St Vincent & the Grenadines
September 02, 2014
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Map of St Vincent & the Grenadines
National Flag
National Flag
Facts about St Vincent & the Grenadines
Airport
ET Joshua Airport (SVD)
Annual Rainfall
Coast 80 inches/mountains 150 inches
Area
150 sq miles
Area Code
784
Banks
Monday-Thursday 8am-3pm/Friday 8am-5pm
Capital City
Kingstown
Co-ordinates
13 15'N, 61 12'W
Currency
Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$)/US$ & credit cards widely accepted
Departure Tax
EC$35
Dimensions
St Vincent - 18 miles x 11 miles/133 sq m
Bequia - 7 sq m
Mustique - 1.9 sq m
Canouan - 3 sq m
Dress Code
Casual, swimwear on the beach
Driving
Left, permit required (EC$50)
Drugs
Illegal
Electricity
220/240V, 50 cycle (Petit St Vincent - 110V/60 cycle)
Exchange Rate
EC$2.67 - US$1
Highest Point
La Soufriere (4000 ft)
Language
English, Patois
Medical
Emergency police/fire/coast guard 999
Nudity
Illegal
Population
109 022
Public Transport
Brightly painted buses which stop at bus stops, link main towns and villages.    Minibuses stop on demand
Shopping
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm/Saturday 9am-1pm
Smoking
No prohibitive legislation
Taxis
Government controlled fares.  Check fare before starting your journey
Telecommunications
Phone cards, cellular phones with roaming, internet access
Temperature
Average 81F
Time Zone
Atlantic Standard Time
Tipping
10% sometimes included
Water
Potable, bottled available
ABOUT ST VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
History
Europeans were unable to settle on St Vincent until the 18th century due to aggressive Carib resistance. Africans on the island who had either survived shipwrecks or escaped captivity on Barbados, St Lucia or Grenada, intermarried with the Caribs and became known as Garifuna or Black Caribs. The Carib name for the island was Hairouna. In 1719, French settlers began cultivating coffee, tobacco, indigo, cotton, and sugar on plantations worked by enslaved Africans. In 1763, the island was ceded to England, but was restored to French rule in 1779. By the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Great Britain regained control of St Vincent. With the abolition of slavery in 1834 came a shortage of labour. This resulted in indentured servants arriving on the island. The Portuguese came from Madeira in the 1840s and East Indian labourers arrived between 1861-1880. Several forts have been painstakingly restored and are well worth visiting. St Vincent & the Grenadines gained independence from Great Britain on October 27th, 1979. Natural disasters have taken their toll on the country, with the eruption of La Soufriere volcano in 1902. 2000 people were killed and much farmland was damaged or destroyed. In April 1979, La Soufriere erupted again. Thousands were evacuated and there was extensive damage to agricultural land. In 1980 and 1987, hurricanes caused severe damage to banana and coconut plantations. Again in 1998 and 1999 hurricanes caused extensive damage to crops.

Geography
St Vincent & the Grenadines lie between St Lucia and Grenada. More than thirty islands make up this tropical archipelago, the largest of which is St Vincent. The better known of the Grenadine islands are Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island and Petit St Vincent, and are very popular for yachting vacations.

Economy
Agriculture, particularly bananas, is the most important part of the economy. There is also a growing tourist industry, particularly ecotourism. The recent filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies has helped to increase tourism and put the country on the world map. There is a small manufacturing industry and a small offshore financial industry. According to IWC quotas, natives of Bequia are permitted to hunt up to four humpback whales per year.

Religion
Residents of the islands are mainly Christian, made up of 47% Anglican, 28% Methodist, 13% Roman Catholic, plus Hindu and Seventh-Day Adventist.

Language
The official language is English, but many locals speak Vincentian Creole. English is used in education, government, religion, and business, but people speak Creole in informal situations.

Sport
Cricket is the most popular sport on the island, but fishing and sailing come a close second. There are excellent hiking and mountain biking opportunities available. It is illegal to take coral, shells, sponges or turtle eggs. The dumping of garbage from yachts into the sea is prohibited. Pumping of sewage tanks on yachts must take place at least 18 miles off the coast. Dropping of anchors on reefs or sea grass beds is prohibited.

Entry Requirements
All persons entering St Vincent & the Grenadines are required to have a valid passport, a return or onward ticket and sufficient funds to cover their stay for up to six months. Residents of some countries are required to have a visa. For those arriving by private boat, there are several bays suitable for dropping anchor, but customs clearance must be sought first. Access to St Vincent by air from North America and Europe is via Barbados, Grenada, Martinique, St Lucia, Puerto Rico and Trinidad.   Bequia, Mustique, Union Island and Palm Island have small airports and can also be accessed by ferry or boat from St Vincent.
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Rum Punch

Probably the best known rum cocktail in the world. An easy way to remember the recipe: one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak!

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Caribbean Wedding?

What could be more romantic than a tropical wedding on a white sand beach fringed with palm trees? Find Wedding Requirements and Wedding Planners for each of the islands.
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