‘SVG’ IN A NUTSHELL: A Quick (and Useful) Guide to St.Vincent & The Grenadines
Heading over to St.Vincent & The Grenadines? Here is a list of helpful and useful information which will prepare you for life on the islands.
AREA CODE – The country code of St.Vincent and The Grenadines is +(1) 784.
TOTAL AREA – St.Vincent and The Grenadines is one nation which consists of 32 islands. Nine of which are inhabited – St Vincent, Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Union Island, Mayreau, Petit St Vincent and Palm Island. The entire nation is 150 square miles with St.Vincent (the largest island of the chain) being 133 square miles with a population of 99,757.
GEOGRAPHY – St. Vincent is a volcanic island with the highest peak being La Soufrière Volcano which stands at 4,049 ft tall. Therefore, you’ll also find that some of its beaches have “black sand” especially on the windward side when compared to the leeward side which has more sandy beaches.
MONEY – Not every place accepts credit cards so be sure to have local cash on hand. The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) is tied to the US Dollar at a rate of US$1 = BB$2.67 at the banks.
CAPITAL CITY – Kingstown, located on the southwest of St.Vincent, is the capital of St.Vincent and The Grenadines and also the location of the main port.
AIRPORT – There is only one operational airport on the island of Vincent – The Argyle International Airport which only officially opened on February 14, 2017 replacing The E.T. Joshua Airport. Canouan, Bequia, Mustique and Union Island also have airports allowing for interisland travel via air.
LANGUAGE – English is the official language of St.Vincent and The Grenadines and is the standard form of all types of communication on the island. While on the island, it is very likely that you will hear “Vincentian Creole” being spoken in informal settings (and sometimes formal settings) which can be best described as English based creole.
WEATHER – The climate in St.Vincent and the Grenadines does not differ much from its neighboring countries Barbados and St.Lucia. St.Vincent and The Grenadines tends to be consistently warm and sunny all year round (24-degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius) with the majority of the rainfall occurring during the months of July to October.
WATER – This precious commodity is safe to drink from the tap as it comes from a reservoir. On the other islands, water comes from rain collection, wells or desalination plants. The water is still safe to drink but it may taste a little weird if you’re not accustomed but trust me, it’s perfectly fine. Alternatively, bottled water is readily available.
Remember to stay hydrated!
BUGS AND WILDLIFE – It will be hot and humid so please travel with insect repellent for those pesky mosquitoes and sand flies. But in extreme situations, here are other ways in which you can ensure a blood sucking mosquito free holiday!
For all other forms of wildlife, if you do not trouble it, it will not trouble you!
ELECTRICITY – The power sockets are of type A, B and G with a standard voltage of 110 / 230 V and the standard frequency of 50 / 60 Hz. If you’re not sure what power sockets your accommodation carries, it is always wise to bring an adapter. Better safe than sorry!
BUSINESS HOURS – Businesses usually open from Monday to Friday from 8:30am until 4:30pm and from 8:00am to midday on Saturdays. But, if you are not sure, call (or check online).
TIPPING – While not mandatory, a 10%–15% of your bill is a welcomed, and polite gesture to acknowledge good service!
DRESS – Camouflage is prohibited and while we understand that it nice and warm, keep swimwear on the beach.
TRANSPORTATION – Taxis – these are indeed available but they are not metered so negotiate a price prior to setting off. Here is a full list of taxi operators SVG Taxi Association
Private Cars – A hired private car can prove to be beneficial if you intend to experience the full island of St.Vincent (as well as the Grenadines) but driving can be a bit intense. Depending on where you go, you may experience steep hills and hair pin bends, therefore, driving on the island in St. Vincent would only be for the strong of heart. On the other hand, the other islands are relatively flat and easier to navigate. You can indeed take your rental from St.Vincent over to the over islands via ferry but, confirm with your car rental company prior to doing so. A temporary drivers’ permit would also be needed which would cost about $24 USD and can be obtained from the car rental company. Here is a list of Car Rental Companies.
Air – Canouan, Bequia, Mustique and Union Island all have airports, therefore, with daily scheduled service and charter flights to and from St. Vincent. Here is a list of service providers.
Ferry – getting around from island to island is also possible via sea as there are two ferry operators – Bequia Express and Admiralty Transport which offer round-trip service from island to island. Here is a full schedule from both operators.
Buses – Lastly, you can simply catch the bus, which is a more exciting way to travel around the island. Fares range but is dependent on your destination/journey – so ask a question before getting in.
Now that you’re fully up to speed, when are you heading down to ‘SVG’?