over 2,000 years. Arawak founders named their home Cannoun, meaning turtle island.
Dive or snorkel on one of the Caribbean’s longest barrier reefs. Bask in near seclusion on brilliant white sand beaches. Take a refreshing swim, snorkel or dive. Enjoy lunch at the beachfront restaurant at Tamarind Beach Hotel. As you depart, scan the seascape to glimpse a pod of humpback, sperm or pilot whales.
Days 3: Tobago Cays
North of Mayreau lies Tobago Cays Marine Park. The park is made up of a 50 sq. km sand-bottomed lagoon. Stretches of beach surround five uninhabited island. Go swimming, snorkeling or diving in the most extensive and well-developed coral reef complex in St Vincent. Visibility is an astonishing 100 to 120 feet. Hike the wooded islands and small systems of mangroves.
In the evening, local cooks arrive to prepare a barbecue feast by reservation only. It’s a tradition you don’t want to miss. Work off the calories with crab races, another tradition. When night falls, the sky fills with so many stars they illuminate the fish, sand and coral beneath your hull.
Day 4: Union Island, Clifton Harbour
A short sail brings into view the dramatic silhouette of volcanic mountains that define Union Island. Clifton Harbour provides a marvelous anchorage. At its center is the famous man-made, hand-made Happy Island. This rollicking bar hosts an assortment of interesting patrons and features awesome views. Stroll up the main road in the busy town of Clifton. Poke around the craft stalls, shops, restaurants and enjoy some evening entertainment.
Stretch your sea legs with a hike or bike to Mount Taboi, nearly 1,000 feet above sea level. Roads and trails throughout the island offer some of the best hiking and biking in the Grenadines. For a more leisurely afternoon of fine dining, a massage and a swim, head to Sparrow’s Beach Club. View: Tourist Map Union Island
Day 5: Mayreau
Mayreau is the smallest inhabited island in the Grenadines. It is the Caribbean as it was, before cruise ships and big resorts. It is accessible only by sea. Drop anchor in serene Saltwhistle Bay, offshore from sweeping Half Moon Beach.
It’s an easy hike to picturesque Old Wall village, perched on a hilltop. Just take the only paved road leading from Saltwhistle Bay to Saline Bay. Bring your camera. Along the walk you’ll see goats and dogs, a couple of eateries, some lovely gardens and a general store. But, you probably won’t see cars.
When you reach the top you can see all the way to the Tobago Cays. Peek into the little Roman Catholic Church atop Station Hill. In the evening, join locals gathering with friends to socialize and play music. Favorite spots are the Saltwhistle Bay Beach Club and Robert Righteous & De Youths.
Day 6: Bequia
Bequia is an island of many towns and much history. Dock in Port Elizabeth in Admiralty Bay. Here you will enjoy the charming fusion of the traditional and the modern. This is still an island of local sailors, hand-built boats, and an active but low-key whaling station. You will also find a well-developed tourist infrastructure with upscale resorts, gourmet restaurants, thriving retail shops, and professional yacht services.
Brightly colored rooftops poking through the trees delightfully epitomize traditional West Indian architecture. For a half-day adventure into island culture, negotiate a fixed price and take a taxi tour. Many interesting stops will include Mt. Pleasant, for breathtaking 360-degree views, and Friendship Bay. This alternative yacht anchorage is usually quieter than Admiralty Bay. Read: Grenadines Sailing Charter: Bequia Island
Day 7: Blue Lagoon, St. Vincent
Return to the serenity of Blue Lagoon and the lush, rugged mountains of St. Vincent. There is plenty to explore here, especially if you can spend an extra day or two. Embark on popular day trips to the 3,000 foot summit of the Soufrière volcano, or the Falls of Baleine. Visit the Botanical Gardens, Fort Charlotte and Montreal Gardens. Or simply spend a few final moments on deck with a cooling drink. Watch the play of changing colors on the hillsides. Dream about your next yacht charter adventure.
St. Vincent-Grenada charter could include:
Petit St. Vincent
Anchor off this dreamy private island. The little desert island of Mopion is nearby and the snorkeling here is spectacular.
Known as the ‘isle of reefs’and described by travel writers as an ‘uncut diamond’, Carriacou is quintessentially Caribbean. Escape the beaten tourist track and experience the leisurely seduction of island living. The island’s natural beauty adds to its appeal. Carriacou has many empty beaches, pristine coves and countless outlying uninhabited islets. Carriacou’s interior consists of wooded mountainous terrain with spectacular views towards Grenada to the south and the rest of the Grenadine islands to the north.
Grenada will surprise you. The Spice Island offers much to explore, from tourist to natural attractions. In general, Grenadians are welcoming, well-educated, sophisticated and religious. The island has world-class marinas, gourmet restaurants, top ranked beaches, rain forests, waterfalls and rum factories. One could happily spend a long time here.
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Destination overview: St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Island Nation
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