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Grenada

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Did You Know … ?

  • Captain Bligh, of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame, brought the breadfruit tree to Grenada.
  • Grenada has more spices per square mile than any other country in the world.
  • By law, no building on Grenada can be taller than a full-grown coconut palm tree.
  • The all-important nutmeg is featured on Grenada’s flag.
  • The River Antoine Rum Distillery has operated longer than any other Caribbean distillery (from 1785).

A good scents destination

Nutmeg. Cinnamon. Cloves. Cocoa. Ginger. But especially nutmeg — Grenada is the world’s second-largest producer of nutmeg, after Indonesia, and Grenada is a lot smaller.

However, tourists visit the Spice Island of the Caribbean for more than the nice scent of spices or to see how many ways locals can utilize nutmeg.

They come because the island has more than 40 white-sand beaches; a lush mountainous landscape that encompasses rain forests, waterfalls and other unspoiled natural features, and turquoise waters ideal for diving, fishing, sailing and a host of other water sports.

Trekking through the waterfalls, hiking up to the Grand Etang Lake, 1,742 feet above sea level in the Grand Etang National Park, and rope climbing up Mount St. Catherine, Grenada’s highest peak at 2,755 feet, represent top land-based diversions for the active traveler.

Snorkelers as well as scuba divers can enjoy the reefs and the marine life. Shipwrecks or intentionally scuttled ships add to the options for divers. There are several ways to travel on the water, too, ranging from fishing trips or yacht charters to cruises for watching dolphins and whales or cruises on glass-bottom boats.

Grenada’s manmade side is attractive, too, for its historic forts and other colonial architecture and an especially beautiful harbor at St. George’s, the capital. Tourists may take time to visit a distillery to view the rum-making process, tour a spice estate or shop for local handicrafts in the markets.

Located only 100 miles north of Venezuela, Grenada is essentially a three-island nation, including two much smaller islands, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, which some tourists also visit. Grenada is a former British colony and, as a result, English is the official language.

Tourist accommodations range from guesthouses to luxury resorts, but the island is not overly developed or overly touristy. By the same token, it doesn’t offer much in the way of nightlife and, to date, it has no casinos.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Sample the national dish, called oil down. It is breadfruit slow-cooked with any of several meat, fish and vegetable combinations, plus coconut milk.
  • If an experienced diver, head for the wreck of the Bianca C, a 600-foot cruise ship that was scuttled to make a manmade reef. Another choice is the wreck of the Shakem. Or look at Kick ’em Jenny, one of the world’s only active underwater volcanoes, located just off Grenada’s coast.
  • Charter a boat for a multiday outing to the offshore islands.
  • Surfing is an option at Pearls Beach. Rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle to drive along this beach. Or, test the local winds for windsurfing.
  • Come to Grenada for Carnival. Make that the Carriacou Carnival, which includes an entertaining battle of wits in which participants must communicate using only lines from Shakespearean plays.
  • Grenada offers hikes to a number of its dramatic waterfalls. Alternatively, hike to Grand Etang Lake, a crater lake high in the Grand Etang Forest Reserve.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Eat everything nutmeg — ice cream, cookies, even in the rum punch.
  • For a relaxing vacation from your relaxing vacation, visit Petite Martinique. Or, choose Carriacou and the Carriacou Museum to learn more about local traditions.
  • For the best of views, head to the 18th century Fort Frederick. From its high ramparts, you look down on Grenada’s horseshoe-shaped harbor.
  • Do some snorkeling in the shallow waters of Morne Rouge Beach.
  • Choose a windjammer-type cruise or a yacht trip as a way to pass pleasantly through these waters. Or, go water-skiing.
  • Book a deep-sea fishing charter for half a day or a full day. Game fish include marlin, sailfish and wahoo.

Things to do for Authentics

  • Plan a sightseeing itinerary built around Grenada’s colonial history, including Grenada National Museum and the 18th century Fort George.
  • Shop for high quality art created by local artists.
  • Tour the Dougaldston Spice Estate in Gouyave, to see how nutmeg, cinnamon, cocoa and other Grenadine spices are processed. Buy spices to take home.
  • Go to the beach. A popular public beach is the two-mile stretch of white sand, called Grand Anse, south of St. George’s.
  • Take a whale and dolphin watching cruise, or choose a glass-bottom boat tour of coral and marine life.
  • See how rum is made at the River Antoine Rum Distillery.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult the Grenada Tourism Authority at www.grenadagrenadines.com