Bequia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Located just 9-miles from the mainland and the nation’s capital of Kingstown, Bequia is just one of 32 islands that make up Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Bequia is best known today for its largely deserted beaches and is the northernmost and second-largest island in the Grenadines.
Cruise lines often sail to St.Vincent and the Grenadines as part of a selected itinerary, where it’ll either visit for the day or include an overnight port stay, allowing you to explore the local beaches, restaurants and landmarks before continuing your cruise holiday.
St Vincent and its neighbouring Grenadines are a popular call for many cruise lines, with guests loving the region’s heady combination of swaying palms, idyllic beaches and local cuisine. Throughout the Caribbean season, Bequia welcomes a variety of cruise ships, and you’ll find small-ship cruises available with the likes of SeaDream and Windstar, all-inclusive voyages with Regent Seven Seas and Silversea.
If your itinerary doesn’t call at Bequia but does visit St.Vincent for the day, you can take a ferry to the island, which takes around 60-minutes each way.
The island of Bequia was initially part of French-owned Grenada and was under the control of Martinique until the late 18th century. The earliest inhabitants’ origins lay in the northern coastal regions of South America.
Things to do
Many of Bequia’s pristine beaches disappear into coves, making it the perfect environment for snorkelling, scuba diving, and kayaking. If you head west, you’ll reach Admiralty Bay’s coast and Princess Margaret Beach, both popular diving spots with views of Port Elizabeth’s historic Hamilton Fort in the background.
Towards the north of the island, you’ll find Old Hegg turtle sanctuary, a private marine conservation project by Orton King, caring for endangered sea turtles before releasing them back into the wild. The reserve is open to the public, where you can view the hawksbill turtle hatchlings and learn all about their conservation.
Additionally, Bequia boasts an abundance of scenic hiking and cycling routes should you want to explore the island at your own pace. You can enjoy a relaxed stroll at the cliffside boardwalk trail along the water’s edge with dramatic views spanning the Caribbean sea and floral landscapes.
There are plenty of options to explore dining in Bequia, from Vincentian meat dishes and seafood delights to traditional plantin-based meals. A few specialities include Red Snapper, Kingfisher and Callaloo Soup.
If you are looking for something off the beaten track, then look no further than Sugar Reef Cafe, situated in a 65-acre coconut plantation within the hills of Spring Bay. This sustainably-focused restaurant serves up delicious locally sourced meat and freshly caught fish dishes throughout the evening, and you’ll love the seaside ambience complete with driftwood chandeliers.
Fernando’s Hideaway is a local gem hidden along the idyllic lanes of Port Elizabeth and offers a variety of daily seafood dishes. You won’t find a fixed menu here, as the daily service depends entirely on what the owner and chef catch that morning – for this reason, it is recommended to call ahead to find out what is cooking and reserve your table.
Furthermore, why not take a short sailing trip to the sail-up floating beach-hut at Bar One, where you can enjoy a light lunch or tapas with a refreshing cocktail in the middle of the Caribbean ocean? Or, for a more authentic experience, there are many local food stalls situated across the island, with various mouth-watering native dishes worth trying!
Best time to visit
Bequia remains exotic year-round with its surrounding pristine ocean and sun-kissed shores; however, cruises to the island of Bequia are a rarity outside the main Caribbean season between late October and early spring. The Hurricane season is officially from June to November, but the last direct hit on Bequia was back in 1955.