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 our best.
I’m sharing our highlights here — the best beaches in Bequia, restaurants, activities, hotels, and more — so you too can enjoy this magical place. You’ll also learn the necessary logistics, like how to get to Bequia and where to stay.
It may be a quiet island, but there are loads of things to do in Bequia with kids. That said, don’t forget that slowing down to island time is one of the best parts. If you take your kids to Bequia island, set aside time to simply relax and take in the views.
Where is Bequia Located?
Bequia (pronounced BECK-WAY) is the second largest island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There are 32 islands and cays that make up the Grenadines, which are part of the Lesser Antilles in the Eastern Caribbean.
Still lost? Totally understandable. The Grenadines sit between St. Lucia and Grenada, near the end of the Caribbean arch. Most of the islands are accessible only to sailors and yachters. Not surprisingly, they may not come to mind as a top family vacation destination. But lightning-shaped Bequia has been getting noticed by experts like CN Traveler as one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets.
How Big is Bequia?
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 and your kids, tell you their story, and learn yours.
One great thing about Bequia’s 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.
By 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.
How To Get To Bequia
Take the ferry from St. vincent
Bequia is only one-hour from Saint Vincent by ferry. So one way to reach Bequia is by flying to St. Vincent and then enjoying the ferry crossing (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 (one of our all-time favorites) — made sure we had a seamless journey from the airport to ferry to hotel. It was long journey, but they held our hand every step of the way.
After we cleared customs in Saint Vincent, for example, we had two hours to kill before the next ferry departure. Bequia Beach Hotel arranged for a driver to take us to Grenadine House, their sister property in St. Vincent, to kill the time. We had a late lunch and rum punch in their garden, with a panoramic harbor view to watch our ferry come in.
take a charter flight from St. Lucia or Barbados
Bequia can also be reached by a 30-minute charter flight from either Barbados or St. Lucia. You can look for flights on SVG Air on Mustique Airways or on Grenadine 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. Our ten-month old was grinning and kicking each time we climbed aboard. It made it easy to pull them away from the pool for an adventure.
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.
What To Do in Bequia with Kids
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.
1. GO SCUBA DIVING
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.
If you’re a diver and you have the chance to get a few hours of childcare (which Bequia Beach Hotel will arrange) we highly recommend using it for diving.
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). We decided she was ready to go out on the dive boat.
She declared that she wanted to see a stingray on her first snorkeling trip ever. We, of course, told her the odds 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 from Bequia Dive Adventures will ensure you have a memorable trip.
3. Explore the best beaches in bequia
The beaches on Bequia’s leeward side slope gently into the Caribbean Sea, creating ideal swimming conditions for kids.
Princess Margaret Beach
Start with Princess Margaret Beach. Honestly, you could spend your whole week on this beach and leave Bequia happy. The water is so calm that even new swimmers – with supervision of course – can jump off the jetty. Your kids will squeal in delight as they land in the cool 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 also 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.
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.
4. STROll the Belmont Walkway
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!
5. Other Things to do in Bequia with kids: Turtles, Fort Hamilton, Hikes, and More
If you need more things to do in Bequia, consider 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.
If you’re traveling with a big group, you can plan a once-in-a-lifetime day trip on the water. Charter the 100-foot Friendship Rose schooner for a cruise through the Tobago Cays.
Where to Stay in Bequia with Kids
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.
Where to Eat In Bequia
The Caribbean fare, friendly staff, and relaxing beachfront environment at Bagatelle, Bequia Beach Hotel’s beachfront restaurant, was so good that we ate most of our meals there. That said, 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, which is just down the road from Princess Margaret Beach.
Finally, no visit to Bequia with kids 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.
Still looking for more? A comprehensive list of Bequia food recommendations can be found here.
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.