Sea Adventures in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

When visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines, you’re missing out if you’re not spending at least some time by, on, or under the water. Whether you opt for a sailing excursion, a whale-watching tour, or a scuba-diving trip, you’ll be amazed by the crystal-clear ocean and the abundant sea life that thrives below the surface.

One of the five small, uninhabited Tobago Cays in the southern Grenadines, Baradel is home to brilliant white-sand beaches that double as nesting grounds for green sea turtles. On the southeastern shore of the island, there’s even a turtle reserve area, where you can swim alongside the graceful giants in a crystal-clear lagoon.
Ferries between St. Vincent and Bequia run frequently, all day and evening. The one-way trip takes about an hour, and the fare is about $10 each way or $17 round-trip. En route, passengers have breathtaking views in all directions, including volcanic St. Vincent and Kingstown Harbour, Young Island, Mustique and Canouan in the distance, and Bequia’s lovely Port Elizabeth. Once on Bequia, take an island tour, have lunch, go for a swim, or explore Port Elizabeth before heading back to St. Vincent at sunset. If you’re traveling in the other direction, spend the day on St. Vincent walking around historic Kingstown, touring the Botanical Gardens, or hiking the Vermont Nature Trail.
The waters surrounding Bequia beckon scuba divers with everything from brilliant sponges, colorful fish, and deep-water corals to shallow reefs, sheer walls, caverns, holes, and wrecks. While the area is home to 30 or so easily accessible diving sites, you should head to the designated marine park, which occupies seven miles along Bequia’s leeward coast. Family-run outfitter Dive Bequia (located on Belmont Walkway in Port Elizabeth) offers three dive trips to the park each day, along with instruction, certification, and rental gear. Divers must be at least 8 years old, but snorkelers of all ages are welcome as well.
Among several sea and land excursions, locally owned Fantasea Tours offers full-day whale- and dolphin-watching trips along St. Vincent’s leeward coast. You can expect to see pilot whales, orcas, and several species of dolphins year-round, but the best time to spot them is December through April. Huge sperm whales and humpbacks stop by seasonally, usually from October through January. Regardless of when you go, you can look forward to an exciting, comfortable tour. Fantasea’s staff is extremely knowledgeable, and its boats and equipment meet the highest safety standards.
Sailors place the Grenadines, with its 32 breathtakingly beautiful islands and islets, among the world’s best places for boating. For help getting out on the water, turn to Horizon Yacht Charters, which rents monohulls and catamarans (either bareboat or crewed) out of Blue Lagoon Marina on St. Vincent. Enjoy a multi-day or week-long sail around the Grenadines, or opt for the one-way charter and sail south through the Grenadines all the way to Grenada, where Horizon has another facility.
A 100-foot schooner based in Bequia, The Friendship Rose takes passengers on daylong cruises to Tobago Cays for snorkeling and swimming with sea turtles, or Mustique for beaching, bar hopping, and relaxing. Excursions include breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and drinks throughout the day, including beer, fruit punch, and soft drinks. Whether you opt for the marine park or the private island, the entire family is sure to enjoy the experience.
The Yannis catamaran departs from Palm Island Resort (but will pick up passengers at nearby Union Island as well) for a full day of sailing, swimming, and snorkeling at the beautiful Tobago Cays and Mayreau’s magnificent Salt Whistle Bay Beach. A buffet lunch, beverages, and snorkeling gear are all included, making this one of the easiest ways to see some of the most breathtaking locations in the Grenadines.
More From AFAR