Islands of Eden: Discovering St. Vincent and the Grenadines

By Ferenc Máté, based on his book
Photographer and author Ferenc Máté has published 16 books about places around the world, but his latest release, Islands of Eden: St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Albatross Books at W. W. Norton & Company) reveals the breathtaking beauty of just one: St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Working witih the 32-island nation's tourism officials, Máté had access to parts of the islands that most mainstream tourists never see. If just one person can take these gorgeous images of this quiet Eastern Caribbean nation, just imagine how much fun you could have there.
Tobago Cays, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
"There’s a group of islands in the Eastern Caribbean lost in time. Thirty-two small islands make up the country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. From its northern border to its southern, the total distance is 37 miles. But most of those 37 miles is water." —Ferenc Máté
Beach, Bequia
"Of what land there is—the island chain—only 9 are inhabited. They bear intriguing names like Bequia, Canouan, Mayreau, and Mustique. Their beaches are long, with soft white sand. And they are mostly deserted." —Ferenc Máté
Dark View Falls, Saint Vincent
"The largest island, Saint Vincent, is a mile shorter than Manhattan, but the locals call it ‘The Mainland’. It has a volcano, lush rainforests, enormous trees, and dangling vines you can swing on. And parrots."—Ferenc Máté
Palm Island
"Some of the islands are a single resort. Palm Island, green-certified, has 44 rooms on 135 acres with 5 white-sand beaches. Nearby, the island of Petit Saint Vincent has 22 cottages spread over 115 acres. They’re their own worlds." —Ferenc Máté
Beach, Palm Island
"Even on the Atlantic side, where this secluded Palm Island beach lies, the waters are warm year-round. In winter, the daytime temperature is 85 degrees. At night, it tumbles to 78. That means your entire wardrobe can consist of a shirt, a pair of shorts, and a sun hat." —Ferenc Máté
Sailboat, Tobago Cays
"With the long island chain, the steady trade winds, and ample anchorages, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is one of the world's favorite sailing destinations. The crystal-clear seas are teeming with lobsters, conches, and a dozen varieties of good-eats fish." —Ferenc Máté
Kids on steel drums, Canouan
"But the most wonderful surprise is the people. Easygoing, friendly, warm, they love life and music. Their favorite pastime, liming, means hanging out, sharing jokes, drinks, and dancing. Here, the kids’ steel band practices on the island of Canouan." —Ferenc Máté
Mesopotamia Valley, Saint Vincent
"In the fertile valleys and on terraced lands worked by hand, anything grows: vegetables, fruits, spices—yams and tomatoes, mangoes and bananas, cinnamon and nutmeg." —Ferenc Máté
Market, Union Island
"The markets are open air. The food is as fresh as can be. Since nothing has to travel more than 37 miles, it can be picked the day before or even the same day, and only when it is perfectly ripe and full of flavors you have only dreamed of." —Ferenc Máté

Click here
for Frommer's' coverage of Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Cotton House, Mustique
"The hotels are small, quaint, of high quality, and unashamedly romantic like this one, Cotton House, on the island of Mustique, with 21 suites and cottages set on 17 acres. It has its own beach. And the food is to die for." —Ferenc Máté