Lime and pink boat beached at Admiralty Bay

Why We Love Bequia, SVG, Caribbean

Bequia St.Vincent and the Grenadines

Uncrowded Bequia

The beauty of Bequia (BECK-way), SVG, or St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is the peaceful pace and the beautiful beaches like Princess Margaret Beach and Lower Bay Beach. The island is colorfully uncommercialized, and some of the best things to do on Bequia is in Port Elizabeth and along the Belmont Walkway.

You won’t find a highrise, casino, high-end designer shop, or jewelry store chain. Instead, you can select from Caribbean artwork, brightly colored clothing, handmade jewelry, handcrafted wooden boats, and scrimshaw.  Most importantly, no one peddles their wares on the beach.

In addition to shopping,  you have your choice among several seaside restaurants that serve excellent food.

Hot colored dresses in red, pink, blue, and green are for sale in Port Elizabeth
Colorful sarongs and dresses drift with the breeze in Port Elizabeth in St. Vincent, and the Grenadines. (photo by dorothyadele)

Unless you are visiting during the Easter Regatta or Carnival, chances are you will share the white-sand beaches with a few locals and visitors from Europe and Canada. Moreover, you can even find secluded beaches on Bequia like Hope Bay Beach.

Beaded necklaces displayed in an aqua wooden case
Vendors sell their handmade jewelry in Port Elizabeth, Bequia. (photo by dorothyadele)

Bequia is a throwback to how car jammed Caribbean islands once were: uncrowded, unstructured, and with a sense of innocence. Most importantly, on Bequia, we felt safe.

Bequia Population

We mixed with the locals and learned about their culture. It appeared that many of the residents knew one another.  About 5,000 people inhabit the largest island in the Grenadines that extends seven square miles.

 Bequia Low Crime

Bequia is a low-crime island where locals welcome you into their bars and restaurants with a smile. Moreover, the Bequia people are polite. They answer your questions with “yes please,” or “no please,” Once again, these expressions conjure thoughts from earlier times.

If you are strolling the street and need directions, chances are a someone will approach and direct you. Even the children are happy to walk you to your destination. Since Bequia depends on tourism, they happily accept tips for their services.

Pink bougainvillea and palm trees line the Port Elizabeth road.
Port Elizabeth presents a beautiful shopping and strolling venue. (photo by dorothyadele)

Things to do on Bequia

Locals and tourists alike stroll the capital of Bequia, Port Elizabeth, shopping in the boutiques, grocery stores, the local bakery, and at the produce stands.

Lime green and green lattice bookshop
Bright colors ensure that visitors don’t miss the bookshop. (photo by dorothyadele)

Port Elizabeth

As you walk the streets you may hear “taxi, do you need a taxi?” You can find taxi drivers leaning against their cars under the almond tree catching up with their friends while they wait to snag their next fare.

Red and white boats moor in turquoise water
The red and white ferries anchor in Admiralty Bay, Bequia. (photo by dorothyadele)

Produce Stands

Nearby, you can buy fresh brightly colored fruit and vegetables at the open-air market on Front Street. The local produce stand displays a melange of colorful fruit and vegetables including lime green breadfruit, yellow papayas, and bright red tomatoes.

Red front small grocery store with blue awning
An option for shopping for groceries is Roland Gourmet Supplies in Port Elizabeth. (photo by dorothyadele)

If you are driving a rental car, this is the place to fill up your gas. You can find the Shell service station equipped with two pumps. Plus around the corner is the Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with an ATM.

Most importantly, when you rent a car on Bequia, not only do you drive on the left side of the road, but the steering wheel is located on the right. As an American, it takes an effort to get used to it, plus you are driving in a foreign country.

Blue Bequia Pizza Hut decorated in flowers and pizza
Bequia Pizza Hut adds color to Port Elizabeth in the Caribbean. (photo by dorothyadele)

Local Bakery

If you take about a ten-minute walk north-west, you will find a local bakery. You will first smell the baking bread waft through the street. Look for the bakery sign then walk up the stairs to buy the best homemade baked goods.

Another option is to place an order at  The Upper Crust bakery. You can reach them by phone or place an order online. They deliver the next day on Bequia and will even bring your baked goods to the beach.

a few customers stand outside Knights Trading
Knights Trading Grocery offers a selection of grocery essentials in Port Elizabeth, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (photo by dorothyadele)

Supermarket

Knight’s Supermarket is the primary market on Bequia.  We felt intimidated following a grocery list in a foreign country where some products are packaged differently than in the United States. However, with help from the employees, we found everything that we needed.

Though we went to Knight’s for larger orders, for a quick stop we hit Doris’ Fresh Food & Yacht Provisioning on Back Street. Without the crowds, it was less of a production, and she helped us find everything that we needed. Moreover, Doris’ offered a better wine selection than Knight’s.

Red, yellow and green model boats
Craftsmen build wooden model boats with meticulous detail. (photo by dorothyadele)

Bequia Shopping

The local souvenirs include hand carved and painted model boats, handmade jewelry, whalebone scrimshaw, and island clothing.

Not only do Bequians build boats, some used for whaling, but they apply their skills constructing detailed model boats. Check out Mauvin’s Model Boat Shop or Sargent Brothers Model Boat Shop for beautiful hand-made sailboats and powerboats.

Orange Adirondack Chairs in front of Blue Art Gallery
The resident artists is also a retired doctor who treats walk-ins. (photo by dorothyadele)

 Art galleries

Retired Doctor Patrick Chevailler runs my favorite art gallery.  Not only does he sell his colorful marine artwork, but if you have an ailment, he will treat you in his medical office in the art gallery’s side room.

Chances are, you will spot him in his gallery shirtless and wearing a bathing suit. But if he tends to a patient, he dons a short-sleeve shirt as he changes his persona from artist to doctor.

Hot pink, blue, and lime green colors attract customers to Rendezvous Lounge, Bequia.
Rendezvous Lounge in Bequia’s capital Port Elizabeth is a local’s hangout where tourists are welcome. (photo by dorothyadele)

Bequia Restaurants and Bars

In the restaurants, your best bet is to order the freshly-caught local seafood or the specialty.  With that said, we couldn’t find a juicy grilled burger or steak that we didn’t like.

Bequia Restaurant Tips

Island Time

Keep in mind; you are in the islands to relax. From an American perspective, service at most restaurants may be slow. Furthermore, it could take awhile to get your first cocktail,(OH NO!) so if you want to enjoy Bequia, go with the right attitude.

Red, white and Blue wooden boat on Bequia, SVG
No Complain is an example of a Bequia wooden boat.(photo by dorothyadele)

Mosquito Spray

If you are visiting the open-air bars and restaurants at night, you may want to keep mosquito spray in your tote bag. If you forget, it’s likely that the restaurant will have some on hand.

Red tablecloths dress the tables at Frangipani Bar
Frangipani Restaurant and Bar provides views of Admiralty Bay. (photo by dorothyadele)
Aqua Adirondack chairs and table near boats moored at Admiralty Bay
Guests can overlook Admiralty Bay from the famous Frangipani Restaurant and Bar in Port Elizabeth. (photo by dorothyadele)

Favorite Restaurants

Some of our favorite restaurants include the following: the Plantation Hotel, De Reef, La Plage, Jack’s Bar, Coco’s, Mac’s Pizza, Laura’s, Keegan’s, Fernando’s, and Frangipani. Though some restaurants provide faster service than others, don’t plan on it. With the right mindset, you can be pleasantly surprised when your server arrives promptly.

Laura's is a white wooden waterfront restaurant.
Laura’s Bar and Restaurant, formerly Tommy’s, offers waterfront views in Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (photo by dorothyadele)

Laura’s, previously Tommy’s, provided the quickest service and we loved our freshly prepared seafood meals.

We returned to Mac’s Pizza a few times for the lobster pizza prepared with lump lobster.

Try La Plage for lunch. We enjoyed the quick service and our burgers.

Jack’s Bar is on Princess Margaret Beach. You can eat lunch and then wander down to the beach.  Our grilled tuna sandwich was a little raw, but we loved everything else.

Keegan' sign is multicolored pointing the way to Miami, Stockholm etc.
You can’t miss Keegan’s colorful sign on Bequia, SVG. (photo by dorothyadele)

Keegan’s serves delicious lobster sandwiches and grilled fish sandwiches.

Fernando’s is family run and serves a different menu daily depending on what he catches that day. When you go to Fernando’s, don’t forget your mosquito spray as I did.

Water splashes on Belmont Walkway in Bequia.
One of my favorite walks is Belmont Walkway that borders Admiralty Bay in SVG. (photo by dorothyadele)

Bequia Tips and Tricks

Walk Belmont Walkway that stretches from Port Elizabeth to Princess Margaret Beach. It’s lined with tropical foliage and bars and restaurants on the east side and the sea laps right below your feet on the west.

Stairs flanked by rock on one side and foliage on the other
Rocks and trees flank the Belmont Walkway stairs on Bequia, SVG. (photo by dorothyadele)
Gentle aqua water brushes the shore of Princess Margaret Beach in Bequia.
Princess Margaret had come from Mustique to visit this beach, hence the name. (photo by dorothyadele)

Our Favorite Bequia Beaches

We love Princess Margaret and Lower Bay beaches because sea grapes and palm trees hover over the beach in places so you can usually find shade. Plus, Princess Margaret and Lower Bay beaches are uncrowded. Additionally, you can walk to bars and restaurants.

Aqua surf laps white sand Princess Margaret Beach on Bequia.
Trees line Princess Margaret Beach on Bequia, SVG. (photo by dorothyadele)

Princess Margaret’s Beach and Watersports

Princess Margaret’s Beach includes a coral reef for snorkeling. Most importantly, at Jack’s Bar, you can rent paddle boards, fishing and snorkel equipment, kayaks, windsurfers and more.

Belmont Beach Bequia SVG
Sunbathers overlook Admiralty Bay from Belmont Beach in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (photo by dorothyadele)

Belmont Beach

Located between Princess Margaret Beach and Port Elizabeth, Belmont Beach overlooks Admiralty Bay.

Colorful flags on a rope supported by two wooden poles at each end mark a bar on the beach
Locals set up a bar on the beach on Bequia, SVG, Caribbean. (photo by dorothyadele)

Lower Bay

Lower Bay is quiet, clean, and family friendly. A coral reef flanks the north end offering the option to snorkel.

Lower Bay Bequia, SVG
You can swim from Lower Bay to snorkel the coral reef. (photo by dorothyadele)

Friendship Bay

Friendship Beach is by the Bequia Beach Hotel and offers calm surf for swimming and snorkeling.  Most noteworthy,  you have access to food and drinks at the hotel.

Hope Bay

If you want to visit a remote beach, take a hike to Hope Bay that is on the windward side.  Be aware of the rough surf. Also, there are no restaurants or restrooms, so you need to bring your food and drinks.

Industry Bay

Like Hope Bay, Industry Bay is also remote and on the windward side with challenging surf and without beach facilities.

Admiralty Bay shines as the sun sets on the horizon.
Admiralty Bay is the perfect venue to watch the setting sun on Bequia. (photo by dorothyadele)

Bequia Things to do

Boating and Sailing

We had a fun day boating to Mustique with Michael Tours. Michael Bynoe had arranged an island tour for us, and then we dined with him at a local restaurant. The best part is that we caught fish on the way home. This is Michael’s Contact information: michaeltoursbequia@yahoo.com or 784-455-1154.

We took the Octopus sailing vessel to Tobago Cays to swim with the hawksbill sea turtles.  The crew provided breakfast and lunch. The only disappointment was because of the time factor; we motor-sailed both ways.

Diving

Check out Bequia Dive Adventures in Port Elizabeth. They service new and experienced divers.

A hawksbill sea turtle raises his head above water
Orton King raises hawksbill sea turtles from hatchlings then releases them in the Grenadines. (photo by dorothyadele)

Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary

Visit the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary and see the endangered Hawksbill sea turtles at different life stages. Not only does the owner Orton King hatch sea turtles but he also raises farm animals and nurtures several dogs.

Hike

Hike to Mt. Pleasant or Hope Bay. Mt. Pleasant offers sweeping views and Hope Bay ends at the ocean.

Boats moor in the aqua a deep blue water of Admiralty Bay, Bequia
Fort Hamilton provides an excellent view of Bequia, SVG, Caribbean. (photo by dorothyadele)

Ft. Hamilton

Walk or drive north from Port Elizabeth to visit Ft. Hamilton. The fort offers a vista view of the harbor and Admiralty Bay.

Tennis

You can play tennis at The Gingerbread for a small fee. However, I strongly suggest that you bring your racquets from home. The racquets offered to us turned out hands black. Additionally, you can buy balls at the hardware store.

 Bequia Hotels

Bequia Hotel Tip

If your place doesn’t have air conditioning chances are that mosquito netting will drape over the beds. Nevertheless, don’t forget mosquito spray.

Blue Bequia Beach Hotel glimmers in the lights
Bequia Beach Hotel guest rooms overlook a glimmering pool at night. (photo by dorothyadele)

Bequia Beach Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel on Friendship Bay.

A chandelier made with wood and shells hang over the dining area.
Sugar Reef offers rustic luxury on Industry Bay on Bequia, SVG, Caribbean. (photo by dorothyadele)

Sugar Reef is a secluded hotel located on Crescent Beach.

The Grenadines Collection represents several Bequia villas and homes for rent on the island. We leased a place from them, and they responded quickly to our concerns.

Moon Hole Sign No trespassing
Unless you have permission to enter Moonhole, visitors are turned away. (photo by dorothyadele)

Moonhole is for nature lovers that prefer rustic ambiance.

Macaroni Beach hosts private parties.
Macaroni Beach on Mustique is famous for its white sand beaches and aqua blue surf. (photo by dorothyadele)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

If Bequia doesn’t offer enough action for your taste, you can hop on the ferry to the island of St. Vincent. Another option is to take a boat or sailing trip to the other Grenadines. A few things that you can do on the Grenadines are as follows: visit the famous Macaroni Beach on Mustique, swim with the hawksbill turtles at the Tobago Cays, or play golf on Canouan.

Boasts moor in Admiralty Bay, SVG and red and white ferry docks
The red and white ferry dock in Admiralty Bay in Port Elizabeth on Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (photo by dorothyadele)

Flights to Bequia

Getting to Bequia can be a challenge. Jet’s can’t land on Bequia’s small runway. Additionally, without runway lights, small planes must land in daylight, so plan accordingly.

Bequi airport runway next to the aqua Caribbean
Only small planes can land on Bequia Airport, SVG. (photo by dorothyadele)

Options include flying to Barbados or St. Lucia and taking a small shared or private charter to Bequia. Another option is to fly to St. Vincent and hop on the ferry.

From the United States, we flew from Miami then to St. Lucia and grabbed a flight to Bequia.

Red, white, blue and yellow boasts beached on Bequia
Colorful wooden beached boats on Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (photo by dorothyadele)

Bequia is not for Everyone

Some of our friends would not share our love for Bequia because we avoid overcrowded islands. We especially steer clear of islands that allow large cruise ships to dock because passengers flood the island.

For us, nightlife is a few cocktails and a good meal after a day of exercise and beach time.

Goats staked in a field in Bequia.
Some Bequians supplement their earnings by goat farming. (photo by dorothyadele)

Bequia is a  developing country with poor infrastructure

On our first night after a day of travel, we drove our newly rented SUV to Port Elizabeth to dine. It was dark, and the car window was difficult to see through. As mentioned above, with the steering wheel on the right, we drove on the left side of rutted roads.  Deep open drains lined some of these roads, and we worried that if we veered too far to the left, our tires would get stuck in these drains.

Three of us backseat drivers helped the navigator stay on the road when we yelled in fear! Somehow we didn’t cause him to run off the road.

Three Bequians wearing hats and carrying an umbrella
Locals stroll along a road in Paget Farm. (photo by dorothyadele)

After a few days, driving was better when we learned the area, but by the end of our stay, we had hired a taxi for a few night outings.

Yellow, red, blue, pink and aqua colored boats are scattered on a Bequia beach.
Colorful wooden boats are scattered on a Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines beach.(photo by dorothyadele)

Conclusion

To sum up, we love Bequia because we feel safe; there’s plenty to do, the seafood is fresh, and the beaches are beautiful and uncrowded.

What are your thoughts about Bequia? Do you think that there is enough to do? Did these photos entice you to visit? Please comment below.

Trees frame a white yacht in the blue Caribbean
A yacht motors offshore from Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (photo by dorothyadele)

 Note:

Susan M Toy is a local Bequia author who has written fictional books on Bequia. To get an even better feel for the island read her book Island in the Clouds. By the way, if you wonder what Bequia means, there’s your answer.

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23 thoughts on “Why We Love Bequia, SVG, Caribbean

  1. This sounds heavenly, and your photos definitely make me want to visit! I wouldn’t worry about having enough to do, as I think I’d spend my time wandering the beach, lying around on chaises, eating seafood and watching the beautiful sunsets! If (unlikely) I got bored, I’d go shopping with some of the local artisans and maybe swim with the turtles. I love that it’s off-the-beaten-path.

    1. Cynthia, thank you for your comment. It’s definitely a challenge traveling to Bequia, but once you are there, it’s worth it.

  2. I have been to many caribbean islands, but Grenadines are still on my list. Now I have seen your post, I hope I wel get there soon. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  3. This looks like a lovely Caribbean retreat! I love all the beaches and bays and how there aren’t that many tourists around. I would definitely give it a try. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  4. Sounds like a great destination, lots to do or you can just relax on one of the beaches. It’s funny I don’t mind people selling stuff on beaches. I have gotten some cute things just sitting in my lounge chair. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    1. Anisa, thanks for your comment. And to your point, vendors on the beach is one thing, but I have visited islands where they didn’t let up. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  5. Absolutely I would visit this island! This is my kind of relaxation vacation. I do think there’s enough to do if you want a low key getaway. Looks beautiful, too and I love the colorful “Pizza Hut!”

    1. Mackintoshtravels, thanks for your comment. Bequia is low key, so it’s not for those who need constant entertainment, but it’s perfect for us.

  6. It looks lovely!!! Sounds like a dreamy place to visit!!! I especially like the fact the island doctor puts on a shirt over his swim trunks to look doctorly!

    1. SD Gates, thank you for your comment, the doctor checked my husband’s ears and put on a shirt as he walked in the examining room. It made me laugh.

    1. Thanks Frankie. We hadn’t heard of Bequia either. Our daughter found it on Google, and we thought that we would give it a try.

    1. California Globetrotter, thanks for your comment, I agree those chairs on Bequia at Frangipani we’re inviting. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  7. Loved to hear about this place, and to learn something new!
    P.S.: My father collects miniature wooden boats, he would get crazy with the ones made there!

  8. I’d love to visit the Grenadines. Bequia’s peacefulness reminds me a little about the tranquility of Hawaii. I miss a nice, warm beach! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Hi Anda, thank you for your comment. Like you, I enjoy tranquility when I am at the beach and Bequia offers that.

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