Postcard from Bequia, St Vincent & the Grenadines

 Cave, southern end, St Margaret's Beach, Bequia

Cave, southern end, St Margaret's Beach, Bequia

St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is a small Caribbean island nation to the north of Grenada and south of St Lucia in the Windward Islands. It is made up of St Vincent in the north, the largest island and a number of smaller Grenadines stretching to the south. The five main ones are Bequia (pronounced Bek-way), Mustique (playground of the rich and famous), Canouan, Mayreau and Union.

We visited Union, Bequia and St Vincent, but by far our favourite spot was Bequia. Here is our postcard from Bequia.

Postcard from Bequia

 lower bay beach, bequia

lower bay beach, bequia

OK, I know we said Grenada was gorgeous, and it is, and we raved about it somewhat, but that was before we got to Bequia, stunning, beautiful Bequia. We had only one full day there and we are very much regretting not staying for longer.

 port elizabeth

port elizabeth

The ferry, Jaden Sun brought us from Union Island to Port Elizabeth in Bequia. It left Union at 7am. By 9am we were at our accommodation on Bequia at Lower Bay Beach – Sweet Retreat Hotel. Shelby, the owner made us very welcome and gave us loads of useful information about best snorkelling spots, best places to eat and more. She told us how the islanders were proud of their island and aware of the importance of keeping it clean, litter free and inviting for tourists. This was in sharp contrast to some of the islands we had already visited where plastic bags and bottles ruled the land and sea and a lot of the coral close to shore was dying and stressed.

 lower bay from sweet retreat hotel

lower bay from sweet retreat hotel

This meant that we had some of the best snorkelling with the healthiest corals and the most variety of species. Right at the end of the hotel's driveway was the white sands and turquoise waters of Lower Bay Beach, perfect for swimming and enough rocks and reef for great snorkelling.

 snorkelling at lower bay beach

snorkelling at lower bay beach

A walk along the beach and along a pretty path gets you to the next beach, Margaret's Beach with stunning snorkelling by the sea cliff and reef just off the beach. Again, lovely for just swimming, lazing around, buying a drink from the Rasta's stall under the trees, or exploring the sea arches and sea shore pathway which winds all the way to the main town, Port Elizabeth.

 coastal walk from Margaret's beach to port elizabeth

coastal walk from Margaret's beach to port elizabeth

On one of the benches at the Rasta beach bar, we met a nice South African yachtie who had rowed in for a chilled beer. He had been travelling the Caribbean for two years and said right here was some of the best snorkelling he had seen. High praise from someone in the know.

 Margaret's beach. you wouldn't say it's crowded.

Margaret's beach. you wouldn't say it's crowded.

After hours of indulging ourselves in and out of the water, we wandered back to a small wooden house with delicious smells wafting from the tiny kitchen - Dawn's Creole Kitchen. Shelby had recommended Dawn's as a good place to eat, and we were not disappointed at all. Delicious, fresh and cooked as you wait. Dawn was typical of the locals we met, relaxed, proud of the island, happy to chat and give useful information if asked. After dinner, we went back to our lovely accommodation, feeling pretty blissed out.

 cave, southern end of Margaret's beach

cave, southern end of Margaret's beach

We were sad to have to catch the Bequia Express ferry to St Vincent the next morning. Bequia is definitely a place we want to return to for a much longer stay. There is more snorkelling to be done, and walks, and a visit to the turtle breeding program and sanctuary, and more time to just relax and enjoy this beautiful island.

 the deck at sweet retreat

the deck at sweet retreat

A Couple of Comments on Union and St Vincent

Union Island was our first stop in SVG. Have a look at our post on Grenada if you want to know how we got from Carriacou in the north of Grenada to Union via the small cargo boat the Lady JJ. Click here.

 arriving at ashton, union island. Clifton is ten minutes drive from here along the coast.

arriving at ashton, union island. Clifton is ten minutes drive from here along the coast.

The main town on Union is Clifton. It is a pleasant small town with lots of restaurants, bars and small stores for provisions.

 clifton

clifton

The main attraction on Union is a trip to the fabled Tobago Cays for diving and snorkelling. Unfortunately we arrived too late on our first night (of 2 nights) to organise a trip and the weather wasn't great the next day, so Tobago Cays will have to wait for another day in our case.

 Clifton coastline

Clifton coastline

We stayed at St Joseph's House which is operated by St Joseph's Catholic Church. Very comfortable with outstanding views.

 on the balcony at st joseph's house overlooking the church on union island

on the balcony at st joseph's house overlooking the church on union island

From Union we travelled to Bequia on the ferry, the Jaden Sun which does the run three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday). We paid EC50/$US20 for the one and a half hour trip. Click here for more details.

From Bequia we travelled to Kingstown on St Vincent on the Bequia Express – EC25/$US10 per person. Click here for more information.

 on board the bequia express

on board the bequia express

Kingstown feels a bit down at heal and in need of some attention. There are some interesting historic churches and the archways that cover the footpaths of the main streets provide welcome shade.

 Kingstown, st vincent

Kingstown, st vincent

The one excursion we did was to the Botanical Gardens. These are the oldest in the Western Hemisphere and worth a visit.

But as we said, if you do get the chance to go to SVG then make sure you spend some time on beautiful Bequia.

Cally