Fisherman pulling in their catch on St. Vincent.  Photo (c) Tonya Fitzpatrick.

On the grand scheme of world travel, the small island of Saint Vincent can be easily overlooked  because of more developed islands or more convenient travel options.  One could argue that this area of the world is a place that should be left alone so as to not be affected by mass tourism.  However, it would be a shame to keep this beautiful paradise a secret and not share it with the world.  Saint Vincent, part of the Grenadine Islands, is a veritable oasis of authenticity and exoticism. The small Caribbean nation is more than a pretty face.  There are also fascinating historical attractions, many of them going back to the colonial age.

A historical tour of Saint Vincent can uncover a handful of unexpected marvels, starting with the capital of Kingstown, a charming town dating back to colonial times, with picturesque stone houses, archways and cobblestone streets, brought to life by the colorful weekly market. Just a leap north of Kingstown, travelers can discover the impressive Fort Charlotte, perched atop a hill and offering unforgettable panoramas of the capital and the Grenadines to the south.

A view from Fort Charlotte on the island of St. Vincent.

The fort is over 200 years old, built to house about 600 soldiers and equipped with strong cannons that some still remain today. Named after the wife of King George III, visitors should also explore the officers quarter in order to admire some interesting paintings about the history of the Black Caribs.

The old history of St. Vincent can be uncovered by visiting the small village of Layou, an authentic destination in itself, it is surrounded by a rocky landscape, dotted with mysterious carvings of most probably Amerindian origin. However, the Layou Petroglyph Park are still intriguing signs of the old habitants of the island. Back in the capital of Kingstown, the remnants of the past, starting with the first settlers and passing through the British and French colonization and including the African and East Indian influences are displayed inside the National Trust Museum. Still inside the city, the small St. Mary Catholic Cathedral and the St. George Anglican Church are dated two centuries ago and could be considered as historical attractions. Closely, the Black Point Historic and Recreation Park features the Jasper Rock Tunnel, dug by Caribbean and African slaves through solid volcanic rock. Throughout the island of Saint Vincent, there are other artifacts and heritage sites coming from the old Amerindian groups or from more recent colonial ages and a historical tour of the island is well worth the experience, greatly augmented by the unbelievable natural beauty of the place.

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