Discover St. Vincentís Waterfalls
By Candyce H. Stapen
Island hopping through St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a chain of 32 islands and cays, most of which are uninhabited, rewards you with the Caribbean of long ago. On lush St. Vincent, the largest of the islands, we spent days exploring waterfalls.
To reach Trinity Falls, we took a bumpy jeep ride along a dirt path edged by banana plants, grapefruit trees and patches of callaloo. A few cows and a donkey meandered by. Finally, we reached the trailhead.
From there we hiked one-hour to the falls. The path snaked us past palm and bamboo thickets, through an overflowing creek bed, up and over gnarly roots and around slick rocks. Finally, we spotted the 40-foot falls that drops in a series of three cascades.
Hot and tired, we wanted to plunge in, but our guide warned us not to. Although the watery drops do not look dangerous, the swift current and the undertow make it treacherous to swim or even to soak. Instead, we snacked on apples and cookies, drank water and admired the rushing flow before tackling the one-hour trek back.
Thereís something about that image of swimming in a waterfall that seems idyllic. We savored that at the Falls of Baleine and we didnít even have to endure a hike. All you need is boat and guide. The 60-foot cascade is just a five-minute walk from the boat dock. Our guide led us along the sometimes slippery path to the tumbling falls. He watched as we jumped in the natural pool, swimming in the cool water at the base of the tumbling falls, splashing each other and giggling.
Itís best to visit these falls with tour operators. The guides know the roads and coastline and can get you to these island delights and back to your hotel safely.
Another St. Vincent landmark, Wallilabou Bay, on the islandís northwest coast, gains fame as the site for scenes from some of the ďPirates of the CaribbeanĒ movies. The faux 17th century storefronts still remain, although they are peeling and you can still see the dock from which Johnny Depp jumped into the sea. At the beachside Anchorage Hotel, we dined on tasty Creole fish for lunch.
For our St. Vincent adventures, we stayed at Young Island Resort, a 35-acre hotel on its own island, a short boat ride from St. Vincentís south shore. The lushly landscaped property offers cottages on the waterfront, some with their own plunge pools, as well as hillside rooms. The resort, among the islandís best, has a nearby beach.