The Natural Treasures:
The Mesopotamia/Marriaqua Valley
This vast expanse of land is so luxuriant and evergreen with virtually every tropical crop growing in the rich fertile soils of St. Vincent. The Valley, viewed from a specific location on the island, offers a spectacular panoramic view of what is often referred as the islands breadbasket containing plots of bananas, nutmeg, cocoa, breadfruit, coconut and a multitude of root crops. The grand Bonhomme Mountain (318 ft, 970 metres) dominates the ridges that rises around the valley and a number of streams and rivers come together to flow over the rocks of the Yambou Gorge; in the small town of Mesopotamia (Mespo), before entering the sea on the east coast of the island.
Located in the mountains above the Mesopotamia Valley, lies this estate blessed with the volcanic fertile soil and frequent rainfall. There you will find an array of exotic flowers, spices and plants interspersed with green foliage in an environment which is cool, misty and quiet. The gardens are opened to the public during the weekdays from 9 - 5 pm between the months of December and August.
This is a massive active volcano that takes up the northern third of the island of St. Vincent. It rises majestically over 4000 feet (1,234 metres) and last erupted in April 1979. Its name comes from the french word soufre, which means sulphur. A guided tour (recommended) to La Soufriere volcano is a rigorous, uphill hike which takes you along the picturesque windward coast of the island to the crater, which can then continue down the west coast (along the Leeward side) terminating in the valley of Chateaubelair. This is an all day excursion.
This waterfall is set in a deep volcanic canyon about two hours drive from Kingstown along the Leeward coast to Richmond. The 40-foot waterfall descends in three cascades into two circular pools, the second used for swimming. The Falls are said to be the most beautiful in St. Vincent.
The Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens was founded in 1768 as a commercial breeding ground for plants brought from other parts of the world. It is believed to be the oldest such gardens in the Western Hemisphere. Here you will find intricate and rear species of plants, flowers and trees including a breadfruit tree from the original plant brought by Captain Bligh in 1793. There is also the national flower, The Soufriere Tree (Spachea Perforata) and the National Bird, (Amazona Guildingi).
Vermont Nature Trail
This trail leads through the reserves of the tropical rain forest which is ideal for hiking and bird watching. The trail offers the opportunity to observe many species of wildlife, cultivated fields and hundreds of plant species.
Owia Salt Pond
Near the Carib village of Owia on the north eastern coast of St. Vincent, this natural feature consist of a huge bathing pool enclosed by rocks and ridges, and a constant supply of sea water produced by the strong waves from the Atlantic Ocean. This location is an ideal spot for picnics, swimming and snorkeling.
Black and White Sand Beaches
There are a number of beautiful black sand beaches located on the Leeward and Windward coasts of St. Vincent. However, for recreational purposes, it is recommended that the Leeward locations be used. Swimming is NOT recommended on the east coast of the island due to strong under-currents and high energy waves which are generated by the Atlantic Ocean.
The white sand beaches are located in the sheltered southeast coast of the island. Villa Beach and Indian Bay are two beautiful beaches that offer good snorkelling and provide lovely views of Young Island and some of the Grenadines.
Along the Leeward coast of St. Vincent you will find, at strategic locations, a number of underwater ledges that are adorned with lush deep water sea fans, black coral trees, colourful sponges and array of brightly coloured fish. While this is a snorkellers dream and a destination for the avid underwater explorer, we recommend that you utilize the assistance of the many dive operators on the islands.
The Cathedral of the Assumption
The Cathedral of the Assumption, built in 1823, is an extraordinary structure and gothic in style. It displays a unique combination of architectural styles such as Moorish, Romanesque, and Georgian. This mixture of architectural designs is attributed to various expansion and renovation works which occurred during the late 1800s and early 1940s.
Black Point Tunnel
This tunnel was constructed in 1815 by the British settlers and was considered a masterpiece of engineering skill. The tunnel is about 300 feet long and links Grand Sable with Byrea Bay.
The fort was built in 1806 on Berkshire Hill 600 feet above sea level. This fortification, named after King George IIIs wife, provides a magnificent view of the city of Kingstown and the Grenadines. The old barracks accommodate a museum with colourful history of the Black Caribs. The fort is also the home of the St. Vincent Signal Station which provides a 24 hour radio (VHF) monitoring system.
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