Botanical Gardens - the Grenadines Treasures
Duration: Half Day
Situated at the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea, the beautiful island nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines is blessed with a wealth of natural treasures. Aside from pristine beaches, lush rainforests and dramatic mountain peaks, the islands are blessed with a rich diversity of tropical flora, much of which flourishes in a variety of spectacular gardens. This tour will enable you to explore the magnificent Botanical Gardens on St Vincent, which claims to the oldest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.
Located on the northern outskirts of Kingstown on the west coast of St Vincent, the Botanical Gardens were created in 1765 by General Robert Melville, governor of the British Caribbean islands, and Dr George Young, a keen horticulturist and military surgeon, to primarily provide medicinal plants for the military, but also to improve the economy of the island and the lives of the local people. Under the enthusiastic guidance of Young and several successive British and French curators, the Botanical Gardens soon attained an enviable reputation and received worldwide acclaim, particularly after breadfruit was brought here by Captain William Bligh in 1793 on his famous, ill-fated voyage on the HMS Bounty.
Many other plants have been introduced to the gardens since, including nutmeg and black pepper from French Guiana in 1791, and species from Kew Gardens in England, France, other Caribbean islands and many other destinations around the world over the years, to create a rich diversity of species. Today the gardens occupy 20 acres of land and host an abundance of native and exotic plants, flowers, trees and birds, which are a delight to discover. A botanic station was also added to the gardens in 1944 to assist local industries by growing and distributing economic plants such as sugarcane, cacao and cotton, and this work still continues today.
One of the Botanical Gardens’ most important aims is to promote the conservation of rare species through rehabilitation and breeding. During your visit you can see the rare St. Vincent Parrot (Amazona guilingii), St Vincent’s national bird, as well as Whistling Warblers, Black Hawks, Banana Quits, Tropical Mockingbirds and many other endemic and migrant species. Stroll around the gardens at your leisure and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this lush tropical setting. The colours and aromas are truly uplifting, whilst the sounds of the birds singing in the trees up high won’t fail to relax you.
Not to be missed during your holiday in St Vincent and the Grenadines, this small piece of paradise provides a wonderful introduction to the island’s spectacular flora and fauna.
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The son of famed marine explorer Jacque Cousteau is set to open a dive centre on the southern Grenadines island of Petit St Vincent later this year. Jean-Michel Cousteau hopes the centre will continue his father's legacy of sharing the wonders of the underwater world and protecting the fragile marine environment for generations to come.
Tourism officials have stated that St Vincent and the Grenadines are very much "open for business" following the recent storm over the festive period that saw the islands take a battering by wind and heavy rain. The islands are a popular destination for Caribbean holidays and officials are keen to assure tourists that it is safe to travel to the country.
The St Vincent and the Grenadines tourism industry is preparing for the winds of change to blow through its beautiful island paradise. The eagerly anticipated Argyle International airport, scheduled to be completed at the end of 2013, is expected to significantly boost the number of travelers booking holidays in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The airport, will feature a 900 foot long runway and a terminal with a capacity of up to 1.5 million passengers per year.