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Port Elizabeth, Front Street
Bequia is situated at latitude 13 N and 60.15' West, in the southern part of the Caribbean chain known as the Windward Islands.
After the capital island of St. Vincent (pop. 110,000) situated nine miles to the north, Bequia is the largest of the thirty-two islands and cays that make up the island state of St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The other main islands in the Grenadines chain south of Bequia are Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau and the Tobago Cays, Union Island, Palm Island and Petit St. Vincent.
just 7 square
miles, and is home to about 5000 people.
An intriguing mix of native Bequians of African, Scottish, Irish, French, Indian and Carib descent - many of whom can trace their ancestry directly back the islands earliest inhabitants of the 18th century - and more recent settlers from Europe, America and Canada who have chosen to make Bequia their home.
English is the
native language, and open friendliness is a characteristic for which
Bequians have always been well known.
St. Vincent &
the Grenadines became independent from Great Britain in 1979, while
remaining part of the British Commonwealth. The Governor General is the
representative of the British Crown, and is appointed by the Queen, on
the advice of the Prime Minister.
Entry Visas are
for American or Commonwealth citizens, or for those nationals of a
which has a visa exemption agreement with St. Vincent & the
Local currency is the EC ("EE SEE") dollar which is tied to the US dollar at approximately US$1 to EC$2.67. Most businesses and taxis will accept US$ (normally at EC$2.60), and you may find small denomination US$ notes useful.
US$ rather than
sterling travellers cheques are recommended. Credit cards are widely
accepted at hotels, restaurants and boutiques, but smaller businesses
may ask for EC$ or US$ cash.
No vaccinations are required (unless arriving within six days of transit through or stay in an infected area). Water is safe to drink; as an alternative bottled water is readily available.
A healthy respect for the strength of the sun is essential - even dark skins will burn quickly if not protected. Insect repellent is a good idea if you have sensitive skin.
Daytime temperatures consistently average between 24C (75F) and 30C (86F) throughout the year. A "chilly" evening in the winter months (January to March) might see a low of around 21C (70F) and in the summer months the temperature will occasionally reach 32C (90F).
Tradewinds bring cooling breezes for most of the year; the famous Christmas Winds bring stiffer steady breezes, lively seas and perfect sailing weather.
The "dry" season from December/January to late April/early May coincides with the "high" season for visitors, with clear sunny skies, good sailing breezes, low humidity and minimal rainfall. The island is totally reliant on rain for its water, so the arrival of the "rainy" season in May/June is always a blessing.
The warmer, summer months of May to November are a welcome mixture of cooling showers, sunshine and light breezes, with the occasional heavy downpour.
Bequia is far
south in the hurricane belt, and although tropical storms will
occasionally approach in the peak months of August to October, most
disturbances either pass to the north or dissipate before they reach
the Grenadines chain.
Driving on Bequia's narrow roads is on the LEFT.
If you are renting a vehicle on the island you will need to get a local Driving Permit. These are available from the Revenue Office in Port Elizabeth on production of a valid national or international Driving Licence from your own country, and payment of a fee of EC$50 (about US$ 19).
Bequia has been "on line" for several years. There is no shortage of internet access outlets on the island. Lap top plug-ins, printing, CD burning and software and hardware troubleshooting are also available.
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