Fishing -- It's best to go to a local fisherman for advice, but your hotel can also arrange a trip for you. It's sometimes possible to accompany a fisherman on a trip, perhaps 6 or 8km (3 3/4 or 5 miles) from shore. A modest fee should suffice. The fishing fleet leaves from the leeward coast at Barrouallie. People have been known to return to shore with everything from a 15cm (6-in.) redfish to a 6m (20-ft.) pilot whale. Visitors don't need a fishing license.
Hiking -- Exploring St. Vincent's hot volcano, La Soufrière, is an intriguing adventure. As you travel the island, you can't miss its cloud-capped splendor. The most recent eruption was back in 1979, when it spewed ashes, lava, and hot mud that covered the vegetation on its slopes. Belching rocks and black curling smoke filled the blue Caribbean sky. About 17,000 people were evacuated from a 15km (9 1/4-mile) ring around the volcano.
At the rim of the crater, you'll be rewarded with one of the most panoramic views in the Caribbean -- that is, if the wind doesn't blow too hard and make you topple over into the crater itself! Warning: Use extreme caution. Looking inside, you can see the steam rising from the crater.
Even if you're an experienced hiker, don't attempt to explore the volcano without a guide. Wear suitable hiking clothes, and be sure that you're in the best of health before making the arduous journey. The easiest route is the 5km-long (3-mile) eastern approach from Rabacca. The more arduous trail, longer by 2km (1 1/4 miles), is the western trail from Chateaubelair. The round-trip to the crater takes about 5 hours.
St. Vincent Forestry Headquarters, in the village of Campden Park, about 5km (3 miles) from Kingstown along the west coast (tel. 784/457-8594), provides information about hiking to La Soufrière. It's open Monday to Friday from 8am to noon and 1 to 4pm. HazEco Tours (tel. 784/457-8634; www.hazecotours.com) offers guided hikes up to La Soufrière, costing $85 per person, including drinks and lunch.
If you don't want to face Soufrière, the best hikes are the Vermont Nature Trails. These marked trails (get a map at the tourist office) take you through a rainforest and pass long-ago plantations reclaimed by nature. If it's your lucky day, you might even see the rare St. Vincent parrot with its flamboyant plumage. Wear good hiking shoes and lots of mosquito repellent.
Sailing & Yachting -- St. Vincent and the Grenadines are one of the great sailing centers of the Caribbean. If you want to go bareboating, you can obtain a fully provisioned yacht. If you're a well-heeled novice, you can hire a captain and a crew. Rentals are available for a half-day, a full day, overnight, or even longer.
The longest-established yacht-chartering company in St. Vincent, Barefoot Yacht Charters, Blue Lagoon (tel. 784/456-9526; www.barefootyachts.com), is better than ever and is now granting substantial discounts for last-minute or walk-in bookings. The outfitter has a fleet of 25 yachts run by the American Sailing Association and offers charters with or without a crew. Its operation is at its own custom-built marina with docks and moorings, along with a restaurant opening onto a panoramic vista of Bequia. There's even an Internet cafe. In winter, and depending on the vessel rented, rates range from $425 to $900 per day, with off-season prices going from $255 to $540. We also recommend Nicholson Yacht Charters (tel. 305/433-5533, or 268/460-1530 from Antigua; www.nicholson-charters.com). Prices at Nicholson are roughly comparable to those at Barefoot Yacht Charters.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving -- St. Vincent's 30 or so dive sites are sprinkled along its leeward shore, where you might spot seahorses and frogfish. The best area for snorkeling and scuba diving is the Villa/Young Island section on the southern end of the island.
Dive St. Vincent, on the Young Island Cut (tel. 784/457-4928; www.divestvincent.com), has been owned and operated by a transplanted Texan, Bill Tewes, since 1984. St. Vincent's oldest and best dive company, it now has an additional shop, Grenadines Dive, at the Sunny Grenadines Hotel on Union Island (tel. 784/458-8138; www.grenadinesdive.com). Also try Dive Canouan, at the Tamarind Beach Hotel on Canouan Island (tel. 784/528-8030; www.canouandivecenter.com). It offers dive/snorkel trips as well as sightseeing day-trips and dive instruction. Single-tank dives go for $110, or else $95 per tank if you're taking more than five dives, including all equipment and instructors and/or dive-master guides. Dive packages are also available.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.