St Vincent and the Grenadines, Caribbean - Stein Travel
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St Vincent and the Grenadines

The tropical treasures of St Vincent and the Grenadines are found near St Lucia and Grenada, part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, in the Caribbean Sea. This paradise of island destinations includes Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Petit St Vincent, Tobago Cays, Union Island and Palm Island, each with their own unique character and magnificent beaches to discover.

Thanks to its beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere, this stunning destination is an idyllic venue for that perfect island wedding, or a romantic honeymoon retreat; images of a barefoot bride on a soft white beach or newly-weds on a starry night, with waves breaking gently in the background, come to mind&

St Vincent and the Grenadines has its own soccer league, as well as a national soccer team, so sports fans are suitably indulged. The varied topography lends itself well to an array of adventures, from sailing and scuba diving to hiking and horse riding. There are also a few golf courses worth swinging a club at.

The island nation has a French and British colonial history; Carib Indians fought off European settlement on St Vincent until the 18th century, after which it was subjected to many years of colonial rule and slavery. On 27 October 1979, it finally became the last of the Windward Islands to gain independence.

Natural disasters have also hindered the island group's development, with serious volcanic eruptions and hurricanes recorded from as early as 1902; Hurricane Lenny caused extensive damage to the west coast in 1999. These have not, however, detracted from the beguiling setting and the restful sense of simplicity that washes lightly over sun-loving travellers.

Information & Facts

Climate

Like all Caribbean islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines has a hot, tropical climate throughout the year. The average daily temperatures of 80°F (27°C) tend to be tempered by trade winds. The driest time on the island is between January and March but brief, sporadic showers occur throughout the year. Hurricane season is generally from June to October (most storms pass north of the Grenadines).

Communications

The international access code for St Vincent and the Grenadines is +1 784. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for the United Kingdom). North American mobile phones work on all the islands and network coverage is good. Email and Internet access is available at Internet cafés.

Customs

It is an offence for anyone to dress in camouflage clothing. Homosexuality is illegal.

Duty Free

Visitors may import 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 225g of tobacco, and 1.136 litres of alcoholic beverage.

Electricity

Grenadines 220 volts and St Vincent 230 volts, 50Hz. Three square-pin plugs are standard.

Health

While there are few health risks associated with travel to St Vincent and the Grenadines, recommended vaccinations include Hepatitis B, Yellow fever, Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and Tetanus-diphtheria. Dengue fever occurs rarely and there have been cases of Leptospirosis. HIV/AIDS is present and travellers should take the usual precautions. Ensure food is properly prepared and cooked, avoid un-pasteurised milk and drink only boiled or bottled water. There are pharmacies, hospitals and evacuation facilities available if needed; ensure health insurance is comprehensive.

Language

English is the official language, but many of the locals speak Vincentian Creole.

Money

St. Vincent and the Grenadines' currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$), a regional currency shared among members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The US dollar is accepted in most hotels and some shops, and major credit cards are also widely accepted. Banking hours are from 8am to 3pm on Monday to Thursday, and till 5pm on Fridays. There are also ATM machines available.

Passport Visa

All visitors are required to hold an onward/return ticket, documents for their next destination and sufficient funds for the duration of their stay. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Safety

Most visits to St Vincent and the Grenadines are trouble-free, but visitors should take general precautions against robbery and theft. Isolated areas, such as beaches, should be avoided after dark. Hurricane season is normally from about June to November.

Time

Local time is GMT -4.

Tipping

A 10% service charge is added onto most restaurant bills, in which case no further tipping is necessary.

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