Here's how to plan to perfect trip to Mustique, including when to visit and where to stay.
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Mustique is one of 32 islands that make up St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Mysterious by its somewhat out-of-reach nature, Mustique is privately owned and operated, and there are no direct flights from the U.S. or Europe — it has a reputation for being an if you know, you know destination, often visited by the fashion, music, and other celebrity elite. Aside from its beautiful beaches, cerulean water, and largely untouched, lush landscape, it may be hard to identify what makes this three-mile-long stretch of paradise stand out among its more familiar peers in the region. Read on to find out exactly what makes Mustique worth the trip.

Best Time to Visit Mustique

A beautiful and tranquil beach on Mustique Island - Grenadines
Credit: Bob Steiner/Getty Images

Like most Caribbean islands, December through April is peak season for Mustique, as visitors from Europe and the U.S. trade in winter for warmer temperatures. July through October is a slower period, with less guests coming in for the summer months, and September and October being hurricane season for the Caribbean (though St. Vincent and the Grenadines typically falls below the hurricane belt).

Some key events that draw in crowds include Easter, when the island has a child-friendly parade; Christmas and New Year's Eve, when the Mustique Company throws their annual themed holiday party (everyone came dressed as their favorite Game of Thrones character one year); and Blues Festival, which typically happens at the end of January through February.

How to Get to Mustique

The most common way to get to Mustique is to fly into St. Lucia or Barbados. From there, your prearranged travel to Mustique commences as a representative from the island will greet you upon arrival and fast-track you through the process to the Mustique lounge, where you can await your approximately one-hour hopper flight on one of the island's 18-seater Twin Otter aircraft used to shuttle passengers to the private island daily.

As a less common — but faster — alternative, you can get to Mustique directly from St. Vincent, where your prearranged transfer options are either a private flight that lasts approximately seven minutes or a one-hour catamaran sail.

With either option, it's important to note that there are no arrivals to Mustique after sundown, so you should arrive at your initial Caribbean destination no later than 3:30 p.m. to allow time to transfer. All arrangements can be made by contacting the island's travel concierge at travel@mustique.vc.

Where to Stay on Mustique Island

Exterior of the deluxe accommodations at The Cotton House on Mustique Island
Credit: Courtesy of Mustique Island Tourism

The Cotton House is currently the only hotel on the island. It offers a selection of luxury suites and cottages, three restaurant options with everything from local fare to international cuisine, a spa, yoga, and tons of water activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking, and fishing. If it's your first time visiting Mustique, or you're traveling solo or as a pair, staying at The Cotton House is a great jumping-off point to get acquainted with and learn the unique culture of the island as many visitors and locals congregate here for dining experiences and social activities like Friday night's happy hour-and-a-half ritual that runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and the weekly bonfire barbecue.

Aerial view os Cactus Hill, one of the Mustique Villas on the island
Credit: Alex Amengual/Courtesy of Mustique Island Tourism

Island regulars and large groups often opt to stay at one of the 80-plus villas available for rent. Many belong to notable names such as Tommy Hilfiger, who owns the popular Palm Beach villa, and some are designed by world-renowned architects and interior designers. All villas are staffed with housekeepers, chefs, and butlers to handle everyday needs and desires. Choose from two to seven bedrooms, an assortment of pools, modern European and traditional Caribbean design features, and views of either the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea. Or, catch sprawling vistas of both bodies of water at villas like Coccoloba and Les Jolies Eaux, the latter of which was designed for Princess Margaret.

Local Vibe on Mustique

People enjoying the water off the beach on Mustique
Credit: Scott Phares/Getty Images

Though visitors here are largely from the U.K., there has been a shift with more U.S. and Canadian travelers joining annually. Those who tend to enjoy Mustique most are guests who thrive on life's simple pleasures and know that overstated doesn't always mean better. Although there's the general understanding that everyone staying on the island is of a certain economic status, and many of a certain social class — including top business owners, executives, and countless celebrities — Mustique is not where they come to flaunt. Instead, it's the opposite — an escape where phones are down, cameras are off, and hair and clothes are not expected to be perfectly prim, as guests mostly drive in open-air vehicles called "mules" and frolic in and out of the Caribbean Sea to the beach bar. From the dress code, to the restaurants, to the design aesthetic, everything is a bit pared down — chic without having to prove itself. There aren't many Instagrammable and touristy moments, but there is intentional thought put into the whole experience.

It's this environment — and 24/7 security on the island to ensure safety — why community reigns supreme. Anyone can visit Mustique, but it has become a destination where A-list celebrities, successful entrepreneurs and creatives, and top executives get to truly unplug and commune. Guests can opt for complete privacy, never needing to leave their rental property, but often after seeing the same smiling faces at the restaurant, beach, and parties, different groups quickly become friends and end up hosting one another at their villas for dinners and private poolside parties. Many return annually, the same time of year, to see the same people and enjoy that same sense of community.

What to Do on Mustique

Mustique Panorama of Macaroni Beach with Palm trees
Credit: doodah_stock/Getty Images

Aside from villa-hopping and endless water activities, this idyllic island offers more than you would imagine given its size.

Basil's Bar has been the meeting point for locals, guests, and boaters for almost 50 years. This casual haunt overlooking Britannia Bay is perfect for lunch, dinner, and cocktails at sunset, or come for its weekly events like Wednesday night's Jump Up, when live bands and local DJs bring the spirit of St. Vincent to Mustique, and the indulgent Taco and Tequila Thursdays.

Exterior of Basil's Bar over the water on Mustique Island
Credit: Courtesy of Mustique Island Tourism

Macaroni Beach, Lagoon Beach, and Princess Margaret Beach are among the countless stunning beaches where guests come to sunbathe, swim, enjoy water activities, and have group picnics in dedicated huts on the sand — an island tradition any day of the week.

The Mustique Tennis Club is a social hub of the community on the island. With six courts, visitors can enjoy complimentary tennis lessons from the resident coach, daily drop-in games, and during peak season, camps and tournaments regularly.

The equestrian center, meanwhile, offers the opportunity to explore the island's hills on horseback and have lessons for children and adults at all experience levels.

Lastly, one of the best parts of the island is that it's so small and safe that it's perfect for exploring on your own with a car or open-air mule vehicle, often complimentary with your accommodations. Use it to drive to any of these destinations, or get lost and stumble on a remote beach, hiking trail, or something new that will make you want to return for more.