Cafe Mocha Travels to St. Vincent and The Grenadines
The height of the summer may spell relaxation for many places in the Caribbean but one island chain is gladly taking the word energy to new levels and embracing tourists who love a good carnival experience mixed with adventure. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, famous for its pristine beaches, strong locally made rum and notable attractions like the famous Pirates of the Caribbean cove (where the original Disney movie was filmed) has been gaining traction on the carnival scene as a must visit destination for those who love a combination of cultural excitement mixed with classic Caribbean vibes.
During summer, the main attraction on the island is the high-octane carnival widely known as #VincyMas. The words #NoSleep are literal during Vincy Mas from the start of the festivities with their annual Soca Monarch competitions through the climax on Carnival Tuesday in downtown Kingstown, the islands capitol. Thousands flock to the streets to take in the beautiful costumes, pageantry, local food and to enjoy those famous rum cocktails. Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of jumping in on the festivities and exploring the destination as a whole. Here’s a snapshot of my experience.
As you can see, the electric vibes during carnival are definitely worth the visit. Many make plans a year in advance in anticipation. Now, with the recent expansion of St. Vincent’s International Airport, which opened in 2017, nonstop flights from major ports like Miami, New York and Atlanta make getting there easier than ever. What I appreciated most about St. Vincent and the Grenadines was the abundance of activities to do and see outside of their carnival festivities, which for me was a perfect blend of action and relaxation in one destination. If you love adventure and lux accommodations, you can find the best of both in Vincy. Below are a few of my recommendations that you’ll want to add to your itinerary in time for your next trip to the island chain:
1. Emerge yourself in the carnival and jouvert experience. Don’t just watch from the sidelines, jump in and ‘play ah mas’. The masquerade experience is electric in Vincy. With new and emerging bands like Oxygen Mas Band and the Green Machine, your carnival Monday and Tuesday are covered. I loved that I got a true appreciation for the culture as a first timer to the island.
2. Dive in to the eco-friendly activities. With so much to do and see, you’ll want to make time to venture outwards of the capitol city. St. Vincent has over seventy waterfalls, ample hiking options, zip lining and a volcano, all-accessible on the main island. Once you cover the those sites, hitch the ferry to Bequia where you can spend the day hopping around the many beautiful beaches including the famous Princess Margaret Beach (featured in video).
4. Where to stay. With so many options in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there is an option for every budget. Whether you’re looking to be at the center of the action during carnival and in Kingstown or more remote on Young Island, the hotel accommodations are endless. Here are a few that I recommend for your next visit:
– The Hotel Alexandria– situated in the hills right outside of Kingstown this quaint hotel feels like you never left home. The warm and welcoming staff will prepare breakfast and lunch on a whim and you’re less than ten minutes from town in case you want to grab dinner with the locals.
– Blue Lagoon Hotel and Marina– perfect place to soak up the sun and watch the yachts go by. Blue Lagoon has several restaurants and bars and live music at night, which makes it a perfect place if you like a lively scene.
– Bequia Beach Hotel– just steps away from the ferry dock, Bequia beach is a perfect getaway after you’ve taken in all the action in Vincy. Great to kick back and enjoy the Grenadine islands and a short hop to the famous Mustique where you can spot celebs Mick Jagger who own property close by.
With so many options to choose from in the Caribbean, a location that checks multiple boxes is always a plus. If you’re looking for luxury accommodations mixed with ample cultural vibes, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the perfect blend. Feels like I just scratched the surface so I’ll definitely be back for another round of the vibes soon.