Travel Guide Caribbean Grenada



Grenada, along the southeastern reaches of the Lesser Antilles, is a home to numerous resorts, like most of its Caribbean island neighbours. But in Grenada, these resorts are not nearly as widespread as elsewhere. Travellers can easily stay at smaller, locally owned hotels where they will not feel like part of the crowd. That, coupled with a slow, dreamy pace of life, makes Grenada the ultimate relaxation island. Which is not to say that there is little to do here. You can head to the beach and dive, swim or snorkel in the water; stay dry and go on a sailing trip to one of the smaller nearby islands; or hike inland through dense rain forests. Excellent, cheap Creole food, accented by spice, winds every day up with a happy stomach. And if you are tired of the hustle and bustle of the main island, hop over to the smaller islands of Carriacou or Petite Martinique and see what relaxing is all about!



Brief 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.




Grenada is a Caribbean island (one of the Grenadines) between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located at WikiMiniAtlas12°07′N 61°40′W / 12.117°N 61.667°W. There are no large inland bodies of water on the island, which consists entirely of the state of Grenada. The coastline is 121 kilometres long. The island Grenada is the largest island in the Grenadines; smaller islands are Carriacou, Petite Martinique, Ronde Island, Caille Island, Diamond Island, Large Island, Saline Island, and Frigate Island.Grenada and its territories occupy a total area of 433 square kilometres. Grenada, known as the Spice Isle because of its production of nutmeg and mace, is the largest at 310 square kilometres. The islands are of volcanic origin with extremely rich soil. Grenada’s interior is very mountainous with Mount St. Catherine being the highest at 840 metres. Several small rivers with beautiful waterfalls flow into the sea from these mountains.




Grenada is organised into 6 parishes which are like counties in some countries.

  • Saint George - The main place where everyone visits is St. George Parish, which contains the capital city of St. George's, and the main harbor. This is where all the cruise ships come. It also includes the airport and the Grand Anse Beach, and is home to St. George's University. The parish is 67 km2 and has a population of 37, 057.
  • Saint John - Going around the island clockwise - north of St George Parish on the Caribbean coast is St John Parish, with the capitol of Gouyave. Fishing is the main industry and it is also home to Dougladston Estate, a big spice plantation, and the biggest nutmeg factory in Grenada. This parish is 39 km2 with a population of 8,591.
  • Saint Mark - North of St. John Parish still on the west side is St. Mark Parish - it is the smallest parish on the island at 23 km2 with a population of 3,994. The small fishing village of Victoria, is the center of activity for the St. Mark’s parish. St Mark's has the highest mountain on Grenada, Mount Saint Catherine, and the tallest waterfall, the Tufton Hall Waterfall.
  • Saint Patrick - The north end of the island has St. Patrick Parish. The principal town is Sauteurs, and one of the landmarks is Leapers Hill where legend has it that the indigenous Caribs jumped over the cliff and into the sea to escape colonization by the French. The parish is 44 km2 with a population of 10,674.
  • Saint Andrew - South of St Patrick on the Atlantic (east) coast is St Andrew Parish, which is the largest parish (by land area) in Grenada at 91 km2. It is bigger than St. George Parish but has less population with only 24,749. The capital city of St. Andrew is Grenville which is the second largest town on the island. It also contains Grand Etang National Park.
  • Saint David - Last in the list is St. David's parish which is at the south end of the east coast and the only parish without a main town. It is 47 km2 and has only 11,486 population.

Carriacou and Petite Martinique, two of the Grenadines, have a status of dependency. These two island are 36.4 km2 and have 6,981 inhabitants.



Cities and Towns

  • Saint George's, the country's capital
  • Hillsborough on the island of Carriacou
  • Grenville - capital of the St. Andrew district



Sights and Activities

Grand Etang National Park

Grand Etang National Park is Grenada's finest natural reserve. It is located in the central highlands and is centered around the Grand Etang Lake. It is a crater lake and functions as the starting point for several walking trails into the lush surrounding forest. There are walks for everyone, from short leisurely strolls to full day strenuous hikes. If you want to go for a longer hike, you can arrange for a guide at the visitor centre by the lake.

Annandale Falls

Annandale Falls is the perfect getaway for a romantic daytrip. The waterfall is not that high, about 9 meters, but the surrounding area is just great. The waterfall plunges into a green-ish pool where you can take a refreshing swim after the walk to the falls. Around the pond there is beautiful green lush vegetation. There is a big chance you won't be alone, especially on cruiseship days.

Grand Anse Beach

Grand Anse Beach is Grenada's main resort area. It is a fine white sand beach fronted by turquoise water and backed by hills. Unfortunately, it is also packed with hotels, bars and eateries. The beach is a popular place for water sports and although it might not be everyone's cup of tea, it sure is not ugly or boring here. If you'd prefer somewhere a little quieter, there are better beaches elsewhere. Just cross the peninsula of Quarantine Point to Morne Rouge Bay, which is beautiful as well, at least the parts that have recovered since the 2004 Hurricane Ivan.

Northern Carriacou

Carriacou is Grenada's smaller sister island and most parts are much less developed than the main island. Still, the northern part of Carriacou is even better and more secluded than the southern parts. It used to be a plantation area for sugarcane, but nowadays most of those plantations are used for growing other crops or cattle. The area has some nice deserted beaches and picturesque villages. This actually makes Northern Carriacou one of the most quiet places in this part of the Caribbean.

Fort George

Fort George is the oldest and best known fort in Grenada and was built by the French in 1705. Near St. George's, the views from the top to the harbor and the lagoon and Grand Anse Beach are perfect. You can find the courtyard where Maurice Bishop was executed inside the inner fort - the bullet holes made by the firing squad can still be seen. This is one of the cultural highlights of Grenada.

Other sights and activities

  • Grenada National Museum. St George's.
  • La Sagesse Nature Centre. A bay that great for swimming, relaxing, hiking and birdwatching.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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$-20$.
  • 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.
  • Concord Waterfalls - a series of three waterfalls. The lowest waterfall is easily accessable.
  • Seven Sisters Waterfalls -



Events and Festivals

Port Louis Grenada Sailing Festival

Since its commencement in 1996, this annual sailing festival has grown to attract boat enthusiasts from all over the world. Taking place at the end of January, it features four days of yacht racing, regattas, and ends with a street festival.

Independence Day

This public holiday held in February is celebrated all over the islands to mark Grenada’s independence from colonial rule. The official highlight is a military parade at Tanteen; however, the real fun starts as you dance into the night with the locals at one of the many beach parties.

Carriacou Carnival

A sister of the larger festival held on Grenada Island each year, this carnival held at the beginning of March is another excuse for the locals to get down and party. Unique to this event is the Shakespeare Mas, which is an intriguing contest of quotations.

Spice Mas (Grenada Carnival)

The main cultural event of Grenada, Spice Mas is held every year in August. A colorful and cheerful carnival, you will hear the tones of calypso played while you watch the pageants go by. Don’t be afraid to join in the fun - the locals wouldn’t have it any other way!

Carriacou Panrang Festival

Held every year on the weekend preceding December 25, this festival celebrates music, arts and culture on Grenada’s second largest island and attracts big crowds.




Grenada has a hot and humid tropical climate with average daytime temperatures between 28º C and 30º C and average nights around 23º C. Most rain falls between June and October with a chance of hurricanes from August onwards. Therefore, the drier (and slightly cooler) December to April period is the best time to visit weather-wise. Unfortunately prices rise sharply during this period and the months of November and May still have good weather. So budget-wise these later months may be a good option as well.



Getting there


Point Salines International Airport is where international flights depart and arrive. Airlines serving Grenada directly are Air Jamaica from New York (sometimes via Montego Bay in Jamaica]] andCaribbean Airlines from several islands in the Caribbean like Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. British Airways flies there directly from London while Condor has weekly flights to and from Frankfurt. Toronto is served by Air Canada.
Virgin Atlantic has flights to Grenada via Barbados or Trinidad and Tobago. Other airlines flying to Grenada are American Eagle (San Juan) and SVG Air (Saint Vincent).


From Union Island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines there are ferries to and from the island of Carriacou, Grenada. The M.V. Jasper travels from Union Island to Carriacou at 6:00am on Mondays and Thursdays. In the other direction, it leaves Carriacou on the same day around noon. The costs is about EC$20.00, which is around US$7.50. In addition, various fishing boats leave Union Island at 7:30am and will drop passengers in Carriacou for about the same price. Expensive watertaxis ply the same route between Carriacou and Union Island.

From October 2009 onwards, BEDY Ocean Lines, will provide new ferry services for residents only between Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago.



Getting around

By Plane

SVG Air flies between the main island of Grenada and the island of Carriacou. Planes land here at Lauriston Airport (CRU).

By Car

Roads on Grenada are mostly tarred but narrow and winding. There are many rental agencies, both international and local ones and the latter have better daily deals but insurances are not as good. Driving is on the left. You need to buy a local Grenadian driver's permit, which you can buy at the rental offices or police station. Minimum age usually is 25. Drive carefully and watch out for the buses.

By Bus

Buses are fun to get around in Grenada, and they are cheap but slow. It's good way to meet locals though. Connections include services on the main island of Grenada to Annadale, Concorde, Grand Anse, Grand Etang, Grenville, Gouyave, La Sagesse, Sauters, Victoria and Westernhall, all from Saint George's. Even the longest trips don't take much longer than an hour or slightly more. On Carriacou, buses run from Hillsborough to Harvey Vale and Windward and minibuses run between Hillsborough, Windward and Tyrell Bay. You can flag buses down or get of the bus everywhere you want. Note that on Sundays, services are limited.

To most other places where buses don't run, get a taxi which have fixed rates. Still, negotiate before you leave. Some taxis or minibuses double as tours/guides, and Mandoo's Taxi Service is recommended.


Ospreylines has ferry services connecting several islands in Grenada, including the main island, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Services between Grenada and Carriacou and Carriacou and Petit Martinique usually are twice a day, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon.

There are also some options like small boats and private water taxis to travel between several islands.



Red Tape

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, China, Hong Kong, Macau 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.




The currency of Grenada is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, or EC$. It has existed since 1965 and is used by 7 other states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States as well. Only the British Virgin Islands (the ninth member) doesn't use it, but uses the US$ instead. The EC$ is subdivided into 100 cents and has been pegged to the United States dollar at US$1 = EC$2.7 since 1976. The EC$ comes in coins of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 cents and a coins of 1 dollar. There are notes of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar.




For decades, the medical school St George's University (a private school which serves mostly foreign medical students) has been one of the most popular and well-regarded institutions in the Caribbean for foreigners studying abroad. Although St. George’s University was initially established as a medical school, in recent years its programs of study have been expanded to include:

  • School of Medicine
  • School of Veterinary Medicine
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Graduate Studies programs (including MBAs in Health Management and International Business)




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.




  • 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.
  • Coconut Beach Restaurant & Bar is located at the Grand Anse Beach.
  • 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. 7:00am to 11:00pm. Waterfront dining, popular lunch spot and a celebrated sunset and night-time hot spot. Caribbean and Mexican food, daily happy hour 5:00pm. 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.
  • Belmont Estate - A buffet lunch of traditional Grenadian food in a beautiful open air setting after which you can shop for spices or chocolate or tour the spice plantation Address: St Patrick, Phone: +1 473 442 9524, Hours: 8:00am-4:00pm Sunday to Friday, Price: $50EC for the buffet lunch
  • Good Food - A very small local place on the road (no parking). There are four tables with benches. You can get "Oil Down" This was pretty much all the kinds of food one could have. There was a piece of fish, a pig's knuckle, a chicken wing, breadfruit, callaloo (which looks a bit like spinach) and various other things Address: Gladstone Rd, Grenville, Phone: +1 473-442-4672, Hours: 7:00am to 8:00pm
  • Le Phare Bleu - A restaurant in an old lightship Address: Petite Calivigny Bay, Egmont, Phone: +1 473-444-2400, Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm
  • The Beach House - Outdoor dining in good weather Address: Portici Bay on the SW coast, Phone: +1 473-444-4455, Hours: 11:00am-10:30pm




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.




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).




See also Travel Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Grenada. There is one exception though. You need a yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled to a country (7 days or less before entering Grenada) where that disease is widely prevalent.

It's a good thing to get your vaccinations in order before travelling to Grenada. The general vaccination against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) is recommended. Also a hepatitis A vaccination is recommended and vaccination against hepatitis B and typhoid are also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months.

Dengue sometimes occurs as well. There is no vaccination, so buy mosquito repellent (preferably with 50% DEET), and sleep under a net. Also wear long sleeves if possible.

Finally, other possible health issues include diarrhea and other general travellers' diseases like motion sickness. Watch what you eat and drink and in case you get it, drink plenty of fluids (to prevent dehydration) and bring ORS.




See also Travel Safety

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.



Keep Connected


Internet services and wifi are available at some places, sometimes wifi comes at an extra cost.


See also International Telephone Calls

Grenada's international phone code is 1-473.

You can buy local SIM cards which works out cheaper than using the one from home.


The Grenada Postal Corporation offers services.


Quick Facts

Grenada flag

Map of Grenada


Saint George's
Constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style parliament
Christianity (Catholic, Protestant)
English, French patois
Calling Code


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Grenada Travel Helpers

  • greatgrandmaR

    I've been to Grenada twice. Once on a cruise ship in 2013 . Then we came back for a week in 2016. We rented a car and drove all over the island.

    Ask greatgrandmaR a question about Grenada
  • chris862

    I can recommend a great place for anyone looking for a different (or intimate/romantic) holiday off the beaten track in Grenada - run by two very hospitable Europeans, private beach, comfortable rooms, marvellous views, peace and quiet.
    That's all my knowledge of Grenada so far!

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