Picture Perfect

Salt Whistle Bay is probably the most picturesque anchorage in the entire Grenadines, with its sweeping crescent beach of white sand lined with tall coconut trees.  If there ever was a definitive paradise beach destination, this is it.  You will want to brag about this place when you return.  Bring your camera and lots of film.  The anchorage is small, and the small resort located here will almost guarantee that you will not be sharing the beach with a whole lot of people.

Getting There

Salt Whistle Bay is less than an hourís sail from Canouan, and about four hours from Mustique or Bequia.  It is a little over an hour from Union, and forty minutes from Tobago Cays.

You will be surprised at how tight the anchorage is and somewhat uncomfortable about how close you are to other boats.  Understand and accept that it is a small and very popular anchorage, so do not come expecting to have it all to yourself.  Twelve boats is comfortable, however I have seen as many as 26 jammed in there on very windy days when people flee the unprotected Tobago Cays.  Get there early if you want a prime parking spot.

There are reefs on each side of the bay, so enter right down the middle.  Be careful here!  Remember that the bay is shallow, so you wonít need as much scope on your anchor, allowing you to anchor safely in closer proximity to your neighbors.  I have anchored close enough to the beach that Iíve been able to jump overboard and swim ashore.

The Beach

This is a great spot to pull up a cooler full of refreshments and a picnic basket.  Watch the afternoon pass slowly by as you recline under the shade of a coconut tree.  If you need something from the boat, just swim out.

At the south end of the beach near the dock, island residents have set up a number of  thatched huts from which they sell T-shirts, shells, and various kinds of local jewelry and art.  The infamous Yellow Man hangs out on this part of the island when he is not out hustling tourists, as this is where he conducts his beach barbecues and cooks the lobsters he sells.

There is also a surf beach on the windward side of the island that is easily reached, and definitely worth exploring.  If you are so inclined, follow the beach on the windward side to Saline Bay.  The views of the surrounding islands and reef formations make for a great outing, an experience enjoyed by only a few visitors.

The Cross-Island Expressway

You must not visit the island without making your way to the village at the top of the hill.  There was a time when you had to endure the ďwrath of the pathĒ to reach it from Salt Whistle Bay.  It featured extreme hazards such as a very steep incline, slippery mud, broken glass, boulders, and various free-range farm animals.  Returning to the boat late in the evening after a few too many Rummers was always a special thrill, and for that reason, it was not widely recommended.

In 2002, the Government made good on a promise to pave that path, and Highway #2 became a reality.  The road is totally passable, even at night, despite the steep grade.  This road finally makes access to the four restaurants and services in the village from Salt Whistle Bay totally feasible.  Previously, it was always recommended that visitors access the village using the paved road from Saline Bay.  Since Salt Whistle is the prettier of the two anchorages, you can now stay here and have it all.

Any of the restaurants will send a vehicle to carry you up the hill to dinner.  Just radio them on VHF68.  Bring a flashlight for the walk home.

Salt Whistle Bay Resort

The Salt Whistle Bay Resort is one of the most unique resort properties I have seen in the Caribbean.  It has eight stone cottages scattered among the palm trees and flowering shrubs, just a few paces from the beach.  You have to look hard to see them, and as a result, the privacy of their guests is guaranteed.  Each cottage is individually named and features wooden shutters, ceiling fans, a stone-built shower, and batiks on the walls. 

A charming stone and palm-thatched outdoor dining and bar area is set in the palm trees along the beach.  Each table is surrounded by a circular stone wall and is covered by a thatched roof.  At night, the soft lighting creates a dining atmosphere that is totally exotic and something that must be experienced.  The food is excellent, very reasonably priced, and the service is friendly and personal, although extremely slow.  If you wish to really enjoy yourself, accept that dinner will take a while.  You will also have to ask for the bill at the end of the evening, another unusual quirk, so do not sit waiting for it.  Still, a fabulous dining experience.

Last Updated: July 1, 2004
Copyright © 2004