Grenada Travel Tips

Grenada Travel Tips 2014-10-16T11:03:42+00:00

Grenada is a tiny island country that lies in the southeastern part of the Caribbean Sea. Known properly as “The Island of Spice” because of the islands production of nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, and other spices; all which can be wrapped up in a nice souvenir for travelers. In fact the island is so associated with spices that the Grenada Flag includes a nutmeg on the left center part of the flag. But is Grenada just like any other Caribbean country? Yes and no. Grenada has a picturesque capital named St. Georges and is remarkably hilly, and on the borderline of mountainous. Like most Caribbean countries you will find friendly, laid back people, who know how to spot a tourist coming off cruise ships. But unlike other Caribbean countries Grenada really offers it all for being so little. Travelers are delighted to find mountains to hike, unspoiled white beaches, plenty of waterfalls to see, spice factories, beach activities, shopping, etc… Grenada is a beautiful country to spend anywhere from a day to a week exploring (Last updated Feb 2014).

(click on a topic to skip to that section)

Noteworthy Places
Getting to/around Grenada
Breakdown of Costs
Grenadian People
Grenadian Language
Definitely Do’s and Don’ts
From Splurging to Saving
Good for Gay Lifestyle?
Random Advice

Noteworthy Places I’ve Been To

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St. Georges – A pretty and quiet little city which sits on some very steep hills at the southern part of the country. I came on a cruise and walked around the streets to look for some spices and other Grenadian souvenirs. Fort George is cheap to visit and offers excellent views of the city although  there isn’t very much information about the fort. I would also suggest walking along the Carenage, or the waterfront harbor of St. Georges. The city is tiny and wouldn’t take you more than a day or two to explore.

Getting to/around Grenada

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By Plane – Many tourist come through flights and will land at St. Georges. The airport is located 4 miles south of down St. Georges. Many US flights as well as European flights have direct service, most notably from New York, Toronto, London, and Miami.

By Cruise – The other option would to come by a cruise. This is how I came to Grenada and usually you only have 1 day to see some sites while in Grenada. The cruise ship does offer great tours so that you can see more of the island than just St. Georges.

Getting around Grenada is fairly easy and mostly cheap. If you’re looking for the cheapest option than there are several buses that will get you through St. Georges or to other destinations in Grenada. Taxis are pretty decently priced and St. Georges even has water taxis to take you between the cruise terminal and the Carenage. Car rentals are another option but they can be fairly expensive and in Grenada they drive on the British side. Take precautions when driving in the mountains or through the chaotic city.

Breakdown of Costs

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Hotels – Didn’t stay at any hotels while in Grenada but it seems there are hotels ranging in a wide variety of prices. From small inns and cottages that are priced fairly cheap, 25 dollars to 50 dollar, to room that cost around 100 dollars to 500 dollars; and even hotels that costs in the thousands!

Food – Food isn’t horribly expensive in Grenada. Be ready to pay around the same prices as you would in the states, if not more, for touristy and upscale restaurants. Local food will be cheaper but you will need to carry cash around.

Other Activities – Make sure to save your money for the real reason to come to Grenada! The landscape is gorgeous and should be explored. You’re going to want to do excursions like going to the beach, snorkeling, kayaking, shopping for spices, drinking, exploring the waterfalls, seeing the local rum distilleries, and hiking the local mountains like Mt. Qua Qua and Mt. St. Catherine.

Grenadian People

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From what I experience the Grenadian People are pretty friendly and welcoming. Sometimes pushy like many of the other Caribbean countries, they however don’t try so hard to get you to buy whatever they are selling. Grenadian people are serious about their work and have a much more conservative attitude compared to other Caribbean nations. They even recently just passed an ordinance to try to deter people dressed in saggy pants as well as bathing suits. The city of St. Georges is not a place to dress inappropriately like you would at the beach. Keep in mind that like much of the rest of Caribbean countries Grenada is rather homophobic but more than likely you won’t be in any danger as Grenada is one of the safest countries in the Caribbean.

Grenadian Language

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Grenada’s national language is English. Unofficially many people speak a creole based English that can be difficult to understand for the average English speaker outside of the Caribbean. It’s the accents and the way they put together their sentences that is confusing! French Patois used to be spoken but now has become almost widely never used.

Definitely Do’s and Don’ts

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Do buy the spices that Grenada is so famous for. Markets sell them everywhere and are decently priced.

Don’t wear bathing suits or inappropriate wear in the capital.

Do visit the mountains if you have time. One of the most famous is Mt. Qua Qua in the Grand Etang Nature Reserve.

Don’t forget to go to the market places or try to buy some Grenadian rum. Better yet visit the rum distilleries to see how it’s made.

Do head to one of the many beautiful beaches that Grenada has. Some of  the best ones include Morne Rouge, Black Bay and Bathway beach.

Don’t forget to try other foods like vanilla (suppose to be really good) and Grenada Chocolate.

Do go see some of the many beautiful waterfalls that Grenada has. Some of the best include Mt. Carmel Waterfall, Annandale Waterfall, and Honeymoon Waterfall.

From Splurging to Saving

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It would be pretty hard to come to Grenada with a tight budget because food and a hotel alone will cost you at least 75 dollars a day and that’s on the low-end. Some of the hotels are crazy expensive and like many Caribbean countries, much of the food has to be imported. If you’re welling to go to less touristy places you will have better luck with the prices of the food.

Once you have factored in the hotels and food you’re also going to want to do excursions and different activities around the island. There is plenty to see and do but they almost always need a tour or a rental car to get to. This does add up and can cut into your budget quickly. My advice is to stick with the budget you already have and have 100 or 2oo dollars extra for souvenirs or emergency type of spending.

There are places to save money if you’re on a really tight budget. There are some low-end hotels as well as a hostel. If you’re coming through a cruise than make sure to just eat on the cruise ship before you get off and come back on to have lunch!

Splurging would be staying in a 4 to 5 star hotel with your own private beach access and this could be in the thousands. However I did see that some hotels have rates that go along with up to 4 guests or 6 guests and there is one set price. Maybe you each pay 2000 dollars which seems like a lot but with full hotel service, with food and beach access this may be a really great and unique option!

Good for Gay Lifestyle?

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Nope. Unfortunately, like most of the Caribbean, Grenada is not friendly towards gays and lesbians. For many they just don’t simply understand and so you won’t find any gay bars etc. However it’s good to note that Grenada is not the worst Caribbean country to visit but you may expect to be called names on the streets. Checking up on their LGBT rights, I found that Grenada has none and you could be criminalized for sodomy.

Random Advice

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The water is generally safe to drink but if unsure then it’s best to ask.

Try the Gouyave Fish Friday. Gouyave is a town north of St. Georges and they sale fresh seafood every Friday night and make a big party about it! Sounds like a unique experience.

The island really isn’t that big so it may be a good idea to rent a car for a day to see almost all the island.

Set up tours to go to some of the unique beaches and waterfalls that are on the island.

 

 

 

 

images by: wayne, shawnvoyage