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travels to the Caribbean Island of Grenada - a small guide to Grenada

Grenada
12.07' North
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Grenada beach
Maps of Grenada
carribbean islands map
map of carribean
detailed map of the island
kayaking and paddling Grenada
regional map
Grenada Island Map
view from carriacou island

Grenada is the Southern-most island in the Lesser Antilles, one of four islands comprising the Windward Islands, only 60 miles North of Venezuela.
Sister islands of the Grenadines are: Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
Trinidad and Tobago are Grenada's only Carribbean neighbors to the South.
Grenada has amazing waterfalls.

Kayaking in Grenada:
The paddling adventures of Grenada are best found along the shoreline of the island, coming in and out of most bays and points.
The rivers of Grenada are small/dinkey and fed by tropical rainstorm events and a couple of dams on the highland interior, only the patient and willing creeker could catch a storm in Grenada to pull off a whitewater kayak run on these jungle laden streams, but it IS possible.
The creeks of Grenada are mostly unsuitable for whitewater kayaking exploration.

For some excellent seaside mangrove kayaking, call Spice Kayaking and EcoTours Ltd-  473-440-3678, and visit the mangrove delights of Grenada.
Go snorkeling, have a rum punch lunch on an offshore island and enjoy the excellent Grenadan pace.


Facts for the Grenada Traveler:


Visas:
Passports are not required of US, Canadian or UK citizens, but proper proof of citizenship IS required.

Health Risks:
Dengue fever, sunburn, diarrhea, intestinal parasites, and light rum hangovers.  Drink only good quality dark rum.

Climate:
Averages 80 degrees Farenheit year round. (there's not really a bad time of year to visit Grenada, unless there is a hurricane)

Rainy Season:  
June ~ December

Money:   
US dollars are widely accepted by hotels, shops and restuarants,
    but you will get better deals if you purchase EC dollars at a bank and use the local currency.  
   
Meals:     
budget: US $5~10      mid-range: US$10~25     top-end: US$25

Ecosystem: 
(varied) rainforests, montane thickets, elfin woodlands and lowland dry forests.  

Fauna:
Osprey hawks, mongoose, pelicans, armadillos, opossum, Mona monkeys (in wooded areas) and the rarely seen tree boa.
   
Endangered species: 
sea turtle and the hook-billed kite.

Sea Fauna:
    High Season: (November ~ May)
        Humpback Whales, Sei Whales, Killer Whales, Cuvier's Beaked Whale and the Dwarf Sperm Whale
    Rest of Year:
        Sperm Whale, Pygmy Whale, Rights Whale, Shortfinned Pilot Whale, Melon-headed Whale, the Pygmy Killer and the False Killer Whale.

Climate:
tropical; tempered by NorthEast Trade Winds.

Humanoid Population:
94,000 (2003 estimate)

People:
Most of Grenada's population is of African descent; there is some trace of the early Arawak and Carib Indians. A few East Indians and a small community of the descendants of early European settlers reside in Grenada.
           
About 50% of Grenada's population is under the age of 30.


Religions: Roman Catholic 53%, Anglican 13.8%, other Protestant 33.2%
Church is a big part of the culture and the Grenadans can sing very well!

Languages:
English (official), French patois

Last date Grenada was hit by a hurricane:  1954
, 2004

Pack List:    
Pack light.
Pack ready for wet, warm, windy, and buggy weather.
Expect semi-formal dining for the most fancy eateries, and casual for all others.

bring your own film - (the film on the island is expensive and can be out of date)
bring your own chairs for the beach
bring a flashlight and spare batteries, the power goes out on this island frequently
bring bug repellant: you will deal with sand flies and mosquitoes
bring hiking shoes and durable water sandals
bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, long shirt and pants - strong sun - whiteman burn fast!
bring snorkel, mask, fins and behemoth beach towel

** fun tip:
dont bring your rolling luggage, the sand quickly fills up the rollers in this boats, docks and rough roads island.

Grenada, the isle of spice, Nutmeg is the primary export.

Nutmeg trees were first planted in 1843 and thrive in Grenada's climate and soil types.
When ripe for the picking, the round and yellow fruit splits in half and a dark brown shell can be seen covered with a vivid red lacy membrane, called mace.

Hint: Don't buy your spices at the markets in town. Wait till you get out into the countryside (after bartering with one of the taxi's) and buy from the locals, who are growing in their yards.

Travel Tips for Grenada:
If your direct flight to Grenada has any problems, remember:
    Grenada is less than 40 minutes transfer (by Dash 8) from either, Port of Spain (Trinidad) or Barbados.

Everyday travel in Grenada:  
    use the buses, great value, they go everywhere and can be exciting!

Point Salines International Airport is on Grenada's southwestern tip, approx. 3 miles (5km) southwest of the town of St. George's.
There are no buses operating from the airport.
There are a number of rental car offices and taxis available with set fares to all points on the island.  

Car Rental/Getting Around Grenada:
The roads in Grenada are narrow and the country is hilly (it can be a tight squeeze when cars pass each other)

There is a network of approximately 650 miles of paved roads and most of the main roads are in good condition.
Some road are quite fuct as well.
The best best is to get a driver, or pay for a taxi. Vehicle maintenance on Carribean Islands is sketch at best.

Note: Driving is on the LEFT


Visitors need to purchase a local driving license, and most car rental companies can make driving permits available for you.
The alternative is to present your driver's licence at the traffic department at the Central Police Station on the Carenage, and recieve a driving permit issued from the Police.
Better idea: hire a driver for the days you need to get around the island, the Taxis are friendly and abundant.

Rental Agencies:

local car rental agencies have small fleets and usually come with minimum three-day rental periods
better deals are usually had through the international companies -

Inter-Island Travels:
Cargo boats and catamarans run regularly between Grenada and Carriacou.  
The old-fashioned cargo boat ride can take three to four hours.
The modern express catamarans can take two hours and cost twice.

Craig's To-Do while in Grenada list:

- first thing to do, is to thank the kind family who invited me to come to Grenada with them - THANKS!

One of the best ways to visit this island gem is to do a mix of beach and interior hiking/exploring options.

-listen to the radio - tune into Island reggae, roots, rockers ( all kinds of small island sounds unique to Grenada)
-Hike in the rainforest, climb waterfalls, crawl in the creeks
-Visit Grand Etang Lake and hike around it
-Rent a charter boat and go deep-sea drinking/fishing
-Fish some more
-New: Drink and Fish
-Snorkel at Sandy Island
-Dive Grenada - scuba or snorkel
-Watch the Sunset from Quarantine point
-Catch the steel drum players at the boatyard - excellent!
-Swim in a waterfall canyon
-Drink locally made Rum Punch
-Call Henry and explore the rainforests, banana plantations and access beaches off the beaten path.
-Whales and Dolphins Watching - Grenada Sailing Tours
-Island Kayaking Tours - Spice Kayaking and EcoTours Ltd-  473-440-3678

also check out First Impressions Ltd for sailing and whale watching tours

optional:
Take the ferry North, across to Carriacou Island- watch out for Kick'em Jenny

Notes on Grenada (from Bonnie):

Clothing:
Grenada is a conservative country. There are no designated nude nor topless beaches (bare-chests and thongs are disdained) bummer!
Recommend: jeans at night to the bars.
Bring sturdy walking or hiking boots (if you plan to hike), snorkeling gear, and it can get chilly in the evenings and up in the mountains.
A raincoat/windbreaker is appropriate to bring to the island.

When driving, stay on the left had side of the road. The locals drive like crazy and will pass you on blind curves. They just dont care.
Grenadians use horns to express themselves in many ways, dont sweat it man, its just a horn, ok?
Honking is done prior to entering a corner to alert oncoming cars of your presence.
Horns are used to alert other drivers that the honking car is attempting a pass
(As best I can tell, the only place people freak out and start shooting over horn use is in the U.S.)

* It is not recommended to rent bicyles or mopeds, you are likely to become a casualty/grease stain.

Restuarants:
The Beach House (next to the airport, Bonnie's favorite)
Le Boulangerie in Marquis Plaza - good coffee shop, and shopping

Night Life
Friday - The Boatyard in Lance aux Epines (pronounced Lansopeen)- the boatyard is cool.
Sunday - Hog Island (south side of Grenada) Roger sets up a lil bar on the island and people hike and BBQ, trips over provided by locals

Hiking:
Mt. Qua Qua
Grand Etang
Seven Sisters Waterfall
Annandale Falls

Sautering:
Mt. Hartman - nice mellow hikes, beautiful views from
top west side of the peninsula down the island and out
to the Atlantic

Hashing:
running around the island drinking at bars and running/walking between - loads of fun

Beaches offer great lounging and snorkeling opportunities, but DO NOT GO PAST THE REEFS
and DO NOT GO INTO WATER THAT THE LOCALS ARE AVOIDING.
The tides are VERY STRONG and can suck you under and miles out in no time flat.
Grand Anse Beach - white Sand
Just north of the airport - black beach
Westerhall

Fun day trips:
Gouyave - Kelly's restaurant (45 minutes North of St. George) excellent eats!
Santeurs
Gouyave, thru Grand Etang to Santuers and ending at Bathway beach.

A good multi-day trip is to Carricou to the north of Grenada...pristine beaches and not many people around at all (2 hour boat ride from St. George)

The dump is located just south of Halifax Harbour (central west side) - flies and gross sea water, don't go there.

more Grenada resources at:
Carribbean Connection
Grenada Board of Tourism
Grenada - US Department of State Consular Information Sheet


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page last updated : 10/2005

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