Thinking about traveling to Grenada? Not sure where to start? Continue Reading for helpful tips on Traveling to the Spice Island!
Planning a Trip to Grenada
Thinking about traveling to Grenada? Grenada is a Caribbean country comprising a main island and smaller surrounding islands. Grenada is considered the “Spice Island,” where it is the home to numerous nutmeg plantations!
Grenada was our very first time our of our home country! We were definitely nervous, (or at least I was)! This was also our very first time using Airbnb and we decided to stay with a local family. I did a lot of prior research because I was extremely nervous about going to a different country for the first time and staying with another family!
We stayed at the Authentic Grenadian Experience with a local Grenadian couple! A 5-minute drive from the airport and a 10-minute drive from the famous Grand Anse beach, bars and restaurants! We had a private room and shared the rest of their living space with them! It was $20 a night! They were incredibly helpful, gave us tips, found us a motorbike to rent and even made us breakfast! I felt like it was truly Grenadian experience!
We flew Delta from JFK to Grenada for under $530 a person. It was about a 4-hour flight. And the Grenada Airport was soo much smaller than JFK!
Getting Around Grenada
Let me tell you, driving in Grenada is a little different than driving in Central NY! Grenada doesn’t really have road laws… No speed limit signs, no street signs, and not a cop in sight! The roads are incredibly curvy and narrow. You drive on the left-hand side of the road, so opposite here in NY, but you’ll find that Grenada “buses” drive however they want, wherever they want, and extremely fast around narrow, blind roads!
There are buses (minivans) & taxi’s that are typically owned privately all over Grenada, but some of the locals told us to be careful as they can sometimes charge more if they know you really don’t understand the currency exchange!
If you are going to drive, you do need to purchase a Grenadian driver’s license, which was relatively cheap!
We rented a scooter, which was impossible to find, but our family we were staying with found us one to rent for the week! Most people would say you are crazy for renting a scooter in Grenada because of how the Grenadian’s drive! But with the roads being so narrow and the buses coming full swing around those corners, we were glad to have a scooter to get the hell out of the way! And it was easier getting around with a scooter than it would be with a car!
Where to Stay
Are you looking for the real Grenadian Experience? Are you more adventurous than the average person? In my opinion, hotels and resorts are overrated! Like I mentioned above, we stayed at the Authentic Grenadian Experience, a local couple who I believe may have needed the extra income! Our host were Kieron and Brian, and we did most of our communicating with their daughter Shannell! Kieron was often working, and Brian had a diving accident a couple of years ago and was paralyzed. He actually just started to walk again during our visit! I would recommend their place to anyone looking for a more cultural stay!
Things to do in Grenada!
Grenada is filled with activities for everyone! There are so many different beaches to explore! As you may know, John and I are rather adventurous, and try our best to go out of our comfort zone and explore the area!
Grand Anse Beach
Grand Anse Beach offers so many fun things to do! From Beach Bars, Dive Shops, paddling and Kayak rentals, restaurants, and local shops! This beach is actually very clean!
A little tip – local vendors’ will often come up to the tourist to try and sell them products, which tends to get a little old and I don’t like telling people no. But it’s best to just say “no thank you, I am not interested!”
Another note, there are often stray dogs and chickens on this beach, which they don’t typically bother you much unless you have food!
Grand Etang National Park
This is where the Scooter came in handy! The roads are steep, narrow and incredibly windy! The buses come whipping around those blind corners so fast, and not on their side of the road; if we were in a car, we would have been roadkill! The scooter was pretty scary too though, because you’re so close to the edge, just one mistake and you’re heading off that cliff! So be cautious! The road elevation up to Grand Etang National Park is 1900 feet! It feels like it’s never-ending but so beautiful and so worth the travel!
Grand Etang National Park offers hiking and trekking around the rainforest! It offers mixed altitudes and terrains which sustain several different ecological subsystems. And short hiking or more rigorous excursions for more advanced hikers!
Grand Etang National Park is home for many Flora and Fauna! My favorites were the Eucalyptus Tree and the Mona Monkeys! If you want to see monkeys, the best way is to probably get a guide as they are able to call them in! We were lucky enough that a tour bus came up the same time we did. So the Monkeys were called in!
Mount Qua Qua
Mount Qua Qua is a 4.3-kilometer trail located in the Grand Etang National Park located near Saint George. It is the second-highest mountain in Grenada. Most people hire a guide to hike Mount Qua Qua, but John and I had no issues following the trail! But it can be slippery, muddy, steep and challenging for some! And being that it is a rain-forest it can have some crazy storms!
Mount Qua Qua Trail starts at Grand Etang Crater Lake, which is a 35-acre lake formed by volcanic activity 15,000-25,000 years ago. The lake is 1,740 feet above sea level and home to a variety of freshwater fish.
Mount Qua Qua was the first rain forest we have ever been to! It offered stunning views of the Island! And was so lush and green! It was beautiful the entire hike and as we arrived at the top to started to pour and got extremely windy. We managed to find a rock to sit under to see if it would pass!
The storm never passed. So we headed down the mountain and within two minutes of our descend the rain and wind stopped! But the trails turned to total mud and we were covered in mud by the end of it!
Calling All Chocolate Lovers!
Cocoa Tour at Belmont Estate
Belmont Estate is an exclusive and authentic 17th-century plantation where you can observe the workers and see how chocolate is made in this historic plantation! You can take a tour of the organic farm, gardens, heritage museum and cocoa processing facilities. Literally the best chocolate I have ever had! We took some home for souvenirs! There is also an elegant restaurant including traditional Grenadian cuisine, a goat dairy farm, petting farm, a gift shop, café, produce shop, and craft market.
House of Chocolate Grenada
You can also start by visiting the House of Chocolate. Located on Young Street in the capital city of St George’s! Easy to get to! A small museum with a gift shop and cafe showcasing Grenada’s organic cocoa! You will be able to learn about the history of cocoa in Grenada and the eight stages of chocolate production from harvesting to drying, roasting, winnowing, grinding and conching, refining, tempering, and molding. You can also sample and purchase Grenada chocolate here!
Bathway Beach is located on the North-Eastern end of Grenada. This is an undeveloped beach that had nobody in sight except for John, myself and a cow! It was extremely peaceful!
Morne Rouge Beach (BBC Beach)
BBC Beach was a more quiet, less crowded beach than Grand Anse Beach. It was a perfect spot for us to relax in silence, catch some rays and read a book! When the waves were a little rough at Grand Anse Beach, BBC offered a nice rock wall to prevent the swimming area from being rough!
Westerhall Rum Distillery
Westerhall Estate is a High-Quality producer of branded rum products for local and international markets
The Seven Sisters Falls!
Grenada’s Seven Sisters Waterfall is located inside Grand Etang National Park. The first part of the hike is a wide dirt road through a private plantation. The trail then narrowed and you were surrounded by the lush green rainforest.
What you might see in Grenada!
You can expect to see a lot of stray dogs! Everyone we came into contact were friendly, but very skinny, which broke my heart. You’ll likely see goats, cows, and chickens wandering the streets. There are a lot of rather large Lizards too! There are also many locals who sell food on the side of the roads, you can get an entire meal for $5 while supporting the local community!
Spicemas is a cultural event, a Carnival in Grenada which happens between August 1st through the 11th. Overflowing with ritual and expression connected to African, French, British and Caribbean heritage, it’s colorful, entertaining and worth seeing! Fancy, masked, feathered beautiful people flood this Island and dance around with pride and soul!
Traveling to Grenada
Traveling to Grenada was an amazing experience and the first time we ever left our home country! It was absolutely beautiful! And the people we came into contact with are all incredibly friendly, making it a great experience! I would go back in a heartbeat!