Grenada - dubbed the 'Spice Island' because of its impressive production of nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, it has a rugged mountainous interior of rainforests and waterfalls and an indented coastline with protected bays and beaches. Its capital, St George's, has one of the prettiest harbour settings in the Caribbean
Tourist infrastructure is still generally small-scale and locally owned, offering a good balance between comfort and price, making Grenada a great getaway for those travellers wanting to avoid the Caribbean resort experience. The secret to a successful visit to Grenada is to mix up the beach (in)activity with getting out and about in the island's interior with a good pair of hiking boots.
Grenada is a rolling, mountainous island, covered with fragrant spice trees and rare tropical flowers. 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's physical beauty is complemented by its rich history and vibrant, living cultural heritage. Local festivals, fairs, and markets remain an integral part of life on Grenada. Its centuries-old spice plantations and rum distilleries still use traditional methods, emphasizing quality rather than quantity. Although the tourist industry has become more substantial in recent years, the island's easy rhythms and the friendly openness of its residents evoke an atmosphere that has long since vanished elsewhere.
For many visitors, of course, the measure of any island is taken by its beaches and coral reefs, and Grenada offers plenty of both. The island is ringed with miles of picture-perfect strands, including both entrancing black and sugar-fine white sand beaches. Grand Anse Beach, a smooth expanse stretching for two miles around the curve of a gentle bay, is world famous. 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.
Grenada is a three island state : Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique.
Grenada is the largest of the three, with a width of 18 km (12 miles) and a length of 34 km (21 miles). The total area is (344 sq km) 133 square miles. The highest point is Mount Saint Catherine, at 832 m (2,757 feet).
Carriacou is much less mountainous than Grenada, with an area of 34 sq km,13 square miles and wonderful sandy beaches.
The three islands of Grenada are located in the Eastern Caribbean at the southern extremity of the Windward islands, only 160 km, 100 miles north of Venezuela. To the north lie St. Vincent and the Grenadines; to the south Trinidad and Tobago.
Average temperatures range from 24C/ 75F to 30C/ 87F, tempered by the steady and cooling trade winds. The lowest temperatures occur between November and February. Because of Grenada's remarkable topography, the island also experiences climate changes according to altitude. The driest season is between January and May. Even during the rainy season, from June to December, it rarely rains for more than an hour at a time and generally not every day.
Grenada's population numbers about 93,000, comprising citizens of African, East Indian, and European descent. The largest proportion of the population, about 75%, is of African descent.
The tri-island state remains within the Commonwealth as an independent nation and the Governor General represents Her Majesty the Queen. There is a 13-member Senate and a House of Representatives with a Speaker and fifteen members are each representing a constituency.
The East Caribbean dollar is the currency used locally. It is linked to the US dollar.
At the banks you will get EC$2.67 for US$l cash and EC$2.68 for US$l travelers cheques. Shops will give EC$2.60. DM Cash is accepted in Barclays Bank only and DM1 is approx. EC$1.70. The British pound is approx. 1 equals EC$4. >\
When Christopher Columbus sailed by Grenada in 1498, the island was already inhabited by the Carib Indians. The admiral dubbed the island Concepcion, but passing Spanish sailors found its lush green hills so evocative of Andalusia that they rejected this name in favor of Granada. The French then adapted Granada to Grenade, and the British followed suit, changing Grenade to Grenada (pronounced Gre-nay-da). Although none of the European powers had any trouble naming the island, they found colonization a much more difficult prospect. For a century and a half, the Caribs repulsed all attempts at European settlement, until an enterprising French expedition from Martinique succeeded in purchasing extensive tracts of land in return for a few beads, knives, and hatchets. Hostilities between the Caribs and the French broke out almost immediately afterward, as the French endeavoured to extend their control over the whole of the island. Determined not to submit to French rule, the Caribs fought a succession of losing battles, and ultimately the last surviving Caribs jumped to their death off a precipice in the north of the island. The French named the spot "Le Morne de Sauteurs," or "Leapers' Hill."
For the next ninety years, the French struggled unsuccessfully to keep the island from falling into the hands of the British. Fort George and Fort Frederick, which still command the heights overlooking St. George's harbour, are relics of that fight. Finally, under the Treaty of Versailles in 1783, the island was permanently ceded to the British. Having gained stable possession of Grenada, the British immediately imported large numbers of slaves from Africa and established sugar plantations. In 1795, however, British control was seriously challenged once again, this time by Julian Fedon, a black planter inspired by the French Revolution. Under Fedon's leadership, the island's slaves rose up in a violent rebellion, effectively taking control of Grenada. Although the rebellion was crushed by the British, tensions remained high until slavery was abolished in 1834. The site of Fedon's Camp, high up in Grenada's beautiful central mountains, is today a popular destination for hikers and trekkers.
In 1877 Grenada became a Crown Colony, and in 1967 it became an associate state within the British Commonwealth before gaining independence in 1974. Despite the island's long history of British rule, the island's French heritage (both colonial and revolutionary) survives in its place names, its buildings, and its strong Catholicism.
In 1979, an attempt was made to set up a socialist/communist state in Grenada. Four years later, at the request of the Governor General, the United States, 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 decade has been a period of considerable development in Grenada. While the expansion of the tourist industry has proceeded rapidly, the island nation has taken great care to protect their magnificent natural environment. National Parks have been developed, and the protection of both the rain forest and the coral reefs continues to be a high priority.
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, including crater lakes as well as a startling variety of plant and animal life. Dwarf forests high atop Mount St. Catherine descend to the montane rainforests of middle altitudes, which give way in turn to the dry forests of the lowlands. Those forests shift to mangrove at the coast, giving way to stunning white sand beaches, brilliant blue water, and exquisite coral reefs.
Grenada's smaller sister island, Carriacou, is hilly but not mountainous. With smoother terrain, Carriacou is an ideal destination for walking. It possesses fine sand beaches and natural harbours, as well as offering excellent views out over the northern Grenadine islands. Petite Martinique, the third and by far the smallest island in the state, consists of little more than the tip of a volcanic cone poking through the water. It is only now being developed for visitors.
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.
Average temperatures range from 24C/75F to 30C/87F, tempered by the steady and cooling trade winds. The lowest temperatures occur between November and February. Because of Grenada's remarkable topography, the island also experiences climate changes according to altitude. The driest season is between January and May. Even during the rainy season, from June to December, it rarely rains for more than an hour at a time and generally not every day.
This picturesque city, wrapped around the perimeter of the island's finest natural harbour, is perhaps the most appealing capital city in the entire Caribbean. Founded in the early 18th century by the French, St. George's still possesses something of the character of a French town, particularly in the red tile roofs and pastel colors of its traditional architecture. St. George's contains a number of sites worth exploring, and the Board of Tourism (at Burns Point) provides a handy guide for walking tours.
St. George's ideally-formed inner harbour is--as it has been for the last three centuries--the centre of marine activity on the island. The Carenage serves as an anchorage for every sort of vessel imaginable, from small fishing boats and elegant yachts to great white cruise ships. A walk along the encircling Wharf Road allows a lovely view of the harbour and its bounty of colorful ships.
St. George's Roman Catholic Cathedral
The Gothic tower of St. George's, though modest enough, is the most visible landmark in the city. Built in 1818, the tower lends Grenada's capital a distinctively European character.
House of Parliament
Across Church Street from the cathedral are two of St. George's most venerable buildings. York House, purchased in 1801, houses the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. Along with the neighbouring Registry, which was built in 1780, York house is a graceful example of early Georgian architecture.
Bustling, noisy, and colourful, the market is the centre of the capital's civic life, as it has been for the last two hundred years. It is the main site for the purchase and sale of local produce, as well as the focal point for parades, political speeches, and religious activities. More recently, it has become the starting point for minibuses to the outer areas of the island. No visitor to Grenada should miss the Saturday morning market.
Just down Granby Street from Market Square is the Esplanade, which looks out to the west across the Caribbean. A fine locale for an evening promenade.
Grenada National Museum
Although the National Museum is not large, it houses a fascinating collection of artifacts from Grenada's cultural history. Its collection extends from ancient times to the present, including material and exhibits on everything from the Caribs to the political events of the 1980s.
This 104 m (340-feet) tunnel, still the most convenient connection from the Carenage to the Esplanade, was rightly considered a technological triumph when completed the early 18th century. It is named for the island's governor at the time.
Fort George is situated on an elevated peninsula that commands the harbour entrance, a position that has given the fort enormous strategic importance since the French constructed it in the first decade of the 18th century. Although it continues to serve as the police headquarters, Fort George is most appreciated today for the views that it offers to sightseers. Much of its elaborate colonial structure remains intact, and part of the pleasure of a visit is rambling around among the passages and stairs of the ancient stone fortifications.
Fort George still maintains a battery of old cannons, which are used on special occasions to fire off a resounding salute.
In the 1980s, Fort George once again played a prominent role in Grenadian history as the site of the assassination of Maurice Bishop, along with several members of his cabinet. In 1983, the fort was bombed by American troops.
Perched atop Richmond Hill at the center of St. George's, Fort Frederick is a smaller and more recent complement to the imposing Fort George. Built by the British, it was completed in 1791, during the French Revolution.
Around St. George
Situated just five minutes drive to the southeast of St. George, these pristine, tranquil gardens offer an enchanting introduction to the natural plants and flowers of Grenada and of the Caribbean generally.
The Bay Gardens, with their winding paths and careful cultivation, offer a fine example of the European impulse to tame and order the paradisical vegetation of the tropics. With over 3,000 species of plants, the Bay Gardens provide a lifetime's introduction to the flora of Grenada--indeed, of the entire Caribbean. The gardens are located behind St. George's, in the suburb of St. Paul's.
Carib's Leap, or Leapers Hill
Directly north of the town of Sauteurs is a steep cliff face that descends vertically into the sea for more than 100 feet. It was from the top of the cliff that Grenada's last remaining Carib Indians hurled themselves in 1651, preferring suicide to domination by the French.
The drive along Grenada's western coast from St. George's passes through some of the island's most picturesque areas. Along the coast a scattered small fishing villages, set at the entrance of mountain valleys that abound with papaya and breadfruit trees. Gouyave itself is the major site of Fisherman's Birthday celebrations in June.
Dougaldston Spice Estate
Located just outside of Gouyave, this historic estate is still the primary producer of the island's spices and the place where they are first processed after harvest. Tours provide a fascinating glimpse of the traditional preparation of spices as well as offering visitors a chance to sample many of the spices and products in their fresh, unprocessed form.
Grand Etang Lake and Forest Reserve
The volcanic mountains of Grenada's Central Range rise to over 610 m (2000 feet) in some places. Some of the mountains contain ancient crater basins, one of which holds a large crater lake, Grand Etang. The lake is over 520 m (1700 feet) above sea level, and is surrounded with some of the island's most beautiful rainforest. Close to the lake is the visitors' center of the Grand Etang Forest Reserve, Grenada's premier naturalist park. The visitors' center provides visitors with a fascinating introduction to the island's indigenous wildlife, vegetation, forestry, history, and culture. It is also the starting point for many of the walks, hikes, and treks that can be taken through this stunningly beautiful area.
Grenville, situated about halfway up Grenada's windward eastern shore, is the island's second largest city. Grenville is also home to Grenada's largest nutmeg processing factory, which offers visitors extensive tours of the entire process of nutmeg preparation. Grenville's colorful Saturday market is also worth a visit, as local farmers, fishermen, and merchants gather to sell all sorts of fresh produce, as well as local handicrafts.
Lake Antoine National Landmark
About six miles north of Grenville lies Lake Antoine, .
La Sagesse Nature Centre
This recently established nature centre holds a wide variety of different attractions, from the prolific birdlife of its salt pond and mangrove estuary to the peaceful isolation of its three fine beaches. La Sagesse also maintains a small guesthouse and restaurant.
Levera National Park
The coastal area of this popular park is one of the most dramatically beautiful areas on Grenada, including a superb beach. Levera's marine areas are equally esteemed, with outstanding coral reefs and sea grass beds that shelter lobsters and beautiful reef fishes.
Mt. Carmel Waterfall
This is the highest of the island's several lovely waterfalls. It actually consists of two different falls, which together tumble over 21 m (70 feet) to the crystal clear waters below.
Mt. Rich Amerindian Remains
The petroglyphs at this site are unmatched for their detailed depiction of the daily life of Grenada's earliest inhabitants. Numerous artifacts have been recovered from the site, indicating its extended use as an early settlement.
River Sallee Boiling Springs
These well-known springs are located in the island's northeast, about one and a half miles north of Lake Antoine. The springs are noted not only for their unique geology, but as a natural wishing well.
River Antoine Rum Distillery
No other distillery in the entire Caribbean has been in operation as long as River Antoine, and very few have so carefully maintained traditional methods of rum preparation. Although the distillery is privately owned, it does permit guided tours. Visitors can watch as rum is made in much the same manner that it was in the 18th century, when it fired the throats of the real buccaneers.