Grenada travel guide

Grenada travel guide


Exploring the Spice island

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Photos by Grenada tourist board
Grenada is a green island. Whether first seen from the sea or from the air, the lush rainforest covering a mountainous interior and fringed with white sand beaches makes a cracking first impression. There is a rich biodiversity here – from the vibrant flora on land to the flourishing marine life and colourful corals under the crystal clear waters.

One of the southern Windward Islands, located north of Trinidad and Tobago and south of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada – together with sister islands Carriacou and Petite Martinique – provides a warm welcome with year-round sunshine and great local hospitality.

No beachfront development is allowed to be taller than the tallest palm tree and hotels tend to be set back from the beach, many shaded by palms and calabash trees and surrounded by tropical gardens.

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Photo by Anna Rice
Grand Anse is the main beach in the island’s southwest: two miles of white sand in a crescent that lends itself to strolls, sunbathing sunset views. Here, there are several hotels which face onto the sand, including the Green Globe-certified Blue Horizons Garden Resort which lies a short stroll from the beach and is set in just over six acres of lush tropical gardens, home to several rare Grenadian bird species.

Blue Horizons’ owners work closely with Ocean Spirits, a Grenadian organisation that educates locals and visitors in marine conservation, with a focus on turtles. Established in 1999, Ocean Spirits plays a pivotal role in protecting the marine turtles that nest on Grenada’s beaches by working with local communities, the island’s government and international research programmes. Core projects include preventing the illegal harvesting of eggs, protecting the turtles’ nest habitats and encouraging local communities to be stewards of the turtles’ environment and sustainable future. Ocean Spirits welcomes volunteers who become actively involved with research and education activities.

Several of Grenada’s hotels have always embraced environmental responsibility. True Blue Bay Resort, overlooking a marina on the south coast, has long used solar water heaters and low energy light bulbs and grows its own vegetables and herbs. The Lodge is the only exclusively vegan hotel in the Caribbean and they plant an appropriate tree for each visitor. All water used is harvested rainwater and any ingredients that the organic kitchen garden cannot provide are sourced from two local organic farmers.

 
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Photo by Anna Rice

Exploring on foot is arguably the best way to discover Grenada’s rainforest. Guide Telfor Bedeau – aged somewhere near 70 years – has been taking visitors on walks for over half a century. One claim to fame is that he rowed all the way around Grenada, but he has no plans to do that again, preferring to spend his days in the rainforest. A gentle stroll in Grand Etang National Park to the Seven Sisters waterfall can be a picturesque part of an island tour. For more serious hikers there are several lesser-known routes that Telfor takes to showcase Mount Qua Qua and Mount St Catherine (Grenada’s highest peak), with their hot pools and gushing waterfalls.

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Photo by Anna Rice
The world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park was established just off the coast from Grenada’s capital St George’s in 2006 to provide an artificial habitat for marine life and to replace coral lost through weather erosion. Now, visitors snorkel over the site or dive down to explore more than 70 artworks that form a living exhibition: the sea is gradually claiming the icons creating a somewhat eerie display of coral formations. Set in a Marine Protected Area, the Underwater Sculpture Park is just one of Grenada and Carriacou’s renowned dive sites: with more than 30 sites close to shore, divers can explore exhilarating drifts and walls, colourful reefs, exciting wrecks – including advanced sites such as Bianca C – and the abundant marine life ranging from reef fishes to turtles, manta rays to sharks.

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Photo by Anna Rice
Sister island Carriacou is a short crossing from Grenada and is the quintessential Caribbean island. The capital Hillsborough offers a bustling jetty and a number of streets of welcoming bars and local shops, but beyond that the island is quiet, serene, unspoiled. With a distinct culture that draws on its African roots, Carriacou celebrates life through music and visitors are welcome to join the islanders at the frequent music festivals that draw string bands and musicians from across the Caribbean.

After a day exploring under water or on land, there’s no better way to relax than a Grenadian rum punch at sunset. River Antoine distillery employs nearly 100 local men and has remained almost unchanged since it was founded in the 1780s. Water-powered, the distillery produces potent rums and spiced rums that visitors may sample: best tried with a grating of nutmeg for a true Grenadian flavour! Grenada grows one third of the world’s nutmeg and the sea breeze is fragranced by this and other spices including cinnamon, mace and cloves.

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Photo by Anna Rice
Cocoa is another key crop and at Belmont Estate visitors can see first-hand how cocoa becomes chocolate. The chocolate tour here starts with harvesting and tasting cocoa in its raw form, and ends with a visit to the Grenada Chocolate Company’s factory which produces award-winning organic bars.

Factory founder Mott Green aims to operate a sustainable carbon neutral business and to tackle the footprint generated by transporting chocolate to the UK he is working towards Fair Transport – bringing the bars by sail boat. The first consignment of Fair Transport Grenadian chocolate arrived in the UK in May 2012 aboard Tres Hombres, an old-fashioned square rigged 32-metre Brigantine complete with solar and wind powered chillers. It wasa a true taste of the Caribbean – but for something a little more lasting, you’ll just have to visit yourself.

Carriacou beach accommodation in Greneda

Carriacou beach accommodation in Greneda

Experience the genuine Caribbean, come to Carriacou Grenada

From US $85 per accommodation per night
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