Living in St. Vincent and the GrenadinesIyna Bort Caruso
St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) can be defined by what it’s not: it’s not flashy and it’s not overrun by tourists. It can also be defined by its air of understated elegance, exquisitely eco-friendly villas and secluded beaches.
The island nation is situated where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Of the 32 islands and cays that make up SVG, some are private and only about a third inhabited.
The country was ruled by the French and British before achieving independence in 1979, the same year St. Vincent’s still-active volcano, La Soufriere, last erupted. Today, hiking to the top of the volcano is among the many eco-adventures SVG offers, along with swimming at gold, black and white sand beaches. Natural anchorages tempt sailors from around the world to drop anchor and snorkel or scuba dive. “Vincy” scuba is exceptional, with dive spots sporting such colorful names as Devil’s Table and Moonhole Wreck.
St. Vincent is the springboard for the Grenadines.
Bequia is one of the largest and most populated islands and home to an expat community attracted to a get-away-from-it-all destination. A former whaling station, Bequia is now known for its “flip flop chic” appeal. The Easter Regatta, held in Bequia 30 years and counting and the acclaimed International Jazz Music Festival are annual cultural highlights. Hundreds of yachts and fishing vessels pack the harbor for a long weekend of racing and revelry. Privately operated islands like the paparazzi-free Mustique, Canouan and Palm Island are leaders in the country’s exclusive luxury vacation home market where exclusive spas, golf courses and equestrian activities can be found.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines offer luxury homes along the beachfront, on mountainsides and in gated communities in nature reserves. The government encourages residential investment by offering building and development incentives. Sometimes entire islands come to market. Isle a Quatre, Petit Nevis, Balliceaux and Young Island are naturally tempting with yacht anchorages and locations only a short boat ride away from an airport. They offer buyers an opportunity to add resort development to their portfolios--and a luxury version of a Robinson Crusoe escape.