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Ultimate Travel Guide To Grenada, The Caribbean Spice Island

Are you dreaming about deserted tropical beaches, lush green landscapes, sun drenched skies and a rum punch or two? Well, the small island nation of Grenada just off the coast of Venezuela delivers on all three counts and much more.

Only 21 miles long and 12 miles wide the island will weave its magic on you with its rich blend of heritage and amazing natural beauty. This travel guide to visiting the beautiful Caribbean island will show you exactly why you should consider adding to your bucket list, a holiday to Grenada.

Travel Guide To Grenada

Sima ewearing a blue denim stood in front of a wall of yellow, green and red painted tyres white 'happy' writing, 'barbados' and 'one love'

Disclosure: I was hosted by the Grenada Tourist Board, however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a copyright of the Curious Pixie. This post also contains affiliate links whereby I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps with the costs of running my blog so I can keep my content free for you. Thanks as always for your support! See my disclosure policy here.

Watch the highlights from my Grenadian adventure:

why go to grenada

Not to get confused with Gran-ah-dah the Andalusian city, Gren-eh-dah is the Caribbean volcanic island minus all the crowds.

sima overlooking the port of Grenada leaning against a wooden post surrounded by greenery

Laid back and utterly charming, Grenada is less developed than other Caribbean islands. Visitors get to experience authentic island life without the heavy commercialisation at every turn.

The tropical paradise, a former British colony boasts dramatic mountainous landscapes, a rich spice-producing heritage and is home to some of the finest chocolate.

Read on to discover the best of Grenada and more of my travel guide, from what to do, eat and where to sleep:

Things To Do in Grenada

Explore St George’s

view out toward the Caribbean Sea from Fort George

The bustling capital of Grenada is frequently referred to by locals as just town and is classed as one of the most beautiful cities in all of the Caribbean. An array of colourful houses cascade down the hillside to the calm bay surrounding St George’s.

Hike up to Fort George, the 300 year old fortress with working cannons. At the top admire the 360 degree views of the city and out beyond to the Caribbean Sea hence why it’s relatively high up on this ultimate travel guide to Grenada because it’s a must do on your next holiday!

view of glass bottom boats, catamaran and yachts in moored up in the dock/marina

Make time to wander the historic streets, along the harbour waterfront, known as the Carenage. The restored Georgian buildings now house shops, restaurants and ocean front bars playing relaxing Caribbean reggae music all day long.

make your own chocolate

This spice island is making big waves in the chocolate market with a boom in the trend for bean to bar chocolate making. Entrepreneurs from the US and the UK have arrived on the shores of the Caribbean island searching not for beaches and rum, but for world class cocoa!

There are five chocolate producers on the island and Tri-Island Chocolate is the new kid on the block. Founder Aaron Sylvester inherited the cocoa land from his grandparents. In a life-changing decision, he stepped away from digital music marketing in London and into the world of Grenadian chocolate.

picture of sima and friends at Tri-Island Chocolate holding chocolate that they've made

Tri-Island have launched a great Grenada chocolate making experience in their shop and cafe in St George. After a one hour workshop at a cost of £31, visitors leave with two chocolate bars made by their own fair hands and learn about cocoa and the chocolate making process.

Tri-Island | Lower Lucas Street | St Georges | Grenada | Website

go rum tasting

Almost every Caribbean island produces its own rum and Grenada is no exception. Plenty of places offer rum tasting such as the the River Antoine Estate home to the oldest rum distillery in Grenada, which has been producing rum since 1785. Their most famous is the Rivers Overproof rum at 70% ABV. It’s so potent it can only be enjoyed in Grenada as airlines have banned the combustible liquid on flights. Thankfully they do make different strengths which are fine to transport.

sima sat on a swing under palm trees and alongside a river and tiled roof bamboo bar/shack

Head to the abundance of rum shacks around the island and bartenders will be happy to talk through all the different varieties. Most hotels will also hold their own rum tasting sessions.

picture of two bottles on a tiled bar.  One rum punch (orange colour) and one filled with sticks.

TOP TIP: And for the daredevils out there ask for the under-the-counter rum or Babash as it’s locally known. This traditional homemade version is an infusion of various herbs and spices. Each one will be different with ingredients like mountain spice, lemongrass, cinnamon bark and a number of exotic species like scorpions. Be prepared, it’s very, very strong!

INDULGE IN GRENADIAN CUISINE

In Grenada the smell of spice lingers in the air, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, bay leaf, clove, turmeric, thyme, and lemongrass grow in abundance. With year round sunshine and fertile soil, they produce many organic fruits and vegetables like coconuts, sweet potatoes, callaloo (similar to spinach), papaya and mangoes.

The melting pot of cultures means you’ll eat lots of French, Spanish, African, and Indian influenced cuisine too with Caribbean spices adding a delicious twist. Travelling as a vegetarian I had no issues with food always had plenty of options.

Try the national dish oil down, basically a one-pot feast of either meat or saltfish with vegetables and dumplings (vegetarian versions are available too). Then the Frybakes or just bakes filled with either saltfish, corned beef or cheese. My favourite callaloo soups and roti, thin wraps stuffed with curried meat, fish or vegetables. And of course a rum punch or cocoa tea can help wash it all down.

READ MORE: Where to Eat in Grenada

tour a nutmeg plant

picture of nutmegs in a hessian bag

You can’t visit the Spice Island and not experience a spice tour. Grenada now produces almost a third of the world’s supply of nutmeg. In the small fishing village of Gouyave, northwest of the island you can discover how. Watch all the stages of nutmeg and mace production in the largest nutmeg processing factory on the island. The factory is still run by hand labour and give you a fascinating insight into factories of old.

picture of lady sat on a chair in a red and blue headscarf, blue t-shirt and yellow dress wearing jeans and boots surrounded by hessian bags some filled some empty

TOP TIP: Don’t miss trying trying nutmeg ice cream or nutmeg jelly (jam for the UK readers) whilst in Grenada. Slightly addicted I bought back four jars which should keep me going until my next visit.

snorkel with eagle rays

picture of a white boat named 'aquanauts'

Explore the magic of Grenada’s marine paradise, there are great sites for snorkeling and diving on both the north and southern tips of the island.

Initially the plan was to experience the Underwater Sculpture Park, however rain in the vicinity meant the team at Aquanauts based at True Blue Bay Resort had to do some quick thinking. The alternative site was Glover Island.

sima and friend snorkelling in the ocean

Here we swam with beautiful eagle rays amongst the beautiful coral. Great visibility, and warm waters made for an incredible experience. This rain cloud certainly had a silver lining.

picture of of a spotty ray under water

Hike in the Grand Etang rainforest

There are lots of hiking trails within the Grand Etang National Park all varying in duration and difficulty. The natural wonderland centres around the large volcanic crater lake.

money eating a fruit sat on a green metal box surrounded by greenery

We enjoyed a half day tour of the rainforest with Hidden Treasures Hikes and our experienced guide Simon. The tours start from start from £45 and can be adapted for ability and age.

You’ll find all the flora and fauna typical from the island in this microcosm of Grenada’s mountainous interior. Hike to and swim in the waterfalls, meet the ever so friendly Mona monkeys and enjoy the wilder side of Grenada.

Hidden Treasures Hikes | Saint George | Grenada | Contact

relax in the clabony SULPHUR springs

One of the best parts of the Hidden Treasures Hikes tour was a visit to Clabony Sulphur Springs. The route to the springs can be a little complicated, so it’s best to hire a local tour guide. Hike or drive through banana and nutmeg plantations to reach the point from where you are able to walk to the springs.

sima in a spring facing away from the camera surrounded by greenery

A short walk over gurgling streams and over rocks will lead to a waist height rock pool. The rain fell as we relaxed in the naturally warm waters whilst we rubbed the sulphur full of healing properties onto our skin and listened to the sounds of the rainforest. A magical moment and one which I didn’t want to end.

visit concord waterfalls

Take a refreshing dip in the clear, cool waters of Concord Falls. Visit the picturesque 100ft cascade by driving 1.5 miles along Concord Mountain Rd from the village of Concord.

looking down the 100ft cascade of concord fall surrounded by rocks and green foliage

Even if the heavens open like they did on our visit it’s still a beautiful site to visit. And if one waterfall isn’t enough, you’re in luck as Concord isn’t one but three waterfalls. The other two Au Coin and Fontainbleu can be reached after a 45 minute hike.

Go ‘lime’ on A beach

When it comes to beaches in Grenada, the question is how many can you fit into your stay. Completely spoilt for choice you’ll find 45 white and 9 black volcanic sand beaches.

looking out to the ocean surrounded by sandy beaches, blue sea, green hills in the very background and palm trees

All the beaches on the island are public, regardless of how exclusive the area looks. Grand Anse is the most popular, followed by Morne Rouge beach locally known as BBC beach, La Sagesse and Lavera beach. Black Bay beach is where you’ll find the silky volcanic sands.

It’s also the best place to practice the unofficial national pastime of ‘Liming‘. No, I’m not talking about squeezing citrus fruit. It’s more of a state of being and having a good time – Kick back and relax my friends!

Take a Sunset CRUISE on a Traditional Sloop

picture of blue and red 'savvy' names boat with lady pointing and laughing towards the camera and man waiting on the dock waiting to set sail in a red jumper and blue shorts

Enjoy an authentic sailing experience on a traditional handcrafted Carriacou sloop. The vessels history dates back to the 1800s when they were used to trade spices and rum between the Grenadine islands.

sima sat on a white and red cushion at the back of the boat holding a red drink, wearing sunglasses and a yellow and black animal print dress

Today you can board a sloop with Savvy Sailing, who charter a number of private cruises around the Grenadine islands. Sit back, relax and admire the stunning views of the island from the crystal clear waters. It’s the perfect way to end a day with a rum punch in hand, munching on snacks, listening to music and watching the horizon light up in hues of red, pink and orange.

Savvy Sailing | Saint George| Grenada | St George’s | Grenada | Website

Where to stay in Grenada

true blue bay boutique resort

picture of sign 'cocoa pod pool' on grass under palm tree and pool in the background of the photograph

Friendly and homelike True Blue Bay Resort is a vibrantly designed waterfront hotel. The family run hotel has a strong emphasis on sustainability and recently launched 21 climate-smart Cocoa Pod rooms and suites, all powered primarily by solar energy and harvest rainwater for use in its bathrooms.

sima drinking out of a piece of fruit on multi coloured wired chairs overlooking the pool under a palm tree

Amenities include two swimming pools. yoga studio, kids’ club, onsite shop, spa and dive centre. They even run a complimentary shuttle to Grand Anse Beach.

walkway to rooms in TRUE BLUE BAY BOUTIQUE RESORT

The popular Dodgy Dock waterfront restaurant and lounge bar is also home to Street Food Wednesdays where a range of local, regional and international street food is on offer – A night many Grenadians look forward to!

READ MORE: On the blog soon

When is the best time to visit Grenada

view of Grenada from the boat looking towards the hills with green foliage and dotted houses

Grenada enjoys a hot, tropical climate all year round tempered by northeast trade winds. The driest months are typically January to May and rainy season runs from June to December. Or if you would like to experience a party like no other the August Carnival is a great time to visit Grenada.

Located on the southern edge of the hurricane and tropical storm belt, the island is rarely affected by the storms which can occur from July to November.

how to get to Grenada

Both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer direct flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International airport from the UK. Flight time is approximately 10.5 hours with a short stop in St Lucia to change crew whilst passengers remain on board.

Grenada is also a popular stop on many cruise ships and makes for a great day trip.

Other useful information

The Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) is the local currency in Grenada. Many establishments will accept payments in US Dollars with change being given in local currency. A 10% tax and 10% service charge is added to many hotel and restaurant bills. If no service charge is added at restaurants, a 10% tip is generally expected.

Something not to worry about is plugs. Most places use British style three-pin plugs, but you’ll sometimes see US-style two-pin plugs.

For more information, please visit the Pure Grenada website.

TRAVEL TOOLKIT TO HELP PLAN YOUR TRIP

Have you been to the Grenada? Or are you planning a trip? Let me know in the comments box below if you feel there is anything I should specifically add to my ultimate travel guide to Grenada.

sima

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40 Comments

  • L - Franglais27 8th January 2020 at 9:48 am

    That’s a great round up,I have family in Grenada and so will recommend it for first timers to the Caribbean as it is such a compact island with a good network of buses to get around town!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 8th January 2020 at 9:57 am

      Thank you so much! I loved my first visit and can’t wait to return. Which part of the island are your family?

  • Binita Shah 8th January 2020 at 12:33 pm

    My fave beach trip from last year – love how rustic and authentic it is with not so much commercialisation. A great island to get a flavour of the Caribbean from!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 8th January 2020 at 12:41 pm

      I can’t wait to go back. Really felt like I got to see the real Caribbean.

  • Cassie Mayers 10th January 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Wow there is so much to do! Looks amazing. I think I would love the Springs, never been to anywhere that has them.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 10th January 2020 at 2:32 pm

      Yeah so much more than just sand and sea, although it can be tough to pull yourself away from them.

  • Kara Guppy 11th January 2020 at 9:31 am

    I could do with some blue skies and sunshine, Grenada looks stunning, I would love to visit one day

    • Sima Sthanakiya 11th January 2020 at 12:20 pm

      It’s a beautiful place with the most welcoming people. I loved my whistle stop tour and want to go back and discover more.

  • Angela 11th January 2020 at 11:35 am

    I absolutely love everything about this post, the video, the photos, the description! I want to go. Your blog site is wonderful.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 11th January 2020 at 12:20 pm

      Thank you so much Angela.

  • The Holidaymaker 11th January 2020 at 11:56 am

    You had me at chocolate, rum and palm trees! What a great guide!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 11th January 2020 at 12:19 pm

      Thank you so much. The most idyllic island.

  • Merrie Rodriguez 11th January 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Looks like so much fun!!! Beautiful beaches!

  • Jyoti 11th January 2020 at 3:56 pm

    What a lovely vacation! I would totally enjoy the immersive experiences in Granada, especially chocolates and nuts, my favorite. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 11th January 2020 at 4:59 pm

      The chocolate was amazing Jyoti.

  • Anna 11th January 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Grenada was not on my Caribbean bucket list, but you’ve got me excited! Those mountainous landscapes and chocolate both sound amazing!Hope to visit one day!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2020 at 11:39 am

      It was never on mine either, but the trip really opened my eyes.

  • Bliss 11th January 2020 at 11:08 pm

    I love the sound of beaches right now. Winter is so cold!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2020 at 11:40 am

      Gosh me too, would love to be back there now.

  • Krystianna 12th January 2020 at 3:50 am

    Great post! I’d love to visit here one day. Your photos are incredible!
    Krystianna @ Volumes and Voyages

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2020 at 11:40 am

      Thank you Krystianna x

  • Vanessa Shields 12th January 2020 at 8:41 am

    What a great post! I really enjoyed reading this as I’m thinking of going this year primarily for scuba diving. Thank you!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2020 at 11:42 am

      Oh wow really, good timing then! You have so much more to explore too.

  • Becky 12th January 2020 at 3:26 pm

    I’d love to visit the sulphur springs! They sound amazing. And I don’t think there would be much chocolate left if I was making it

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2020 at 11:44 am

      Hahaha! The chocolate was super delicious.

  • Sarah Bailey 12th January 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Wow what an absolutely amazing looking place to go and spend some time. I have to admit I would love to get to go to the Caribbean one day – definitely on my bucket list.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2020 at 11:44 am

      I was very lucky indeed to experience such a beautiful island and well worthy of a bucket list.

  • Crystal (The Busy Mom Diary) 13th January 2020 at 12:03 am

    Fantastic post to read. It certainly sounds like it was a wonderful experience in a beautiful place.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2020 at 11:46 am

      I loved it Crystal. Love to visit again and again and again 🙂

  • Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too 13th January 2020 at 7:38 am

    A comprehensive round up of things to see and do whilst visiting. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try the under the counter rum.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2020 at 11:47 am

      Thank you Sarah. Yeah that rum was hair-raising!

  • Bejal 13th January 2020 at 9:21 am

    OK, so this does sound totally up my street and well and truly on the list! Just love the laid back vibe and I’m a sucker for waterfalls and diving/snorkelling!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 13th January 2020 at 11:47 am

      In which case you need to book a trip ASAP! 🙂

  • Yaya 13th January 2020 at 4:07 pm

    I’d love to go to Grenada! It was never on my radar but it looks absolutely beautiful. The food also looks like a great reason to go!

  • Kate 14th January 2020 at 1:30 am

    Thank you for highlighting our wonderful island. Unfortunately, as you were hosted by the Grenada Tourism Authority, you ended up seeing what everyone else sees. Believe me, if you had stayed even two or three nights (and we recommend at least a week, and have many guests who stay two or three weeks) at the north end of the island, you would have enjoyed a more local vibe. Next visit, take a chance and let go of the perks of being hosted, and come and see the real Caribbean. You don’t know what you missed!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 16th January 2020 at 1:03 pm

      This was just a taster! I’m planning on coming back loved the island and the people, so will definitely bear you in mind Kate!

  • Stuart Fahy 18th January 2020 at 11:57 am

    Grenada looks stunning! I’ve never been to the Caribbean, although I am planning to head back to South America some time soon. As it’s so close to Venezuela (one of my possible destinations) I might have to try and spend some time there. Thanks for the useful information.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 19th January 2020 at 7:08 pm

      Whereabouts in South America Stuart? You should definitely try to go if you’re close.

  • Angie Silver 22nd January 2020 at 9:48 am

    What a beautiful place! Though you had me at chocolate and rum!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 22nd January 2020 at 10:05 am

      Haha! I was enticed pretty quickly too, so good as well.

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    I'm Sima, join me as I explore, experience and eat my way around the globe. Inspiring you to escape the everyday through my adventures... Read More

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