With its clear waters, plentiful moorings and stunning scenery, it’s no surprise that St Vincent and the Grenadines is a popular destination for sailing. People come from all over the world to navigate through the archipelago, take in the stunning views and soak up a bit of Caribbean culture. If you’re a sailing enthusiast, one of the best times to visit the region is during the Bequia Regatta. One of the most important events in the sailing calendar, the regatta has been held every year since 1967 and is a must see if you’re heading to St Vincent and the Grenadines this Easter.
When to go
The Bequia Regatta takes place over the Easter weekend. Festivities begin on Good Friday and run right through to Easter Monday. Get the most out of your visit to the regatta by arriving in St Vincent and the Grenadines at least a day or two before the event begins. That way you can settle in, soak up some sun and get a feel for the islands before the crowds arrive.
The second largest island in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Bequia lies around 15km from Kingstown, the country’s capital. Known for its idyllic beaches, laid back atmosphere and picture postcard views, it’s one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean.
The events of the Bequia Easter Regatta are held in a number of locations across the island. Admiralty Bay, Friendship Bay and Lower Bay all host a number of sailing events and you should be able to see the boats from other parts of the island as well.
The boats that take part in the regatta are incredibly varied with all manner of craft taking to the seas. If you head to the regatta you’re likely to see fishing boats, heritage boats, coconut and gum boats bobbing in the island’s waters, transforming Bequia’s coast into a kaleidoscope of colour and activity.
Sunday is always one of the most enjoyable days of the regatta. Known as Lay Day, it sees a large fete take place on Lower Bay and attracts boatloads of visitors from neighbouring St Vincent.
Where to stay
Stay on Bequia itself and you’ll be able to enjoy all the fun of the regatta. Several accommodation options can be found on the island, giving you a good choice of places to stay. Alternatively, rent a home or book into a hotel on St Vincent and take the ferry over to Bequia to enjoy the fun of the regatta.
Find out more about St Vincent and the Grenadines by taking a look around our site or getting in touch with a member of our team.
One of the least spoiled and most beautiful nations in the Caribbean, St Vincent and the Grenadines is poised ready for a new chapter in its long, fascinating history. Up until just a few months ago, the archipelago was only accessible via regional flights from other Caribbean islands. In 2017, however, a new international airport opened in the country. Allowing long-haul flights to land directly in St Vincent and the Grenadines for the first time ever, the airport is set to signal a whole new era for tourism and development in the country.
Argyle International Airport
The brand new Argyle International Airport has been a long time in the making. First conceived in 2008, the building of the runway proved a particular challenge thanks to the notoriously hilly terrain of St Vincent and the Grenadines. After removing three large hills from the runway’s planned location and carrying out some serious ground works, the team was able to construct a 9,000ft-runway for international arrivals.
The first flight to land at the new international airport departed New York and headed straight for the Caribbean idyll. With Air Canada Rouge, Caribbean Airlines, and LIAT Airlines currently provide regularly scheduled passenger services, the airport’s presence is a major step towards improving the connectivity of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Development in St Vincent and the Grenadines
Before the international airport opened, most visitors would fly to Barbados before catching a local flight to St Vincent. This lack of connectivity meant that many people overlooked the country in favour of its more famous neighbours: St Lucia, Barbados, and Martinique.
As a result, the islands are wonderfully untouched and there are a huge number of development opportunities available across the archipelago. The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines is keen to encourage investment in tourism as the industry, along with agriculture, forms one of the most important pillars of the country’s economy. High-end eco-lodges, residential developments, and other construction projects may soon be springing up across St Vincent and the Grenadines, bringing the benefits of tourism to all corners of the Caribbean nation.
It’s hoped that increased investment in tourism will help to drive other areas of the country’s economy, fuelling jobs in construction, conservation, retail and other diverse areas. This is great news for the picturesque country, as increased employment and diversity in the economy will help St Vincent and the Grenadines continue to develop and thrive.
If you’re interested in investing in St Vincent and the Grenadines, or if you’d like to find out more about developments taking place in this small Caribbean nation, explore our site or contact a member of our team.
A Lifestyle Change where the climate is always tropical
When it’s cold, grey and wet and you’re stuck in traffic on your way to the office for the fourth time in a week, there are few places that seem further away than the Caribbean. Bathed in tropical sunlight, blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth and boasting a wealth of unique cultures, Caribbean countries are effortlessly enchanting and wonderfully welcoming.
Next time you’re sitting in your strip-lit office watching the rain pound at the window, take a minute to imagine what it would be like to swap the gloom, traffic, concrete of home for life in the Caribbean. Though this may seem like a daydream, more and more people are turning it into a reality. With a bit of imagination and a touch of courage, you too could leave the cold, grey world behind and start a new life in the tropics.
Life in the Caribbean
To help you see just how easy a move could be, we’re taking a look at life on one of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ most beautiful islands, Bequia. Pronounced ‘bekway’, it’s a million miles from the hustle and bustle of big cities like London and New York. Located around ten miles from Kingstown, it has a population of 5,000 and is the second largest island in the archipelago. Bequia is accessible via a ferry to Port Elizabeth, the island’s capital, and via the airport at Paget Farm.
The warm, clear waters of Bequia are very popular with the yachting fraternity. Every year during the Easter Regatta, you can see numerous yachts around the island. One of the most popular spots is Admiralty Bay, one of the Caribbean's best-protected natural harbours.
Devoid of gaudy glitz, Bequia boasts a bohemian sophistication. Rumour has it that the infamous English pirate Blackbeard had his base on Bequia, hiding from the Spanish amongst the island’s many hidden coves and white sandy bays. If you relocate to this Caribbean idyll, you could spend your weekends retracing Blackbeard’s steps and exploring the island’s coast in your very own boat.
Work in Bequia
Thanks to its excellent communications network, Bequia is perfectly suited to professionals who need only an internet connection and a phone line to operate. Bloggers, writers, software and website designers, artists, tech people, coders, text translators and accountants will all find the island offers everything they need for their day-to-day operations. In fact, any professionals who don’t require regular face-to-face meetings can easily make a new life for themselves on Bequia.
Imagine replying to emails by the pool, heading to the beach for a cocktail at the end of the day or relaxing in the warm Caribbean sun while you enjoy your morning coffee. When you’re not working online, you can explore the rest of the stunning archipelago or head to neighbouring islands like St Lucia, Barbados to really make the most of life in the Caribbean.
If the internet, a computer and a phone are the tools of your trade, a move to St Vincent and the Grenadines could be just what you’re looking for. To find out more, please visit www.grenadinesinvestments.com or call on +44 (0)20 7566 2193 or +44 (0)7960 211765
The 27th October is Independence Day in St Vincent and the Grenadines. To celebrate this important date, we thought we’d take a look at the fascinating history of the islands and the characters who have helped to shape this unique Caribbean nation.
When Europeans first arrived in the Caribbean in the 15th century, St Vincent and the Grenadines was inhabited by the Carib people. They, and other similar native groups in the region, had likely moved to the area from the Orinoco Valley in South America.
Up until the 18th century, the native population aggressively resisted any attempts by Europeans to settle the islands. Some escaped slaves from neighbouring islands like St Lucia and Grenada did find their way to St Vincent where they were given sanctuary and gradually married into the local population. This created one of the first mixed African-Carib ethnic groups, now known as Garifuna.
The French were the first Europeans to occupy St Vincent and the Grenadines. Early settlers began cultivating coffee, tobacco, indigo, corn and sugar. African slaves were brought to the islands to work in the plantations located on the main island.
In the late 18th century, the British and French struggled for control of the islands and St Vincent and the Grenadines changed hands a number of times. In 1783, the islands finally came under British control, however the French continued to disrupt life on St Vincent from nearby Martinique, supporting a number of uprisings and rebellions in the late 1700s.
In 1790, a man named Alexandre Moreau de Jonnès was one of those charged with surreptitiously visiting St Vincent to train the native population in the use of firearms. An agent of revolutionary France, he made two secret visits to the islands and in late 1795 spent several months living in a Carib village near the east coast of St Vincent.
Moreau was interested in the social lives of the native population and the tropical vegetation that surrounded him. He was also fascinated by the beauty of the chief’s daughter, 18-year old Eliama. He later went on to become a distinguished historian, writing extensively about his time on the islands. He wrote "This was truly Eden, with its perpetual spring, it's shady forests, its magnificent views, its flowering groves, [and] its singing birds. Nothing was missing, since a second Eve lived in this pleasant retreat."
Today, little has changed in the landscape of the islands and St Vincent and the Grenadines remains a lush tropical paradise.
Self-rule and independence
The British continued to rule St Vincent and the Grenadines until the mid-20th century. In 1834, slavery was abolished in the islands and in 1877 a Crown Colony government was installed. On 27th October 1969 St Vincent was granted associated statehood status giving it complete control over its internal affairs and finally, in 1970 it became the last on the Windward Islands to gain full independence.
The unique history of these islands has helped to shape the culture, people and landscape of the archipelago. Visit our site, or plan your own trip to the Caribbean, to find out more.