far more to Bequia than just its beaches, its quaint
waterfront bars and shops, and its sleepy yet bustling
little main town and harbour.
visitors to the island, even if they are only here for
the day, take time to explore - either by taking an
Island Tour in one of Bequia's famous open backed
taxis, (takes about 3 hours) or by renting a car and
exploring for themselves. How better to get to see the
whole picture, and understand why Bequia is such a
fascinating, special place, so full of contrasts?
Tours are what Bequia taxi drivers do best:
leisurely and informative, you will get to see as much
or as little as you want, and always with full
commentary! Tours are tailored to your wishes - just
agree a price beforehand. Enquire at the Tourism
Office for recommended taxis.
a short distance away from the heart of the island in
Port Elizabeth, and you will find lush green meadows,
deserted beaches, spectacular views down the Grenadine
islands, densely wooded hillsides, fishing villages,
boat-builders executing a skill passed down for
generations, artists' studios, windswept hillsides
alive with sheep and goats, fabulous flora and fauna,
and a real sense of history and heritage hidden just
below the surface.
St Mary's Anglican
Church, Port Elizabeth
||This beautiful old church was erected
in 1829, replacing the older structure which was
destroyed in a hurricane. Imported ballast
bricks as well as local limestone were used in
its construction, which may go some way towards
explaining its cost, which at the time was
recorded at some 4,700 pounds.
The church's cool, simple interior
contains many fascinating memorial tablets to
some of Bequia's earliest settlers, as well as
present day stained glass memorials to some of
Bequia's illustrious and much loved residents.
Along the north shore of Admiralty
Bay, just outside of Port Elizabeth and on the way
to Hamilton Fort, is the small fishing village of
Hamilton. Colourful boats pull up on the sandy shore
and small rum shops dot the roadside.
|On the northern point of Admiralty
Bay, beyond Hamilton village. The original
structure is long gone, but both French and
English cannon retrieved from the waters around
Bequia are now placed there; the view alone is
worth the visit. The defence of the entrance to
Admiralty Bay was a priority for the British. In
1771, the harbour was described as being "very
fine, where Ships of Force may safely ride", and
ideal for careening (no such harbour existed in
Due south of Hamilton Fort, on the
small headland above Lower Bay, there was a
second fortification, and the approach from
St. Vincent was covered by additional
emplacements a few hundred feet North of
Hamilton Fort. Eleven cannon in all were
recommended for these three batteries, at a
total estimated cost of 1500 pounds - a huge
sum in those days.
Spring and Industry
east out of Port Elizabeth (along the only road) and
you will come to the lush meadow of Spring, with tall
waving coconut palms, and quietly grazing cows, horses
and sheep. This land was once the Spring Plantation -
one of the largest on Bequia, and the ruins of the old
sugar mill are still standing.
|The plantation (left) is
still a working one, now growing mainly fruit.
The Firefly Hotel, present owner of the
plantation, is built on the foundations of the
plantation's 18th century estate house.
Spring's ruined sugar mill
growing in Industry
|Beyond Spring on the same,
single road, is Industry
Bay - site of another former
off the "main" road, behind the coconut
palms are some crumbling overgrown ruins and
an old well which are an evocative reminder
of the area's past, and well worth
The beach here is the perfect "get
away from it all" spot, with good
snorkelling on the reef when the water is
calm. A small traditional inn set right on
the beach is famous for its perfect setting
and great full moon barbecues!
OldHegg Turtle Sanctuary
||The next bay on from Industry, over a
rocky headland brings you to Park Beach, now
home to Bequian Orton (Brother) King's turtle
sanctuary. A true labour of love, Brother King
has been providing a nursery for young Hawksbill
turtles since 1995.
The turtles are cared for from birth to about 18
months when they are tagged and returned to the
ocean. A former skin-diving fisherman, Brother
King welcomes visitors enthusiastically and
delights in sharing his passion and knowledge
|The highest accessible point in
Bequia, with sweeping views first over Admiralty
Bay as the road winds upwards, and then from the
summit, down over the southern Grenadines. The
inhabitants of Mount Pleasant are a close knit
community, many descendants of the English and
Scots settlers who first came to Bequia in the
18th century and 19th centuries.
A reconstructed plantation house,
now a 6-room inn, offers a glimpse into the
past, with an intriguing display of petroglyph
rubbings from St. Vincent - said to be over
5000 years old - and more recent locally
excavated treasures from the colonial
courtesy Lynn McKamey
southern side is and always has been, the heart of the
island's seafaring activities. The first view, from
the crest of the hill road out from the harbour, is
the broad sweep of Friendship Bay, with the island of
Mustique in the distance. Below amongst mango trees is
one of the few areas where traditional staple crops of
cassava, corn and pigeon peas are still
the bay's west end, working local fishing boats are
pulled up on the beach, and steps lead to the main
road and village of La Pompe.
This sea-side road leads to the small fishing
community of Paget Farm.
Despite the use of outboards engines, the presence of
a small fishery and the advent of the airport beyond
the village, life has not changed much here in
Perhaps the best way to really get
to know Bequia and its hidden treasures is on foot.
Early morning or late evening are the ideal times of
day - but whenever you go, remember to take water, a
hat and sunscreen! Just exploring the winding roads
on Bequia can be a revelation, but there are also
smaller trails and disused roads to take you deep
into the heart of the island.
Make sure you can identify the
vicious "Brazil" plant (Latin name -
Comocladia Dodonaea (L.) Urban). "Brazil" is
a member of the Anancardiaceae family - to
which Poison Ivy and Poison Oak also
belong, and the effects of contact are
All of these toxic plants produce an
an allergenic oil, urushiol, which causes
severe itching followed by blistering two or
three days after even the slightest contact
with leaves or bark in which the sap is
Wash skin with cold water if you think you
have had contact; also wash clothing you have
been wearing.Do NOT touch!!
Hiking & Tours in Bequia
and St. Vincent
Firefly Plantation Tours, Spring
Plantation Spring Bequia
Built on the foundations of an 18th century
estate homestead, Firefly Plantation is set
in 30 acres with hillsides of wild cinnamon
and orchards producing oranges, grapefruit,
bananas, breadfruit, guava, Bequia plums,
sour cherries, mangoes and a variety of
exotic crops. Enjoy a leisurely guided walk
(approx 45 mins) through the grounds with
our head groundsman who will give a brief
history of the plantation and sugar mill.
Sample fruits and vegetables in
season and learn about the various crops,
herbs and flowers growing there. Please wear
suitable walking shoes.
EC$10 per person - children welcome!
Afterwards enjoy a refreshing drink at our
bar, or a delicious lunch or dinner in the
hotel restaurant overlooking the
Tel: (784) 458 3414
Ramblers Hiking Tours
from Bequia's Mount Peggy
Ramblers Hiking Tours offers guided hiking
for those wishing to explore Bequia and St.
Vincent. Enjoy locations rarely visited, as
you are guided from secluded beaches,
through forest trails, to wind swept
mountain tops with stunning views, while
learning more about the history and culture
of the people and the islands.
For full details of the various
guided hikes provided, including short
videos and photos of many of the hikes,
The nearby island of St. Vincent,
capital of the island state of St. Vincent &
the Grenadines is rich in both natural resources
- tropical rain forest, active volcano, lush
fertile valleys, waterfalls, some reached only by
sea, the Botanical Gardens
(the oldest in the Western Hemisphere), and
historical sites. Echoes of the island's chequered
past of brave Carib resistance, French and British
occupation, and colonial rule in both the pre- and
post-emancipation eras abound.
The dome of
St. Vincent's volcano
The capital, Kingstown is a busy, no
nonsense town with newly opened cruiseship
berth, ferry and freighter docks, Government
buildings and courthouse, cathedral, fish
market, vegetable market and an astonishing
array of shops, both large and small.
Bananas are still island's main source of
industry and employment, supplying especially
British supermarkets with deliciously sweet
"Windward Island" bananas.
The pace, attitude and topography in
St.Vincent are in striking contrast to
neighbouring Bequia, and a visit to this
beautiful volcanic island is highly
day tours to the Tobago Cays, Mayreau, Union
Island, Canouan, Mustique and the spectacular
waterfalls of St. Vincent. Go whale &
dolphin watching or snorkelling with turtles.
Call us for private charters, island
transfers, sunset cruises, island eco tours,
and hotel packages.
Enjoy our Grenadine islands; we get you
there quickly and safely.
Tel: (784) 457 4477/5555
Fax: (784) 457 5577
Mobile: (784) 528 8858