Credit: Emmanuela Stanislaus
Grenada is absolutely beautiful yet I feel like this island is under the radar for so many travelers. I’ve visited twice and I am completely hooked. I can’t blame them. I wasn’t aware of Grenada until I met my husband whose family is from the island. His father grew up in Carriacou which is one of three islands that make up Grenada. When my father-in-law retired in 2006, he decided to return back to the island to reconnect with his roots. With him establishing his permanent residence in Grenada, my husband and I visited the island last year and again this past May. Those visits, have made me want to add Grenada as an annual trip.
Grenada is located in the southwest region of the Caribbean and is near the Northern tip of Venezuela. It’s known as the “Spice Island” due to its large production of nutmeg and other spices. English is the language of the island however, citizens do speak it with an accent that is usually described as Patois. Grenada’s currency is Eastern Caribbean (E.C.). As of today, one U.S. dollar equals $2.70 EC.
Grenada is made up of 3 islands – Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique. Grenada has a population of about 100,000 while Carriacou has a population of 8,000 and Petit Martinique of less than 1000. The two smaller islands offer a unique experience that is still holding on to the Caribbean charm of the past. They provide a beautiful and peaceful retreat from the “bustling” scene on the main island of Grenada. The small islands offer many beach options to explore and are great for eco-travelers.
If you haven’t heard of Grenada or discovered what people affectionately call “Spice Island,” allow me to share why you should add Grenada to your list.
The Beaches – Grenada beaches are something serious. They are what postcards are made of. Their Grand Anse beach repeatedly makes the list of best beaches in the world. It is 2 miles of beautiful white sand. The turquoise blue waters are just magical. While on the beach, you have a dramatic backdrop of the lush tropical mountains in the distance. Some of my other favorite beaches include Paradise Beach and La Sagesse Beach. Despite being popular beaches, they are very peaceful and aren’t overcrowded.
Exclusivity – Grenada is popular, but it is not as popular a draw as say Jamaica. That makes it even more attractive to me. It’s also not as commercialized. For me, that’s a big plus since it means that I will experience a more authentic experience on the island.
Ease of navigating – Hands down, Grenada has been the easiest island to navigate. Not only is it safe, the public transportation is dependable and easy to figure out. Their “bus” system is literally 12 passenger minivans. These smaller vehicles seem to be enough to handle the amount of people that depend on the public transportation on the island. It cost $2 EC which is the equivalent to a little less than $1 U.S. to ride each way. The “bus” drivers are pretty helpful if you need help figuring out how to get where you want to go.
Plenty to do – You can island hope to nearby Carriacou or Petite Martinique (no affiliation with Martinique). It is a short 20-minute flight from Grenada to Carriacou or an hour long ride on the ferry. SVG Air offers multiple flights per day. There are two (morning and afternoon) ferry rides available per day. Petite Martinique is also a short ferry ride from Carriacou. Depending on the time of year that you visit Grenada, there are a variety of cultural things to experience. There are a variety of festivals throughout the year as well as annual carnival every August.
Affordability – So, affordability is totally relative. I definitely know that so I wanted to put that out there. Depending on where you depart from, flights can be expensive. However, the island has some very affordable lodging. I’ve found some comfortable options for $120 per night and have booked some simple accommodations for $70 per night. Cost does depend on if you travel during high or low season so if you plan wisely, you can save some money.
Where I Stayed
I stayed at Groom’s Beach Villa & Resort and Blue Horizons Garden Resort during my 2016 visit. During my May visit, I stayed at Jenny’s Place for one night and returned to Blue Horizons Garden Resort for 3 nights. Each of the locations provide unique accommodations. My favorite has been Blue Horizons Garden Resort. Their rooms are spacious and clean. The resort is centrally located to public transportation and a local supermarket and mall. It is also a short walk to Grand Anse Beach. Groom’s Beach Villa & Resort was also good. It is conveniently located near the airport however, it is a little distance away from all of the action on the island. Jenny’s Place is a very affordable and no frills option however, it did offer private access to Grand Anse beach.
Where To Eat
Grenada has delicious food options. Below are places that I’ve dined in personally.
Umbrella’s – Great for lunch or dinner. They even have a live band most evenings.
BB’s Crabback – Great for lunch with views of the Carenage.
Le Chateau – Great to lunch and dinner. The roti was great here.
Coconut Beach Restaurant – It’s a little pricey but it’s really good and is a great option for a romantic dinner. They even have seating right in the sand. Great for dinner.
Grillmaster Outdoor diner – good for lunch
Places I haven’t had, but heard great things about – Sails, Laluna, and the Cave House Restaurant.
What to Do
Visit the Carenage – This place is full of shopping and eateries. It’s considered one of the most beautiful ports in the Caribbean.
Take in the History – Visit Fort George, Fort Frederick, or the Grenada National Museum. You can also visit Belmont Estate Spice Plantation to learn more about how Grenada got the “spice island” moniker.
Visit a Waterfall – Grenada has a number of waterfalls to visit and take a dip in. The most popular waterfalls are Annandale, Concord, and Royal Mt. Carmel. All vary in range of difficulty to climb. Annandale is the easiest to access.
Go Diving or Snorkeling – I’m not into either of these things however, Grenada is a great place to dive and snorkeling. One of their huge attractions is the underwater sculptures which I must admit look amazing in photos.
Relax on the beach – This goes without saying. There are so many beaches on the island.
This is just a tiny flavor of Grenada. You have to go there to really understand why I’m obsessed with this Caribbean island. So, tell me. Do you have Grenada on your travel list? If you’ve been, what do you love about Grenada?
Follow Emmanuela on Instagram @jetsettersdiary: She is the founder of Jetsetter’s Diary, a travel blog inspiring others to see the world no matter what their travel budget may be. She’s based in South Florida and loves highlighting travel to the Caribbean, Mexico, and her backyard. She blends her busy life of being a full time professional, part time doctoral student, travel agent, wife, and mom to a 6-year-old Shih Tzu, with traveling and blogging.
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