St. Vincent Beaches
On St. Vincent, many of the northern beaches have lava-ash colored sand. The safest swimming is on the leeward (westward) beaches; the surf on the windward (eastern) beaches is often rough and can be dangerous.
Chatham Bay Beach
On the leeward side of Union Island, remote Chatham Bay Beach—one of a dozen on the island—is a favorite anchorage for boaters, a peaceful spot for sunbathers, and a great location for snorkelers. If you’re coming by land, there’s a trail that leads right down to the beach. There’s also a bar and a couple nearby restaurants should you get hungry from all that relaxing.
A mile-long strip of soft white sand frames Friendship Bay on Bequia’s southern coast. The water here is consistently calm, making it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You’ll likely have much of the beach to yourself—except for, perhaps, the area in front of the Bequia Beach Hotel, which welcomes non-guests to its lively beach bar.
Indian Bay Beach
It attracts Vincentians on weekends. From Monday to Thursday, you’ll find plenty of room on this narrow strip. The sand is slightly golden but tends to be rocky. The reef-protected tranquil waters are ideal for both swimming and snorkeling. You’ll find both bars and restaurants here.
Buccament Bay Beach
The waters are clear, and tranquil enough for swimming. This beach is very tiny, however, and it has black volcanic sand. In the same area, Questelle’s Bay Beach is also on the leeward, tranquil Caribbean side of the island. This black-sand beach, next to Camden Park, is very similar to Buccament Bay.
Mustique has nine magnificent beaches, but Macaroni Beach—an isolated strip on the eastern side of the island—is touted as one of the best in the world. Access is limited to on-island residents and guests, however, as Mustique is virtually private. If you can get here, look forward to a blissfully quiet stretch of sparkling white sand, bordered by lush greenery and bright-blue water.
Mahaut Bay Beach
While all of the beaches in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are technically public, some of the best ones are accessible only by sea. If you’re lucky enough to be cruising around the Grenadines, be sure to stop for a swim at the beautiful, remote Mahaut Bay Beach on the northern tip of Canouan. You won’t find any restrooms or facilities here but you’ll likely have the beach all to yourself.
Palm Island Beach
This tiny private island has five glorious beaches, including one facing the channel between Palm and nearby Union Island. It’s splendid on sunny days but especially gorgeous at sunset, when the sky turns pink over the water. While it’s technically reserved for residents and resort guests, those arriving by boat to the beachfront Sunset Grill—which is open to the public for lunch—can take a post-meal swim in front of the restaurant.
Princess Margaret Beach
Within shouting distance of Port Elizabeth on Bequia, the beach features a broad strip of white sand framed by palm trees and seagrape plants. Get here by water taxi, car, or a fairly rough cliffside nature trail, then head to Jack’s Beach Bar for lunch, happy hour or both. One of Bequia’s quietest beaches is convenient to visit. The unspoiled stretch of sand is named after the late Princess Margaret of England, who visited the beach and swam in the sea here.
Salt Whistle Bay Beach
If you were to picture the perfect Caribbean beach, it would probably look something like Salt Whistle Bay on Mayreau. Here, clear, turquoise waters lap at 2.5 miles of sparkling white sand, while palm trees, seagrape plants, and flowering bushes provide shady spots for lounging. At one end, you can walk the few yards of land that separate the Caribbean and Atlantic sides of the island. The only catch is that you’ll need a boat to reach the beach, so rent your own or book a day sail to Mayreau.
Tobago Cays Marine Park
A jewel in the Southern Grenadines, this marine park comprises five picture-perfect, uninhabited islands surrounded by a clear lagoon. Here, you’ll find sea turtle nesting sites and feeding areas, small systems of mangroves, and the most well-developed coral reef complexes in St. Vincent. Swim with the resident turtles, snorkel around the almost 2.5-mile-long Horseshoe Reef, or simply relax on a magnificent white-sand beach—each island has at least one. Guys in the boat are park rangers. Imagine that dream job. Visit this national park via short boat rides from the Petit St. Vincent Resort, Union Island or Canouan.
West End Beach
A 115-acre private resort island, Petit St. Vincent is fringed by lovely beaches. The best one, however, is West End Beach, where the water is crystal-clear and the sand feels softer than usual. Raise a flag and the beach service will bring you everything from cold drinks and Champagne to snacks, hors d’oeuvres, and lunch.
Young Island Beach
Just a five-minute boat ride from St. Vincent, Young Island is both a private resort and the first in the Grenadine islands chain. Here, you’ll find a small, white-sand beach facing the channel that separates the island from the mainland. It’s technically for hotel guests only, but go for lunch at the very good beachside restaurant and bring your bathing suit—the resort won’t mind if you take a quick dip after your meal.