Why go to Bequia?
Water babies enjoy white-sand beaches, clear waters for snorkeling or sailboat rides to Mustique
Only the smallest luxury cruise ships actually call here
This tiny island is a picture-perfect spot for an uncrowded beach day
Bequia Cruise Port Facilities?
Port Elizabeth encompasses only a few streets and a pretty harbor area. Shops and restaurants border the waterfront path known as the Belmont Walkway. There is also an open-air market in town as well as Bequia Technology Center (Front Street; 784-458-3045) for Internet access. Princess Margaret Beach is a 30-minute walk (or quick cab ride) from Port Elizabeth. From town, the Belmont Walk joins the newer Princess Margaret Walk, which meanders along the rocky coastline in spectacular fashion. Even if you're not interested in going to the beach, this is a lovely walk.
Good to Know?
If you decide to use the local public transportation system, be aware that vans may sit and wait to depart until they're full, and that schedules may be erratic. Be sure you know how you're going to get back to the ship at the end of the day if your van stops running. Also beware of the Manchineel tree (some of which are planted near the Belmont Walkway); the fruit is poisonous and you can get a rash from touching the bark.
On Foot: Port Elizabeth is very small and easily walkable, with Princess Margaret Beach 20 or 30 minutes away on foot, depending on distractions along the way.
By Taxi: Open-backed taxis can be found in Port Elizabeth -- usually "under the almond trees" near the harbor. Rates are fixed by the Bequia Tourism Association Office. You can pick up a rate card at the BTA's office in Port Elizabeth. Most cab drivers will be happy to give you a personalized tour of the island for about $30 U.S. per hour for up to four people, and $7 per person per hour for five or more. A typical short itinerary would include a trip to Fort Hamilton, perched above Port Elizabeth, as well as visits to the turtle sanctuary and the whaling museum.
Water taxis are also available from the Belmont Walkway and can drop you off at Lower Bay or Princess Margaret; the typical rate is $7 for several people in a boat.
By Rental Car: Several local companies offer car and 4x4 rentals, starting at about $55 a day. Try Bequia Jeep Rentals or Challenger Car Rentals. If you don't have an international driver's license, you'll need to purchase a temporary local permit (about $28) at the Revenue Office in Port Elizabeth. Note that Bequians drive on the left.
By Van: Bequia's public transportation system consists of "Dollar Vans" that shuttle folks around the island from as little as 40 cents per ride. This is the cheapest and most informal way of getting around Bequia, but from Port Elizabeth, they only travel south along the main road as far as the village of Paget Farm.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, valued at about $2.70 E.C. to $1 U.S. You can use American dollars around the island, though you'll receive change in the local currency. There are two banks with ATMs in Port Elizabeth: Bank of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and RBTT (Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago).