Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
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Practical information Saint Vincent and The Grenadines

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile

Saint Vincent and The Grenadines : Travel Information before you go!

Area

150 sq mi, or a surface area 350 times smaller than England. Situated in the extreme south of the Caribbean arch, this archipelago is made up of Saint Vincent Island (133 sq mi) and a string of 33 small islands, the best known of which are Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Union, Carriacou and Ronde.

Flights

10 hours, via Antigua or Barbados. Kingstown is 4, 279 mi from London.

Population

117,193 inhabitants, many of whom are on the main island of Saint-Vincent in Kingstown (20,000 inhabitants) and along the coastline. 66% are Black, 19% Metisse, 6% Indian, 3.5% White, 2% American Indians and various minorities.

Airports

On Saint Vincent, the E.T. Joshua Airport, situated in Arnos Vale, 5 mi south of Kingstown, is the only international airport. Taxis and minibuses take you to the centre of Kingstown in 10 mins, for a very reasonable price (anticipate around USD 8 by taxi and USD 1 by bus). In the Grenadines; Mustique, Canouan and Union Island have an aerodrome for inter-Caribbean flights. Taxis are available for visitors to drive them to their accommodation for just a few American dollars.

Security

The archipelago is a relatively safe and calm place for tourists. However, avoid walking around at night, avoid deserted beaches and be wary of strong currents on the whole of the Atlantic coast, as well as in Trinity Falls, Warriacou and Mount Wynne.

Languages

English is the official language but Creole is also widely spoken.

Required travel documents for

A valid passport and a return ticket are required. Beyond 30 days in the country, a stay permit is requested. Allow about 30 XCD for an exit tax.

Religion

The islands' inhabitants are Christians: 47% Anglican, 28% Methodist, 13% Roman Catholic and 6% other communities.

Currency

The official currency is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD). 1 GBP = 4.092 XCD. (US$1 = 2.669 XCD)

This rate varies according to the American dollar, the reference currency which is accepted everywhere in the archipelago. Ideally, try to bring US dollars with you, even though you can exchange pounds in banks and upmarket hotels. International credit cards are widely accepted in hotels and restaurants. Banks are open from 8:00am to 3:00pm, Monday to Thursday, and from 8:00am to 5:00pm on Fridays.

Local transportation

The ideal way to get from one island to another is by boat, with Mustique, Canouan and Union Island accessible by plane from Saint-Vincent or Martinique. A regular ferry service also operates between St. Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan and Union Island. Visitors to Saint-Vincent can get around by taxi or minibus or by renting a car, for which you must hold an international driver's license and pay around 75 XCD to get a local driver's license, which is issued at Kingstown police station, though car rental agencies will often take care of this formality. People drive on the left and the road network is relatively good here.

Health

No particular vaccine is mandatory, but it is recommended to be up to date with the following vaccines: hepatitises A and B, tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis and typhoid. Tap water is drinkable.

Hospital conditions are basic, ill and wounded people are generally evacuated to the CHU (Teaching Hospital) of Martinique or to a hospital in Barbados.
Useful numbers :
Public hospital in Kingstown: 456.11.85. 456.11.85.
Public Hospital in Georgetown: 458.62.25. 458.62.25.
Public hospital in Troumaca: 458.22.28. 458.22.28.
Public hospital in Bequia: 458.32.94. 458.32.94.
Private clinic " Botanic Gardens " in Kingstown: 457.97.81. 457.97.81.
"Maryfield Hospital", private hospital, in Kingstown: 457.89.91. 457.89.91.
In the case of a sanitary evacuation: Medical Air Services International: 457.11.21. 457.11.21.

Electricity

220/240 V, except in Saint-Vincent where they use voltage of 110 V. You can plan to bring an adapter, but hotels often have a few.

Taxes and tips

You must generally add 17% of taxes onto the prices of hotel rooms (7% for government taxes and 10% for the service). In restaurants, service is not included and thus represents about 10% of the bill's total. Taxi rates include the service. Tipping is common practice in exchange for a service, even if it is minor.

Telephone

To call the Grenadines from the UK: dial 00 + 1 + 784 + the number of your correspondent.
To call the UK from Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines: dial 00 + 44 + the number of your correspondent, without the initial 0.

Saint Vincent and The Grenadines : Useful addresses in the country

Before leaving

Embassy in London
10 Kensington Court, London W8 5DL, United Kingdom.
Tel.: 00 44 20 7565 2874.
Fax: 020 7937 6064
highcommission.svg.uk@cxcom.net

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourist Office
122 Ter, Rue Victor Hugo 97200 Fort de France.
Tel.: 05 96 63 86 86.
Fax: 05 96 63 88 86.
www.svgtourism.com

At the destination

Kingstown Embassy
In Castries. Saint Lucia

Department of Tourism
PO Box 560, in Kingstown,
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Tel: (784) 456 2095.
Fax: (784) 456-2080
asfvg@caribsurf.com