|The best place to start your sightseeing in Grenada is St. George’s, the Capital. It’s regarded as the prettiest in the Caribbean; its natural amphitheater shape allows you to see everything from the excellent natural harbour of the Carenage. This harbour was most likely the result of an explosive volcanic crater when Grenada came to life and forms an excellent harbour – used by ancient Amerindian tribes in their canoes and still used by the stout red ferries that run between Grenada and Carriacou today.
St. George’s has changed but lost nothing of its quaint island charm. You can get just about anywhere on foot. Must sees are Fort George – an austere fortification at the northern end of the Carenage – a circular route goes right around the hillock and into the Fort offering perfect views of the town. Drilled underneath the hillock is the Sendall Tunnel – a seven ft (2.5m) tall affair built in 1894 and considered an engineering feat at the time. There are two churches of particular note in St. George’s – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian and St. George’s Anglican Church (shown right) . Both are beautiful and St. Andrews, with its blacker stonework can always be easily picked out from the skyline. There are several nice restaurants on the Carenage. Eat and enjoy the view. Small vendors sell nutmeg and other goods right on the bay and there are a number of duty free shops located around the careenage. Most of all, take your time and enjoy the narrow streets, little steep alleys and old architecture.
Outside the Capital, there is plenty of sightseeing to do. Grenada’s impressive volcanic hills offer the hiker some excellent chances to see untainted rainforest along with waterfalls (Annandale is the most famous) monkeys, birds, and many tropical flowering plants. Trails at varying degrees of difficulty abound ranging from short, flat paths to highly challenging steep, muddy, long, scrambling, rope-climbing rambles. All are rewarding – one spot not to be missed is Morne Gazo Hill where the Forestry Department has built a mile of nutmeg shell-covered nature trails within a beautiful rainforest. The trails are informative and self-guiding and their treetop lookout offers brilliant views of the whole of Southern Grenada. HIKING: There are trails to suit all levels of experience. Tours are easily arranged. Guides are strongly recommended for the more strenuous hikes as their experience is invaluable and they prevent you from getting lost – easily done in any rainforest. There are some basic guidelines that you need to be aware of so that you (and others after you) get the most out of the hike:
|Dress:||Wear robust hiking boots and pack a waterproof to keep you dry|
|Water & Food:||Take something to eat and plenty to drink|
|Conservation Tips:||Please leave things as they are. Do resist the temptation to remove flora, fauna etc.,|
|Litter:||Bring a plastic bag for your litter. Dispose of it on return to your hotel.|
Exploring the island further, there are several places where you may wish to stop off. Climb the 100 foot cliff at Sauteurs where Carib Indians leapt to their deaths in 1651 rather than be captured by French colonists. The West Coast fishing town of Gouyave. The Nutmeg Processing Stations at Gouyave, Victoria and Grenville are also worth a visit – see how the famous spice ends up in your favourite cocktail! On your trip you will see churches dotted about the island – old, strong and architecturally interesting buildings (shown left) that have become a permanent part of Grenada’s landscape.
Grenada also has many beaches – some excellent out of the way ones at Magazin (below right) and Levera. At Levera beach you can see the Sugar Loaf, Green and Sandy Island nearby – excursions can be arranged to Sandy Island where the beach is excellent and the snorkelling superb.
|Further south of Levera Hill finds Boiling Springs and Lake Antoine, a volcanic crater lake. The River Antoine Rum Distillery is nearby. Half way down the East Coast lies Grenville, Grenada’s second largest town. From there you can drive cross country through the Grand Etang Forest Reserve where you may see banana, cocoa and nutmeg plantations plus the other volcanic crater lake, Grand Etang Lake. The Grand Etang Forest Centre is a well-organised information centre providing info on the park. Alternatively, you can take the scenic east coast road to St. David’s and onward to the South East Peninsula. There is another rum distillery at Westerhall Estate on the way.|
No trip to Grenada is complete without a trip to Carriacou (left) or Petit Martinique. Both islands lie immediately to the North of Grenada and are utterly peaceful. A day trip is a good idea and the Osprey Express provides a state-of-the art ferry service from Grenada plus organised day trips. Carriacou & Petit Martinique are noted for their natural beauty, wonderful views and friendly people – the archetypal small Caribbean island atmosphere.