February 7, 2019 marks 45 years of Independence for Grenada aka the Spice Island. I will admit, this post comes with a bit of bias, but I assure you, this island is a must-see.
Here are my top 10 reasons why you should make Grenada your next island getaway.
- Organic Beauty
Much of Grenada is untouched by humans. Aside from a few resorts scattered alongside the coast, Grenada is full of unspoiled waterfalls, rivers, lakes, rain forests, mountains and beaches.
The island offers a variety of outdoor activities such as chasing monkeys through the rain forest, meditating at Grand Etang Lake, exfoliating in the sulpher springs, admiring the black sand at Black Bay Beach or jumping into Annadale Falls’ refreshing waters.
Grenada has been nicknamed the Island of Spice and as soon as you walk off the plane you understand why. The air in Grenada is filled with the pleasant aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Spices can be purchased at the markets located in town or by individual vendors on the side of the road, creating a perfect addition to your kitchen.
One of the unique wonders of Grenada is the underwater sculpture museum, a must-see exhibit for avid snorkelers.
The Moliniere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park was created by Jason deCaires Taylor and features over 65 sculptures. It is a breathtaking and somewhat haunting experience which some believe honors the memory of those who died during the devastating journey through the Middle Passage from West Africa to the Americas.
The site is easily accessible by boat and companies such as Aquanauts-ask for Isaac-offer wonderful full-day and half-day trips that also feature other site visits.
Lovers of Caribbean food will not be disappointed by the savory taste of Grenadian cuisine.
Local Roti which can purchased for $4 at Chucky’s in town, $0.75 street corn grilled to perfection, refreshing and locally brewed Carib that can be found at any junction (aka convenience store), and delicious Lambi Waters (soup) are just a few of the must-haves when traveling to Grenada.
If you are a fan of seafood, travel to the city of Gouyave for the weekly Fish Friday where you can taste locally caught fish and lobster.
If you’re looking for a more Americanized taste, restaurants such as Umbrellas offer a Westernized twist on Grenadian foods such as Cassava Fries and Fried Lambie Bites. Wash this down with a creamy Pina Colada made with local rum and topped with fresh nutmeg.
However, a full Grenadian experience is not complete without having a taste of our national dish, Oil Down, a delicious stew of spices, breadfruit, coconut milk and salted meat.
- Beautiful Beaches
Grenada is home to the world-famous Grand Anse beach which offers over two miles of white sand and clear, blue waters. Unlike some islands in the Caribbean, the beach remains open to the locals creating an authentic experience. Alongside the beach you can find restaurants, a local vendors market and water activities.
If you want a less-touristy beach experience visit BBC Beach or Bathway Beach located on opposite sides of the island. If you are an adventurer, a 30 minute hike south of Concord will take you to a hidden and secluded black sand beach known as Black Bay.
- Spice Mas
For the fetters, Grenada is home to one of the best Carnivals in the world. If you are looking for an authentic Carnival filled with performances from the top soca artists, pretty mas and a J’ouvert that will leave you suffering from months of Carnival Tabanca, then you don’t want to miss Spice Mas which occurs during the second week of August. Although attending any Carnival is pricey, Spice Mas offers a relatively inexpensive experience with costume packages starting as low as $150 USD. Grenada is also the land of the Jab Jab, a cultural character that symbolizes freedom, peace and equality. The characterization of this creature has manifested in the form of a unique style of soca music called Jab Jab Soca, made popular by artists such as Talpree. The intense beat and addictive rhythm will have you unable to sit still.
7. Safe Environment and Friendly People
Grenada is one of the safest and friendliest islands in the Caribbean making it an ideal destination for solo travelers, women and families. We pride ourselves on being a country that is not infested with crime and it is rare to hear about an incident occurring. Because of this factor, you do not have to be confined to the resort during your entire stay and can have peace of mind exploring the island and all of its wonders.
Grenadians are a very proud, jovial and peaceful people who love to share their culture, history and island with tourists. The country has been influenced by a mixture of African, French, British and more recently Indian and American culture which is reflected in the cuisine, music, dances and fashion. Grenadians also love to fete – or party – and a festival or celebration in the streets of the villages can be found any month of the year. A sense of community remains amongst Grenadians and it is not uncommon to see people lend a helping hand to a total stranger, including a ride into town or to the country. The national pride is apparent from the decorations and paintings of the national colors, flag and celebrities that can be seen all over the country.
The currency exchange in Grenada for U.S. dollars is 2.67:1. Enough said. However, if you want to be specific, transportation, food, and attractions are very inexpensive. Grenada’s local bus system is moderately easy to navigate and costs as low as $1 USD per ride, local meals range between $3-$12 USD, and many of the attractions are either free or under $5 USD to visit. Most of the shops in Grenada are owned by locals which allows for very reasonably priced souvenirs. Grenada’s limited number of resorts does contribute to pricey hotels; however, there are many AirBNB options for as low as $20 a night. Jetblue also offers flights for as low as $270 RT out of New York during the winter season.
If you love chocolate, Grenada is the place to visit for some of the purest cocoa in the world. Grenada is covered with cocoa trees that make some of the finest and most extraordinary dark chocolate. Visit the Grenada Chocolate Factory to learn how organic cocoa beans are manufactured into sweet, chocolate bars and get a taste of chocolate tea or ice cream.
Are you sold yet? Book your summer destination or winter escape to the Spice Island and experience all of the joys and beauty of the Caribbean wrapped in one tiny island. #PureGrenada
Damion Jacob Photography @dcj_photos
Michael Henry @michaelkchenry