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Bequia Facts
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General

Island name: Bequia (speak Beckway). The island was named so by the Arawak Caribs and means island of clouds.

Country: St. Vincent and the Grenadines (VC). 

Nationality: Saint Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s). 

Language: English, French patois.

Capital: Kingstown.

Population: 4,874 (1991 census). 

Climate: tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November).
 

Geography

Area: 18 sq km (7 sq miles).

Coastline: 84 km (SVG).

Geographic coordinates:  Bequia and lies between latitude 13 North and longitude 61 15' West and is seven square miles. 

Highest point: Mt. Pleasant, 264 m. 

Location: Bequia is situated between St. Vincent, 9 miles to the North, and Mustique to the South.

Size: 20 km x 3 km. Bequia is the largest of the Grenadine islands.

Terrain: Bequia is a beautiful lush island with quiet lagoons, gorgeous reefs and long stretches of near-deserted beaches. The centre of the island is hilly and forested, providing an incredible backdrop to the bays and beaches. Bequia has some of the finest white sand beaches in the Caribbean. 
 

Tourist Information

Overview: The beaches of Bequia are white sand, some are secluded. The waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, sailing, diving, and other water sports.
Princess Margaret Beach is just down from Port Elizabeth on the leeward side of the island . It is so named because Princess Margaret enjoyed a dip there in 1958.
Lower Bay is nearby, and is a popular, expansive beach. There are a number of very good, and reasonably priced, bars and restaurants, making it a favourite venue both during the day and in the evening.
Friendship Bay is a short ride from town, and it is a long, wide sweep of beach, with excellent conditions for diving, sailing and snorkeling. 
Hope Bay is north of Friendship, and is a remote, picturesque beach. It is difficult to get to, but that makes it all the nicer! There are no hotels or bars nearby. It has rather shallow waters and a long line of breakers from the Atlantic Ocean; this makes it ideal for body surfing and windsurfing.
Spring Bay is a bit further north and it is romantic and very secluded with plenty tall palm trees.
Industry Bay is located just above Spring Bay. It has a nice beach and is wonderful for snorkeling.
Park Bay is a short walk around the corner from Industry Bay, and it is another palm-shaded, undeveloped sandy beach. It is also home to the Oldhegg Turtle Sanctuary. 

Accommodations: There are a handful of small hotels, Villas and Apartments on Bequia, mostly family run. 

Activities: Bequia excellent for sailing, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling and other water sports.

Average tourist arrivals: SVG: 65,000.

Crime: The crime rate in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is high compared to developed countries. Petty street crime occurs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. From time to time, property has been stolen from yachts anchored in the Grenadines.

Electricity: The electricity is generally 220/240 volt, 50 cycle, except for Petit St. Vincent which has 110 volt, 60 cycle. Most hotels have 110 volt shaver outlets and/or voltage converters for guests, but it's best to bring long your own personal adapter. 

Entry Requirements: Valid passports must be carried by all persons entering Bequia, except UK, USA and Canadian citizens who possess valid return tickets and ID and who are on a visit not exceeding six months. Visas are not required where the visitor is a citizen of the USA or a Commonwealth country, or where he/she is a national of a country which has an agreement for exemption of the visa requirement.

Telephone: country code - 1-784. 

Time: During daylight savings time, from April through October, local time is the same as U.S. Eastern Daylight Time, and four hours behind GMT. During the remainder of the year, the islands are five hours behind GMT and one hour ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

Wale hunting: Bequia is home of the world's last hand-harpooners and their activities do not affect marine stocks, unlike the mechanized fishing of some fleets. 
 

Money

Cost of living: Saint Vincent is one of the cheaper Caribbean islands. 

Credit cards: US and EC dollars are accepted at stores, restaurants and hotels, as are travellers' cheques and most major credit cards.

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD). East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (fixed rate since 1976). The U.S. dollar is accepted pretty much everywhere on the island. 

Tipping: Usually a 10 % service charge will be added to your restaurant bill. Tipping is expected only for special service. Taxi drivers and tour guides expect 10 %.
 

Transport

Airports: J.F. Mitchell airport. Daily scheduled flights to and from Barbados. Private charters and scheduled flights to and from Grenada (SVG Air), Union Island, Canouan and St. Vincent are also available. Most visitors from outside the Caribbean region, including from the USA, approach Bequia via direct international flights into Barbados. International arrivals into Barbados are in the early afternoon, which (assuming no outbound delays) allows convenient onward connections to Bequia.

Departure Tax: Departure tax EC$ 40.00.

Flight Times: from Barbados 55 minutes (or fly to St. Vincent and take the ferry to bequia. 

Ferry Service: MV Baracuda operates between St. Vincent and Union three times a week with stops at Bequia (1 hour), Canouan, and Mayreau (all trip 5 hours long). In Union Island you can catch a boat to Carriacou, and from there the ferry to Grenada. This trip is one of the best you can do in the Caribbean. There is as well a boat service from St. Vincent to Mustique.

Ports and harbors: Admiralty Bay, the island's natural harbor, is a favorite anchoring spot for yachtsmen from all over the world, and here visitors can watch men building their boats by hand on the shores. The attractive region around Lower Bay offers great opportunities for swimming and other watersports. 

Land Transport: taxis, local busses (a van with many seats) or rental cars. Driving is on the left and a drivers license must be obtained to rent a vehicle.
 

Politics

Ethnic groups: black 66 %, mixed 19%, East Indian 6 %, Carib Amerindian 2 %, other 7 %. 

Government type: constitutional monarchy. 

Legal system: based on English common law. 

Literacy: 96 % (male: 96 %, female: 96 %). 

Religions: Anglican 47 %, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13 %, other (includes Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant) 12%. 
 

Economy

Agriculture products: bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish. 

GDP per capita: US$ 10,200 (2009 est.). 

Industries: food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch. 

Natural resources: hydropower, cropland. 

Unemployment rate: 15 % (2001 est.). 
 

Radio Frequencies
 
BBC World Service
MHz 17.72 15.22 6.195 5.975
 
Voice of America:
MHz 13.74 11.70 6.130 5.995