The diving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is some of the best in the Caribbean. These islands are often referred to as muck diving heaven, but don’t expect to find cloudy, silted waters here. In fact, visibility is regularly 100 feet (30 meters) or more due to the island’s heavy lava-laced sand. This creates an ideal situation not only for divers who live for macro photography but also for every other level of diver.
St. Vincent, the largest island, hosts the most dive shops. Here you will find rugged cliffs and sheer drop offs which continue to 150 feet (50 meters). “The Wall” is one of the most famous of these sheer drops. In addition, “New Guinea Reef” and “Anchor Reef” host some of the world’s best forests of black coral. For those looking for something a little more technical, “Bat Cave” starts in a cave, of course, and enters into an underwater fissure. This dive is perfect for underwater photographers.
Outside of St. Vincent, the Grenadines also feature a plethora of dive sites. Four diveable wrecks are scattered around the islands. To name a few of our favorite areas, Canouan is a sleepy island with unbelievable diving. Here divers will find underwater rock formations covered in sponges and soft corals. Mayreau is home to coral gardens and the appropriately named garden eels which sway like grass in the sand. Mustique is famed for its pristine corals and drift dives whereas Bequia provides habitat for a wide range of marine life, including reef sharks, sea horses, tarpon, Hawksbill turtles, harlequin pipefish, bat fish, basket stars and damsel fish.
Keep in mind, these are just a few of the areas available for divers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. You can expect to find protected marine parks filled with interesting sea life, warm waters and excellent visibility throughout this picture perfect Caribbean nation.
Known as the “Critter Capital of the Caribbean,” St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a macro photographer’s dream. As such, the range of macro life is astounding. Divers can expect to encounter all types of shrimps and crabs, flatworms, nudibranchs, brittle stars, gobies, hamlets, blennies, batfish, frogfish, sea horses, cowries, angel fish, anemonies, butterflyfish, boxfish, basslets, damselfish, hawkfish, lizardfish, frog fish, eels and tilefish.
Divers interested in bigger marine life might also look for Hawksbill turtles, tarpon and reef sharks.
Whether you are interested in macro life or not, diving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is sure to open your eyes to some of the weird and wonderful creatures of the Caribbean.
For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.
St Vincent & The Grenadines is a group of 32 Caribbean islands and cays which are including among the Windward Islands. The country’s closest neighbors are Grenada, 75 miles (120 km) to the south, St. Lucia 24 miles (40 km) to the north and Barbados 100 miles (160 km) to the east. St. Vincent is the largest of the islands that comprise the tiny nation. The Grenadines extend 45 miles (72 km) from St. Vincent to the southwest. The major islands, north to south, are Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island, and Petit St. Vincent.
The English and the French both claim colonial history on these islands. It is said that the English first discovered them while the French first settled the islands. However, settlement did not come without a price. The Carib Indians fiercely protected the island from Western invasion. In the end they relented and England and France traded the islands back and forth from 1700 until 1783 when Britain gained total control. In 1979, St. Vincent and the Grenadines became the last of the Windward Islands to gain independence. Today, the population is descendent of African slaves, the Carib Indians and European settlers.
In more recent history, the 20th Century has been fraught with natural disasters. In 1902 and again in 1979, the island’s volcano, La Soufriere, erupted, bringing with it much agricultural destruction and, in the case of the 1902 eruption, many deaths. In addition, 1998 and 1999 saw active hurricane seasons which devastated the islands’ banana and coconut plantations. However, the tiny island nation has persevered and is now attracting more tourism than ever before.
As a well-known luxury destination with a burgeoning tourism trade, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a good range of topside attraction to keep you busy on non-diving days. Visiting the Tobago Cays, a group of five uninhabited islands, is a must for anyone who loves pristine corals and a variety of marine life. Both divers and snorkelers claim its the best day trip from St. Vincent. Visitors can also opt for a catamaran trip through the Grenadines to take advantage of above the water vistas. On St. Vincent, there are many hiking trails that crisscross the mountainous landscape and tourists can also visit the Western Hemisphere’s oldest botanical garden just north of Kingstown. History lovers should visit Fort Charlotte or Fort Duvernette to explore the island’s colonial past. Finally, Friday and Saturday bring a colorful and bustling market to the streets of Kingstown that is perfect for picking up souvenirs and trying local gastronomic delights.
The Argyle International Airport was opened in 2017 and offers weekly direct flights from Miami, New York and Toronto.
There are other, smaller airports on the islands of Bequia, Mustique, Canouan and Union Island which host domestic flights and some flights originating in Barbados.
Visitors may also arrive by private boat or cruise ship. For those wishing to transfer from St. Vincent to one of the Grenadines, local ferries are available.