Getting to Bequia with kids is a journey. But it’s so worth it. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, our Bequia family vacation may go down as one of our best.
Because of Bequia’s more remote location in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, you won’t find mega resorts, crowded beaches, or frantic tourist traps here. Instead, a sunset ferry will drop you at a green, sleepy, friendly island where you can take a breath, get in the ocean, and reconnect with your family. Travel to Bequia with kids — you won’t be disappointed.
Keep reading for a complete guide to the perfect Bequia family trip.
The 32 islands and cays that make up St. Vincent & the Grenadines are part of the Lesser Antilles in the Eastern Caribbean. With Grenada to their south, and St. Lucia to their north, most of the islands are accessible only to sailors and yachters. As a result, they may not be top-of-mind as a family-friendly destination. But lightning-bolt shaped Bequia has a small airport and a ferry terminal, and welcomes traveling families with open arms.
Bequia’s Size: Small But Mighty
Bequia (pronounced BECK-WAY) is SVG’s second largest island—but it’s all relative. Only 5,000 people call the 7-square mile island home. Like a small town in the middle of paradise, hotel staff warn you (jokingly) to steer clear of their brother, who turns out to be your dive master. The same taxi driver arrives each day to show you around. The residents of Bequia will take the time to get to know you, tell you their story, and learn yours if you want to share it.
One great thing about Bequia’s small size is that you can see most of what it has to offer on a short trip. But that’s not how you’ll want to experience it. We met families who had traveled from Europe to spend 2-3 weeks in Bequia with kids, without the slightest concern for boredom. They were surprised we were only there a week. But by the end of the week, we understood why. There’s something about the charm of this place, it’s laid-back vibe, and its warmth that make you want linger – and come back again soon.
All About The Water
The island is all about the water: snorkeling, diving, and sailing. A handful of peaceful, white stretches of sand will give any top Caribbean beach a run for its money. From each of these Bequia beaches, you will be gazing into a bay of sails—cruisers stopping on their way to Mustique and the rest of the southern Grenadines.
How To Get To Bequia With Kids
Via St. Vincent (By Ferry)
You can reach Bequia by flying to St. Vincent and then enjoying a 1-hour ferry crossing to Bequia (schedule here). We chose this option and started our Bequia vacation watching the silhouette of dolphins jumping next to the setting sun. The kids were tired, but suitably impressed.
Our hotel — Bequia Beach Hotel (discussed more below) — made sure we had a seamless journey from the airport to ferry to hotel. When we cleared customs at SVG, we had two hours to kill before the next ferry departure. BBH arranged for a driver to take us to Grenadine House, their business-focused but convenient sister property in St. Vincent. We had a late lunch and rum punch in their garden, with a panoramic harbor view to watch our ferry come in.
Via St. Lucia or Barbados (By Plane)
From Barbados or St. Lucia, Bequia is 30-minute flight on SVG Air or Mustique Air. Or, you ca “fly in style” on Bequia Air’s 9-seat island hopper.
Getting Around Bequia With Kids
I can’t think of many vacation destinations where getting around is part of the fun. But in Bequia our kids loved the pickup truck taxis. That made it easy to pull them away from the pool for an adventure –our ten-month old was grinning and kicking each time we climbed aboard. Your hotel may work with a specific driver service, but we had great luck with Gideon’s – as a family operation themselves, they were great with the kids.
Activities in Bequia: What To Do?
Bequia’s main activities are clustered around Admiralty Bay near Port Elizabeth. As a practical matter, that means the best beaches, restaurants, and accommodations are within a 15-minute drive of each other, and many are within walking distance. If you stay on the southern part of the island, you’ll never have to go far, allowing for maximum relaxation time.
It bears repeating: Bequia is all about the water. I’ve done a fair amount of diving in the Caribbean, but Bequia diving revealed some of the brightest colors and coral I’ve seen. The island has great, shallow dive locations that allow for long, leisurely dives to explore the seemingly endless reefs.
Because of the shallow reefs, Bequia snorkeling is excellent too. Our five-year old daughter spent hours practicing with her mask and snorkel on the tiny fish in the shallows of Princess Margaret Beach (see below). When she declared that she wanted to see a ray on her first snorkeling trip ever with Bequia Dive Adventures, we told her chances were against it. The joke was on us when she saw a huge spotted eagle ray her first time out, and now she is hooked.
Whether you are an advanced diver taking kids for a first look underwater, Captain Ron and Lamont will ensure you have a memorable trip. (They encouraged us to bring our daughter along and made her feel very comfortable by letting her float on the boat cushions.)
Princess Margaret Beach
You could spend your entire Bequia vacation on Princess Margret Beach and leave happy. The Bequia beaches on this part of the island slope gently into the Caribbean Sea, creating ideal swimming conditions for kids. The water is so calm that even new swimmers – with supervision of course – can jump off the jetty directly into crystalline waters and swim back to shore (again, and again….and again).
Grab a cocktail and a beach chair at Jack’s Beach Bar at the north end of the beach. Go out for a snorkel yourself, take out a paddleboard, or just relax with a the view of the sailboats anchored in the bay. There are caves to explore on the south end of the beach. Spend a full day here. Then come back another day for a sunset swim. You won’t be disappointed.
Right next to Jack’s Beach Bar is the Belmont Walkway. This 15-minute walking trail winds north up and around a cliff, and then back down to a beachfront sidewalk lined with small hotels, restaurants, and shops. This walk along Bequia’s most active coast, with views of the harbor, gives you a real sense of what the island is all about.
I suggest having a sunset cocktail and swim at Jack’s, and then, while you still have a bit of light, heading to the Belmont Walkway for dinner. Kids will enjoy the climbing part of the hike, too, but some of the stairs can be steep, so be prepared!
Lower Bay Beach
This family-friendly beach is just a short hike south of Princess Margaret Beach. It has similar swimming conditions, and a different selection of beach bars and restaurants. The highly recommend De Reef’s is known for its conch fritters and rum punches. De Reef’s was closed for the off-season when we visited Bequia, but just about every person who has visited the island in high season raves about it.
Other Activities: Turtles, Fort Hamilton, Hikes, and More
No guide to Bequia would be complete without mentioning the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, which has been working since the mid-90s to protect the endangered hawksbill turtle. It’s only 10 minutes north of Port Elizabeth and gives kid-friendly tours daily. Other family-friendly activities include a visit to Fort Hamilton, which offers a sweeping look back over Admiralty Bay, a stroll through Port Elizabeth’s shops, hiking, and kayaking.
Food and Dining
The Caribbean fare, friendly staff, and relaxing beachfront environment at Bagatelle, Bequia Beach Hotel’s restaurant, was so good that we ate most of our meals there.
Jack’s Beach Bar came in a close second with its delicious drinks, food, and unbeatable views.
Many return-visitors to Bequia swear by De Reef.
And no visit to the island would be complete without a visit to Mac’s Pizzeria & Kitchen on the Belmont Walkay, which offers a lively patio, bay view, and 25+ toppings for you and the kids to choose from.
Other Bequia food recommendations can be found here.
Where to Stay in Bequia with Kids
There are several fantastic options for family-friendly hotels in Bequia. These are our favorites, but you can head to our search page to find more detailed reviews. Need help booking? Please reach out!
Bequia Beach Hotel
Bequia Beach Hotel gets our highest stamp of approval for a family trip. The 2-bedroom garden cottages are perfect for families. The saltwater pool has platforms in the shallow end where kids can play and swim safely. Parents can gaze out at the ocean and islands beyond.
Our children loved the homemade bread basket each morning at Bagatelle restaurant. I couldn’t get enough of the traditional Caribbean saltfish. The hotel offered babysitting by trusted staff members, which meant we were comfortable leaving during the day to go diving. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, guest services manager Rima and the rest of the hotel staff went out of their way to get to know us and to make sure we had a great vacation every step of the way.
Bequia Plantation Hotel
Other family travelers we met recommended the laid-back Bequia Plantation Hotel, which also offers two-bedroom garden cottages. The grounds surround an original plantation house. It has a small beach and is within walking distance to town and several restaurants.
For a boutique and luxury all-inclusive option, consider the villas at The Liming, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection.
COVID-19 Restrictions and Precautions
Bequia is open to tourists, but of course we want to prioritize safe travels with our kids. For up-to-date information about the COVID-19 quarantine, testing, and vaccination requirements in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, your best resource is the SVG airport blog.