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Most visitors to St. Vincent and the Grenadines don't come for the beaches. While most of the islands' beaches are covered in black sand, the waters are without contest the best for sailing and yachting in the Caribbean - or perhaps in the world.
The land of St. Vincent is also gorgeous and lush, full of Caribbean greenery and naturally beautiful scenery. Although nightlife on these islands may be lacking, boats depart for the waters daily, and the ocean life sure beats the nightlife. For more information on the Grenadines, check out the official SVG Tourism website or the CIA World Factbook for SVG.
|Currency||The official currency of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$). The U.S. dollar is widely accepted, but you may still receive change in EC$. The exchange rate is permanently fixed at about EC$2.61 to each US$1 (EC$1 = US$0.38).|
|Electricity||The electrical system here is 220-volt, so U.S. devices will need adapters.|
|GDP Per Capita||The per capita income of these islands is about $5,615(USD).|
|Island Size||The islands have about 151 square miles of land between them.|
|Language||English is the main language, but French and Patois are also spoken.|
|Population||The islands are home to about 122,400 residents, and see about 70,700 visitors per year, with 27 percent from the U.S.|
When visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines, plan on arriving via air at St. Vincent's E.T. Joshua Airport. Direct flights from the U.S. and Canada are almost never available. Flights will generally connect through other major Caribbean airports. Small planes are the preferred way to travel among the islands, but you can also island hop via boat. Airports on the Grenadines include Port Elizabeth Bequia Airport, Canouan Island Airport, Mustique Airport, Palm Island, and Union Island Airport. Some travelers hire their own yacht to reach their final destination or travel aboard a mail, cargo, or passenger boat.
All visitors, including those from the Caribbean, should have a passport and a return or ongoing ticket.
Due to trade winds, the Grenadines experience cooler weather than many Caribbean islands. Temperatures range from 76 to 82 in January and from 80 to 86 in July (all in degrees Fahrenheit). The rainy season runs from May to November, when the islands get most of their annual 70 inches of precipitation. Further information on Caribbean weather can be found here.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is comprised of more than 30 islands scattered between St. Lucia and Grenada, and is a part of the British Windward Islands. St. Vincent is the largest of these islands; other islands include Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island, and Petit St. Vincent. Nearly a quarter of the country's population lives in the capital city of Kingstown on St. Vincent. The terrain of the main island of St. Vincent is lush with forests and mountainous, with the focal point of the island being the volcanic Mount Soufrière. The windward side of the island is rocky, while the leeward side contains the sandy beaches that vacationers look forward to.
Bottled water is best for all visitors on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as local water can cause upset stomachs. Kingstown General Hospital is the only major hospital on the islands.
The islands are very safe; the capital city Kingstown itself has a very low crime rate. Despite this, don't forget to follow basic safety precautions.
Unlike the inhabitants of some Caribbean islands, locals on the Grenadines don't feel patronized by visitors. British manners and sensibilities dictate that guests be treated with politeness; a more welcoming attitude is hard to find anywhere in the world. In addition to the many British characteristics, look for some French and Indian influences as well. African cultural influences are also visible, since most of the island's population is descended from African slaves.
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