ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
Composed of 600 islands, most still with little development and separated by some of the purest water in the Caribbean, this group has a split personality: laid-back, authentic, a sailors’ haven with a history of boatbuilding in the case of Bequia and Mustique, the luxe and exclusive haven of international celebrities and business titans. Lush, green, mountainous islands and uninhabited low-lying cays make this one of the top Caribbean cruising spots.
Why Go: Deserted cays, pristine beaches, clear aqua water for breathtaking snorkelling and diving.
When to Go: December-April. Late January for the Mustique Blues Festival founded by local bar owner and celebrity Basil Charles.
Essential Experiences: Drift snorkel in the Tobago Cays, Wednesday night jump-up at Basil’s Bar on Mustique, cocktails at Firefly or Cotton House, dine ashore at the Mandarin Oriental Canouan resort, lazily walk along secluded Salt Whistle Bay on Mayreau and don’t miss a chance to dinghy up to Mopion (your own private island).
Local Favorites: Freshly caught seafood at Bagatelle’s at the Bequia Beach Hotel.