Impossible not to be in a good mood when you set foot on the Caribbean island of Grenada. The capital, St. George’s, is located on the main island and is surrounded by a horseshoe-shaped harbor and a hill formed by an ancient volcanic crater.
When I got off the plane at St George’s Maurice Bishop International Airport, which has only one passenger terminal, I was convinced that I could already smell the many spices (i.e. say the nutmeg and cloves) that grow on the island and hear the sounds of the buleadoressteel drums and maracas, Grenada’s most popular musical instruments.
On my second visit, the customs officer called me by my first name and greeted me like a longtime friend. In fact, foreigners everywhere are greeted with a big smile. joy of living seems to be the overriding emotion of locals, an attitude that made me love the island from the word “go”.
Spices, rum and waterfalls are highlights that set Grenada apart from other Caribbean islands and will also make you fall in love. You’ll also find interesting food, diving, sailing and all sorts of water sports, as well as rubbing shoulders with locals on the pristine beaches, or at the colorful Grand Anse craft and spice market or the fish market. jumper fish.
Grenada and its sister islands Carriacou and Petite Martinique are part of the Grenadines and are located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago and northeast of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea. Grenada doesn’t offer glitzy resorts like other Caribbean islands, but makes up for it in the colors of the water, the ubiquitous aromas of nutmeg and vanilla, the taste of rum and the friendliness of the people.
It is best to get there by plane, but there are also ferries connecting the islands, and it is best to go around by rental car. St George’s is a cruise port, but not a huge one, which means you won’t have to deal with thousands of cruise ship passengers all disembarking at once.
The best time of year to visit is between mid-December and mid-April, when you can expect less rainfall. Of course, you’re coming from the tropics, so expect high temperatures all year round but also a cool ocean breeze.
A good breakfast is always a great way to start the day, so you’ll love the ‘doubles’. Although originating in Trinidad, “doubles” are a traditional breakfast staple in Grand Anse, best enjoyed freshly prepared and served from the back of a van. Doubles will keep you full until lunchtime and ready to tackle the many other activities that await you in Grenada. This is a sweet and spicy chickpea curry, served in a double serving of soft bara bread.
2. Grand Etang National Park
After your hearty breakfast, you are ready for your adventures in the fabulous Grand Etang National Park, 1,900 feet above sea level in the St. Andrews Mountains in the interior of the island. The park includes several ecosystems, including rainforests, numerous hiking trails of varying difficulty, the spectacular Seven Sisters waterfalls, and an almost circular lake.
The water from the seven waterfalls is clear enough to drink, a welcome refreshment on a hot day and while hiking. You’ll love the park’s latest thrill: Grenada High Wire. A zipline that takes you through the rainforest on a large canopy obstacle course. You might even encounter the occasional mona monkey. Professionally trained guides ensure your safety.
3. The Chocolate House
Head to Young Street in St. George’s and fall in love with the cutest mini-museum, bakery and chocolate factory you can imagine. It has only been around for a few years but is a big hit with locals and tourists alike. La Maison du Chocolat tells you the story of chocolate on the island of Grenada. It is, after all, the spice island of the Caribbean.
Everything at The House of Chocolate – cakes, ice cream and drinks – is lovingly handcrafted in the products of this bakery, and the museum part documents the history of chocolate on the island. The scent alone will make your mouth water and you can get all the goodies you crave from the shop.
However, it is not the only chocolate-related business on the island. There is also the much larger Chocolate Company, a cooperative of cocoa farmers. It was founded in 1999 by three cocoa farmers who wanted to grow 100% organic cocoa beans and vanilla pods and protect farmers, as opposed to the actual makers of Granada’s iconic dark chocolate. Here you have the chance to see both ends of production and learn all about chocolate in Grenada.
4. The Underwater Sculpture Park
One of the most fascinating experiences in Grenada is a visit to the Underwater Sculpture Park. Located off the west coast of Grenada, just off Pointe Moliniere, the collection of 75 underwater sculptures created by artist Jason de Caires Taylor is something you will never forget. It opened in 2006 and the sculptures are steel and cement but look much older.
Although primarily works of art, they were dumped in the sea to repair damage to the reefs that had already occurred and to prevent further damage. The statues are held in place by bolts and can be seen while snorkeling, scuba diving or even from glass bottom boats as some are quite close to the surface.
The subjects of the sculptures are multiple. The most moving is undoubtedly the Vicissitudes, a group of 26 children standing in a circle.
5. River Antoine Rum Distillery
The River Antoine Rum Distillery is located in the northeast of the island, near Lake Antoine, and has been producing rum at 140 degrees (70% ABV) in the same traditional way for 250 years. This means the sugar cane is crushed in heavy metal wheels, heated in wood-fired ovens, and moved and stirred by hand until the golden, fragrant end product is achieved – no shortcuts and few modernization.
Tradition is very present in Grenada, and their powerful rum is no exception. Sure, the distillery has a tasting room with just a barrel of rum, a folding table, and a few paper cups, but you’re sure to feel the high from the first sip. This is a fiery drink.
6. Sail into the sunset
What could be more romantic than taking a boat trip and sailing while admiring one of the most beautiful sunsets on the island of Grenada? One of the most spectacular, when the sky bursts into a sea of color that reflects in the water, is at Grand Anse beach. This white sand beach stretches for 2 miles and offers not only the magnificent sunsets, but also great views of the capital.
Board a sailing yacht, laze around the day with a glass of rum or champagne in hand, alternate with swimming and snorkeling, and end the day sailing into the sunset with a catamaran with one of the many excursions offered by footloose tours might make you want to stay on the water forever.
7. Hash House Harriers
One of the most original hobbies you can indulge in is the unique sport of hashing. Every Saturday, the Hash House Harriers gather, a group of locals, students, tourists, and whoever is on the island. Someone is piling up a walking/running route around the island, usually 2 hours long and following piles of shredded paper that mark the route, start to finish.
This being the island of Grenada, the start and finish lines are usually at a rum shack. It is also an ecological way to mark out the course because only white paper is used, which disintegrates easily. The hashers jokingly call themselves “drinkers with a running problem” and the group is growing steadily. Everyone is welcome, just arrive in time for the next hash wearing proper running gear and footwear. You will love this fun activity and above all, the atmosphere of easy friendship.
Remember that people in Grenada drive on the left side of the road, a holdover from when the British were on the island. Stay firmly on the correct side of the road and reduce speed.
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