Unless you are made of money or have a monthly or weekly agreement with a local taxi driver, I wouldn’t suggest taking this mode of transport too frequently. Taxis are unmetered here on the island of St. Vincent which means students should always check the fare before setting off. Drivers can rip you off just because they know you are a foreigner and don’t be surprised if fares are raised if you are traveling late at night or early in the morning- this is considered normal.
For example, the average fare from E. T. Joshua Airport to Indian Bay or Villa approximately $25EC. Tipping is suggested at 10% of the fare and should be given if they unload your groceries or bags.
You can also hire taxis to take you to the island’s major attractions- Don’t be surprised if you spend at least $40 EC to $50 EC per hour for a car holding two to four passengers.
Driving in St. Vincent is on the left. While initially driving on the narrow, twisting roads is a bit of an adventure, you will quickly begin to enjoy the challenge and start driving like a “Vincy”. People here drive like the fast and furious as there are limited road signs and police regulating speed restrictions.
Notice: It is important to remember to sound your horn as you make the sharp curves and turns as not all roads are wide enough for two vehicles. To see some rental suggestions please click “here” or click the FAQ header.
A temporary driving licence, which costs $50EC, must be purchased at the police station on Bay Street, or the Licensing Authority on Halifax Street, with the presentation of a valid overseas driver’s licence. If you have an International Driving Permit you must get it stamped at the central police station.
Customized “buses” better known as Dollar Vans travel the principal roads of St. Vincent, linking the major towns and villages. The central departure point is the bus terminal next to the Kingstown Fish Market. Fares range from EC$1 to EC$8* depending on where you are traveling.
Situated just a few steps away in front of Super J is a bus stop terminal if you wish to continue more on the Eastern side of the island where the majority of our students live. If you wish to travel Westward or to Kingstown a little bit further down from that terminal on the opposite side of the road is the bus stop to those following locations.
TIP: If you aren’t sure where that Dollar van is going most have the name of the towns it is going to on the front of the Van or when in doubt ask, it never hurts. 🙂
*Due to the number of vans starting in Kingstown and running to north and west is limited prices are generally higher and you may need to take multiple vans to get to your destination.
Most of our student who live within 2-3 miles or less in distance to SJSM St. Vincent walk. Biking is not recommended due to the hilly terrain, major potholes, and twisting winding roads . Generally, it’s not worth all the hassle- unless you are very fit or live on a main road with no steep hills.
Notice: There are few places that currently sell bicycles or bicycle parts on the Island of St. Vincent, we have heard of others hopping on a ferry and traveling to Bequia for their needs.
We walk. Most students walk if they live near by to the school. If you don’t live near by or don’t like walking you may need to at least walk to the nearest Bus stop to catch a dollar van because not all apartments, villas, hotels, restaurants are on the main roads that the dollar vans travel.
Do’s & Don’ts:
- Put on sunscreen before you set out
- Drink plenty of water before hand
- Carry Water with you to keep hydrated
- Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes- terrain is rocky, uneven, and if it just rained or is raining- slippery
- Travel in groups or with friends
- Notify others of where you are going & roughly what times you will be back
- Carry a Cell Phone in case of Emergencies
- Make sure to stretch & or insure proper electrolyte intake to prevent cramping, sprains, and Charley horses.
- Carry large sums of money
- Forget to hydrate
- Walk alone at night
- Wear uncomfortable shoes/heels/flip flops