Kingstown is the capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, independent since 1979 but still a member of the British Commonwealth. Some of the 32 islands of the Grenadines are inhabited, like Mustique, some are not, like Tobago Cays. But they are all renowned for crystal clear, calm waters, and some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world. The Botanic Garden in Kingstown is the oldest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and well worth a visit, as is Fort Charlotte, featuring panoramic views of the archipelago. La Soufrière, Saint Vincent's active volcano, dominates the northern end of the island, where it periodically erupts (most recently in April 2021), scarring the surrounding land with lava and ash.