3 romantic places in St. Vincent for nature lovers

Whenever romance and nature meet, the combination is powerful.

It is no wonder a special kiss shared in a well-kept garden, or a day spent hiking together or near natural water flows, are often the best remedies to spice up romance with your partner.

Here are three (3) of several outdoor places in St. Vincent which are perfect for nature-lovers who want to enjoy the outdoors together.

First on this list in the Botanical Gardens, St. Vincent: as soon as you enter the gardens, you know it. You feel it. There’s that natural atmosphere, conducive to sharing a moment together with nature. Though the area is public, there is enough privacy to have a deep, romantic conversation with each other and enjoy nature.

gardens

2. Vermont Nature Trails: If you’re looking for a hike that’s not too far, but far enough to spend time together in a nature-type environment, then a hike Vermont Nature Trails will do. Relax with the mild sound of a river, or even take a bath in it together with your travel counterparts. You might also be lucky to spot the Amazona Guildingii, an extremely rare Parrot, endemic to St. Vincent andthe Grenadines.

 

Vermont
Entrepreneur at Dessii Cakery taking a photo moment at the riverside at Vermont Nature Trails
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Prince Harry – while on a visit to the trails to unveil a canopy. Photo: Prince Harry

Montreal Gardens: thought to be one of the best kept secrets of St. Vincent, Montreal Gardens, is literally a paradise. The place is extremely private, mystical, beautiful and takes nature romance to a whole new level. Whether you travel alone as a nature freak, or you have a special someone to enjoy nature with, you are likely to be head over heals with this place.

 

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Entrance to Montreal Gardens, St. Vincent

Several beaches, exclusive resorts and less-known spots are also great, but these three places serve the purpose well.

 

Secrets of St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Editor’s picks

 

 

 

 

Is St. Vincent really all that?

There are so many places in the world with unique identities and offerings. So, what is special about St. Vincent & the Grenadines?

After all, the multi-island state has a capital city considered less than hassle-free to walk through, and a public transportation system which leaves much to be desired.

Its major infrastructure are only now coming on stream, for instance, international air access was only just opened in 2017 with the commissioning of the Argyle International Airport in February 2017 and a Jet Port in Canouan, a few years before.

Amidst these factors holding back St. Vincent’s attractiveness as a major tourist destination, here are five (5) reasons why St. Vincent and The Grenadines are special and worthy of your bucket list:

The country is big on natural beauty: from the Huffington Post, to Forbes Magazine, to the Telegraph Newspaper, beaches especially in the Grenadines have repeatedly made lists of some of the world’s best beaches. To add to that, the natural beauty of the Islands of the Grenadines and the eco-tourism and adventure-filled offerings of mainland St. Vincent make the destination every traveler’s wish.

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Photo Credit: Canouan Estate
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Tourists enjoying nature at Falls of Baleine. Photo Credit: Richmond Vale Academy

Rich in history: St. Vincent has one of the oldest botanical gardens in the western hemisphere. Created in 1765, the more than 250 year old gardens boasts of several plant species which will capture the interest of nature lovers. The gardens also houses the Amazona Guildingii, a parrot endemic to St. Vincent and The Grenadines and one of the rarest bird species on earth. The Garden, however, is simply one of several notable historical sites of interest found on St. Vincent.

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The Botanical Gardens, Kingstown, St. Vincent.

The country is big on conservation: St. Vincent and the Grenadines has one of the oldest forest reserves in the western hemisphere and one of the oldest conservation laws in existence. According to Discover St. Vincent & The Grenadines, “the King’s Hill Reserve, established in 1791 is one of the oldest Forest Reserves in the Western Hemisphere. With an elevation of 600 feet, it provides a habitat for protected wildlife, and a home for more than 26 identified species of tropical trees and shrubs”.

The country also has its first climate compliance center, fully powered by renewable energy and dedicated to conservation. The center is privately operated by an NGO – Richmond Vale Academy, and hosts students and visitors from all over the world teaching them climate compliance.

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Kings Hill Forest Reserve. Photo credit: Huffington Post

The world’s best Rum: believe it or not, St. Vincent and the Grenadines boasts of producing an award-winning Rum. Both the Sparrow’s Rum and the Sunset Strong Rum captured top awards in the 2016 and 2017 World Rum Awards. The rum produced by St. Vincent Distillers Ltd, received best over proof rum (2016) and World’s best rum 2017. Gold was also captured in 2015.

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World’s best over-proof rum (2016)

Some of the most beautiful sailing waters in the world: a paradise for scuba divers, sailors and snorkelers is what is found in The Grenadines and some coastal parts of mainland St. Vincent, such as Richmond beach and Questelles bay. If you’ve ever had that friend who hides where they vacation, but you always see stunning underwater pictures, then chances are, they don’t want you to experience the under water heaven which exists in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Places such as the Tobago Cays Marine Park are a yachts man paradise.

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Photo of Palm Island Resort – Credit: Friendship Rose
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A beach on the northern coast of Canouan. Photo Credit: Canouan Estate

Beauty, rich history and  culture abound throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but this hidden gem in the southern Caribbean is about to be a secret uncovered, as more persons are discovering the uniqueness of the destination.

By: Demion McTair

Secrets of St. Vincent & The Grenadines Editor

(Feature photo by St. Clair Scott)

 

 

 

 

 

5 things $5USD can get you in St. Vincent

The one thing every tourist is concerned about is the budget.

Judged against the US dollar, every tourist wants to know the strength of their funds to back them up against the affordability demands in their destination of choice.

In St. Vincent and The Grenadines, which uses the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD), here are five, of several things, 5 US dollars can get you (1USD = 2.70XCD).

  1. Access to important sites and landmarks: five US dollars (13.50 XCD) should be sufficient in gaining you access to several important landmarks such as; the Botanical Gardens (one of the oldest in the western hemisphere), Black Point Tunnel and even Dark View Falls.

    Amazona Guildingii
    The national bird of St. Vincent & the Grenadines – the Amazona Guildingii, is pictured here. It is one of the rarest birds on the planet. It can be found at the botanical gardens in Kingstown.
  2. Souvenirs: depending on what you choose, you may be able to get memorable and long-lasting souvenirs with a 5 USD bill, throughout St. Vincent and The Grenadines.

    bracelet
    Not the smart watch of course.. but certainly the bracelet next to it, made depicting the national colours of St. Vincent & The Grenadines (SVG) – blue, yellow & green. Photo Credit: Haniff Sutherland and K & R handicrafts
  3. Nice food: believe it or not, 5 USD can get you some good food at restaurants in capital city Kingstown on selected meal portions and it is the case in the other parts of the country, including the Grenadines.

    meal
    A nice meal. Photo credit: Vincy Powa
  4. A fancy drink: if you want to hangout at a bar and order a shot of your favourite drink or to have something locally made to try, 5USD should be sufficient.

    drink
    A chocolate-themed drink made by Derrick McTair, bartender at Grandview Grill and teacher / proprietor at a local bartending training school.
  5. A boat trip to Fort Duvernette: offering one of the most spectacular views of the southern tip of mainland St. Vincent, Fort Duvernette is a must visit. You will, however, need a boat / water taxi to get you from the dock at Villa bay (near Young Island) to isle and back. Five US dollars should do the trick.
    Fort Duvernette
    Fort Duvernette

    This article in no way seeks to deliberate on the economies or currencies of the United States of America and St. Vincent & The Grenadines.

    It was created with the sole intention of being a guide to tourists who may be planning their next trip to St. Vincent, especially for a low budget type vacation.

 

By: Demion McTair

Secrets of St. Vincent & The Grenadines 

Founder and Editor

Here’s a secret worth exploring!

You pull up with some friends or a tour guide, you change your clothes for some swimming and the action happens.

It’s not a beach and no, it’s not a lake. It’s a relatively deep hole in a river, providing options for fresh water swimming and or therapeutic relaxation, made possible by the relentless flow of peaceful vibrations of water.

No one knows
Syprian Slater, of Vermont, makes a jump off into the natural pool.

The location, however, is unspoiled: no infrastructural interventions, no artificial enhancements. Only a dirt track off the beaten path into an experience of freedom.

You can jump in, or you can walk in, whichever you choose. Here’s a YouTube link to view the natural pool .

“Cornel”, as it is referred to by the locals of the Vermont Village in St. Vincent is within close proximity to the Vermont Nature Trails and “Table Rock” – another natural pool.

Visitors to the Vermont Nature Trails can stop at the location, on their way back, after their hike, but an SVG Tourism Authority Certified tour guide is highly recommended to guide the tour, for non-locals.

A local may also be needed, because though relatively close to the main village road, finding the pool can be like a small treasure hunt.

The experience is certainly worth it.

By: Demion McTair 

Secrets of SVG Editor 

 

 

7 beauty products to try in St. Vincent

It is more rewarding to give your body the best all natural care it can get. One way to do so, is by using organic, all-natural products.

There are two main local producers of all natural products in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Today, we feature Jazzy All Natural Vincy Products.

Jazzy, has a wide array of exotic Soaps, Creams and Spa products, which can help you to reap the benefits of choosing to be at one with nature.

Here are seven (7) ‘must buy’ organic, all natural products from Jazzy’s All natural products:

1. Jazzy All Natural Bath & Body Butter: Your skin will thank you for this, according to Jasmine Deane, proprietor of Jazzy organics. There are different varieties of it, but the Bath & Body Butter will help to naturally moisture your skin, help in toning your skin, reverse ageing and leaving you smelling so good, you’d want to kiss yourself.

body butter
Jazzy All Natural Vincy Products

2. Jazzy All Natural Soaps: Jazzy’s Soaps come in many forms, for many different reasons. Some of Jazzy’s featured soaps are; the Turmeric soap and the Goat Milk, which according to Jazzy, help lighten dark areas of skin, the Sulphur soaps for lotta and fungus, the Pumpkin soap for moisture and the Rain Tree soap, for Acne.

Jazzy Soaps
A few of Jazzy All Natural Soaps

3. Jazzy All Natural Hemp Hair Balm: Want to enrich your hair with nutrients and make it stronger and flourishing, using only an all natural product? According to Jazzy, fans and customers have reacted positively to the new Hemp Hair Balm.

Jazzy Hemp Hair
Jazzy All Natural Hemp Hair Balm

4. Jazzy All Natural Deodorant: Will you like to try a deodorant made with no chemicals and one which gives twenty four (24) hour protection? Then Try any of Jazzy’s deodorants.

Jazzy Deoderant
Jazzy All Natural Deodorant

5. Jazzy All Natural Bug Off: Whenever you visit the tropics, always be prepared for Mosquitoes. Some persons are very meticulous as to the types of insect repellents they use on their skin, as some can be harmful to sensitive skin. If you are looking for a no chemical, all natural remedy, Jazzy has got you covered.

Jazzy Bug Off
Jazzy All Natural Bug Off Lotion Bar

6. Jazzy All Natural Lip Balm: Yes, your lips can get very dried out too, here in the tropics. If moisture is what you’re looking for, then you can walk with your own Lip Balm. If, however, you are looking for a chemical free, all natural lip balm, then Jazzy has something for you, which comes in many different flavours.

Jazzy Lip Balm
Jazzy All Natural Lip Balm

7. Jazzy All Natural Cayenne Pepper Rub: You may hike, you may fall. You may have pre existing pains, which can be externally relaxed, temporarily or otherwise. If you are looking for an effective, temporary, external pain rub, then Jazzy has an organic one you can try.

Jazzy Cayenne pepper
Jazzy All Natural Cayenne Pepper

Jazzy All Natural Vincy Products maintains that their products are all natural only. Jazzy has a wide clientele, including customers in the United States, Europe and Canada, to whom she ships products, on orders.

Jazzy’s products have been featured in the Caribbean region at numerous expos and have received high, credible ratings. Check out Jazzy All Natural Vincy Products facebook page, for more information.

Article by: Secrets of St. Vincent & the Grenadines Editor – Demion McTair

 

7 reasons you should get married in SVG

Why should you get married in St. Vincent & the Grenadines?
Here a seven (7) reasons, according to the best Events & Wedding planner in St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Dionne Dennie, of Exquisite EventSVG:
1. SVG is beautiful! Saying “I do” in a tropical setting is fantastic.
paradise
2. No VISA requirement is necessary.
3. Many resorts and hotels are geared up to host weddings. This means you will get a considerable amount of support in planning your wedding. If you have seen friends or family members struggle to put everything in place for their wedding, you can avoid all of that stress and hassle by turning to Caribbean wedding experts.
edson
4. Having your wedding in the Grenadines gives you the opportunity to cut down on your guest list so that you can have a smaller wedding.
5. There are amazing choices of locations to choose from! Whether you want it in a garden, Fort, a luxury hotel or on the beach!
caribbean wedding photography
6. You can honeymoon in the Grenadines!
7. The food is delicious.
The photos in this article are taken from Edson Reese Caribbean Wedding photography. Please check out their work, by visiting their facebook page.
 
Article by: Demion McTair
Secrets of St. Vincent & the Grenadines Editor
(784) 433-7940

10 places to get married in SVG

happy
Certified Events & Wedding planner – Dionne Dennie (Left), with an extremely happy couple (right), who came to St. Vincent to get married.

We know that many persons may consider getting married in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, if they decide to take runaway and do something different.

We contacted the leading Events & Wedding planner in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Laurel Dionne Dennie and asked her for her opinion on 10 great wedding venues, mainly outdoor ones.

Dennie, is Co-founder and Chief Planner at Exquisite EventSVG, the leading events planning firm in SVG.  She and Recardo Jackson (part owner of the company) have revolutionized Event planning, locally. Dennie, is a trained events planner and coordinator. Jackson, is a local Marketing and Promotions expert.

There is hardly a suitable venue in SVG, which has been untouched by Dennie and her Team. She has also organized weddings, parties, cocktails and other events for high profile companies and people.

Here are ten (10) great wedding venues:

  1. Spring Gardens Estate, Biabou: Spring Gardens Estate, is arguably the best wedding venue on mainland St. Vincent. Spring, gets an A+ for general aesthetics and has two main areas for hosting your wedding reception. There is a lovely Mahogany Bar, next to a Pool and a Hotel on the property, if you wish to house members of your bridal party, or to Honeymoon there.

sping2. Grenadines House: This place has a unique view, overlooking the Capital city, Kingstown. It has a pool (if you want that pool side wedding experience) and an indoor area, as well as a lovely outdoor area to host guests. There are also lovely rooms, so you can have your honeymoon there as well.

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Grenadine House – Pool area

 

3. Hotel Alexandrina: “Perched on a hillside overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the Northern Grenadines including Mustique and Balliceaux, you’ll experience a touch of class with that unique local and international ambience located at Prospect” – the Hotel states on its facebook page, but this picture says it all:

alexandrina
Hotel Alexandrina

 

4. Grand View Hotel: The views seen from this place, is testimony to its name. Two Bar areas, a pool and three open spaces for holding events, makes it incredible.

grand view

5. Fantasea Tours (gazebo area): Spacious, beautiful, spectacular views…..

fant

6. Bequia Beach Hotel: Go to the Hotel’s facebook page and read the reviews and see the scenery for yourself.

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7. Balcombe’s Estate at India Bay: This is one of the most picturesque Garden areas on mainland St. Vincent. It gets high grades for general aesthetics and also accessibility.

Balcom

8. Rawacou Recreational Park: Spacious and stunning!

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9. Montreal Gardens: This place is literally heaven on earth!

mont

10. Beaches in the Grenadines: There are so many beautiful beaches in the Grenadines, that we don’t know where to start…

p beach

Visit Exquisite EventSVG’s facebook page for more venues and for other photos of the ones listed above:  Click here

Article by: Secrets of SVG Editor – Demion McTair

7 most reliable news sources in SVG

news
News is an important part of our everyday life. Get accurate and reliable news.

Whenever you are visiting a country (whether on business / leisure), it is good to know of some of the happenings in that country, while there.

In the age of online ‘Fake News’, it is now, more than ever, very important to get your information from the most credible and most reliable sources.

Here are seven (7) of the most reliable online news sources within St. Vincent & the Grenadines and their respective links:

  1. I Witness News: This is arguably the leading online news site in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, with over 44,000 subscribers. If a news worthy event is occurring, or has occurred, this site will more than likely be covering it, in a credible and reliable manner.

See: https://www.facebook.com/iwnsvg/

2. Searchlight Newspaper: This is one of the leading print newspapers in SVG, but has risen up with modern trends and has an online, social media presence. It currently has a facebook following of 27,000. If you’re looking for accurate and reliable reporting, this entity is one to follow.

See: https://www.facebook.com/Searchlight1/

3. SVG TV: Once the only Television in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, SVGTV now has local competition, but still shows a good level of leadership, with a relatively strong online news presence. They, however can be counted on, mainly for Breaking news and daily news highlights. They currently have over 18,000 subscribers on facebook.

See: https://www.facebook.com/svgtv/?hc_ref=SEARCH

4. News 784: This relatively new News site, managed by someone with over a decade experience in Radio Broadcasting, brings with it the instantaneous attitude of Broadcasting, online. It currently has a following of over 9,000. You can count on this site for the latest happenings in and around St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The entity also has an app, which you can download.

See: https://www.facebook.com/News784/

5. WEFM 99.9: This is one of the oldest Radio stations on St. Vincent and the Grenadines and one of the most reliable ones. Recently, it has gotten into the online news publication service and can be counted on for daily news updates, which you can rely on. It currently has a following of over 6,000 on facebook and is emerging has a leading online News presence in SVG.

See: https://www.facebook.com/wefm99/

6. NBC Radio: This is the state-owned National Broadcasting Corporation Radio, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is the oldest Radio station on the Island and has been a highly acclaimed information source. They have an online news presence and though not as consistent as other sites, in presenting the news online, they are arguably the most credible information source on the Island. They currently have a following of over 11,000 subscribers.

7. Xtreme 104.3 FM: This new radio station is centrally entertainment based, but no one can honestly deny that they have a strong online news presence. They currently have a facebook following of over 13,000 subscribers.

See: https://www.facebook.com/xtreme104svg/

The state-owned Agency for Public Information (API), is also a great source of information.

Get on with liking the facebook pages for the aforementioned online news / information entities in SVG and get the news right, while in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

5 best beaches of mainland St.Vincent

The southern Caribbean nation of St. Vincent & the Grenadines has been featured in the international media for its pristine white sand beaches, located primarily in the Grenadines.

The hidden treasures of its blank and brown sand beaches, however, have not been uncovered much.

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Questelles Beach

 

The black sand beaches owe their colour and shape to the volcanic origin of mainland St. Vincent. Those on the western side of the Island are mainly calm, scenic and perfect for relaxation.

Here are the five (5) best beaches on mainland St. Vincent, according to a leading local radio station – WEFM 99.9:

Video – https://www.facebook.com/wefm99/videos/1175350185895548/

Please click the video link to view the video and enjoy.

If you’ve never experienced a blacksand beach before, ensure you do, while in St. Vincent.