Bequia offers a wide variety of hiking opportunities ranging from gentle 'stretch your legs' walks to rugged ridge trails that involve some rock scrambling. Many of the trails are old bush tracks once used by the island's original inhabitants, the Carib Indian, and have been in use for many hundreds of years.
Hikes can be tailor made for those with a specific interest in flora & fauna, history, culture, or photography. Hikes are usually 3-5 hours depending on the hike, and are conducted in the mornings to avoid the intense heat of the afternoon sun. Full day hikes can be organised for those who are accustomed to the tropical heat.
Listed below is a description of the various hikes I guide walkers to in Bequia. Check out the video links for a short preview of the various hikes!
Mount. Peggy to Lower Bay
This hike takes you from almost sea level to the highest point in Bequia, Mount Peggy. The hike starts in La Pompe, where you will learn about the history of the whaling industry in Bequia. The climb up to Mount Peggy involves trekking through different vegetation zones, including travelling through open pastures, dry scrub bush and finally dry tropical forest to reach the spectacular 360 degree view at the summit, known locally as Peggy's Rock.
Sitting on Peggy's rock offers hikers the best view in Bequia, including the stunning vista of the whole of Admiralty Bay from Devil's Table right around to Lower Bay, with St. Vincent in the background. On a clear day all the islands to the south right down as far as Grenada can be seen from the summit.
The decent from Mount Peggy involves travelling along bush trails, and down a dry stream bed before emerging at a road leading to Lower Bay, where this hikes ends. There are a number of places in Lower Bay (De Reef, Keegan's and Mango's) where hikers can purchase lunch and relax after their hike.
Duration: Approx. 3 - 4 hours
Hiking Rating: Moderate, with a few challenging points to traverse on descent.
Please click on the link below to watch this short video on hiking to Mt. Peggy
Mt. Peggy to Paget Farm
The hike up to Mount Peggy is a gentle to moderate trek travelling through open pastures, dry scrub bush and finally dry tropical forest to reach the summit, known locally as Peggy's Rock, where there is a spectacular 360 degree view, including Admiralty Bay, the south end of St. Vincent, Paget farm, Bequia airport, and many of the Grenadine islands. Sitting on Peggy's Rock is often described as “the best view in Bequia”.
Leaving Mount Peggy to trek the ridge trail to Paget Farm, the trail becomes challenging, with a few areas where minor rock scrambling is required. The bush trail becomes dense, and long pants are advised as there are an abundance of sharp saw edges yucca plants on this trail. Although much of this trail is through tall scrub, there are occasional lookout points that offer great views. Of interest on this trail are occasional wild growing examples of the plant, Heliconia 'St. Vincent Red'.
The decent down to Paget Farm and Bequia Airport is along steep dry stream beds, through scrub and occasional open pasture. Paget Farm is small fishing village on the south side of Bequia, where hikers will have a chance to take photos of brightly coloured fishing boats. Refreshing cold drinks can be purchased at the local store before catching a van back to the harbour where lunch can be purchased.
Duration: Approx 4 hours
Hiking Rating: Challenging with occasional Difficult points.
Hope Bay, Mt. Pleasant
This hike starts under the 'Almond Tree' with hikers first taking the road towards Spring before turning off onto the road that leads up to Hope and Camel. On the way you will hear about the history of the island, and its original Amerindian inhabitants.
The trek down to Hope beach is along a well worn, if in places rather rugged, trail that leads the ruins of an old sugar mill, before emerging onto the beautifully unspoiled horseshoe shaped bay and white sand beach at Hope. Many hikers describe Hope beach as their idea of what an ideal secluded Caribbean beach should be like.
Offshore is a small reef which breaks the large Atlantic waves as they roll in. Hikers wishing to cool off in the sea here are advised that while the sand ebbs away gradually, a big surf and an occasional fast rip tide can prove dangerous for all but very experienced swimmers. At Hope beach hikers can see coconut tree saplings, as well as the 'sea grape' bush, and different varieties of cactus.
Leaving Hope beach we travel past an old plantation well and animal watering troughs, before ascending first through open pasture, then scrub and finally up a dry stream bed until we reach the road at Mount pleasant. The Mount Pleasant Lookout offers views over all the Grenadine islands, and on a especially clear day Grenada, over 55 miles to the south, can be seen.
This hike ends with at Sugar Hill, with great views overlooking Port Elizabeth and Admiralty Bay. Hikers can either choose to buy a refreshing cool drink or have lunch at the Sugar Hill Restaurant, or wander back down the road from Sugar Hill to purchase lunch at any of the bars and restaurants in Belmont or Port Elizabeth.
Duration: Approx 3 – 4 hours
Hiking Rating: Moderate.
Please click on the link below to watch this short video on hiking to Hope Bay
Ravine Bay, Blow Hole and Friendship Bay
This hike starts under the Almond Tree in Port Elizabeth, and involves climbing a steep road before emerging onto the 'corkscrew' Mount Pleasant road, at the top of which is the Sugar Hill lookout offering great views of Port Elizabeth and Admiralty Bay. The hike then continues by road along the 'upper' road at Mount Pleasant, so that hikers can take in the views from the 'Lookout' of the various Grenadine islands, right down to Grenada on a clear day.
The climb down to Ravine Bay is along a deeply rutted track that must be traversed slowly to ensure safety for hikers. At the end of the trail is a grazing pasture and a beautiful brightly coloured local wooden house, before hikers emerge onto Ravine Beach. Often described as another one of Bequia's 'hidden treasures', Ravine Beach is a place where hikers often just like to sit and relax.
The short bush trail from Ravine Bay involves a small scramble up some rocks, before emerging near to the impressive naturally formed 'Blowhole'. When sea condition are favourable, surf rushing in from the Atlantic, pounds though the natural tunnel and shoots into the air as a powerful jet of sea water. The sea spray from the Blowhole over the years has denuded the hillside of all vegetation, which makes climbing down to and climbing up from the Blowhole challenging and in places difficult. Extra care must be taken on this part of the hike.
Emerging at the top of the hill above the Blowhole, hikers are taken on a walk around the old hotel ruins at St. Hilaire, to see the oddly shaped windswept trees and large 'prickly pear' cactus, before descending down to Friendship Bay and a relaxed walk along the beach, where this hike ends and hikers have a choice of either purchasing lunch at the Bequia Beach Resort or catching a van back to Port Elizabeth.
Duration: Approx 4 hours
Hiking Rating: Moderate, with a few challenging points to traverse
Please click on the link below to watch this short video on hiking to Ravine Bay and the Blowhole
St. Hilaire Point
Assembling under the Almond Tree, we walk along Belmont 'board walk' and access the main road from Port Elizabeth via the access road to the old Plantation House Hotel. Walking along the main road, we then take the road down to Friendship beach and continue on until we reach the ruins of the old hotel at St. Hilaire, where you can see nature reclaim what was once almost completed buildings.
The trek out to St. Hilaire Point is across grazing land, where you will see windswept trees bent over from the constant winds blowing in off the Atlantic. St. Hilaire Point itself is an unspoiled refuge for local wildlife, and occasionally hikers have seen large iguana here.
Many hikers prefer to pack a light picnic lunch, and enjoy the breeze and the views. Alternatively some hikers prefer to return to Friendship Bay, and purchase lunch at the at the Bequia Beach Resort and relax there for the afternoon.
Whichever option hikers prefer, they are escorted back to the Bequia Beach Resort where this hike terminates and from where they can, after climbing the steps to the main road, hail a passing van to return them to Port Elizabeth.
Duration: 3 - 4 hours
Hiking Rating: Moderate
Cinnamon Gardens, Spring, and Anse La Coite
This hike starts under the Almond Tree in Port Elizabeth, with hikers travelling on the road to Spring from the harbour, but turning off at the crossroads and walking by road to Cinnamon Gardens detouring through the upper road in Union Level to take in the spectacular views of Port Elizabeth and Admiralty Bay. The paved road to Cinnamon Gardens eventually gives way to a bush trail, along which we will find examples of various local plants, bushes and trees including cinnamon.
The bush trail emerges onto the high road at Spring Estate, where there is a wonderful view across the Bequia Channel of the south coast of St. Vincent. Descending down the road at Spring we pass numerous large houses, until we reach the old coconut tree plantation at Spring before emerging onto Spring beach.
A walk along Spring beach leads to the trail for Anse La Coite. This trail is a relaxed bush walk, before the descent down to the wild rocky unprotected 'beach' at Anse La Coite. Without an offshore reef, Anse La Coite takes the full force of the Atlantic surf pounding ashore, which leaves the beach rocky and with a raw ruggedness that appeals to many hikers.
The return journey from Anse La Coite brings us past some very old Bearded Fig and wonderfully knotted Almond trees, and across land that is deeply rutted by large borrowing land crabs. Old animal watering wells have been recently restored near the end of the hike.
This hike terminates at the tennis courts in Spring and hikers have a choice of either purchasing lunch at the exclusive Spring on Bequia hotel nearby, or walking back to Port Elizabeth to purchase lunch (approx. 20 minute walk).
Duration: 4 hours
Hiking Rating: Moderate
Please click on the link below to watch this short video on hiking to Cinnamon Gardens, Spring and Anse La Coite
Assembling under the Almond Tree in Port Elizabeth, we walk on the road past Spring, Industry and Park beaches, before entering the stone work quarry. We then follow the old smugglers trail towards Bequia Head, where you will learn about the wars between the French and the English for possession of the islands, visiting the remains of the last old French fortification on Bequia. We then commence the trek along bush paths to L'Anse Chemin, which was the original landing point for the first European settlers who arrived on Bequia.
The final few hundred meters climb down to L'Anse Chemin is a challenging steep descent through bush until we reach a dry stream bed with leads onto the beach. Fishermen from St. Vincent have used this beach as a base, and the remains of their encampment are still present at L'Anse Chemin. There is a great sea level view from L'Anse Chemin across the 9 miles of open water of the Bequia Channel to St. Vincent.
The assent out of L'Anse Chemin requires a zigzag climb up a steep hillside until we reach the bush path. We return to the quarry via a different route, and visit huge old cast iron pots that were once used for boiling sugar cane into molasses. We return to Park beach where we will explore for remains of old Carib pottery that are often found buried in the sand banks there. Those who wish can stop off to visit and view the buildings where captive sea turtles are kept at Park Beach.
This hike finishes at Industry beach where hikers can purchase drinks or lunch at the Crescent Bay Bar & Restaurant. Hikers who wish can relax at this venue for the afternoon.
N.B. It is advisable that those wishing to go on this hike ware long pants, hiking boots and bring insect spray.
Duration: 4 -5 hours
Hiking Rating: Moderate, except for the challenging descent and assent to and from L'Anse Chemin.
This hike commences under the Almond Tree in Port Elizabeth. We then walk on the road past Spring, Industry and Park beaches, before entering the stone work quarry. Following the old smugglers trail towards Bequia Head, you will learn about the early European settlers and the wars between the French and the English for possession of the islands. We will visiting the remains of the last old French fortification on Bequia, before continuing on the bush trail towards Bequia Head.
On the way to Bequia Head you will look down to L'Anse Chemin the original landing site of the first Europeans to settle on Bequia, see cinnamon and gum trees, and wild orchids growing on bare rock!
Bequia Head offers a stunning view from almost 600 feet above sea level across the Bequia Channel to St. Vincent. From here you can also see various species of sea birds, as they ride the air currents close to the cliffs to assess their nest.
The return journey brings us back to the quarry at Park where we will visit huge old cast iron pots that were once used for boiling sugar cane into molasses. We return to Park beach where we will explore for remains of old Carib pottery that are often found buried in the sand banks there. Those who wish can stop off to visit and view the buildings where captive sea turtles are kept.
This hike finishes at Industry Beach where hikers can purchase drinks or lunch at the Crescent Bay Bar & Restaurant. Hikers often choose to relax at this venue for the afternoon, before walking or catching a taxi back to Port Elizabeth.
Duration: 4 hours
Hiking Rating: Easy with a few places that require extra concentration.
Please click on the link below to watch this short video on hiking to Bequia Head
Hamilton Fort, Happy Valley and Old Carib Way to Cinnamon Gardens
This hike commences with assembly under the Almond Tree in Port Elizabeth. We walk out past Hamilton where you will learn about its connection with one of the founding fathers of America. We visit Hamilton Fort which overlooks the entrance to Admiralty Bay, which was once a anchorage for the Royal Navy. Hamilton Fort comprises a small battery of cannon iwhich once guarded the entrance to Admiralty Bay.
From here we trek to Happy Valley which separates Hamilton from Rocky Bay, before commencing the bush tail climb towards the series of hills overlooking Hamilton. This trail is steep, rugged and rough in places, and requires extra concentration. The trek takes us along old bush trails that many local people believe were once used by the Carib Indians who inhabited Bequia prior to the arrival of the first European settlers.
While much of this trail is through covered bush, occasional breaks in the vegetation provide great views of St. Vincent across the Bequia Channel, and Admiralty Bay with the Grenadine islands to the south in the background.
The trail leads over to Cinnamon Gardens, where we return to Port Elizabeth via the upper road at Union Level to take in the panoramic view of the harbour and Admiralty Bay.
Duration: 4 hours
Hiking Rating: Challanging with a few difficult spots