Setting out from Buccament Bay
Once the international airport opens in 2013 on St. Vincent, waves of new visitors will discover its lush volcanic slopes and pocket beaches. But for now, the former British colony, seat of the 32-island nation St. Vincent and the Grenadines, remains an offbeat Caribbean choice, favored largely by the English arriving via neighboring Barbados. Go before the hordes descend. The airport project has already inspired one new large-scale resort, Buccament Bay (buccamentbay.com), and the refurbishment of Petit St. Vincent (psvresort.com), a luxury resort on a nearby private island. What guests will find on arrival is more castaway junketing than rum-diary debauchery. At Critter Corner with Indigo Dive St. Vincent, try “muck diving” to look for seahorses, shrimp, and other ocean floor dwellers (from $75 for a single-tank dive; 784-493-9494, indigodive.com). Spend up to three sweaty but exhilarating hours summiting La Soufriere—which hasn’t erupted since 1979—or visit the St. Vincent Botanical Gardens, one of the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, to spy the threatened St. Vincent parrot (free; 809-457-1003). Sail among the islands and cays that stretch 45 miles south of St. Vincent with Sailor’s Wilderness Tours to snorkel and watch dolphins (rates vary; 784-457-1712, sailorswildernesstours.com), or ferry to laid-back neighboring Bequia to poke around the island—an activity the locals call limin’—for the day (bequia.net/ferrysvcs.htm).
The view from St. Vincent
WHERE TO STAY
LUXE For sun-seeking type A’s, the 95-villa Buccament Bay Resort hosts the Pat Cash Tennis Academy, a soccer school from the Liverpool Football Club, and a musical theatre academy. From $682, all inclusive. 877-502-2022, buccamentbay.com
BUDGET Grand View Beach Hotel offers generous features—including a pool, a beach, and rooms with an ocean view—for the price. From $113. 784-458-4811, grandviewhotel.com
GOOD FOR GROUPS Young Island mixes privacy and access on a 35-acre exclusive island with 29 cottages and all of St. Vincent’s attractions 200 yards offshore. From $532. 800-223-1108, youngisland.com
Photography: (top) Buccament Bay Resort; (bottom) Sylvain Sonnet