I love ‘Bequia’ because there is far more to this little fascinating island than it’s pristine crystal clear beaches. The people are friendly, the island is quiet and the history and stories are astounding.
Steven and I popped into Bequia for a few hours (literally), because we were staying in ‘St. Vincent’ during the Easter Weekend (you know we love our four-day weekend breaks). We really and truly spent our time in ‘St.Vincent’ (rather than ‘Bequia’) as we wanted to be away from the excitement which surrounded ‘Bequia’ during the ‘Easter Regatta’ but the island of Bequia was for the most part very tranquil when you venture away from the port.
Either way, as the island is quite small, we managed to see a lot of the island in a short space of time and here are 5 understated things that you must do in Bequia:
1. Have A Chat With Mr. Orton King at ‘The Old Hegg Sanctuary’
This was without a doubt the most eye-opening and entertaining activity on the island of Bequia. Mr.King is very passionate about these amazing creatures and you’ll see that this passion brings nothing but pure joy and love.
We completely lost track of time as we listened to his fascinating stories and after 23 years of being in operation, Mr. King dedicates himself not only to saving the lives of hundreds of turtles but also to educate and mentor the island’s youth.
2. Take In The Views at Mount Pleasant
If you’re a fond lover of amazing views then you’ll need to head over to Mount Pleasant as you’ll experience panoramic views over Admiralty Bay. Seriously, this view is screensaver worthy!
3. Enjoy A Foodie Walking Tour At Firefly Plantation
Once ‘Spring Plantation’ – one of the largest plantations on ‘Bequia’ is where the ‘Firefly Hotel’ and Plantation lie. For $10EC, a plantation tour will take you around a 28-acre sugar plantation that dates back to the late 18th century!
Enjoy a foodie walking tour where you'll have the chance to taste every single fruit that is grown on the plantation (provided that they are in season). Steven and I ate guavas, sugar cane, mangoes, Bequia plums, coconuts and even tasted something new to us – a Chinese apple!
To be honest, our intention was to have lunch after the tour (as we were staving) at the Great House Restaurant but after all the fruit we ate on the tour, there was no need!
The plantation also makes and bottles sea salt – ‘Grenadine Wild Sea Salt’, hand-harvested and 100% natural with a variety of blends. Like, have you ever tasted coconut sea salt, or tumeric/chili sea salt? I didn’t even know such different varieties even existed!
But I’ll be honest, persons who are used to Caribbean fruit and Caribbean life, may not find this particularly interesting or fascinating but this beautiful plantation is yours to roam.
4. Learn About Bequia’s History and Culture at the ‘Whaling Museum’ (‘Bequia Maritime Museum’)
Another very interesting and intriguing tour, you’ll learn why and how the hunt and slaughter of humpback whales has been around since 1875! This is engrained in the culture of ‘St. Vincent and The Grenadines’ the meat of a whale calf is known to be a delicacy and the whales are butchered/slaughtered mainly for food, since the export of whale oil ceased in the1970s.
Now, 143 years down the road, this practice and coming to an end but the island is still indeed granted a quota of 4 whales annually by the ‘International Whaling Commission’ to be taken between January and April.
You also can’t forget that ‘Bequia’ had a reputation as the boat building capital of the Caribbean, even Queen Elizabeth possesses an exact replica of the Royal Yacht – Britannica which was made by Mr.Lawson, a local model boat builder. Now isn’t that impressive!?
Tours like these fascinate me because we travel not just for the sake of getting on a plane but to learn and understand the history and culture as it differs from country to country.
5. Enjoy A Ferry Ride To Bequia
Another favorite of mine is the ferry ride to the little island of 'Bequia'. This truly adds to the experience and anticipation of going to the island - probably due to the fact that at the time, I had never actually been on a ferry!
But getting onto the ferry (especially with a car), seeing St.Vincent disappear in the horizon as Bequia appears shortly after is nothing short of magical.
But if you’re prone to seasickness, you should probably sit this one out or walk with your medication!
Again, Bequia offers so much more than lounging on the beach. As small as the island is, it certainly makes up with history and personality!