A vacation is for unwinding, loads of fun, a relaxing massage at the spa, sunbathing, and sipping cocktails under a huge umbrella while gazing out over the ocean.
If this is your idea of heaven, look no further than St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Located in the south Caribbean Sea, to the west of Barbados, the main island of St. Vincent is surrounded by several smaller islands known as the Grenadines. It used to be a British colony that is now a flourishing tourist attraction. But before you pack your beach gear, be sure to purchase
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
to protect against the unexpected.
Things to Do for Travelers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
If you want splendid scenery, golden sands, and blue waters, St. Vincent is ideal. These volcanic islands are a playground of the rich and famous and offer excellent diving and boating facilities. The capital, Kingstown (not to be confused with Kingston in Jamaica), is situated at the northern tip of St. Vincent.
Diving and snorkeling: The clear waters invite you to dive in. Being less populated and away from the main transatlantic shipping routes, St. Vincent is more unspoiled than any other island in the Caribbean. Rent a boat and anchor offshore. The best dive sites are in Turtle Bay and Tobago Kays, and there are sunken ships offshore that offer more fabulous adventure for those who are so inclined.
Wallilabou Bay: You might already be familiar with it as the backdrop of Captain Jack Sparrow's adventures in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, but seeing it on screen doesn’t even compare to seeing it in person. You can access the bay by car or by boat, and then laze on the sand and gorge on freshly cooked seafood. Though the movie was shot quite a while back, some props and sets remain along the shore. If you travel a little inland, you can find a quiet and restful waterfall.
St. Vincent Botanical Gardens: The third-oldest botanical garden in the western hemisphere (preceded only by Kew Garden at London and Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia) was built in 1765. The shady tropical trees are alluring and a popular venue for weddings and other similar events. The campus is also home to the Nicholas Wildlife Aviary Complex, which protects several species of Central American birds from extinction.
Hike up the La Soufriere Volcano: La Soufriere Volcano, or simply the Soufray (in local Creole), is an active volcano located at St. Vincent. The trek begins at the beach and proceeds halfway up until the active zone begins. At this point, you can feel the heat seeping up through your boots. If you wish, you can climb to the very top and see the crater, but this is advised only for those in excellent shape. The hike takes about four hours each way, so set out early.
Arawak Rock Carvings: A hundred years ago, a British archaeologist found the Arawak Rock Carvings, the most important archeological site in the Caribbean Islands. They are referred to locally as Carib Stones and observed in river valleys near the beach. There are two major sites in the Grenadines and one on the south coast of St. Vincent. Several smaller sites are scattered through the islands. Their exact age is not known, but they are at least 1,500 years old. The figures are anthropomorphic, and it is astounding to think about ancient tribes who dared the strong ocean currents to settle here so many centuries ago.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Travel is for relaxation. But on some occasions, it turns to a nightmare. We wish you enjoy your hard-earned vacation and thus put together a few tips that would keep you safe and sound at St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Keep your ATM card safe. There have been reports of card skimming, and you should cover the keypad from prying cameras while typing in your PIN. It would also be advisable that you be on the lookout for snatching outside ATMs. Do not linger, and keep a watchful eye. If you have rented a car, do not keep cameras and other valuables in it and walk away. Car theft is common, and you would lose all your gear.
Between June and November, the region faces the fury of nature through hurricanes. These give plenty of warning, though, and you can stay updated through NOAA website about their path. If you are unable to evacuate, stay indoors, and keep away from glass windows. Mudslides often follow hurricanes, and you must take expert local advice before traveling by road afterward.
If you are at a public bar, keep your drink close. Spiking is quite typical, and after you pass out, you would be relieved of your wallet and watch. Sometimes, your passport can also be taken away and returned after paying a large sum withdrawn from the bank. It is best to visit a bar with a friend or spouse, since more eyes are better.
To avoid hepatitis and jaundice, drink bottled water or use a UV pen sterilizer. To keep dengue away, use mosquito repellants liberally. These diseases are endemic to the region and cannot be wholly avoided. St. Vincent has capable medical practitioners to stabilize your health while you wait for evacuation.
There are plenty of local scam artists who offer cheap boat rides and promise visits to magical coves by moonlight. Even if they were legitimate boatmen, it is best not to visit unknown islands after sunset. They can be dangerous as part of a racket. You are also putting your life at risk by diving in the sea at a place miles away from civilization.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Even if bandits oblige and give you a wide berth in St. Vincent, diseases might not be so accommodating. St. Vincent is a small island, and top-notch healthcare is unavailable. The public healthcare system is frail, and the most a private clinic can offer is to stabilize your condition. There is no other way than to fall back upon private medical insurance if you would need medical evacuation to Jamaica, Barbados, or even the U.S.
Do I need travel medical insurance for St. Vincent and the Grenadines?
There is no need for mandatory travel medical insurance before you land at St. Vincent. However, keeping in mind the expense of medical treatment, you should opt for one before you travel.
Why buy travel medical insurance for St. Vincent and the Grenadines?
A dream vacation gone awry due to illness – we have all heard the horror stories. Diving, snorkeling, drinking the night away, and climbing up volcanoes are not entirely risk-free. A small slip might hurt you badly, and food poisoning after gorging on too many shellfish is quite common.
Medical treatment in private facilities can be exorbitantly expensive. Similarly, the cost of evacuation is quite steep. It is best to be cautious and buy travel medical insurance before setting out for St. Vincent. Ensure that it has adequate coverage for all kinds of air ambulance charges.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Trip cancellation is a misfortune that is all too common. The most prominent reasons are illness before travel and inclement weather. It is annoying to know that your vacation just slipped away and, along with it, your prepaid expenses on flights and hotels.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for St. Vincent and the Grenadines?
Flights and hotel bookings are always paid for in advance. If you are using a tour operator, a substantial part of the cost is paid at the time of booking. St. Vincent and the Grenadines vacation insurance cannot bring back your trip but can compensate you monetarily.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for St. Vincent and the Grenadines?
The fine print might vary slightly, but trip cancellation would almost always compensate you for illness or death in the family or bad weather. Depending on the policy, it can also pay you if you cannot take leave from work, as well as other events such as political unrest. The valid reasons for receiving trip cancellation benefits are listed in your policy’s certificate wording. Buy travel insurance to mitigate your loss.
Before You Travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Do This
We wish you a safe and happy trip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But keep these
tips in mind at all times.
Keep travel documents like your passport, visa, and hotel receipts in a separate folder either with you or in a safe location. Be cautious about not leaving it lying out in your hotel room or in a rental car.
It is better to be cautious than repent an outburst of exuberance. Take risks only if you are reasonably sure of the outcome.
Take advantage of adequate travel insurance coverage to protect yourself from further expenses. Enter some basic information, compare a wide variety of plans, and select the one that best suits your needs.