Natural beauty, a surprising array of wildlife, heavenly beaches and boutique hotels, Grenada – the ‘Spice Island’ – is a Caribbean gem; authentic, historic and beautiful all at the same time. At Elite Travel Concierge we love this island, and feel that at least one of the many reasons to visit Grenada lies in a lesser-known status and reassuring underdevelopment, when compared to its neighbours. As a result, you get the chance to experience all of Grenada’s highlights, its hidden waterfalls, plantations and port towns in relative peace, though also comfort, given that the island has some of the most intimate boutique hotels in the Caribbean.
First and foremost, Grenada’s nickname comes from its long-held tradition for spice cultivation, mainly nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, cocoa and ginger – among others. This means that not only do you have historic plantations to visit, some dating back to the 17th century, but the sweet aromas of each seem to fill the air wherever you go, with artisan spice markets also providing fantastic souvenirs too. Indeed no trip to Grenada would be complete without picking up at least one jar of locally grown ground nutmeg or saffron to take home with you; a reminder of your Caribbean holiday as these flavours permeate through the island’s fine food, as you’ll find out.
Many of the plantations and markets can be found in and around Grenada’s historic capital, St George, with a walking tour the best way to discover this 17th century harbour town which is awash with cultural sites such as Fort George and the National Museum, as well as atmospheric colonial architecture found at the Cathedral and Parliament Building. However, a lot lies outside St George’s quaint streets, starting with the Grand Etang National Park & Forest Reserve, a lush green wonderland of trickling streams, picturesque waterfalls and wildlife, including dozens of bird species, mona monkeys, lizards and even armadillos. Grand Etang is an unmissable highlight of Grenada, with its crater lake, hiking trails and undulating terrain, so too the Seven Sisters Waterfall, about as idyllic a spot as you could imagine: think crystalline water tumbling into a plunge pool surrounded by vines, foliage and moss-covered rocks.
Culturally, Grenada is a dream, entirely laidback, with a love of music, dance, food, and some of the finest rum you are likely to taste anywhere in the world. With this in mind, at least one rum distillery visit and tasting is another must while here. Being the Caribbean however, the quality of beaches, availability of watersports and snorkelling is always of interest. So much so in fact, that local artists have taken the effort to create a submerged world of works, statues and sculptures which can only be seen while scuba diving in the company of sea turtles and tropical fish. It’s impressive to look at, though also gives Grenada’s surrounding coral reefs a chance to re-grow. The beaches that lead there are nothing short of postcard-perfect, chalk-white sands fringed by palm trees, all leading into cobalt blue Caribbean seas. And being a somewhat lesser-visited island, finding your own romantic spot or enjoying an intimate sunset boat trip from St George’s harbour, is all too easy.