St. Vincent & The Grenadines (SVG): One Destination, 32 Gorgeous Islands

From St. Vincent’s lush tropical rainforest full of eco-adventures, to the idyllic beaches, coral reefs and turquoise lagoons of The Grenadines, SVG is a tropical paradise for yachting, scuba diving, enjoying nature, and relaxing in luxurious hideaways. An escape from a hectic lifestyle with the opportunity to live your dreams and enjoy a true ‘Vincy’ experience!

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a Caribbean nation of one hundred and eight thousand people composed of a main island (St. Vincent) and a number of smaller Islands (two thirds of “the Grenadines”) – in total there are 32 islands and cays. The islands are located in the Caribbean Sea, and are part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles chain of the West Indies.

St Vincent has a French and British colonial history and is now part of the Commonwealth of Nations and CARICOM. Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on St. Vincent until 1719. Disputed between France and the United Kingdom for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783. Between 1960 and 1962, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies. Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.

The administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. Most Vincentians are the descendants of African slaves brought to the island to work on plantations. There also are a few white descendants of English colonists, as well as some East Indians, Carib Indians, and a sizable minority of mixed race. The country’s official language is English, but a French patois may be heard on some of the Grenadine Islands.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth
of Nations. Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State and is represented on the island by a
Governor General, an office with mostly ceremonial functions. Control of the government
rests with the prime minister and the cabinet.

The parliament is a unicameral body, consisting of 15 elected members and six appointed senators. The Governor General appoints senators, four on the advice of the Prime Minister and two on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition. The parliamentary term of office is 5 years, although the Prime Minister may call elections at any time.

Banana production employed upwards of 60% of the work force and accounted for 50% of merchandise exports in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with an emphasis on the main island of St. Vincent. Such reliance on one crop has made the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in banana prices and reduced European Union trade preferences. To combat these vulnerabilities, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has focused on diversifying its economy away from its reliance on bananas. Tourism in the Grenadines has grown to become a very important part of the economy, and the chief earner of foreign exchange for the country as a whole. The Grenadines have become a favorite of high-end tourism and the focus of new development in the country. Super luxury resorts, yachting tourism, and a commitment by the government to rehabilitate and protect the Tobago Keys as a national park have all contributed to strong tourism returns in the Grenadines.

As a tourist destination St Vincent and The Grenadines offers visitors the opportunity to get
very close to nature. Visitors can hike to the top of a volcano, to stunning waterfalls or along scenic coastal paths. Those who are aquatic oriented can scuba dive or snorkel over coral reefs, go whale and dolphin watching, while land lubbers can explore forests in search of the endemic St. Vincent Parrot, meander through colourful tropical gardens, or simply dream themselves to sleep on a beautiful beach.

As fabulous desert island treasures, St Vincent’s awe-inspiring beaches are picture perfect, from the powder-white sand beaches that adorn its pretty islands and cays to the picturesque black sand beaches that fringe the main island’s windward and leeward coasts. On St Vincent, Indian Bay and Villa beaches are as popular along the south coast, as is the lovely white sand beach of Young Island. These beaches also have hotels and restaurants nearby. St Vincent’s more secluded black sand beaches include Richmond Beach, Buccament Bay, Mt Wynne, and Petit Byahaut on the leeward coast, while Sandy Bay and Black Point Beach are fabulous windward coast beaches.

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