Passport/Visa:Visas are not required. Citizens of
Canada and the UK can visit with proof of citizenship in the
form of a birth certificate or voter's registration card, accompanied by
an official photo ID. Citizens of other countries must have a valid
passport. A return or onward ticket is required of all visitors. For
those wishing to stay more than one month, you must apply for a 3 month
extension at the Immigration Office in Port Elizabeth. A fee of $25 EC
Vaccinations:A vaccination certificate is required
only of travelers older than 1 year arriving from infected areas.
There is a departure tax of EC $40.
Standard Time (Eastern + 1), GMT/UTC minus 4 hours. April - October is
the same as US Eastern Daylight time as daylight savings time is not
Location- Nine miles south of St. Vincent
(45 min. by ferry, 10 min. by air), 45 min. by air west of Barbados,
30 min. north of Grenada, 20 min. south of St. Lucia, 2 hr. 20 min.
southeast of Puerto Rico. See location
Electricity- Is 220-240V,
50Hz, if you are coming from the U.S. you'll need transformers and/or plug converters
for battery chargers, strobes and computers. The outlet format is the same
as the UK. Some hotels and guest houses may have transformers available
but it's best to enquire prior to arrival, or bring what you'll need.
-electrical outlet configuration
Cell Phones/Internet/TV- Digicel and
Lime (Caribbean Cable and Wireless) provide cell phone service. Lime
provides Internet (ADSL) via their land lines as well. Karib Cable, the
local cable television company, also provide Internet
Service. Several Internet Cafes and many restaurants,
hotels, and villas and dive shops offer WiFi service. Cell phones are GSM, check with
your home provider about roaming charges or purchase a sim card and
minutes locally for your unlocked phone. Quad band unlocked phones provide
the most options as Digicel and Lime operate on different frequencies.
Another option is to purchase a cheap cell phone locally and pay for
are currently two Dive Shops on Bequia and both have quality, well
serviced gear waiting for you if you'd like to travel lightly. You are, of
course, welcome to bring your own gear. Dive skins or light
weight wetsuits are also available though not a necessity. Spear fishing
is illegal by foreigners, so leave them at home.
Remember if you want to dive, don't forget to bring your
certification card, though PADI divers can be looked up online by the dive
winter temperature is 75F, and daytime winter usually is around
Dry season is Jan - April, rainy season July - October. Average
annual rainfall is 80" on the coast of St. Vincent and 150" inland on St. Vincent,
considerably less on Bequia and the other Grenadines. Rains are usually
quick and intense and conveniently quite often at night during the dry
Hurricanes very rarely venture as far south as Bequia. Surges from
hurricanes further north have hit the island a few times in recent history
and caused temporary beach erosion. Summer temperatures are usually only a
few degrees warmer and waters and winds are calmer.
Average summer temperature is
The tap water is generally safe to drink, as it is collected rain
water. Bottled water for drinking is also available. Hot water showers,
either solar heated or electrically heated, are the norm at the various
properties. The Grenadines are drier than the larger islands with no
streams or lakes, so please do conserve the fresh water. Ocean water
temperatures average 79-82F.
Animals/bugs- Many lodging
establishments are screened and/or have netting for your bed. Mosquitoes
are not usually as big a problem as they can be on some Caribbean islands,
but for those who are extra sensitive, a repellant with 30% DEET will
provide adequate protection for evenings.
3M's Ultrathon has been used successfully by the UK and US military
for over 10 years. You can purchase it from
online. Some additional recommendations are available at
International Travel Healthline.
There are no poisonous snakes and few mammals other than dogs, cats and an
occasional goat, sheep, or cow in some areas of the island. Geckos and larger
iguanas can be seen sunning themselves if you take walks around the
island. Mockingbirds, Bananaquits, Blackbirds, Frigates, and Antiguan
hummingbirds, are a few of the many birds you'll see and hear.
Dress- Dress is
informal. Light weight slacks, shorts, t-shirts,
light dresses, sneakers, sandals are fine. Breathable cotton garments are
the most comfortable. A light jacket is advisable for breezy evenings, and
cover-up clothing, a hat, and sun block are essential. Don't forget swim
suits and a beach towel. Women and men should wear swimsuit cover-ups
in town. Please remember, you are a guest in this
country, topless/nude sunbathing is not acceptable, please respect
local mores and laws. Camouflage clothing is illegal wear for civilians,
please leave it at home to avoid problems.
For US and European visitors there is no need to exchange currency in advance
of your arrival. The official exchange
rate of the Eastern Caribbean dollar is indexed to the US dollar and,
usually stands at $1 US = $2.67 EC. Hotels, stores, and restaurants will
sometimes round to $2.60 or $2.70. Travelers checks are accepted many
places as well as Visa, and Mastercard. There are two ATM's and
two banks on the island for cashing travelers checks if you wish. The
US dollar is widely accepted but it is always a good idea to acquire EC
dollars for small items, taxis, drinks, etc. Remember the island currency
is dollars (Eastern Caribbean) so most prices are quoted in dollars. If
you are unsure which is being quoted just ask, to avoid any confusion. Use
Personal Currency Assistant
for conversion information.
Tipping/Tax- A 10% service charge is added by most hotels and
restaurants. If no service charge is added, leave 10% of the bill,
for excellent service larger amounts are always appreciated. SVG
has joined with many of the other Caribbean nations in instituting a
Value Added Tax (VAT) in January of 2007. The VAT of 15% enacted
in 2007 replaces the old tax system. The VAT on hotels is 10%. When
getting a room quote it's always a good idea to clarify if it is inclusive
of VAT and service charge.
Meals / Night Life- Meal cost ranges from quite reasonable to gourmet type prices.
Restaurants offering Caribbean, Italian, French, Mexican, International, steak, and
lobster, should please most tastes. If anything is missing it might be US
style fast food. It's replaced by a Caribbean food called Roti, a wrap of
a thin flat bread around curried potatoes, with chicken, beef, pork, conch
or vegetables, not to be missed! Pizza, sandwiches, and BBQ are also
available. Good fresh produce, seafood, and canned goods are readily
available for those wishing to cook. As a major yacht provisioning
stop, Bequia has much to offer.
Night Life centers around the hotels and restaurants. An informal
rotation insures entertainment available at different venues every night.
Live local music consisting of Steel band, jazz, Caribbean folk, string
band, reggae, DJ, Caribbean rock and R&B are usually represented. Occasional
festivals, full moon BBQ's, and holiday celebrations round out the
offerings, often with live music. A weekly listing can be seen on "Bequia This
Additional Notes- Bequia is a laid back island,
where you can get away, relax, forget your worries and recharge.
There are no casinos, personal watercraft (jet skis), discos, wild
nightlife, etc. It is a place of friendly people, natural beauty, and life
centered around the sea. If this appeals to you we can almost guarantee
you will want to be among the many travelers who return year after year.