The best way to arrive in Bequia is by ferry from Kingstown, St. Vincent .
It hasn’t changed much over the years, and that is a good thing for visitors. Especially for those who want to experience the charm of a small, unspoilt Caribbean island that’s still tied inextricably to the sea. Fishing, lobster diving, crewing merchant ships and boat building (real and model) still employ most Bequians, just as they have done for hundreds of years.
It’s an island with no large resorts, no casinos and not a single duty-free shop. What it does have is excellent beaches, lush green scenery, great diving and a quaint, but bustling, capital (Port Elizabeth) lined with small, appealing bars and restaurants. And it offers some surprisingly comfortable and stylish accommodation, with a few slick relative newcomers, including the elegant Bequia Beach Hotel, the funky new SLH property The Liming, and the utterly charming Sugar Reef.
Most visitors tend to be yachters or on a shore excursion from the small to mid-sized cruise ships that anchor in Admiralty Bay. The latter way is how we first arrived on the island. We knew almost immediately we wanted to return for a longer stay. Recently, improved air service to St. Vincent finally enabled us. From St. Vincent, it’s just an hour-long ferry ride. You can leave Kingstown in St. Vincent after breakfast and be in Bequia before lunch. A small airport served by regional airlines (e.g., SVG Air and Grenadine Air Alliance) offers another option.
Once there, Bequia is the kind of place you slip into easily, if you let yourself. In other words, if you are content to go with the flow – match the unhurried pace, embrace the rhythm of island life, appreciate the beauty of the island and engage with the friendly, unpretentious locals – you’ll feel like you have found a special place.
It’s easy to get around the island and it’s worth exploring. You can cover it all in two to three days. Then you pick your favourites and go back and savour them. There are plenty of good places to swim and eat. And an eclectic roster of beach bars to try out. Apart from the occasional excursion from one of the larger cruise ships (easily avoidable if you consult the locals), you are extremely unlikely to be bothered by crowds. And, if that’s not tempting enough, Bequia is surprisingly affordable.
Not bad for an island roughly the same size as London’s Heathrow Airport.