Named the island of the clouds by the Caribs (pronounced Bek-way), this is the largest of the St Vincent dependencies with a population of about 5,000. Nine miles south of St Vincent and about seven miles square, Bequia attracts quite a number of tourists, chiefly yachtsmen but also the smaller cruise ships and, increasingly, land-based tourists. Tourism is becoming much more important as more cruise ships stop and the number of yachts increases. More hotel rooms and apartments are being added. The island is quite hilly and well-forested with a great variety of fruit and nut trees. Its main village is Port Elizabeth and here Admiralty Bay offers a safe anchorage. Boat building and repair work are the main industry. Experienced sailors can sometimes get a job crewing on boats sailing on from here to Panama and other destinations. For maps and charts (and books) go to Iain Gale’s Bequia Bookshop, which is very well stocked. The nearest beach to Port Elizabeth is the pleasant Princess Margaret beach which shelves quickly into the clear sea. There are no beach bars to spoil this tree-lined stretch of soft sand. At its south end there is a small headland, around which you can snorkel to Lower Bay, where swimming is excellent and the beach is one of the best on the island. Local boys race their homemade, finely finished sailing yachts round the bay. In the village is Kennedy’s Bar, a good place to watch the sunset with a rum punch. Further along is De Reef, whose bar and restaurant are the hub of much local activity.
Away from Port Elizabeth the beaches are empty. Take a taxi through coconut groves past an old sugar mill to Industry Bay, a nice beach surrounded by palms with a brilliant view across to Bullet Island, Battowia and Balliceaux where the Black Caribs were held before being deported to Roatán. Some luxury homes have been built at the north end of the bay. Food and drink available at the Industry Beach Bar. A short walk along the track leads to Spring Bay, to the south, where there is a beach bar (may be closed). Both beaches are narrow with shallow bays and a lot of weed, making them less good for swimming and snorkelling. North of Industry is Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary in the northeast corner of the island. Not to be missed, an extremely worthwhile conservation project founded and maintained by a Beguian to save the hawksbill turtle. EC$10 donation warmly welcomed to maintain the facilities and feed the turtles.
The walk up Mount Pleasant from Port Elizabeth is worthwhile (go by taxi if it is too hot), the shady road is overhung with fruit trees and the view of Admiralty Bay is ever more spectacular. There is a settlement of airy homes at the top, from where you can see most of the Grenadines. By following the road downhill and south of the viewpoint you can get to Hope Bay, an isolated and usually deserted sweep of white sand and one of the best beaches. At the last house (where you can arrange for a taxi to meet you afterwards), the road becomes a rough track, after half mile turn off right down an ill-defined path through cedar trees to an open field, cross the fence on the left, go through a coconut grove and you reach the beach. The sea is usually gentle but sometimes there is powerful surf, a strong undertow and offshore current, take care. Friendship Bay is particularly pleasant, there is some coral but also quite a lot of weed, a taxi costs EC$15, or you can take a dollar bus (infrequent) in the direction of Paget Farm, get out at Mr Stowe’s Store (EC$1.50) and walk down to the bay (you may have to ring for a taxi at one of the hotels to get back, though).
The tourist office by the jetty (very helpful) can help you arrange a visit to the cliffside dwellings of Moon Hole at the south end of the island, where a rocky arch frames the stone dwelling and the water comes up the front yard. At Paget Farm, whale harpooning is still practised from February to May (the breeding season) by a few fishermen who use two 26-ft long cedar boats, powered by oars and sails. If you can arrange a trip to Petit Nevis, to the south, you can see the whaling station and find out more about Bequia’s whaling tradition. Despite pleas from conservationists, in both 1998 and 1999 a humpback mother and calf were harpooned off Bequia.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
St Mary's Catholic Cathedral
St Mary's Cathedral is located in Kingstown and looked very pretty from the distance, so I walked there from the port and had a visit to it. It was open and I did not have to pay any fee.Related to:
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life is an adventure!
want to climb a volcano? swim in the ocean, meet local down to earth people.. well this place is it.. cost of living is cheap to our Canadian dollar.Related to:
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Excursions to the Grenadines
If you go to the St Vincent you shouldn't miss excursion to at least two islands of Grenadines.
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One of the nicest beaches. Snorkelling and scuba diving is great but you have to watch the currents.
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The botanical gardens are a...
The botanical gardens are a must see , ( I'm not a botanical kind of guy but) this place will surprise you!
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Sightseeing in Kingstown the capital city.
Very picturesque as the rest of the Caribbean with British flair and practises. This is an overview of their paliament and official buildings.Related to:
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Villa Beach, Kingstown, Caribbean
Satisfaction: Very Good
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This is not on Union Island. It's a small 135 acre island, about a 10 minute boat ride from Union....more
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