Hidden Gems: St Vincent and The Grenadines
A sea of translucent turquoise, glassy and sparkling, bountiful in vigour and in colour, lined by powder soft sands as white and as picturesque as the postcards profess… The Caribbean Sea is indeed one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The warm and clear waters, less salty than the rest of the Atlantic, are a yachting paradise, with more islands than you can visit in a lifetime. Of course, the Caribbean is no secret.
Within its famed waters, however, lie the exclusive and largely unspoilt islands of St Vincent and The Grenadines (SVG). The 32 islands and cays of the idyllic archipelago offer those who sail their waters a secluded adventure of barrier reefs, deserted islets and exquisite beaches to behold. When chilly winter weather hits the rest of the Western Hemisphere, the islands come into their own, with year-round sunshine and an average sea temperature of 27°C.
Naturally, the best way to experience SVG is by boat, and it makes for the most exquisite of tropical sailing destinations. From the comfort of a Superyacht, the uninhabited sandy stretches are just as enticing as the vibrant larger islands. Under sail, you can make your way from the mountainous main island, St Vincent, to the smaller islands, including Mustique, Bequia, Young Island, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island, Petit St Vincent, as well as to some of the uninhabited islands too. Read on to discover our favourite hidden gems.
From the pages of Treasure Island emerges Mopian - a small, uninhabited sandbank whose size ebbs and flows with the comings and goings of the tides. One iconic umbrella, thatched with coconut leaves, stands tall on the island’s bank, beckoning sailors to its shores. It is this unusual flag which gives the island its misnomer - Umbrella Island. A coral reef lines the island, protecting the sandbank from being washed away and making it a superb destination for watching the aquatic world through the lens of a snorkel. The reef does, however, pose an anchoring obstacle, meaning larger cruises don’t stop here, and it’s only advisable for experienced sailors. Bring your flippers and a beach towel to watch the world above and below sea level pass you by, in the company of yourself, your fellow boat comradery and the singular coconut umbrella.
Macaroni Beach, Mustique
Arguably one of the best beaches in SVG or even in the Caribbean, Macaroni Beach is a stunning strip of pristine white sand, found on the eastern side of the illustrious island Mustique. With only a handful of visitors due to the exclusive nature of Mustique itself, even during the busier seasons, the island has a hidden allure. There are a couple of grass covered picnic tables, which make for a wonderful lunch spot. You will be able to enjoy the glorious vista of aquamarine waters, hugged by lush tropical flora, whilst burying your toes in the fine grains of sand and contemplating a snorkel amongst the coral reef.
Petite Saint Vincent
The most petite in the whole of the SVG, this private island and resort is a little tropical hideaway for Superyachts looking for a place to stop overnight. With both a sheltered anchorage and protective reef formation, this is an ideal place to moor. The island is just 115 acres in size, with 22 boutique cottages of one or two rooms dotted across the island’s resort. Petite Saint Vincent has a couple of beaches that have been entirely left to nature’s touch, as well as some that have been thoughtfully sprinkled with lazy hammocks and umbrellas. There is an abundance of tropical fish to be found in the waters surrounding the little island, owing to the magnificent coral reefs. Cast your fishing rod and chance yourself at catching some mahi-mahi or barracuda - the chefs at the Petite Saint Vincent Resort are even happy to prepare your catch for dinner! You can actually also try your hand at fly fishing directly from the beach in the calmer Caribbean waters on the western side of the island. If you prefer snorkelling or diving, keep your eyes out for the majestic turtles and eagle rays.
Princess Margaret Beach, Bequia
Bequia is the largest island of all of the Grenadines. Spend an afternoon at Princess Margaret Beach, so named after the Princess swum here in 1960 on her honeymoon aboard the Royal Yacht, having mistaken it for a beach on the island of Mustique. Royal or not, it’s a pristine spot to bask in the warm glow of the Caribbean sunshine, dapped by palm trees and sea grape plants. Conveniently located a stroll away from the beach is one of the best watering holes in the whole of the Grenadines archipelago: Jack’s Bar. Having been recently renovated, this celebrity haunt beckons guests for a relaxed sundowner, accompanied by a plate or two of local seafood delights. Their Lobster Roll, Seafood Tee-Pees and famous Taco Bowls are just a few of the delights awaiting a well-travelled sailor!
Friendship Bay, Bequia
On the south side of Bequia island, Friendship Bay is an equally beautiful spot, often overshadowed by the fame of Princess Margaret Beach and therefore gloriously peaceful. Calm waters, beautiful views of Mustique and the option to enjoy pina colada or rum punch at Bequia Beach Hotel’s bar – which is open to non-residents of the hotel too – make this a particularly attractive shore to anchor on. At the far western stretch of the beach you can stumble across a small village called La Pompe, where fishing boats lazily bob up and down, adding a splash of colour to your blue and white hued horizon. Despite the fact that this beach is shared with the Bequia Beach Hotels’ guests and a few fishermen, it still feels private and untouched.