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Grenada

Grenada is a group of three larger islands (Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique) and several tiny islands in the Caribbean, or West Indies. It lies just north of Trinidad and Tobago, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is famous for spices and is known as the "Spice Isle", being a major source of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa.

For a tourist introduction, try the Grenada Board of Tourism, PO Box 293, St. George’s, Grenada. Tel: +1 473 440-2279, fax: +1 473 440-6637, gbt@spiceisle.com.

Understand

History

Christopher Columbus discovered Grenada in 1498. The island was already inhabited by the Carib Indians, who had migrated from the South American mainland, killing or enslaving the peaceful Arawaks who were already inhabitants there. The Amerindians called their island Camerhogue, but Columbus renamed it Concepción. However, passing Spanish sailors found its lush green hills so evocative of Andalusia that they rejected this name in favour of Granada.

Over the centuries, although control of the island passed from France to Britain (and briefly back to France again), the name endured with just the slightest of alterations, changing from "Granada" to "La Grenade" to "Grenada".

The French were the first Europeans to settle Grenada. Legend holds that in 1652 the last of the defending Caribs rather than be ruled by the French, threw themselves into the sea from a spot that was christened Le Morne des Sauteurs, and is known today as Leapers' Hill and Carib's Leap.

Exploited first for indigo (hence the name of an area "True Blue"), and later for sugar production, the island prospered and, like many others in the Caribbean, attracted the attention of the British. Captured by Admiral George Rodney in 1762, near the end of the European Seven Years' War (1756–63), Grenada reverted to French rule from 1779 until 1783 when the island was restored to Britain by the Treaty of Versailles.

The inhabitants' loyalties remained divided between the two European powers for many years, as illustrated by Fedon's Rebellion of 1795. In the course of this violent episode, a group of rebels under the command of the mulatto General Julien Fedon, and inspired by the rhetoric of the French Revolution wreaked havoc on the island and its British settlers in an unsuccessful attempt to reunite with France.

From 1784 until its independence in 1974, Grenada was a colony of the British Empire, passing through various stages of colonial status and multiple associations with other regional states. In 1967, Grenada became an "Associated State of Great Britain" within the British Commonwealth. With this, the island nation gained control of its internal affairs, while the government of Britain continued to control external matters.

Early in the twentieth century, it produced one of the region's outstanding leaders, T. Albert Marryshow. His Representative Government Association, which inspired similar movements in other Windward Islands states and in Trinidad, did much to encourage the liberalization of British rule in the Caribbean.

It is ironic that the achievement in 1950 of universal adult suffrage, long a goal of Marryshow's, led directly to his displacement in Grenadian political life by a new figure, Eric Matthew Gairy. Whereas Marryshow had been a man of the middle class, Gairy and his Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) appealed to the lower class, the peasantry. Suddenly empowered by the vote, Gairy's supporters swept him to the leadership of the Legislative Council in 1951; he dominated the island's politics for almost three decades.

The most successful electoral challenge to Gairy between 1951 and 1979 was posed by Herbert Blaize's Grenada National Party (GNP) in 1961, mainly on the issue of union with Trinidad and Tobago (the "unitary state" proposal). Again reflecting the Grenadian penchant for looking outward for support and viability, the GNP campaigned on a platform urging acceptance of the Trinidadian offer of union. Although Blaize's party won the election, it subsequently lost a large measure of prestige and credibility when Trinidad failed to follow through on the proposal. The GNP's fall from grace paved the way for the return of Gairy, who has never tired of the role of political saviour of his country. Complete independence was achieved in 1974, with significant opposition, under the leadership of the late Sir Eric Gairy -- a charismatic and controversial figure who had been in the public eye since the early 1950s.

In 1979, after a coup d'état, an attempt was made to set up what the U.S. and other regional governments viewed at the time as a communist state in Grenada. Four years later, at the request of the Governor General, the United States (with some window dressing from Jamaica and the Eastern Caribbean States) intervened militarily. Launching their now famous "rescue mission", the allied forces restored order, and in December of 1984 a general election re-established democratic government.

The last couple of decades have been a peaceful, democratic, fruitful and normal existence, with many new buildings and vastly improved infrastructure.

Climate

Average temperatures range from 24°C (75°F) to 30°C (87°F), tempered by the steady and cooling trade winds. The lowest temperatures occur between January and April. The driest season is between January and May. Even during the rainy season, from June to December, it rarely rains for more than an hour at a time and generally not every day.

Islands

Cities

  • St. George's - national capital
  • Grand Anse Bay - main tourist area
  • Gouyave - capital of the St. John district - Home of the 'Fish Friday' weekly event
  • Sauteurs - capital of the St. Patrick district
  • Grenville - capital of the St. Andrew district
  • Hillsborough - main town of Carriacou

Other destinations

Get in

A valid passport and return or onward ticket is required. Visas are not required from citizens of the USA, Canada, United Kingdom and its dependencies, British Commonwealth countries, Caribbean countries (except Cuba), Venezuela, European Union countries and their dependencies, Norway, Japan, Israel and Russia.

Duty Free Allowances - Personal items, one quart in total wines and spirits, half-pound tobacco or 50 cigars or 200 cigarettes. No restrictions on the amount of money that can be brought in. Restricted items are fruits, vegetables, meat, soil, illegal drugs, firearms and ammunition.

By plane

Maurice Bishop International Airport (IATA: GND) is on the main island of Grenada, located on a peninsula in the extreme southwest corner in the Point Salines area. It is about 4 miles from the capital of St. George's. Delta (New York JFK, Atlanta), British Airways, American Eagle, American Airlines, Monarch, Air Canada (winter season), Virgin Atlantic (UK), Liat, Caribbean Airlines, Condor (Germany - winter season), Air Transat (Toronto - infrequent?) and Conviasa (VE)(from Porlamar, Margarita) provide direct service to Grenada; connections can be made on Liat via Trinidad and Barbados, and also from Barbados via SVG Airlines.

By boat

  • Many cruise ships dock in or near St. George's between October and May. A large cruise ship terminal allows up to 4 ships to be docked at once. The terminal "mall" houses numerous shops, some typical for Caribbean cruises, a few unique to the island.

Private moorings for yachts are available all around the island.

  • Osprey Lines, ? +1 473 440-8126. Ferry service between the islands of Granada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
  • Charters of various sizes and crews can be found by inquiring at hotels or the Grenada Yacht Club in St. George's or the island's official tourism website: www.grenadagrenadines.com.

Get around

The town centre has several hilly, narrow streets. Drivers are very careful but personal care must be taken as some streets have very narrow or no sidewalks.

The town also has the most picturesque horse-shoe harbour in the Caribbean with restaurants, shops and supermarkets. During the winter Cruise Ship season (between November and May) a cute little tourist train, Grenada Discovery Train, runs a hop-on/hop-off service through the town that also includes entrance to the major tourist sites in town, look under the "BUY" section here for more information on this service.

Travel in and around the city St. George's is by taxis, minibuses or hired cars. Hailing a taxi is similar to other parts of the world - hold out a hand and beckon to the driver. Taxis carry an 'H' on their licence plates. The independently owned, but government licensed, cars and vans will stop and ask if one wants a ride. Some standard fares include EC$30 from the airport to St. George's and EC$25-$40 for trips from most hotels to the various dining spots around the city.

Buses in Grenada are the standardized form of transportation. They are mini-vans that hold between 15-19 people, and they have route numbers and signs on them. In the centre of town (Melville Street), there is a bus terminal and in and around the town there are designated bus stops, however, once you leave town, you can signal a stop by either knocking on the side of the bus or pressing the stop button. Conductors and drivers are always very friendly, so do not hesitate to ask them where you should stop. Bus fares vary between EC$2.50-10.00 depending on the distance. They are lively trips, with great music and a nice breeze.

Car rentals are available, with rates of US$50-75 per day. With a valid license from your home country you will qualify for a temporary Grenada license which can be obtained from the car rental company at the time of rental or from any police station for a fee of EC$30. Drive on the left and make frequent use of the car's horn when coming around the numerous blind corners in the mountains.

Water taxis are another means of getting around - between the Cruise Terminal, Grand Anse Beach and the Carenage.

Talk

Standard (British) English is the official language of Grenada and is widely spoken, however an English-based Creole language (not referred to as such by locals) is the dominant tongue of most Grenadian people and can be difficult for people outside of the Caribbean region to understand. French Patois used to be the dialect language spoken within Grenada, but it only remains within the older generations and in scattered pockets. Most Grenadians only know a few words.

See

There is so much to see in Grenada: historic forts, lakes, waterfalls, spice estates - some of them still operational today, spice gardens, floral gardens (Grenada won its 7th Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2009), rum distilleries (with generous samples), plantation houses, Amerindian petroglyphs, etc.

Note: Some of the sites noted below may be closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Check in-advance.

  • Belmont Estate Located in St Patrick only an hour’s scenic drive from the island’s capital, St. George. Belmont Estate is a unique and authentic 17th century plantation that offers guests an opportunity to participate in and observe the workings of a fully functional historic plantation. Belmont Estate has forged a strategic alliance with The Grenada Chocolate Company, to make the world's finest dark organic chocolate. The Grenada Chocolate Company and Belmont Estate are members of the Grenada Organic Cocoa Farmers Co-operative Society Ltd., that grow organic cocoa to make the product. The co-operative consists of about twelve farmers that have received organic certification through the German certifying company Ceres. The fine dining restaurant on the property is usually closed on weekends, and reservations are recommended on other days.
  • Grand Etang Nature Reserve is in the parish of St. Andrew and is famous for its Crater lake.
  • Mt. Qua Qua is a mountain within the Grand Etang Nature Reserve.
  • Mt. St. Catherine at 840m (2756 feet) is the highest mountain in Grenada.
  • Concord Waterfalls are three waterfalls located at Concord in St. John.
  • Annandale Waterfall in the St. George's district.
  • Mt. Carmel Waterfall is the highest Waterfall in Grenada.
  • Seven Sister Waterfalls is a group of 7 Waterfalls close to the Grand Etang Nature Reserve in St. Andrew.
  • Honeymoon Waterfall is secluded in the rain forest close to the Seven Sister Waterfalls.
  • River Antoine Rum Distillery is the oldest Rum Factory in the western hemisphere and still operating with a water wheel.
  • Clark's Court Distillery is in the St. George district and is famous for a wide variety of rum products.
  • Westerhall Rum Distillery Westerhall Estate in St. David's. Visit the Museum. Take a tour of the ruins and sample their award winning rums.
  • Dougaldston Estate is the oldest Spice Plantation in Grenada - close to Gouyave in the parish of St John.
  • Gouyave Nutmeg Factory a "must do" in Grenada the "spice island".
  • Carib's Leap a historic place in the north of the island where the last Carib Indians jumped from a high cliff.
  • Grand Anse Beach the most famous beach in Grenada and in the tourist belt.
  • Morne Rouge Bay one of the most beautiful beaches in Grenada - secluded and close to the Grand Anse area.
  • Levera Beach nice secluded Beach in the north of Grenada with view of the Grenadines.
  • Bathway Beach a famous gold-sand beach in the north of Grenada with a nature pool.
  • Black Bay Beach secluded black beach on the west coast of Grenada (close to the Concord Waterfalls)
  • Fort George above the main town of St. George´s with a beautiful view of the town and the Carenage.
  • Fort Frederick high above the sea with outstanding views of St. George´s, Grand Anse, Grand Etang and the southern part of the island.
  • Marketplace nice Caribbean market with newly renovated spice market hall in St. George's - great for spices and fresh fruits & vegetables.
  • Bay Gardens a tropical Garden with a rain forest style - located in the St. Paul`s area of St George's.
  • '"St. George's University'" The School of Medicine opened in 1976 and now offers a range of graduate programs. The True Blue campus features breathtaking panoramic views of the south of island and is ideal for sunset viewing.

Do

  • Gouyave Fish Friday. Gouyave is regarded as the town that never sleeps. It is a great evening out with a nice drive to this West Coast fishing village. Don't be afraid to venture out. It is perfectly safe and frequented by tourists and international students from the Medical School. The food is fresh, inexpensive, and prepared before your eyes. There is festive music, lots of kids milling about, and the night ends in a party at various night clubs. One can have a great meal and a couple of beers for less than $10 US. Lobster, shrimp, and fresh fish, right out of the water is prepared in various forms. Dress casual with comfortable waking shoes and check out all the stalls and offerings before deciding on what to eat. It is actually possible to take a bus to Gouyave from the tourist areas for about $2 US, but if you plan to hang late, there is no guarantee of getting back to town after 8PM. So taxi or "on demand" vehicle may be your best bet. Some hotels and ground tour operators also offer tours that will take you to/and from Fish Friday. Gouyave is full of "characters' who would do no more than entertain you. No need to be alarmed if they are overly friendly. You are not likely to be accosted by hustlers as the locals are very protective of guests who patronize their showpiece event.
  • Diving & Snorkelling. The island has an abundance of marine sites (both Grenada & Carriacou) and the first Underwater Sculpture Park in the world. The island is known as the Diving Capital of the Eastern Caribbean. It has the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean - the Bianca C - a 600ft cruise ship which sunk in 1961, now lying in 167 feet of water. There are more than 50 sites, including reefs, wrecks and walls most within 5-15 minutes boat ride from the dive shops.
  • River Tubing; Hiking; Mountain Biking; Sporting and family activities.
  • Get Married! Weddings are legal and you only need to be on island for 3 days (including weekends); beautiful and unusual wedding sites (beaches, waterfalls, forts).
  • Hashing a different trail is set each week anywhere around the island for walkers and runners. A great way to see the beauty of Grenada and meet locals and visitors. http://www.facebook.com/groups/grenadahash/ or http://grenadahash.com/home Be aware of the island's steep slopes, heavy jungle and roads without shoulders; each can present a unique risk.
  • Sailing. Day sail charters are available from various companies; dingy tours are also possible by renting your own dingy.
  • Grenada Discovery Train, cruise terminal St. Georges. 0,45. Unique narrated city sightseeing trips in St. Georges on-board the only trackless tourist train in Grenada. The train starts at the cruise terminal on cruise ship days and takes you around the most interesting sites in town, such as Fort George and the National Museum. Tickets for sale at the kiosk inside the Esplanade Mall (cruise terminal) or on-board the train. Leaves with 45min intervals and tickets include free entry in Fort George and the National Museum. It's a good way to get around in a comfortable way through the steep streets of St. Georges with on-board information on history and "couleur locale". 15$-20$.

Buy

Money

The currency of the country is the East Caribbean dollar, denoted by the symbol: "$" or "EC$" (ISO currency code: XCD), which is also used by seven other island nations in the Caribbean. The EC dollar is subdivided into 100 cents. It is pegged to the United States dollar at an exchange rate of US$1 = EC$2.70.

Coins circulate in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 cents and 1 dollar. Banknotes circulate in denominations of 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollars.

Shopping

Grenada produces many amazing products. Rum, chocolate, honey, jams and jellies, spices, clothing and art. Support the local economy when on the island and buy local goodies to bring back home.

Nutmeg is Grenada's cash crop, so be sure to bring some home in some form - whole, jam, jelly, syrup, Nutmed (medicinal ointment). In addition, you can purchase nutmeg flavored ice cream, which has an unusual flavor that is difficult to find elsewhere. Due to Hurricane Ivan in September of 2004, over 90% of Grenada's nutmeg crop was destroyed, but thankfully, you'll now see an abundance around the market, town, and tourist shops. Other fine spices include mace, cinnamon, ginger cloves, vanilla, tumeric....

To bring herbs/spices back to the U.S. (and several other countries), they need to be within properly sealed containers. Most responsible sellers offer them packaged - check to be sure.

Real vanilla is a steal in the markets, sometimes it can be found for as little as $1US for a 1/2 litre bottle. The concentration of the fluid does vary, but in its pure form there is a noticeable (and very pleasant) difference from the vanilla extract that most North Americans are used to. You might also look for dried vanilla beans (in pod)...an essential to a full range of kitchen herbs/spices.

Locally grown and produced chocolate is gaining a good reputation. You can find excellent bars of varying cocoa percentage at the cooperative store, nearby Belmont Plantation, grocers, and the cruise terminal.

Rum Grenada makes some of the best Rum. You will understand what 'good' rum is when you try Rum made in Grenada, and may even become a convert when you 'sip a good rum'!

Grenada Chocolate one of the best in the world. Dark, organic chocolate. Look for it's beautiful, brightly colored packaging.

The large cruise ship pier outside the main harbor offers a small, enclosed, "duty-free" mall. It has several shops (and food outlets) offering both local items and those typically for cruise passengers. Prices on local products may be at a premium to stores elsewhere on the island. Just a block away, you'll find the spice market with stalls run by families and growers.

Eat

  • Aquarium Restaurant & Bar. Located at Point Salines on the beach, famous for its Sunday BBQ.
  • Bananas Restaurant is in True Blue and caters to every budget and taste. Whether you are looking for a cheeseburger in paradise or steak and lobster you are sure to find it at this restaurant and bar; economically priced and packed with fun. For the more adventuresome, stay and dance the night away in the state of the art club. [1]
  • Coconut Beach Restaurant & Bar is located at the Grand Anse Beach
  • Beach House Restaurant & Bar is located at Point Salines.
  • The Red Crab in Lance Aux Epines on the main road and has a fabulous menu.
  • The Spiceland Mall in Grand Anse has a food court that includes a local fruit smoothie stand, a Chinese restaurant and a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant
  • Le Marquis Complex in Grand Anse with Carib Sushi and Le Boulangerie (a pizza restaurant)
  • Le Papillion Cafe in Grand Anse at the Siesta Hotel. Breakfast all day, lunch, great fresh food and service. Start your day off here.
  • De La Grenade. Manufacturer of nutmeg products including liqueur, syrup, pepper sauce, jams and jellies.
  • Grenada Chocolate Factory. Produces organic dark chocolate with vintage machinery run by solar power. You should be able to find the colourfully packaged bars in stores throughout the island and at the duty-free shop at the airport. Tours of the factory itself are also very interesting.
  • Dodgy Dock Restaurant & Lounge Bar, True Blue Bay Resort (True Blue near SGU), ? +1 473 443 8783. 7AM to 11PM. Waterfront dining, popular lunch spot and a celebrated sunset and night-time hot spot. Caribbean and Mexican food, daily happy hour 5PM

Seasonal live Caribbean music Tues, Fri, Sat. Exotic tropical cocktails $$.

  • Umbrellas Beach Bar on Grand Anse Beach. A famous 'liming spot' on the island, known for burgers, fresh food and cold drinks. Upper and lower deck casual, you can walk up from the beach with your sandy feet.

Drink

Grenada is known for its rum distilleries. The three largest companies are Clarke's Court, Westerhall Estate and River Antoine. All three offer educational tours that demonstrate the sugar production for rum. They are all located on different parts of the island.

  • Westerhall Estate make a family of award winning rums including a 3, 8 and 10 Year Old Rum. Their special rum (with the wax casing) Westerhall Plantation and Westerhall Vintage, are probably the best rum on the island. In addition to their overproof Jack Iron and White Jack Rum. Their new 12 Degrees Premium Rum is delish!
  • Clarke's Court makes both light and special dark rums which are also quite delicious.
  • Be forewarned about River Antoine. It's 75% alcohol content makes it illegal to take home to many countries, at least on flights. They make a version with 69% intended for "exporting" that may be legal.
  • At all the distilleries you can buy at least small bottles, and you'll find normal sizes in most grocery stores and rum shops.

In many bars, take care with drinks made with "under the counter" ingredients, e.g., highly-overproof rums for "locals" often used in "Pain Killers". They can overwhelm the most experienced drinkers. Fruit juices they use are made from locally grown fruits such as mango, papaya, carambola (five fingers fruit). A few "watering holes" (often with food service) include...

  • Pirate's Cove Restaurant and Jolly Roger Sports Bar"
  • Grand View Inn, Grand Anse, ? +1 473 444 2342, +1 473 444 4984. B- 7-10, L- 11-2, D- 7-9. Local fare, banquets, catering and parties. Excellent view of the island.
  • La Boulangerie. Italian restaurant across the street from Spiceland Mall. Serves pizza and pasta dishes, sandwiches and salads.
  • Umbrellas, Grand Anse Beach, ? +1 473 439-9149. closed Mon, Happy Hour 5-7PM. Overlooking carpark, great view! Awesome owner (Keith). Amazing Catch sandwich. Great toilets. Convenient fresh water shower just outside restaurant. Friendly staff. Veranda upstairs on which each table is under an individual umbrella - probably better view up there?!? priceless.

Sleep

See each island's article for accommodation listings.

  • Grenada (island) offers a variety of accommodations, from small guesthouses to five star, all-inclusive resorts.
  • Carriacou though smaller, has many options.
  • Petit Martinique although much less developed has a few options.

Stay safe

Grenada is a safe country and enjoys the lowest crime rate in the entire Caribbean Region. The tropical sun and high humidity deserve your great respect. So take bottled water on outings. There may be more danger for pedestrians on narrow sidewalks and streets than from crime.

Stay healthy

There is a General Hospital in St.George's, a smaller hospital at Mirabeau on the east coast and one in Carriacou. A small private hospital in St. Paul, clinics and doctors are available. House-calls can be made.

Drinking water is chlorinated in most places; if in doubt about safety/potability, ask the seller or server.

Dialysis is now available on the island. A company called Island Health Services has opened the first dialysis unit. Fresenius has been operating for almost a year now. If regularly dependent on dialysis, ensure in-advance that the types offered meet your needs.

Have fun, but use a condom! Local slogan - "Don't be a fool, wrap your tool!"

Respect

Although Grenada is a West Indian island in the Caribbean, Grenadians do not spend the majority of their time "liming" on the beach. They are very serious about their jobs and many workplaces require specially-tailored suits. Though work remains, they rightly take well-deserved pride in widespread repairs to massive damage from hurricane Ivan.

St. George's Town is a place of commerce with the many banks, businesses, and governmental offices. Do not confuse it for the beach. It is often seen as rude or disrespectful for people to walk around Grenada inappropriately dressed, especially if you are dressed for the beach and you are not on it (Grenada just recently passed and is starting to enforce an indecent exposure law that bans bathing suits in non-beach areas as well as saggy pants that reveal underwear). Do not confuse the laid-back attitude for lazy, as Grenadians have a very formal and conservative attitude about their lifestyle and workplace.

Connect

Hear about travel to the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean as the Amateur Traveler talks to Gary Arndt about his journey to visit many of the islands in the Caribbean on a single trip. In this episode we talk about Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados, and Trinidad. This episode is a continuation of episode 386 which talked about the Leeward Islands.

IN 2014, I set sail with my partner on a 1974 yacht. We left England in June and sailed south with no real idea of where we were going. I had never sailed before but I was spurred on by the promise of tropical islands, intriguing animals, and clear, warm waters. We ended up sailing for over two years, covering 17,000 miles to Panama and back again. This life-changing voyage opened my eyes up to this age-old method of travel and just how little you need to go great distances. 1

I was desperate to leave England’s chilly shores behind and head for the heat of the tropics. To me there was nothing worse than sailing in eight layers and freezing in the cockpit at night. But England had tricks up its sleeve. Anchoring in Mullion Cove, on Cornwall’s rocky southern coastline, I was astounded to discover that this corner of the world had its paradisiacal days too.

2

The ocean is a mesmerising place and sailing for weeks on end with no land in sight can lull you into a daze. Nothing is more sure to jolt you out of your pelagic reverie than the snort of dolphins as they appear, quite literally, out of the blue. Chattering away to each other, this pod put on a display worthy of Cirque du Soleil and stayed with us for hours.

3

Waking up to this view never got old. Anchored with just a few inches under the keel and protected from the Atlantic by a coral reef, this kind of scene was what I had sailed over 4000 miles to see. This is Tobago Cays, a protected smattering of islets and reefs. While the water may look clear and serene, just below the surface is an abundance of curious fish of colour imaginable. As I snorkelled around the reefs, sea turtles gently finned along past me, their conservation tags glittering like jewellery.

Intermission

33 places to swim in the world’s clearest water

10 drink recipes you can light on fire

10 invaluable life lessons you learn living on the ocean

4

When the Circle of Adults appeared out of the blue haze, it was almost horrifying. Coral clung to their bodies like mould. Fish nibbled at their cheeks and darted around their linked arms. Never have I felt so much as though I’d stumbled upon a forgotten tomb. I had been in Grenada for a month and this seemed a fitting place to visit on my last day. As I sailed away from the island, I felt the pull of the drowned sculptures. I was entranced and afraid in equal measures.

5

You never know who’s going to turn up when you’re sailing. This guy is a Brown Noddy who found us in the Caribbean. Refusing to leave his relaxing perch on the solar panel, he would merely jump every time we sloshed a bucket of water over the panel to wash the bird poo away. He made himself at home so quickly I wondered if he was here to stay.

6

Views from sea often captured things we’d never be able to see from land. This rainbow was cast over St Vincent and down into the bay where "Pirates of the Caribbean" was filmed. I’d often see rainbows at sea, sometimes on coastlines or in the spray of dolphins’ exhalations. It was the rainbows mid-ocean I found most extraordinary; knowing that I was the only person on Earth who could see that exact rainbow.

7

The fishing industry produces such a huge quantity of by-catch that it’s difficult to justify eating shop-bought fish. I had never fished before I set sail but that soon changed. Catching and eating my own fish really changed the way I saw the life-cycle. Sometimes, when my partner gutted fish, we’d find smaller fish in its stomach and I began to see the hunters and the hunted as a long line rather than a single act. With no by-catch either, I knew I was eating sustainably.

8

The longer I lived on board, the closer I felt to the boat. She was keeping us alive as much as we kept her alive. Especially at sea, I no longer saw her as a yacht, but as a living, breathing creature who was as much of our adventures as we were. The simple acts of walking around her deck, touching the rigging and running my hand down her forestay was akin to that of an owner and their faithful dog.

9

I knew very little about individual Caribbean islands before I arrived in the West Indies. I had only ever seen the Caribbean in holiday brochures and I had no idea what to except other than sandy beaches. In Martinique, one of the French West Indies, we discovered many working rum distilleries, ensconced in the history of the island. There’s something about sailing that opens you up to surprises like this. Booking a holiday often involves research of things to do, but sailing? You just wash up. This photograph was taken at the Clément Rhum Distillery.

10

Night time at anchor is one of the most exquisite experiences I’ve ever had. I watched sun sets over smooth waters, listened to the parrots make their way home to roost and listened to the gentle lapping of water against the hull. As much as night times can be noisy in strong winds, the can also be so silent it’s hard to imagine that you are even awake.

Grenada, St Vincent & the Grenadines Handbook (Footprint - Handbooks)

Lizzie Williams

Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines are fantastic both on land and water. From yachting around the cays to exploring the pretty St. George's harbor, these islands have lush green interiors abundant with coconut groves and banana plantations. Footprint's Handbook provides invaluable information on transport, accommodation, eating and entertainment to ensure that your trip includes the best of these charming islands.• Essentials section with useful advice on getting to and around Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines.• Comprehensive, up-to-date listings of where to eat, sleep and relax.• Includes information on tour operators and activities, from sailing in the gorgeous waters to visiting rum distilleries.• Detailed maps for the islands.• Slim enough to fit in your pocket.With detailed information on all the main sights, plus many lesser-known attractions, Footprint's Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines Handbook provides concise and comprehensive coverage of some of the Caribbean's most gloriously picturesque islands.

Grenada (Bradt Travel Guide)

Paul Crask

Known as the Spice Island, Grenada offers mountains, rainforest, waterfalls, white beaches, Big Drum dancing, rum distilleries, and world-famous sailing regattas. Updated throughout, this remains the only dedicated guide to Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Paul Crask showcases the islands’ music festivals and cultural heritage, pinpoints ways to support local producers and craftsmen, and goes off the beaten track to reveal some of the country’s little-known sights.

Grenada Dive Map & Reef Creatures Guide Franko Maps Laminated Fish Card

Franko Maps Ltd.

Perfect for divers, snorkelers and explorers! Side One is a mini-map of the beautiful island of Grenada with 34 dive sites and 14 shipwrecks named and located. Side Two is a reef creatures identification guide with more than 80 species illustrated and named. This convenient, waterproof reference is made of hard, laminated plastic with hole for lanyard. 5.5" x 8.5"

Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Adventure Guide (Adventure Guides)

Cindy Kilgore

"My wife and I took this book with us on a recent "Yankee Clipper" cruise from Windjammer. The book was quite useful with good descriptions (usually a paragraph or two) of the accomodations and restaurants on the islands we visited (Grenada, Mayreau, Bequia, Carricou, Tobago Cays). The authors were very up front about the experiences they DIDN'T like which helped us to avoid frustration. The book also had a nicely organized table of contents which helped navigate the book quickly... This is an excellent guidebook for the area and is highly recommended." -- Matthew Clark (Amazon reviewer) " 6 of 6 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable and worthwhile guide, November 14, 2003 By A Customer This guide is immediate and thorough; it give a host of places and activities that could fulfill even the most bored tourist's desires. The book is salted with the kind of personal experience that makes visiting these islands so special. They take us away from palm beaches, island vistas and rugged emerald mountains and put us in touch with the people who inhabit these beautiful places. From fishermen in Barrouallie to Rastas in the Port Elizabeth market and a botanist in St. George's, we get a sense of the lives that entwine to make up the fabric of these islands. Also, each section begins with a history of the place at hand, so important to understanding the southern Windwards. The authors have produced a journeyman labor, a product of discernment and enterprise tempered with warmth and humor. Those of us who have seen the southern Windwards as a special place for so long have reason to be thankful and relieved." -- Paul Tyler, Caribbean Compass Selected by the Caribbean Tourism Organization as "Best Guidebook to the Caribbean," it covers Mustique, Bequia, Palm Island, Tobago Cays, Carriacou, Mayreau, Petit St Vincent, St Vincent and Grenada, at the southern end of the Caribbean arc, just below St Lucia. St Vincent has the oldest botanical gardens in the Americas; on Bequia, some islanders still harpoon whales as their ancestors did; Grenada has pristine reefs and abundant natural beauty; and tiny Mustique, home to countless celebrities, has verdant mountains. The series of "Adventure Guides" are about living more intensely, waking up to your surroundings and truly experiencing all that you encounter. Each book offers a mix of practical travel information along with activities designed for everyone, no matter what their age or ability. Comprehensive background information - history, culture, geography and climate - presents a knowledge of each destination and its people. Regional chapters take you on an introductory tour, with stops at museums, historic sites and local attractions. The volumes also cover: places to stay and eat; transportation to, from and around your destination; practical concerns; useful websites; e-mail addresses; and tourism contacts. Detailed regional and town maps feature walking and driving tours.

GRENADA: Expatriate Relocation Manual

Trevor R. Jefferson

WHO wouldn’t want to live in a safe and pristine island paradise? WHAT would you give to be able to leave the rat race and retire in a country where you can live like a royal on a pittance? WHEN else but now is the right time to get out of your cubicle and into an oceanfront cabin with palm trees in your back yard and whales over the reef in your front yard? WHERE else could you acquire a beachfront lot for under $10,000 or a full-scale resort for under $500,000 that also happens to have a neither seen nor heard government and no real red tape? WHY would you even consider living out your golden years in a Western country when you can have a far great quality of life in Grenada? HOW can you make your dreams come true, retire to island paradise, live like a King on a pauper’s income, marry an island beauty, start a lifestyle business in a flash and enjoy life to the fullest? Read this book, that’s how!

Grenada to the Virgin Islands Pilot

Jacques Patuelli

This popular book covering the Caribbean from Grenada and Barbados to the Virgin Islands is a translation from Jacques Patuelli's original French version. Each island is dealt with in detail and pilotage notes are followed by tourist information and the usual data on formalities and facilities. Fully illustrated with plans and photos, many of which are new for this second edition, the guide is packed with interesting and useful background information on the Caribbean; its history, tourism, geography and details on sailing in the islands. The last section of the book, the blue pages, consists of listings of facilities, restaurants, bars, hotels and other information of interest to tourists.

Sailing Down Grenada Way (Bold Shorts Book 1)

Ellen Birrell

Bold Shorts is a book series of Caribbean tales from aboard sailing vessel Boldly Go. These diverse tales stretch from Puerto Rico in the north, south to Trinidad and west to Venezuela. They move the reader to balmy beaches, athletic forays in turbulent waters and mountainous islands and fresh salt air without leaving the comfort of home. To live in the confines of a 40’ sailboat 24/7/365 strains most duos, whoever they may be. True stories of resilience, humor, danger and challenge set within the Caribbean Sea are told through the eyes of Jim and Ellen, an unlikely pair.

Best Dives of Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Joyce Huber

Nestled in the eastern Caribbean, Grenada - the largest of a three-island nation that also includes Carriacou and Petite Martinique - is the most southerly of the Windward Islands and is the gateway to the Grenadines. Renowned for its deep, sheltered harbors, the island has long been a favorite stopover for yachts and cruise ships. St. George's, the capital city, boasts a superb harbor, shaped like a horseshoe, that was formed partially out of the crater of an extinct volcano. The island's perimeter is blessed with 80 miles of white sand beaches. Its coastline stretches out in hundreds of small peninsulas that form numerous sheltered bays and lagoons. Offshore coral reefs are home to huge turtles, stingrays, and tropicals. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a multi-island nation in the eastern Caribbean, is known to just a few discriminating divers and snorkelers, but sailors have been enjoying her sheltered coves, beautiful beaches and protected harbors for centuries. Based on the classic, Best Dives of the Caribbean, this guide zeroes in on the best dives of Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines. It includes the latest and best dive and snorkel sites, each rated for visual excellence and marine life. The author's knowledge of the Caribbean sites is unparalleled. From sunken planes and snorkel trails to blue holes, the best destinations beneath the waves are covered. Also included are places to stay and eat, activities and practical information for visitors. "I have bought both editions of this book, mostly because the first edition got so dog-eared that I wanted a clean one for vacation last year. The book is a marvelous source of information for both the snorkeler and the diver. The authors divide the book into chapters on individual islands, starting out with a brief but interesting history of the island, a topographical description, relative location map, best time to go, weather, and proximity to other islands. They then rate the island's diving locations, awarding from 1 to 5 stars, and provide another larger map visually locating the sites. Each site is described in detail, with info on depth, sea life, currents, visibility, photo ops and difficulty level. As if that weren't enough, they include some (but not enough!) beautiful photos, and end each chapter with yet more info on dive operators (detailed), beaches, other activities, dining, accommodations (with rates, addresses and phone numbers), medical facilities, documentation requirements, currency, driving, local customs, departure taxes, etc. I've been exploring the Caribbean for almost a decade now; I take this compact book with me everywhere. My only complaint: I wish they covered more islands!" -- (Suziekew) "The new, 2006, third edition of Best Dives of the Caribbean is packed full of dive-vacation planning information. It tells what time of year to go, the most popular dive sites with details on what to expect, depths, average sea conditions-- I get seasick if it's rough and prefer diving where the sites are ten minutes or less by boat, or better yet accessible from the beach. Indeed, some of the other one-destination guides are more suitable for the coffee table, but they don't tell me anything about the dive resorts, the $$ cost. I would not consider planning a dive-vacation to the Caribbean without consulting this gem of a travel guide. The dive resort write ups are detailed and give rates and package deals. Any, the author gives an email for additional questions." -- Janice Brink Diver-friendly resorts and hotels are featured, along with many recommended outfitters for learning, improving and mastering your diving skills. A list of decompression chambers is given. Landlubbers will appreciate the sightseeing sections. Color photos enhance the text. Maps show dive site locations. A must-have for divers, snorkelers, or those who just love to float in liquid turquoise. -- Brenda Fine, Travel Editor, NY Law Journal

Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

Petty crime occurs and increases just before and during annual festivities, such as the Carnival in August. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Avoid unpatrolled beaches and unpopulated areas, especially after dark. Check with local authorities to determine which beaches are safe.

Road travel

Traffic drives on the left. Roadside assistance is not widely available. Most roads are narrow and winding. Look out for pedestrians as most roads do not have sidewalks. Road surfaces often deteriorate during periods of intense heat and during the hurricane season. Drive defensively at all times. Grenada has a seat belt law and drivers and passengers found without a seat belt are subject to a fine.

Public transportation

Ferry services are available between Grenada and its sister islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Water taxis operate between tourist hotels on Grand Anse beach and the capital.

Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations. Confirm fare before departing. A network of private minibuses operates at fixed fares throughout the island. Rental cars can be hired locally.

Air travel

Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Emergency services

Dial 911 to reach the local police and 444 for ambulance services.

 

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in the Caribbean, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, malaria and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue bite during the daytime. They breed in standing water and are often found in urban areas.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for dengue fever.

Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.

Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical care is limited. Although prescription medicine is available, travellers are advised to bring sufficient supplies for their stay. There is a general hospital in Saint George's and small hospitals in Mirabeau and Carriacou.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Illegal drugs

Possession of illegal drugs, including marijuana, can lead to large fines or imprisonment. Drug trafficking is a serious offence.

Laws

It is an offence for anyone outside the police force to dress in army or camouflage clothing or carry items made of camouflage material.

Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning importing or exporting items from Grenada, such as firearms, antiquities, business equipment, fruits and vegetables, electronics and archaeological items.

A local driver's permit is required, which can be obtained through vehicle rental agencies or the central police station upon presentation of a valid Canadian driver's licence and the applicable fee.

Money

The currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD). Major credit cards are widely accepted and automated banking machines (ABMs) are available throughout Grenada.

Climate

The hurricane season extends from June to the end of November. The National Hurricane Center provides additional information on weather conditions. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.