Bequia is an island that is a part of Saint Vincent and is the second largest island in the Grenadines. It covers an area of seven square miles and has a population of approximately forty-three hundred residents. The population of the island is an interesting mix of Scottish, Irish, French, Carib Indian and African ethnicities. The majority of the population is located in Paget Farm and Port Elizabeth. The name of the island is taken from the Arawak tribe and means ‘Isle of the clouds’. The island can trace its heritage to the Treaty of Paris in 1763.
Great Britain took control of the island and retained control of it until 1779, when the French took it. This was short lived, however and the island eventually went back to the British. During the eighteenth century, a robust sugar cane industry emerged on Bequia. The island also had a thriving export business that included the sale of indigo, rum, coffee and molasses. Today, the island is one of the last places on Earth where limited whaling is allowed by the International Whaling Commission. Natives of the island are allowed to catch up to four whales per year, if they only employ traditional hunting techniques such as hand tossed harpoons.
Bequia also has a robust tourist trade and many visitors come to the island for scuba diving and yachting.
Bequia is an island that is fond of a good party and that can be evidenced by the many festivals that are held throughout the year. During the month of December is the tradition of the Nine Mornings. For nine nights before Christmas, music and singing take place all over the island in a countdown to Christmas.
Visitors can take part in carols and musical events that feature drums and dancing.
Festivals and holidays on the island include Bequia:
- Mount Gay Music Fest
- Bequia Easter Regatta
- Bequia Carnival
- Fisherman’s Day
- National Heroes Day
- National Workers Day
- Emancipation Day
- Independence Day
- Boxing Day
- Whit Monday and New Year’s Eve.
While the island doesn’t have any large malls, what it does have is a ton of unique shops and boutiques.
Some of the more popular ones include:
- Island Things
- Garden Boutique
- Bequia Bookshop
- Noah’s Arkade
- Tropical Wave
- Solana’s Boutique
Bequia is an island that also has a deep appreciation for arts and crafts. Here tourists and visitors can find artwork and crafts of every sort, from model ships to handcrafted items and paintings.
Shops and galleries that are on this island include Mauvin’s Model Boat Shop, Sargeant Brothers Model Boat Shop, Mango Tree Cottage Studio, Claude Victorine’s Studio, Oasis Art Gallery and The Whaling Museum. The island also has plenty of fine restaurants and hotels as well.
Hotels on the island include:
- Bequia Beach Hotel
- Frangipani Hotel
- Friendship Bay Beach Resort
- Gingerbread Hotel
- The Inn at Portofino and the Keegan’s Beach Resort.
Restaurants on the island include:
- Blue Tropic Restaurant
- Captain Mack’s Bar & Galley
- Devil’s Table
- De Reef
- Fernando’s Hideaway
- Jack’s Bar
- Mac’s Pizzeria
- Maria’s French Terrace
- Tantie Pearl’s
- Tommy Cantina
Something that has become really popular over the last few years are couples having their weddings on the island. And Bequia offers the perfect climate and natural scenery to compliment any wedding party. Just imagine a wedding on one of the island’s beautiful beaches at sunrise or sunset.
Or a wedding that is held at one of the historic churches that are located here. And since the residents of the island are so open and friendly, its not surprising to have complete strangers come up and congratulate you and your partner on your union.
A wedding set on the island is one that will brings years of beautiful memories. If your looking to plan the perfect beach wedding, there are no shortage of locations on the island. Beaches located here include Belmont Beach, Princess Margaret Beach, Lower Bay Beach, Friendship Bay Beach, Moonhole Beach, Hope Bay, Spring Bay, Industry Bay and Park Beach.
Other attractions on Bequia Island include Friendship Rose Sailing Schooner, Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, Port Elizabeth, Anthneal’s Private Petite Museum, Cathedral Reef, Pigeon Island, The Wall, Firefly Plantation, Hamilton Fort and Dive Bequia.