In Grenada island you can see white sand, turquoise sea, palm trees and no crowds make Grenada’s beaches truly sublime. And if the mainland’s too much fun, island-hop to Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
The most southerly islands in the Windward chain, Grenada island and Carriacou (plus little Petit Martinique) are best known for having been invaded by the US in the 1980s and pummeled by Hurricane Ivan in the 2000s. But the storm damage is long gone, the American occupation a distant memory, and today the islands are some of the Caribbean’s most appealing.
From palm-backed white sand and translucent water to grayblack dunes and rolling breakers, the beaches are gorgeous. Grenada’s corrugated coastline rises up to mist-swathed rainforest laced with hiking trails and swimmable waterfalls.
St George’s, with its market, forts and postcard-perfect harbor,makes for a picturesque and friendly capital, and is the departure point for ferries. And though cruise ships inject a regular flow of short-stay visitors to Grenada, you’ll find all three islands refreshingly quiet and uncrowded.
Enjoy peace, quiet and beautiful beaches on this friendly island. The fact that most people don’t realize that there are in fact three islands in the nation of Grenada is a fitting introduction to Carriacou (carry-a-cou). You won’t find cruise ships, big resorts or souvenir shops – this is Caribbean life the way it was 50 years ago: quiet,friendly and relaxed.
Underwater Sculpture Park
This underwater gallery literally lies beneath the surface of the sea, just north of St George’s in Molinière Bay. The project was founded by British artist Jason de Caires Taylor and there are now around 80 works in varying condition all slowly becoming encrusted with coral
growth. The life-size sculptures include a circle of women clasping hands and a man at a desk. Fish and sponges have also colonized the area making the site a fascinating mix of culture with nature. The park is accessible to both snorkelers and divers and all the dive shops on the island organize visits.
Grenada’s main resort area is a lovely long sweep of white sand fronted by turquoise water and backed by hills. It has the highest concentration of big hotels, bars, eateries and water sports on the island but its essence has not been totally lost to development. The beach here is one of the island’s best and is justifiably popular. Unlike some beaches in the Caribbean, it gets a good mix of visitors and locals, who come here to swim, exercise and play sports. It remains the essential Grenadian experience for many. To escape crowds, look for the small access road that spurs off the Grand Anse Rd towards the southern reaches of the bay; it leads to a small parking area and uncrowded sands.
Backed by low, eroding sea cliffs, Levera Beach is a wild, beautiful sweep of sand that gets few visitors. Just offshore is the high, pointed Sugar Loaf Island, while the Grenadine islands dot the horizon to the north. The beach, the mangrove swamp and the nearby pond have been incorporated into Grenada’s national-park system and are an important waterfowl habitat and sea-turtle nesting site.
Grand Etang National Park
Two and a half miles northeast of Constantine, in eastern Grenada, after the road winds steeply up to an elevation of 1900ft, you enter Grand Etang National Park, a natural wonderland centered around a lovely lake. At the visitor center you can pay your admission, learn a little about the park and get a refreshment. There are many hiking trails within the park, varying in duration and difficulty. Some are well maintained while others are overgrown and require the use of a guide. Within the park you’ll find four of Grenada’s tallest peaks, the highest of which, bizarrely enough, is the only one without a name.
Morne Rouge Bay
Though just down the way from popular Grand Anse Beach, development on this excellent stretch of beach has been modest so it’s uncrowded. It’s a brilliant example of the snow-white sand and crystal-clear blue water that the Caribbean is known for. It has shade but limited services.
St George’s Grenada island capital
St George’s is one of the most picturesque towns in the Caribbean. It’s a fabulous place to explore on foot, from handsome old buildings to the Carenage harbor, with its colorful fishing boats and the bustle of supplies being loaded for other islands. One of the best reasons to wander the atmospheric streets is to discover little shops selling artful goods, unlike those near the cruise-ship docks. Interesting cafes also dot the narrow and busy streets. Visit the island’s bestpreserved fort, Fort Frederick, and the more than 300-year-old Fort George. You can climb to the top of both to see the cannons and bird’seye views. Just outside the main Fort George area is a series of dark defensive tunnels to explore.
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