On Safari. Bequia Style.

I’ve done more African safaris in my day than I can count. They all start with some sort of transfer from the International airport upon arrival in your destination to a hot, sticky-slow structure that vaguely passes as an airport where you board you teeny tiny airplane to your final destination. I’m getting the sense that a week at the beach on Bequia might just have the same beginning. But that’s all part of the excitement and adventure!

Bequia (pronounced “beck-way”) is one of the 60 islands and cays that make up the Grenadines archipelago. In this travel blog I’ll try to temper my excitement about this destination and just give you all the important facts.

But I. Really. Want. To. Go. There. NOW!

Getting there.

I’ve done a lot of researching on this, and there really is only one good option to get to Bequia from the U.S.

Take the morning 10am direct flight from Miami to Barbados on American airlines. This flight, using the week of Thanksgiving 2014 as an example, is a reasonable US $544.  If you don’t live in Miami, fly in the night before and stay at an airport hotel so you don’t miss that flight. I noticed there also is a red-eye from DEN – MIA which would work if you live in my neck of the woods.

You’ll arrive into Barbados around 3pm, which gives you plenty of time to get through customs, collect baggage and connect to the scheduled SVG Air Charter flight direct to Bequia at 4:30pm.

Getting to Bequia. Photo Credit SVG Air.

Getting to Bequia. Photo Credit SVG Air.

The best Bequia beach?

In general the beaches on the Caribbean (Western) side of the island are calmer, with clearer waters.  Princess Margaret (Port Elizabeth in Admiralty Bay) and Lower Bay beaches are the best here.

But Friendship Bay Beach, a large bay on the Atlantic side, is also a great beach, popular with locals and has seen some new development with hotels and restaurants in recent years.

But what beach is best? Should this impact your decision about where to stay? Not really. Pack a big beach bag and be prepared to venture out around the island to a number of beaches. It’s easy to get around the island by foot, taxi or even rental car. There are plenty of taxis, including small boat taxis and open-backed pick-up trucks. How cute! Check out all the beaches while you’re there, you’ll want to see the entire island anyway, and decide for yourself what beach is best.

Booking the best Bequia accommodations.

What I love most of all about Bequia is that there are plenty of accommodation options for all travel styles and budgets. It’s an exclusive destination sure, but for those who make the effort to get there, it’s friendly and open to everyone and all travel styles and budgets.

Here are a few Bequia accommodation options that caught my eye:

Sugar Reef:  This newly refurbished hotel very sweetly screens their guests with a “Go or No Go” section on their web site. I love this. And it’s affordable, for the week over Thanksgiving 2014, rooms go for only $210 per night. Many people stop here for lunch, and all reports are that it’s a great meal option on the island.

And how about staying in this renovated historical fort?! The Old Fort hotel has eight rooms, super lush gardens surrounding the fort and a splendid pool. Special thanks to The Old Fort for the great historical beach image above. You can view more fun “flashbacks” from the hotel here.

And thanks to @SashaExeter for pointing me to Amitabah Villa (here is her awesome article at My Savvy Traveller about her holiday trip there this year).

As she rightly mentions, booking a villa or vacation rental can sometimes be easier and less expensive than a regular hotel. When I travel with my kiddos, traditional hotel rooms just don’t cut it. We need separate sleeping rooms, a kitchen and living space to chill out in the afternoon and evenings. Villas are a great option anywhere in the world, and Bequia is no exception. There is certainly something for everyone, from  rustic chic to luxury villa, here is a complete list of villas on Bequia from The Grenadines Collection.

Have you been to Bequia? I’d love to hear your stories, tips and all about your experience there!

Sarah Fazendin Travel Blogger

PS: Oh and I just downloaded Islands in the Clouds , a beach read based in Bequia written by a Bequia resident. Will let you know how it is! Download the Kindle version for yourself here.

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