Visiting Grenada in the Caribbean
Last month, I had the pleasure of visiting Grenada for the first time. Grenada and the Grenadines is a small trio of islands in the Caribbean, near the West Indies and quite far south nearer to South America than Florida. I spent a total of five days on the island, staying right on Grand Anse beach and filled the days with sun, sand and relaxation.
While researching for the trip, I didn’t find much out there. I’m not quite sure why Grenada doesn’t seem to receive much traffic (it also gets often confused for Granada, Spain) but now having been, I wholeheartedly recommend it.
The island is perfect for diving and sailing while on the interior, Grenada boasts a lush national park and rain forest so you get a great mix of beach and jungle – which was fascinating to me. Most people seem to do a quick day stopover aboard a Caribbean cruise ship but I also noticed lots of British expats with homes on the island.
Keep reading for all the best things to do in Grenada!
When to Visit Grenada
The steamy tropical climate is tempered by northeast trade winds for a year round balmy climate. I spoke to locals who recommended January to April as the driest and best time to visit (rainy season occurs from June to November). Though if you’re looking to experience a Caribbean party like no other, the raucous August Carnival is a brilliant time to be in Grenada.
Where to Stay in Grenada
Grand Anse | The center of the hotel island is on Grand Anse beach and there are a number of prime resorts. We stayed at the Radisson Grenada. The hotel grounds were extensive, absolutely breathtaking and ideally located at the tip of the beach, closest to Saint Georges. Coyaba was the next resort over and had the EcoDive scuba shop on site.
Morne Rouge | Just south of Grand Anse this beach is secluded and quieter but equally gorgeous. Sandals La Source is the popular resort of choice on this strip of the coast.
11 Fun Things to Do in Grenada
1. Swim on Grand Anse Beach
Most of the luxury hotels in Grenada are located along Grand Anse, a beautiful beach with lush palm trees, soft white sand and gentle waves. Our hotel, the Radisson Grand Anse, had some of the most beautiful landscaping that I’ve ever seen and lots of waterfall pools, swim up pools, bridges and hammocks. Truly a paradise I didn’t want to leave! My full review of the property was covered in my earlier blog post here.
Beaches in Grenada are public so you’ll find lots of locals relaxing, tanning and swimming! It’s such a fun atmosphere and you can even walk into some of the other hotel properties if you want to snorkel, rent a boat or scuba dive.
2. Eat Authentic Jerk Chicken
For the best local food, head to ‘Wall Street’ a small strip of restaurants and stores. There you’ll find a Caribbean Grill Master restaurant with amazing jerk chicken, kebabs, Carib beer and ice cream smoothies!
My advice? Ask for an ice cream milkshake combining chocolate and nutmeg. Grenada is known as the ‘Spice Island’ since it exports so many rich spices, including rich dark chocolate cacao beans and nutmeg. The shake is delicious!!
3. Explore St. George, Grenada’s Colorful Harbor Capital
The bustling capital of St. George is a great spot to have lunch and do a short walking tour. Walk uphill (bring sturdy travel shoes) to see the Carenage, fort, market and churches. From the Radisson (or any hotel on Grand Anse beach), it’s a short 15 minute drive into town.
Sher’s Tip: You can take a taxi but we thought it was more fun to hop on the crazy, loud and fun local minibuses (bus #1) to get to Saint George’s. The minivans stop right outside the hotel on the main road every couple minutes.
4. Try Local Fruits like Soursup
In St. George, there’s a small mall near the cruise dock where you can pick up some souvenirs. Don’t miss the delicious frozen fruit smoothie stand where they whip up fruit smoothies of every kind. Try the soursup smoothie if you’re adventurous (it is supposed to help fight cancer!)
5. Climb a Waterfall
In Grenada’s center, you’ll find Grand Etang volcanic lake and rainforest trails. We took a hike to see Seven Sisters waterfall which was a challenging uphill climb and also a second visit to Concord Falls, which is much more easily accessible by car. If you have time it’s fun to do both – Seven Sisters is more remote and feels like you’ve stumbled on a local hideout while Concord is a larger singular fall with some tourist infrastructure.
6. Visit the River Antoine Rum Factory
Grenada has a really interesting topography, unlike most other Caribbean islands. The outskirts feature beautiful beaches but the interior is a lush rainforest. There’s no better way to discover the true depths of Grenada than by hiring a driver to take you around the island.
Ours made pit stops at the River Antoine rum factory (on the east coast) and Concord Falls (on the west coast) in a full circular loop. It’s about a full day excursion!
7. Tour a Nutmeg Plant
I really enjoyed the island drive as you get to see how diverse and lush Grenada is – mangoes and banana trees sprout right on the side of the road, footpaths are overgrown with tiny pineapple shrubs and beautiful inland mansions and old shells of houses remain from Hurricane Ivan.
Don’t leave the Spice Island without a proper spice tour. We visited a nutmeg plant, all locally operated, and learned about all of the island’s main agricultural exports.
8. Stop by the Chocolate Museum
Come here to learn about the island’s most delicious dark chocolate export. There’s artisan chocolate pieces for sale and ice cream shakes as well. We bought a ton of chocolate bars to take home – my favorites are the salty-licious 71% dark chocolate and the nib-a-licious 60% dark bars!
9. Go Scuba Diving
You definitely have to take advantage of the island’s pristine diving waters and spend a morning or two underneath the sea. We dove for three straight days with EcoDive visiting a number of different reefs and couldn’t get enough! We saw turtles, lots of local reef fish and the world’s only underwater sculpture park, all of which were a treat.
Monday through Friday seemed to be the touristy days, and frequent stops are made to the Underwater Marine Sculpture Park (the only one in the world!) where you can see sunken sculptures and local reef life intertwined. Advanced divers probably want to dive on the weekend, where the expats and locals take diving seriously and head to deeper waters. For my full diving experience, you can read my earlier post here.
10. Go Sailing
There are many charter options in Grenada available for hire and most opt for a one way cruise southward starting from St Lucia and ending in Grenada, in order to travel windward.
11. Hop over to Carriacou Island and Petite Martinique
If you have a week or longer, budget some time to hop over to neighboring Carriacou island to explore for a couple days. The easiest way to is fly (flights are offered daily from the main island to Carriacou and Petite Martinique) but there are also daily ferry options and the slower mail boats, which can go to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Is Grenada on your Caribbean bucket list?
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