Known as the Spice Island, Grenada is indisputably everyone’s idea of tropical splendor. This small nation consists of three islands: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique. Grenada is by far the largest of the three, with a width of twelve miles (18 km) and a length of twenty-one miles (34 km). Its 133 sq. miles (440 sq. km.) are mountainous, volcanic terrain, reaching heights of over 2,750 feet atop Mount St. Catherine. This topography provides Grenada with one of the loveliest and most varied environments in the Caribbean.
Saint Georges Harbor - Grenada
The three islands of Grenada are located in the Eastern Caribbean at the southern extremity of the Windward islands, only 100 miles north of Venezuala. To the north lie St. Vincent and the Grenadines; to the south Trinidad and Tobago.
Grenada is a microcosm of all that’s best in the Caribbean. There are silky white beaches, unspoiled rain forests, hills and waterfalls, a breathtakingly beautiful colonial capital town, warm, clear bays for swimming and diving, a passion for food that’s a lasting legacy of the early French settlers, peace and quiet for lovers of solitude and a lively nightlife if you want it – all wrapped up in a perfect climate. It’s no wonder that the British and the French fought over it so many times.
Bordered by stunning beaches, and dotted with picturesque towns, this verdant island has long been a major source of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa. The seductive drifts through the colourful Saturday markets and Grenada's dense forests. In the interior of this volcanic island are cascading rivers and waterfalls, lush rainforests, and one of the most breathtakingly beautiful mountain lakes imaginable. The capital, St. George's, is widely held to be the loveliest city in the Caribbean. Its horseshoe-shaped harbour is surrounded by a pastel rainbow of dockside warehouses and the red-tiled roofs of traditional shops and homes.
Grenada has plenty to offer those interested in offshore pleasure as well, with easily accessible and pristine reefs off the coast of both Grenada and its sister island, Carriacou.
The most popular area in Grenada for hiking and trekking is undoubtedly the rainforest around the Grand Etang Forest Reserve, high up in the mountains of the island's interior. Grand Etang's varied elevations and terrains maintain several different ecological subsystems, culminating in the elfin woodlands high up the slopes of the reserve's central mountains. The focal point of the forest reserve is Grand Etang Lake, which fills the crater of one of the island's extinct volcanos.
Hikes at Grand Etang range from easy 15-minute jaunts to rigorous expeditions of several hours. The trails are quite good, and the Forest Reserve provides excellent guides.
Grenada offers a number of excellent snorkeling and dive locations, many of which are among the last great unexplored dive sites in the Caribbean. The west coast of the island is edged by one long offshore reef, and the reef itself is marked by the 600-foot wreck of the Bianca, a cruiseliner that went down here in 1961. The most convenient snorkeling is found in the area just south of Grand Anse beach. This said, however, visitors should know that the real center of dive activity is around Grenada's sister island, Carriacou. Although largely undeveloped, Carriacou is accessible by boat and plane, offers a number of accommodations, and is encircled by marvellous, pristine reefs.
Saint George - Grenada
Several bars and most hotels provide some form of entertainment, including Steel Band Music. Other nighttime offerings include folk music, drama, and cultural performances. Grenada's musical calendar features several events for jazz enthusiasts, which are scheduled on short notice, so be on the lookout while you're there. The Village Hotel, near Grand Anse Beach, has Wednesday night jazz sessions, with local and visiting musicians and recorded music; the Grenada Jazz Society holds concerts several times a year at hotels and other venues; and the Hall of Fame Jazz Assembly has Sunday outdoor performances at the Botanical Gardens.
Access to Grenada by air is through the Point Salines International Airport on the southwestern tip of the island. British Airways, BWIA, and American Airlines provide direct service to Grenada; connections can be made on other carriers via Trinidad and Barbados.
As a Commonwealth Realm, Queen Elizabeth II is recognised as Queen of Grenada. She is represented by a governor general, but real executive power lies with the head of government, the prime minister. Although appointed by the governor general, the prime minister generally is the leader of the largest faction in the parliament.
Geography of Grenada
Of the Islands the encompess Grenada, Grenada itself is the largest island. Smaller Grenadine Islands include Carriacou, Petit Martinique, Rhonde Island, Caille Island, Diamond Island, Large Island, Saline Island and Frigate Island. Most of the countries population lives on Grenada, and the capital St. George's, Grenville and Gouyave are the largest towns on Grenada. The largest town/village on the other islands is Hillsborough on Carriacou - which is certaily worth taking the ferry for a day trip. Though modernized Carriacou is a throw back to the old-Caribbean.
The islands are of volcanic origin, and Grenada's inlands are slightly mountainous, with several small rivers flowing into the sea. The climate is tropical: hot and humid, and Grenada occasionally suffers from hurricanes. The most recent storms to hit have been Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 and Hurricane Emily in July 2005.
Scuba Diving in Grenada
With more than 30 dive sites, Grenada offers dives a chance to dive sites that are still relatively virgin territory. Grenada's underwater adventures include wrecks, reefs, or be a little adventurous and do a shark dive. The "Bianca C", one of the largest ship wrecks in the Caribbean, gives divers a chance for a deep water wreck dive. The boat is so long that unless water clairity is perfect you can not see from one end of the ship to the other. The only drawback to Grenada diving is water clairity, which can be variable depending on the Atlantic or Orinoco currents. The Orinoco river in Venezuela flows north in the Caribbean/Atlantic. If the current flows due north this makes visibility from Trinidad to Grenada a little less. During the rainy season (June - December) the heavy rains in South America "can" bring the silt flowing out of the Orinoco river via the North Equatorial current. The current also brings nutrients and plankton to Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada and farther north - thus allowing for a healthy reef and fish life. The upside is larger fish life are more prevalant - whales, whale sharks and mantas.
CaribbeanMag.com recommends Aquanauts Grenada for your choice in dive operators. While diving with them in May of 2005 they were professional, friendly, safe and there staff was fantastic. The dive boat, "Salsa", was big and roomy and easy to move about and get ready for each dive. Bruce, one of the dive masters, was always helpful, freindly and knowledgable about the diving in Grenada. Roxann (Roxy) in the front office is both beautiful and a character - and was helpful in all matters! Linda & Peter, the owners, have put togehter a fabulous dive operation in Grenada. They have two locations, on Grand Anse Beach and the main office/dive center is at the True Blue Bay Resort.
Tax & Tipping
There is an 8% Government Tax at hotels and restaurants. Most also add a 10% service charge. Additional gratuities are at your discretion.
Banking hours in Grenada are usually Monday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. See our list of Banks in the Facilities section for more detailed information.
Shops are generally open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Supermarkets and shopping centers are usually open from 9:00 am. – 7 pm. And there ... more
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