Although Bequia (pronounced Bek-way) is the second largest of the 32 Grenadine islands, it is only 7 square miles in size. To give you an idea, London’s Heathrow Airport is slightly bigger! End to end, it’s around 5 miles long and as little as half a mile wide at it leanest point between the Caribbean Sea of Lower Bay & Atlantic Ocean at Friendship Bay! Keen hikers can explore the entire island during their trip, opting for leg power over vehicle rental. Those who do opt to tackle the well-maintained (but sometimes hilly) roads with a rental vehicle are never more than a few minutes drive from their chosen destination. This means that visitors can stay in almost any location on the island and never feel isolated. In short, Bequia is the perfect place for those seeking solitude and that “getting away from it all” feeling, whilst still being within striking distance of the action when required. For a small island it packs a real punch!
There are areas that are understandably more popular than others due to their central location, with walkable access to most amenities such as restaurants, banks, beaches & food shops. Choosing such locations will mean saving on vehicle rental costs and spending the extra money on the temptations that lie within a short & very pleasant walk from your accommodation. Transport options are reliable & cost-effective on Bequia with “dollar vans” that actually cost from $1.50 (!) and open-sided pick up truck taxis offering private transport for a price agreed with the driver (full & half day island tours also possible).
Here’s our guide to help you decide which area of Bequia suits your needs best;
Lower Bay & Belles Point
Lower Bay is the place to be due to its central location between the airport and Port Elizabeth and provides a great vantage point for fabulous sunsets. It offers fantastic accommodation options to suit all budgets, three amazing beaches within a short walk, a scattering of bars & restaurants & is walkable distance to Port Elizabeth via the road or the Princess Margaret Walkway (taxis are recommended at night). This pedestrian walkway offers spectacular views, waterfront bars & restaurants and two scuba dive shops servicing the 30 or more world-class dive sites that are just a short boat ride out into the bay. If it gets too hot on the Caribbean side of the island or you prefer a sunrise to a sunset, then simply pop over the hill above Lower Bay and take in the natural air-conditioning from the Atlantic side of the island at Friendship Bay. Everything a Bequia visitor could desire is here at Lower Bay, whether you wish to be fully immersed in the atmosphere or prefer to dip in & out when the mood takes! The area of Belles Point and other villa options up the hill back from the beach offer amazing views & tranquillity, yet remain close to the action. Get your feet in the sand whilst you dine or drink at De Reef, Keegan’s or La Plage or find fab cuisine at the hidden gem of Fernando’s hideaway (Nandos!)
A limited number of private villas & guest houses are located here but it remains a great option that is ideally placed for Port Elizabeth as well as Princess Margaret & Lower Bay beaches.
Accommodation options set above one amazing beach that gets royal approval, with views of Admiralty Bay and a short walk to the sand, the warm Caribbean Sea & a sun-downer at Jack’s Bar!
The site of a former coconut plantation with dozens of sky-scraper like palm trees. But people are also drawn here for the Incredible views, cool Atlantic breezes, premium villas & low-key hotel operations. The area also boasts “Robinson Crusoe” style beaches & has an up-market feel. It is also the home of the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, the Firefly Plantation & Sugar Reef Hotel. Vehicle rental recommended.
Friendship/Friendship Heights/Cloud 9
A lovely bay & beach, with cool Atlantic breezes and Friendship Bay is the home of the only large hotel operation on the island (The Bequia Beach Hotel). Friendship Heights & Cloud 9 are up & coming, with views to die for across to Mustique. Vehicle hire probably recommended for most.
Moonhole & Adams Bay
A unique, quirky & protected nature reserve where you can live like a Flintstone in houses built out of the rockface! The 30-acre site is set on the beautiful peninsula at the southern tip of the island near the airport. For those wishing to truly escape from the rat race. Think solar electricity, filtered rain water and an open-air feeling where the lines are blurred between indoor & outdoor living. Vehicle rental necessary.
Slightly further out towards the airport from Friendship Bay with more local life. Cool Atlantic breezes, goats for neighbours & an authentic feel. Vehicle rental recommended for most.
Port Elizabeth/Union/Cinnamon Heights
The main town of Port Elizabeth is set in one of the prettiest harbours in the entire Caribbean with bars, restaurants, banks, shops & markets. The ferries from St. Vincent and the other Grenadine islands dock here as well as the speed boats & schooners that skip over on day trips to the “paradise on earth” that is the Tobago Cays. Although accommodation options exist right in the heart of the “Capital”, most visitors opt to stay elsewhere and can easily access the town via roads or the Princess Margaret Walkway.
Hamilton & Ocar
Set on the opposite side of Admiralty Bay to Lower Bay, Princess Margaret & Belmont. A small scattering of accommodation options and within a short walk of Port Elizabeth and the Fort viewpoint.
As the name suggests, this is the place where accommodation is perched on a very pleasant hill either overlooking Admiralty Bay or Mustique, Bateaux & Balliceaux islands depending on which side of the hill you are located. Fantastic views, but vehicle rental is recommended for most options. The home of the beautiful & historic Old Fort Hotel.
Premium villa options with views of the Atlantic side of the island out towards Mustique, Bateaux & Balliceaux islands. Not too far from Port Elizabeth and a short woodland walk down to the deserted, yet beautiful Hope Beach. Vehicle rental recommended.
The home of Bequia’s tiny airport and neighbouring Moonhole. There is certainly no “gridlock” in Bequia’s second most populated town behind Port Elizabeth. The area is mostly inhabited by locals and there are very few accommodation options for visitors.