St. Vincent and the Grenadines Journals

Cruising the Grenadine Islands

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A July 2002 trip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines by mplunkert

Pacifica Golf Resort Photo, Ixtapa, Mexico More Photos
Quote: Each year for the last six years, my husband and I have spent three weeks sailing to different islands in the Caribbean. This year took us to St. Vincent and the Grenadines where we were thrilled to discover that each island we visited had a unique personality of its own.

Cruising the Grenadine Islands

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Overview

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The Grenadines offers the best snorkeling spots of any we've visited! You literally feel like you've entered a huge tropical fish aquarium. Along with the abundance of reef fish, we spied huge turtles, a multitude of lobsters, and nurse sharks (which, we were told in advance, have no interest in humans.) Divers will be in seventh heaven here. In addition to the abundance of reefs, there are several interesting wreck dives. Those who don't want to get their feet wet can take one of many tourist boats tours that will take you out dolphin and whale watching. (As a perfect end to our perfect trip, a school of 10 to 12 dolphins played around our sailboat as we headed back to our charter base.) Don't l...Read More

Pacifica Golf Resort

Hotel | "The Lagoon Marina and Hotel"

Pacifica Golf Resort Photo, Ixtapa, Mexico
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We stayed at this hotel on the first and last days of our trip. The hotel, which is operated by Sunsail, a boat charter company, is small, with only 19 rooms. The rooms are very comfortably appointed, however, with two queen beds, air conditioning, ceiling fans, and a TV that can be used to access the internet. Fax services are also available. The rooms all have nice-sized balconies overlooking the marina. While devoid of art, the atmosphere of the room we had was as calming as a gentle sea, with pale green walls and a vaulted wooden ceiling painted blue and white.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 3, 2002

Pacifica Golf Resort
Paseo De La Colina Playa Vista Hermosa
Ixtapa, Mexico
(755) 5552-500

Firefly

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Restaurant

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Firefly is perched on a hill overlooking Britannia Bay. It is situated right next to a huge pink structure that looks like it might be a hotel, but is, in fact, Liberace's old home. If you're not up to the hike up the hill, the restaurant will have you picked up at the dock. Before dining, we elected to have some drinks at the bar while we enjoyed the sunset. The waitstaff, though formally attired, were friendly and served us roasted, salted coconut chips with our beverages. They were a unique treat--somewhat a cross between banana chips and pumpkin seeds--and even my husband, who abhors anything with coconut in it, really liked them. The dining area is very small--only ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 9, 2002

Gingerbread Restaurant

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Restaurant

The Gingerbread Restaurant Photo, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Caribbean
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The Gingerbread Restaurant is easy to locate--look for the building with the ornate Gingerbread trim. If you're on a boat, you'll be happy to know it has its own dinghy dock. For breakfasts and the luncheon barbeque, you will be seated in a garden setting right on the waterfront. (A sign is hung on the restaurant balcony indicating what meal is currently being served.) For dinner or light lunches, (sandwiches only), you will be dining upstairs in an open-air restaurant that also looks onto Admiralty Bay. My husband and I had dined on one of their light lunches here (huge tuna fish sandwiches) one afternoon and returned on a later date for dinner. I had the chicken curry, which gets my five-star ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 5, 2002

A good destination for

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Story/Tip

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If you have sailed only the British Virgin Islands in the past, the Grenadines are a good choice for your next destination. Do not let the fact that they are "windward islands" intimidate you. The sails between islands are relatively short--five to twelve miles, with land in sight the entire way. In easterly winds, such as we experienced, most sails are easy beam to broad reaches, and you will reach your destination in one to two hours in most cases. We never had to tack and only jibbed once. The hazards (reefs, mainly) are no more difficult to maneuver around than those you encounter in the B.V.I., and are well-marked. The anchorages are wide, and you will find yourself in 10-30 feet of water i...Read More
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St. Vincent is by far the most populated of the country known as "St. Vincent and the Grenadines." As such, it offers a greater agenda of sightseeing opportunities than do the islands that are collectively known as "the Grenadines." Many tour agencies exist that will provide guided tours of the island's 3000-foot volcano, its numerous and beautiful waterfalls, rainforests, nature trails, and the Owia Salt Pond. One such is HazECO Tours, located in Kingstown. Its phone number is (784)-457-8632. As mentioned in the overview, for safety's sake, I recommend paying for a guide, even if you simply plan on taking a hike along one of this islands nature trails. HazECO tours also offers Flora, Fauna, and ...Read More
Mustique Photo, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Caribbean
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Mustique is the island of the rich and famous. Privately owned, it has been a second home to personalities such as Liberace, Princess Margaret, Raquel Welch, and Mick Jagger. There are only 80 homes on the island, and you may mistakenly think some of them are castles or elaborate hotels rather than private residences. A walk around the island reveals pristine little cottages as well. There are two hotels to choose from--The FireFly House (phone: 784-456-3414; e-mail: fireflymus@caribsurf.com; web: mustiquefirefly.com) and The Cotton House (phone: 784-456-4777; email: cottonhouse@caribsurf.com; web: cottonhouse.net). They are both small, so you will be insured privacy at each. The Firefly has o...Read More
Bequian Fish Market Photo, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Caribbean
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Bequia is a short hop from St. Vincent. Those not on a boat can fly directly to Bequia or take a ferry from St. Vincent. The first ferry leaves St. Vincent about 6:30 A.M. and the last ferry returns to St. Vincent from Bequia at about 7 P.M. It will prove a good day trip. Bequia is only 7.5 square miles and has the atmosphere of a small fishing village. Historically, the islanders were active whalers, but this is no longer the case. An island tour, which will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours at a leisurely pace, can be had from any of a number of taxi drivers who will accost you as you pass. Some of these have recently banded together and call themselves the "A-team." They have standardized prices and p...Read More
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The Tobago Cays are not just one island, but a chain of deserted islands (except for all the boats anchored off them) that constitute a national park. I have dubbed them the "Adventure Islands" of the Grenadines. The islands are protected from the ocean by Horseshoe Reef and the snorkeling here is the best we've found in the Caribbean, rivaled only by Anegada in the B.V.I. In fact, it rivals many of the reef dives I've ever taken. The water is a brilliant turquoise that entices you to jump off the boat the minute you set anchor, and fades to blue, green, gold, and brown as you get closer to the reef. There are dinghy moorings positioned along the reef so you can anchor in the clear, deeper water, and ...Read More
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Mayreau is a quiet little island. It has none of the bustle of Bequia and it is not a habitat of the rich and famous. It boasts one small village, pristine beaches, and spectacular views. It is, in my mind, the island of romance. Unfortunately (or, fortunately, for some of us), the only way to get to Mayreau is by boat. There are no airports on the island. Perhaps the best recommendation for the island comes from a sailor we met while anchored in Salt Whistle Bay. He hails from Trinidad and claims he sails to Salt Whistle Bay every year for his month-long summer vacation. There are two good anchorages off Mayreau, of which Salt Whistle Bay is the prettier. It is bounded by two reefs, which mak...Read More