For a little island, there’s an incredible amount of things to do, see and explore!
You’ve either decided you’re heading here or you are thinking about it as a tropical destination and if you’re anything like me, you’re frantically Googling what to do in Bequia. Well, I’ve been lucky enough to spend a few months on this paradise island and let me start by saying, for a little island, there’s an incredible amount of things to do, see and explore!
If you don’t know already, Bequia is the second-largest in the chain of Grenadine island in St. Vincent and The Grenadines. Don’t be put off by the term “second largest” – it’s only seven square miles and has a population of only 5,000 people! That’s fewer people on the whole island than in my hometown in England!
No matter where you are on the island, you’re no further than 10-15 minutes from your destination by car. It’s so tiny and that’s one of the reasons it’s so special.
So, what are the top 10 things to do in Bequia?!
1. Visit as many beaches in Bequia as possible
With no resorts or private beaches on the island, there’s plenty of both Caribbean coast and Atlantic coast beaches to explore. The two most popular Bequia beaches are on the Caribbean side of the island – Lower Bay and Princess Margaret Beach, which make the Admiralty Bay. With warm and calm lake-like waters and beach bars, huts and crafts at your disposal, they are both a must-visit.
With no resorts or private beaches on the island, there’s plenty of both Caribbean coast and Atlantic coast beaches to explore.
The two most popular Bequia beaches are on the Caribbean side of the island – Lower Bay and Princess Margaret Beach, which make the Admiralty Bay. With warm and calm lake-like waters and beach bars, huts and crafts at your disposal, they are both a must-visit. You’ll find a spray of cruising yachts from all over the world anchored at Princess Margaret Beach (sometimes even the odd celebrity cruiser!). If there is one thing you can be sure of, it’s that they’re all admiring the turquoise waters of the bay and the tropical green forest backdrop from their boat! From either of the unspoiled Lower Bay or Princess Margaret Beach, you’ll sink into the perfect sunset, so grab a rum punch or a Hairoun and behold the warm colours of the Bequia sky as day turns to night.
Over on the Atlantic coast, you’ll find Friendship Bay and Adams Bay – during the winter months, it can get a little choppy on this side of the island. They’re still BEAUTIFUL to walk down, get your feet wet and toes sandy and have a swim if you’re brave enough. The main selling point of these Bequia beaches is the tremendous views you get across to Mustique, Petit Nevis, Isle A Quatre, other Grenadine (inhabited and uninhabited) islands. Keep an eye out for the colourful wooden fishermen boats and smiley locals at the end of Friendship Bay!
Renowned for its secluded and idyilic beaches, many Bequia beaches marry the nearby coves, making them perfect for snorkelling and scuba-diving. You can learn how to, or go diving, through Bequia Dive School, located on the Belmont Walkway.
So far, I’ve mentioned beaches you’d be able to sunbathe at and enjoy some time in the electric blue Caribbean Sea. However, there are many other, somewhat hidden, beaches that are amazing to discover. They’re perhaps a bit of a hike away and may (depending on the time of year) have a lot of seaweed so they’re not a relaxing-with-a-cocktail-and-a-book kind of day out but still, you don’t want to miss them! Hope Bay and Ravine Bay are two we’ve hiked to – they’re beautiful walks with absolutely stunning views and you are guaranteed to be the only ones there. Be careful though, the waves can get a little rough here! Out in the wilderness on a deserted beach, you’re isolated enough to be reminded of the TV show Shipwrecked, if anyone remembers that.
2. Experience a range of eateries in Bequia
For a tiny island, there is an abundance of spectacular food places to choose from. In fact, there are so many you’ll have to check out our best places to eat in Bequia blog (coming soon) to learn a bit more about each place and find out what we ate and drank, our personal opinion and of course, which ones we loved the most.
If you’re looking for a beach bar, then Jack’s is the place to be. They have a relatively small menu but the food is great, the service is awesome, and the views of Princess Margaret Beach are divine. Jack’s is a hotspot for tourists – you’re guaranteed to see someone from your flight at this chic beach bar – and a must-visit for lunch or a candlelit, sunset dinner.
For pizza, head to Mac’s. This island institution is situated on the Belmont Walkway and has the best selection of pizza on the island (I would recommend the Hawaiian BBQ Deluxe 100 times over if you’re a BBQ pizza lover like me!). Also, there is an impressively large menu with lots of burgers, salads, tacos, quesadillas, and seafood dishes to choose from.
Two of our favourite spots on the island are Laura’s – the best homemade Italian pasta on the island – did I mention the pasta is homemade?! Top tip: Visit Laura’s on evenings other than Wednesdays as this is a set menu and we much preferred the normal menu. Secondly, our ultimate favourite spot – Cheri’s Rooftop Terrace. Yes, it’s actually Cheri’s rooftop that she has converted into a restaurant – genius! Serving Caribbean tapas until 6pm, you get to try a range of dishes that you won’t experience anywhere else. It’s a super chilled, intimate and friendly vibe with a great selection of drinks. It has an incredibly unique view over the graveyard in Port Elizabeth and down across the ocean – they sure have a USP for Halloween.
If you’re after a bite to each for lunch or looking to try a Roti which is a Caribbean staple, then head to Port Hole. Nestled in Port Elizabeth at the start of the Belmont Walkway, you’ll be greeted with a smile and delighted with one of the best lunches on the island. I, personally, would recommend you try the Roti or the Po-Boy sandwich.
Don’t miss a visit to the outdoor coffee-shop style spot, Gingerbread Cafe, where you can grab a hot drink and cake with postcard-perfect views across Admiralty Bay, or make a stop for breakfast, brunch or lunch as they serve food from 7:30am to 2:45pm. The pineapple and banana compote pancakes and saltfish tacos are winners, in my opinion.
We also love De Reef (great sandwiches, lobster salad and apparently the best American-style burger on the island), Provision (the closest thing we have found to Asain food – delicious!), and Fernando’s (the most romantic setting we’ve experienced) – all three spots located on Lower Bay.
Some places to eat in Bequia that we are yet to try are; Papa’s, Coco’s, Sugar Reef, Sugar Hill and Bagatelle (for a more high-end, romantic, luxury evening meal). However, we have heard they’re all delicious!
3. Hike Ma Peggy and Climb to Peggy’s Rock
Around half of Bequia island remains untouched and undeveloped and as a result, offers a thriving green landscape. There are several fantastic hikes to do in Bequia, but our favourite is Ma Peggy (also known as Mount Peggy). One of the few things you’ll find when you Google Bequia things to do, are images of the sensational views from the top. With a couple of routes to choose from, the hike from the bottom to the top takes around 45 minutes. Although it is a steep climb, you’ll be well-equipped with a good pair of trainers or walking shoes/boots and it can be done even if you aren’t an avid-hiker. However, we have been warned – it’s definitely a no go when it’s wet!
There’s a viewpoint around halfway up, which looks down across the airport runway and Petit Nevis. If you time it right, you get the perfect vantage point for aeroplanes taking off or coming into land – we were lucky enough to see two in the space of our 5-minute rest! However, the money shot is when you get to the top, to Peggy’s Rock. The view is simply unbelievable! With 360 views, you can look down the Grenadine islands towards the Tobago Cays or look back across Bequia and get the most beautiful view of Port Elizabeth and Admiralty Bay. In my personal opinion, it’s this spot in particular that makes you realise you really are on a spec of an island nestled in the middle of the Caribbean Sea – oh how tiny this beautiful island is.
Top tip: Check out our Best Hikes to do in Bequia blog (coming soon) for other not-to-be-missed viewpoints and stimulating days out hiking in the tropical forest.
4. Explore Port Elizabeth & The Belmont Walkway
The hustle and bustle of sleepy Bequia island can be found down in Port Elizabeth. By hustle and bustle, we mean two streets – Front Street and Back Street – and the natural harbour. They’re lined with places to grab food, street vendors, fresh fruit and veg stalls and a few shops. You’ll also find the Islands only supermarkets; Knights Trading stores. There are three Knights stores which some friends aptly named Big Knights, Little Knights and Posh Knights – it has A/C! Big Knights is actually the size of a small Tesco Express, so you can imagine the miniature size of the other two!
With the laid back lifestyle in full swing, walking through the capital of Bequia is like stepping back in time – it has an endearing charm and sense of community that is wonderfully welcoming. The quaint, colourful buildings, guys pumping petrol in their uniforms and the lack of any large chains make this place incredibly unique. Well, they do have a Pizza Hut, but when I say Pizza Hut, I mean a guy cooking and selling pizza, in a hut.
At the lower end of Front Street is where Port Elizabeth meets Belmont Walkway. Restored by non-profit organization Action Bequia, the Belmont Walkway connects Princess Margaret and Lower Bay areas with Port Elizabeth. Lining the edge of the harbour, the path meets the ocean and makes for the most scenic stroll. Along this walkway, you’ll find a selection of restaurants including, Port Hole, Laura’s, Mac’s, The Frangipani, Fig Tree and many more. There’s also a great spot to stop for freshly made ice cream, yoghurt and frozen yoghurt at Marranne’s on the Walkway (it’s inside the Gingerbread Hotel). Basically, from the town of Port Elizabeth, you can walk all the way along the Caribbean coastline spotting Bequia beauty along the way.
Action Bequia has done incredible work restoring this walkway – it’s convenient, making it much easier to access restaurants, explore the Lower Bay area and Port Elizabeth, especially if you don’t have access to a vehicle.
5. Talk to locals in Bequia and embrace the local Bequian culture
Another thing that cropped up regularly during my Googling was how friendly the local people are here. I can honestly say I’ve never been anywhere like it. From the moment we stepped off the plane and got into our taxi, we felt welcomed. To get to our accommodation, we had to drive through two areas mainly populated by locals; Pagett Farm and La Pompe on the south side of the island. Considering this was our first impression of Bequia, we were greeted by smiling faces, waves, and shouts of welcome to the island! It doesn’t stop there – after a few days, people will get to know your face and acknowledge you as if they’ve known you for years. Street vendors aren’t pushy and don’t hassle you – when they say hi, they aren’t trying to get you to buy something, they’re genuinely saying hello!
There’s quite a lively ex-pat and repeat tourist community here who you’ll find in the bars and on the beach. Our top tip? Engage with these people! You’ll hear some incredible stories of how people stumbled upon Bequia, fell in love and eventually came to live here, inspirational tales of how some have travelled the world and accounts of others who came to Bequia once, caught the Bequia bug and are succumbed to return every year. You’ll meet people from all walks of life here and they’ll welcome you with open arms.
In terms of culture, remember this is the Caribbean and everything is relaxed and at a slower pace than you might expect. It’s… Island time! But, you’re on holiday so just relax, embrace your surroundings and enjoy the wait.
6. Try street food in Bequia and local dishes
Street food vendors and small cafes/shacks offer some really tasty local dishes. You’ll mainly find them down in Port Elizabeth. In the mornings, next to the one and only bank, you’ll find a red-roofed gazebo with a guy sitting behind a table looking like he’s not got much to offer. He’s actually serving a local delicacy known as Doubles! These consist of two baras and filled with curry channa and various chutneys – imagine, chickpeas in a sweet tasty sauce wrapped in two small flavoursome wraps. They originate from Trinidad and Tobago and, well, they’re divine. You can add a little hot sauce for the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Better yet, they’re only $5 ECD (around £1.35!).
A couple of our other favourite snack spots were Sweety Bird, which you can get to from both Front and Back Street. We’ve had chicken roti and vegetable roti here. Packed with potato and your chosen filling, they’re full of flavour and make for a great lunch, and at just $14 ECD, a very cheap lunch. They also do a range of different local meal boxes with rice and salad.
Finally, Suzies, a tiny shack hidden on Front Street. This place is a hotspot for locals. Serving lunch trays of baked chicken, rice, peas and salad, a selection of patties with fillings such as peas and potato, corned beef or turkey, tri-tri cakes, pumpkin cakes and much more! Everything here is not only mouth-watering, but also incredibly cheap! You’ve got to go here at least once. Top tip: Ask a local vendor if you struggle to find this hotspot, it’s nestled in between two shops.
Bonus tip: Find a park bench at the dock opposite front street to enjoy your Doubles or selection of food from Sweety Bird or Suzie’s with a view of the calm lapping Caribbean Sea water, harbour peppered with cruisers and docked ships and fishing boats.
Although there are restaurants and bars in abundance on this beautiful island, you have to grab yourself a taste of the local dishes and street food options whilst in Bequia. You won’t regret it.
7. Spend a day at The Liming Hotel in Bequia
If you want to experience a day of luxury resort life, head down to The Liming for the day. Honouring the island’s untouched and unspoiled character, huge resorts and skyscraping beach club tourist traps are rarity in Bequia, so The Liming positively stands out as one of the only spots on the island where you can experience the luxury resort life.
Their day pass includes a 2-course lunch, 2 drinks of your choice (can be any of the cocktails), use of water sports equipment, tennis court and their beautiful infinity pool. The Liming is located on Adams Bay on the south side of the island just beyond Bequia’s tiny airport and on the way towards “Moonhole”.
The Liming has an impressive menu and a great selection of cocktails – coupled with the location and luxury feel – it makes for an amazing day out. I imagine it can get quite busy here as it is a unique experience for the island. However, we were lucky enough to go with a group of friends and be the only ones there! Top tip: Before heading down to The Liming, enquire with them to check if their shuttle bus service is running – it’s included in your day pass price and saves the cost of a taxi!
For a slightly different resort experience, you could head to the Bagatelle Restaurant at Bequia Beach Hotel. This place is likely one you’ve stumbled across in your search. It’s in a beautiful spot on the windward side of the island on Friendship Beach. The menu looks delicious and the selection of drinks is possibly the best we’ve seen. However, be warned, the prices are in USD, not ECD, so it’s more expensive than other venues but as mentioned above, it’s perfect if you’re looking for a more high-end, romantic, luxury evening meal.
8. Go on an Island Tour in Bequia
As we’ve already established, there’s quite a bit to do in Bequia, even though it’s a small island. If you’re limited on time, it would be best to hop into a taxi and take a tour of the island. They’ll take you to all the must-see sights and corners of the island you might not otherwise have explored. You’re guaranteed to get gorgeous views from any spot on the island, but some are just breathtaking, and these spots you’ll be able to tick off on an island tour.
Our recommendations would be to head out to Industry Bay, where you’ll find the Turtle Sanctuary. Head up to Spring Top for a view down to Bequia Head and across to St. Vincent (and a fantastic sunset spot). Take a trip up Mount Pleasant and Cloud 9 to see sights down to the harbour and some of the finest houses on the island. From the top of Friendship Bay, you’ll see not only Mustique, but a handful of other Grenadine islands. Then, experience local life down in Paget Farm and head to Fort Hamilton to embrace the history of the island in all its glory.
These are just a handful of suggestions. Realistically, you could make any part of this blog part of your island tour, and any taxi driver will be able to give you many more suggestions. Remember, everything is within a 10-15 minute drive of each other as you’re on a seven mile long island! An island tour or a day in Bequia could be a blog within itself!
You’ll find most taxi’s drivers down in the harbour under the Almond Tree. If you’re unsure who to go with, head to the tourism office, and they’ll give you a list of their recommended drivers. We can personally recommend Gideon’s – you’ll sit in an open back taxi for better views along the way.
Top Tip: In answer to your question ‘do I need to rent a car in Bequia?’, I would say no, particularly if you do an island tour! Of course, it depends where you are staying and if you opt for seclusion for your vacation or to be in the midst of the entertainment and hotspots, but generally everything you need is close together and one side of the island to the other is within walking distance. Taxi’s are also relatively inexpensive (and the journey is always short).
9. Check out local boutique shops in Bequia
Wherever I go, I can’t resist checking out where I can buy new clothes. Any other girls (and guys) reading this can surely relate?! I didn’t know what to expect when I came to Bequia. Needless to say, there are a handful of unique boutique shops where you can buy kaftans, dresses, t-shirts and bags. But, don’t expect a Zara or any other high street brands/styles.
You will notice lots of bright colours, tropical patterns and Bequia-themed clothing which is fantastic as a souvenir of your one in a lifetime vacation to Bequia! In Port Elizabeth, you will find Solana’s, Bequia Destinations and Garden Boutique, all of which are run by local people, and the majority of the clothing has a local (tropical) design.
Bequia Beach Bums is my favourite clothing and swimwear store on the island (and probably in the world)! Beach Bums is all about slow fashion, sustainable materials and limited-edition prints. All prints are personally designed by the founder who lives in Bequia. 5% of all profits are also donated to charities that support environmental and social causes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Bequia Beach Bums have a special connection to the features of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and this is perfectly showcased through the designs, such as the Vincy Parrot on the men’s swim trunks!
Have you ever been somewhere where all the clothes are produced in that destination? Well, you will if you visit Bequia Threadworks. Bequia Threadworks is a non-profit sewing enterprise empowering and training the women of Bequia as artisan seamstresses. The clothes are beautiful, of fantastic quality and sustainable.
If you’re like me, and you expected there to be more choice on Bequia for fashion and shopping, then you might want to take a ferry to the mainland, St. Vincent, as there are an abundance of clothing shops.
Top tip: Ferries to the mainland run regularly every day and only take around 45 minutes. I would recommend a trip to St. Vincent in any event – it’s an experience in itself and the closest thing to a ‘city’ you’ll find in SVG.
However, you won’t find Zara, Primark or any other high street shops you recognise, instead you will be able to pick up more tropical prints, beachwear and dresses – Caribbean style!
10. Take a day trip to Mustique, Isle a Quatre & Petit Nevis, or even the Tobago Cays
Before coming to Bequia, I wasn’t too familiar with the sailing community and how large it is. The harbour is always full of small sailboats, yachts, catamarans, superyachts and cruise ships, and boat trips to other islands are an incredibly popular excursion for visiting tourists.
We were lucky enough to take a day trip with Gusto to visit the uninhabited paradise islands of Petit Nevis and Isle a Quatre. With amazing snorkelling opportunities in the glistening, crystal clear turquoise water and the opportunity to explore these untouched lush green landscapes, it is a once in a lifetime experience and should be at the top of your list of things to do in Bequia.
You’ve likely heard of the celebrity-spotting luxury island of Mustique, home of billionaires, rockstars and royalty. If you take a boat trip to Mustique, we’ve been told the famous Basil’s Bar is a must for cocktails and lunch followed by an island tour to see all the incredible villas before heading back to Bequia.
We haven’t yet visited Mustique or headed further down The Grenadines, but we plan to do so. There’s a selection of tour operators that will venture to islands down the Grenadines chain, all the way to Tobago Cays. So, whether you’re looking for a taste of even smaller island life, need to satisfy your craving for even more white sand postcard-perfect beaches or to experience islands with no inhabitants, you’ll certainly be able to do that here.
So, are you ready to catch the Bequia bug?
With swaying palm trees, uncut Caribbean laid-back lifestyle and dreamy beaches, one thing is for sure on your vacation to Bequia – you might just catch the Bequia bug and be desperate to make it a place you return to!
On that note, if you have any questions about this paradise island of Bequia, need further information to decide whether this is the perfect vacation spot for you, or for help planning your trip, please comment below, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message on Instagram @laaurenjade! I would love to help you!
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever visited this seven square mile island and if you have any other hotspots or tips of things to do in Bequia!
If you have any questions or if I can help you in any way, please email or DM me on Instagram.
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