The Best of the Grenadines

Tobago Cays best of the Grenadines

We have been to the Grenadines four times, including our elopement in Union Island in 2004. We love these islands and of course our best of the Grenadines is subjective but could help you if you plan to visit.

I already wrote about why this country is great for cruising so here I detail our favorite places to go and things to do in the Grenadines.

About the grenadines

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is located just north of Carriacou, the northern island of Grenada. Even though Bequia and Union Island have nice protected anchorages, they are just too far north for insurance companies to allow us to stay there for hurricane season. Fortunately there’s enough to do in Grenada to keep cruisers happy. Before and after hurricane season, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a great place to spend some time. Here are some of the things we love about it.

Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, Bequia

Bequia is one of the more populous islands in The Grenadines, and a great place to base a Grenadines getaway. It’s also a top Caribbean destination for families, and one of the reasons is the turtles!

The Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary protects hawksbill turtles

The Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary is worth a trip to the windward side of the island of Bequia, especially if you love these sea creatures like I do! This is basically one man’s passion project and it is wonderful. Brother Orton King has devoted 20+ years to rescuing endangered hawksbill turtles, who have traditionally laid their eggs on the beach adjacent to the sanctuary. He collects babies whose eggs don’t hatch, or who need saving for other reasons, and older turtles who are injured. Then he tags and nurtures them until they are ready for release.

turtles Old Hegg best of the grenadines
Turtles swimming at the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary

The next hatching season is spring of 2020, and Brother King is excited because it should be the first season that some of his early hatchlings return to hatch their very first eggs. Wish we could be there to see that!

Tobago Cays

The Tobago Cays is a favorite spot for us and many other cruisers. Why? A protected marine sanctuary full of turtles, rays and gorgeous beaches with great snorkeling, it is a peaceful place to enjoy a few days away from shops and crowds.

I am not saying it will be totally quiet there, though. Day trippers from nearby Union Island and Mayreau come to snorkel or just dance on their boats as they drive through the turquoise water of the anchorage.

We stop here for the crystal clear water, animal interactions and peaceful nights. We snorkeled several times, hiked, and constantly pointed at the turtles.

turtle Tobago Cays
Two of the many turtles spotted in Tobago Cays

While there, take in one of the beach barbecues put on by the locals. Lobster was in season when we returned here in October, so we enjoyed a real lobster feast with cruiser friends.

Tobago Cays bbq
Our lobster BBQ with friends at Tobago Cays

Moon Hole, Bequia

Moon Hole Bequia
Moon Hole

Originally a private home in 1964 which expanded into an entire alternative community, Moon Hole is a marvel of architecture and design. We visited on a water taxi as it’s difficult to access otherwise, and is private because many of the buildings are open to nature.

Moonhole is undergoing remodeling and soon you will be able to stay in this very cool and unique “off the grid” residence. The views are spectacular and there is good snorkeling nearby.

walliballou, st. vincent

St. Vincent is not a common stop for cruisers because of the lack of comfortable anchorages. This could be due to lack of protection from wind and waves or no good holding. As a result, we haven’t spent much time on the main island of St. Vincent and The Grenadines. However, a group of cruiser friends decided to make an effort to explore and we were glad we did!

Bequia ferry
Ferry from Bequia to St. Vincent

We took the earliest morning ferry from Bequia, along with packs of students who take the trip every weekday for high school, and did a very comprehensive tour of the island. Among the stops was the fun and entertaining anchoring of Wallilabou, a filming location and now a museum of Pirates of the Caribbean. Spend some time poking through the archival photos and movie memorabilia, and enjoy the pretty bay with a rum drink from the restaurant.

Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean fans may recognize this rock

The Grenadines is a beautiful country. I haven’t even mentioned half of the places we love! The people are super friendly too: Brian got to play cricket with some of them on Mayreau.

Best of the grenadines recap

Here’s a map of the best of the Grenadines.

Grenadines Best Map
Map of the Best of the Grenadines

Positives: snorkeling, swimming, restaurants, people. I will note that for cruisers it is not a great part of the Caribbean for shopping or provisions. We loved all of the time we spent there and I am happy to share more if anyone wants specific tips or has questions.

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

3 thoughts on “The Best of the Grenadines”

  1. I love ❤️ turtles ???? so I would def want to see that part of the island. I was supposed to go swim with them in grand cayman island but I woke up late and missed my excursion. Lobster ???? by the beach ???? sounds wonderful.

  2. I know very little about the Grenadines, but it looks like there are a lot of beautiful places and great things to do. Moon Hole looks cool and I bet the residence that they are building will be a unique place to stay.

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