Traveling to a new destination can be exciting, especially when you stumble upon hidden gems that many travelers have not experienced before seen. The Grenadines are one such hidden gem with unique experiences. This lightly explored island chain is peppered through the southernmost part of the Caribbean Sea and outside the traditional Caribbean hurricane zone. Located between the larger islands of St. Vincent and Grenada, the Grenadines include the charming islands of Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Union Island, Petit St. Vincent, Palm Island and Mayreau, which makes the Grenadines an ideal destination for sailing vacations.
Only in the Grenadines will you enjoy unique experiences including a stay in what the locals call “De Bush,” a drum session with one of the island chain’s most righteous Rastas, a drink stop at a beachside rum shop, a sail through unseen seas, or a rum-filled cocktail on a conch island. Here are our Wicked Insider Tips on getting the most out of your Grenadines travel experience.
On the main island of the Grenadines, Saint Vincent, if you take a 40-minute ride inland from the coast to Vermont, you will find a colorful bar in de bush. Welcomed with a smile from Zen, the owner, and caretaker, you can check in to a rainforest hut made of bamboo. During your stay at Bushbar, you will live amongst nature, eat meals prepared by Zen that are grown and harvested in her garden just steps away, and soak in the pure Caribbean vibes. You can take a dip in the rock pool, rinse off with a fresh spring water shower, or lay low in a hammock with a book. Bushbar has electricity, but you will still feel like you are living the eco life at this rustic rainforest retreat.
The thirty-two islands of the Grenadines can only be explored by boat or by plane. Many sailors spend the high season anchored in a picturesque bay and hopping between the islands seeking new adventures. If you don’t have your own boat or plane, not to worry, you can set sail with S.S. Corsair. A classic shrimp boat turned island sailing schooner, S.S. Corsair will pick you up from the tiny island of Carriacou and take you on an unforgettable adventure through the Grenadines. You can sail to the Tobago Cays, where the sea turtles and stingrays gather in numbers, watch the kite surfers fly by like birds in Union Island, rope swing into the turquoise blue waters, and sleep under the stars in a secluded bay only before seen in postcards. And with a chef on-board, you will eat like royalty from sunrise to sunset.
A trip to the Grenadines is not complete until you mix and mingle with the locals. Willie, a souvenir salesman, in Bequia, has a “No Complain” attitude, which is even the name of his small wooden boat. Willie has been visiting sailors and tourists by boat for many years, and always leaves you will a smile, a take-home trinket, and no complaints.
A steep walk up the main road on the island of Mayreau will take you to a very welcoming local, Righteous Robert. You cannot miss his colorful self-built creation at the top of the hill, and the memories you make will last a lifetime. Grab a chair, a cold beer, and have a listen to one of Righteous Robert’s many self-written songs to the beat of one or two of his many drums.
What is an island vacation without a cocktail or ten? Sunsets in the Grenadines are unexplainable. They are something you need to see for yourself; and paired with a rum punch happy hour, you will never be disappointed.
Belmont Walk in Admiralty Bay, Bequia is a perfect spot to watch the sunset and bar hop to your heart’s desire. The scenic walkway is a hotspot for sailors and locals alike, especially during the busy tourist season. If hunger calls while you are in Bequia, stop by Pizza Hut for a pizza with some island flair.
Happy Island, an island made of conch shells, is sometimes heard before seen, with lively Caribbean music and happy hour vibes. Just off Union Island, Happy Island gets you up close and personal with kite surfers who flip and fly the day away, and the rum drinks are top-notch.
If you want something a little more low-key, sail on to Salt Whistle Bay in Mayreau, one of the most beautiful bays in the Caribbean. Here you will find new friends, photos ops for days, and maybe a little buzz at Black Boy & Debbie’s Beach Bar. Ask for a rum-filled coconut and enjoy your day in the pristine Caribbean bay.
There are thousands of churches scattered across all of the Caribbean, but the Mayreau Catholic Church may have one of the best views. Sitting on top of the smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines, this church gives a birds-eye view of the Tobago Cays, Canouan, and Union Island. Visitors are always welcome, and if you venture around back, you will be blown away by the vast turquoises and blues seen from the top of this tiny island. If you like history, historic buildings, and panoramic views, this island church is a must-see.