February 26, 2020

Destinations of the week

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Getting to the most pristine sliver of the Caribbean just got easier

By Chris Bunting From New York Post

Getting to St. Vincent and the Grenadines — the geologic semicolon of the tropics, lying just south of St. Lucia and north of Grenada — can be the opposite of delightful.

Spicy thought bubbles start pop-corning out of your and your fellow passengers’ heads, left and right. “Is this it? … I’m going to die in a turboprop crash?” “Christ on a cracker, why is it faster to get to New Zealand than this Caribbean outpost?” “I should’ve just gone to Florida!”

All said and done, it can be an eight-hour travel day. Or 13. Maybe even be 20. It all depends on how many connections you have (often a frightfully wobbly one by turboprop) and where you’re connecting (likely Barbados or Trinidad). But it will take an eternity, that’s guaranteed, and cost more than $1,000.

Or will it … ? Not if you book ’ just-launched nonstop service from JFK to St. Vincent’s Argyle International Airport, which takes less than five hours each way. Sample April prices fall somewhere in the $600 to $700/roundtrip range, and flights operate weekly through June 30.

The game has officially changed for this island chain, nicknamed . See all those poly-sci majors from getting drunk and publicly Netflix-and-chilling all over the place? Not here, you don’t. Right now they’re on some other better-known Caribbean beaches.

Obscurity can be a virtue.

So here’s what to do when you deplane.

On top of old smokey

St. Vincent’s La Soufrière volcano has been comatose since shortly before Reagan took office. Hike the snoozing giant, which takes up the northern third of the island, in two to three hours’ time starting in Rabacca Dry River. (You’ll want a guide.)

Spoutin’ off

The Grenadines boast an impressive number of islands — some private, some public. No need to be monogamous. Treat St. Vincent like Grand Central and visit the others by ferry. Only a $15 ticket and an hour-long boat ride away, Bequia is the largest. It has a history of whaling. To wit, its most triggering watering hole, the Whaleboner, sports furniture (and the bar itself) made from hunted whales’ bones.

Star trek

Nearby moneyed Mustique, one of the private islands, is so jam-packed with celebrities it’ll almost make you nauseous. But genuflect before Sir Mick Jagger or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge all you want — they’re not going to let you crash on a cot at their home away from home(s). Ditto the ghost of David Bowie, who also had an auxiliary residence here. It takes some serious dough to crash on this magnificent island; instead, perch on a bar stool at dockside bar Basil’s during a day trip (two hours away from St. Vincent by boat).

Young at heart

Unknown by even seasoned collar-popping yachtees, 13-acre — an entire resort in and of itself (from $282) — is co-owned by Sir Frederick Ballantyne, governor-general of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and a career cardiologist. is a quick boat ride away from St. Vincent. You can duck in for the day for drinks and eats without having to book a night, or buy a $120 day pass that includes the use of a cottage. If you do stay the night, make ample use of Ballantyne’s catamaran Panthera. Doctor’s orders!

Coral fixation

On Petit St. Vincent — another private island doubling as an entire resort — staffers are saving the planet one invertebrate at a time. The owner just launched a coral reef restoration project. Guests can snorkel about it to peep all the goings on. It’s not easy getting here purely by boat given how far south of St. Vincent it is. Instead, hail a prop plane to Union Island and take a 20-minute ferry. For all that effort, consider staying (from $1,200).

IMAGES:
Get cot in the act on Young Island in the Grenadines. Paul Fetters
No more slogging it to SVG through low-hanging, obstinate, marshmallowy clouds. Shutterstock
Don’t confuse St. Vincent’s capital, Kingstown, with Jamaica’s Kingston when it comes to crime. You’re in good hands here. Shutterstock
The “I love turtles” kid would be in heaven around the reefs of Petit St. Vincent.Jean-Michel Cousteau Diving

For more on this story go to: https://nypost.com/2018/04/05/getting-to-the-most-pristine-sliver-of-the-caribbean-just-got-easier/

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