“The Island of Spice“
Leaving behind Saint Lucia, we depart onto a last island-country in this cruise through the Caribbean before ending up at the starting point Barbados. Here we are in Grenada, docking at its capital city Saint George’s. First sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1498 during his third voyage to the Americas, and although claimed for the Crown of Spain, there was never found any evidence of settlement there. It was not until 1650 that the French settled and founded the capital at the eastern edge of the harbour named Saint Louis, however not a good location due to flooding and malaria, hence a new capital was built, Ville de Fort Royal.
After the 1763 Treaty of Paris, the island was ceded to Great Britain who named it Saint George’s Town, after the patron saint of England. It remained ever since British until its independence on 7th of February 1974. The Queen of England is still the Head of State as Grenada is a member of the Commonwealth Nations.
One of the main economies in this small island is the production of Nutmeg. Although this is not a tree from here, was back in 1843 when a merchant ship called in on its way to England from the East Indies carrying some Nutmeg trees that they left behind. This was the beginning of a booming industry in the island that now produces 40% of the world’s annual crop. Other spices such as clove or cinnamon are also very popular crops and wealthy economically speaking. Tourism is, of course, the most important direct influx in the economy of the island these days.
Together with Saint Lucia, it is one of the most tropical we’ve been in this trip altogether, and certainly one of the most beautiful. Although at this point is time summarise all the experiences and memories coming to an unanimous feeling of satisfaction and great enjoyment for all these incredible places and culture. And yes, definitely there is way much more to explore and visit in a future trip to the area, without hesitation I would consider.
For more information about Saint George’s and Grenada itself check Wikipedia site. Grenada’s currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD). Please note that any price reference is true as from when this guide was created, therefore check prices in advance as with the time they change.
What to see and do in Grenada:
- Annandale Waterfalls At few kilometres northeast from the capital, one of the most visited places in the island and not just for the waterfall itself, but the great natural landscapes all around the area.
- Saint George’s The capital city of the country. Very beautiful with lots of British colonial buildings like no other in the Caribbean. It seems to be taken out from Dorset, Devon, Cornwall or Somerset in England.
-Fort George Overlooking the entire city, the best advantage point of view. Quite in a disrepair state considering the great influx of tourism and therefore, money that could be employed for restoration.
-The Carenage The main old port, one of the most beautiful places in the city with countless Georgian and Victorian houses all around.
- Grand Anse Beach This is the beach of the capital city, just at the south, and although considered to be one of the finest beaches in the world, I kind of argue this especially after visiting such awesome other places in this trip across that many islands.
- Morne Rouge Beach More secluded than Grand Anse, yet near each other.
- Parc a Beouf, Magazine and Pink Gin Beaches Continuing southwest, the next and definitely much more quieter than any other.
- Bays and landscapes This island offers incredible views especially towards the south, from Pink Gin Beach to Marquis with the countless bays.
Maurice Bishop International Airport is located at the south-westernmost point of the island some 12 kilometres from the capital. It’s around 30 minutes’ drive from one to the other. It provides direct flights to the Caribbean states, North America, Canada and the UK, the later via both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic however once weekly.
The main cruise terminal is directly accessible to the city centre on foot at just few minutes’ walk. From your ship you can see the entire city meters ahead from you.
As for the land transportation in the island itself, there are public buses (small vans) covering most of the corners especially between the capital and the southwest towards the airport, linking small villages and the beaches along. The other important route is that from the capital towards the second largest city of Grenada, Grenville located along the east coast. It passed through the Annandale Waterfalls and the Grand Etang National Park. Where to find these, their timetable and all related to it could take precious time you might not have especially for tourists on a cruise. The best option however would be to get a driver to be with you for the entire day, as it can stop anywhere you wish. Totally worth it believe me. As an idea on the cost, set aside around $US 30 per person if you are 2 people, and around $US 25 per person or even a bit less if your negotiation skills are good if you are 4 people. This way you can visit Annandale Waterfalls, the capital city, Grand Anse and the beaches farther south west.
Since this was a cruise holidays and we slept always on-board, there is little I can say about accommodation here in Grenada other than the usual, checking some of our preferred affiliate hotel search engine such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Otel.com, Agoda, Opodo, LateRooms or Ebookers. In any case this is a paradise destination with amazing beaches at the north, west and south, and so are the up-scale luxurious hotels and resorts. Finding your desired choice won’t be difficult, however it won’t come cheap nor even within a medium range.