Snorkeling, Pirates of the Caribbean and the ‘Happy Vibe’ in St Vincent
Have you ever travelled somewhere and instantly knew that there was something special about it? This is how I felt in St Vincent which turned out to be my favourite island out of the nine visited on a luxury Caribbean cruise. I can’t pinpoint exactly what differentiated it from the others. The fact that it’s stunningly beautiful – as are all of the islands – certainly helped. However, my affinity with this place stemmed more from what can only be described as a radiating ‘happy vibe’.
I don’t know, maybe there’s something in the rum! So what did I actually do in St Vincent? I took a short boat trip past Pirates of the Caribbean filming locations, went snorkelling near a black-sand beach that was backdropped by a working coconut plantation and wandered into the centre of Kingstown to catch a glimpse of local life. It was a very good day.
St Vincent is the largest island in the country of St Vincent and the Grenadines, which consists of more than 30 Caribbean islands. The main port is located in the capital, Kingstown.
“Do you see that clothes line up there? That is a prison for women who have committed crimes of passion,” our guide told us as we speedily skimmed the coast on a small power boat, en route to a snorkeling spot. “The women here are very passionate,” he humorously added with a characteristic Caribbean accent that was as deliciously smooth as his lovely chocolate skin. Yes, the guide was very cute (I should’ve taken a photo to demonstrate this fact!) and kept us all entertained with little anecdotes and jokes along the way.
This women’s prison he was pointing to was a facility housed in a small section of Fort Charlotte. Apparently, there are only a handful of inmates kept here at any one time. The rest of the fort is open as a tourist attraction and was a shooting location for the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Fort Charlotte was used by the British to defend the island from the French in the 19th century.
We passed some distinctive rocks that were used during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
As I looked out of the boat, my eyes were drawn to the colourful homes prettily dotting the mountains. These houses complemented the landscape perfectly and every now and then, I’d spot an equally vibrant washing line hung across a balcony like a necklace. However, St Vincent was not as vibrant as Willemstad in Curacao.
You will not find any golden sands on the volcanic island of St Vincent. Well, that is unless it’s been imported from somewhere like Ghana which was the case for one beach we passed during the boat trip. Buccament Bay, pictured above, is a firm favourite with the likes of Liverpool Football Club.
It wasn’t difficult to see the appeal. A stunning beach backdropped by lush hills and misty mountains, with neat lines of palm trees – the perfect idyllic scene. A bit too perfect. We were heading for one of St Vincent’s beautiful dark sand beaches further along the coast.
After half an hour or so of snorkeling, I and my sister swam over to the beach to lie on the gorgeous dark sand for a short while, before we had to head back to Kingstown. Us fair-headed milk bottles had never felt so pale!
Before getting back on the cruise ship, we walked around a bit and took in some scenes from Kingstown Market.
Do you like the look of St Vincent? Have you ever visited?