5 Brilliant Places to Visit In Grenada
Grenada is the most southerly of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean and is known as the 'spice island'. It has many beautiful beaches and mountains, lush forests and cascading waterfalls and there are some wonderful places to visit.
Grand Anse Beach
I love beaches of all kinds, but Grand Anse beach is definitely one of my favorites. It is a two mile long stretch of pure paradise with soft, white sand and turquoise sea. The beach is also wonderfully sheltered from heavy wind and rough surf, due to its location on the southwest side of the island, and the surrounding lush forest and hills provide a beautiful backdrop.
The ideal thing to do is relax and work on your tan. If sun bathing isn't your style, there are so many other fun things to do, such as scuba diving, snorkling, water skiing or swimming. Grand Anse beach really has it all.
And, Grand Anse is also an excellent place to shop for souvenirs at the market, where local vendors sell their wares. Hotels stretch the length of the beach, but I was surprised to see that they weren't high rise resorts. The reason, I learned, is that there's a law stating that no development can be taller than a coconut palm tree.
Experienced scuba divers can look for the wreck of the Bianca-C, an Italian luxury liner which sank in 1961. And for those that want something a little different, hop over to neighboring island of Carriacou where you can experience the best Caribbean diving at the underwater sculpture park.
Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve
The Grand Etang reserve is high up in the center of the island and has an amazing array of mountains, rainforest, flora and fauna. It also provides a home and protection to many species of tropical birds and animals. It is common to see hummingbirds, lizards, mongooses, and even monkeys.
I was truly amazed by the variety of species and I learned that this one forest has several eco subsystems, making it ideal for those interested in ecology and wildlife. In the center of the reserve is the Gran Etang Lake, once a crater from a volcano that is now filled with water. The lake is particularly fascinating as it is above above sea level.
Thankfully, you don't have to be a hiker to enjoy this area. There are many trails and guided walks available to suit all tastes, and range from short strolls to major hiking expeditions. Tours are available to Concord Falls, and the Lake, as well as walks designed especially for birdwatchers
Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station
The nutmeg on the national flag symbolizes Grenada as the spice island, so it seems to me that no visit would be complete without a trip to the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station. There, you'll learn about growing nutmeg trees and see the workers grading, picking and packing the nutmeg.
I was surprised to find out that nutmeg trees aren't indigenous to Grenada, and originally came from Indonesia. There are more uses for nutmeg than you could ever imagine! Apart from the more obvious culinary use, it is used in medicine (good for the liver, skin, and even as an aphrodisiac), fuel, syrup, and liquor.
Mace, which is found in the nutmeg, is also dried here and is used for culinary purposes as well as for cosmetics. Of course, the station has a little shop which offers nutmeg products for sale. If you enjoy amassing a wealth of knowledge about obscure things, as I certainly do, then this is a fascinating trip.
St. George's Harbor
St. George is the capital city of Grenada. Some say its harbor is the most beautiful in the Caribbean and I agree wholeheartedly.
The harbor is a filled volcano crater and has a wonderful horseshoe shape. A completely natural harbor, it has a backdrop of hills rising up with pretty terraces of French inspired, pale pastel colored houses with red roofs.
The Carenage is the inner harbor and it is here where all the dockside activity takes place, providing the center of St George's economy. The variety of activity is exciting. You can watch goods being unloaded from wooden schooners and there are fishing boats and yachts of all sizes.
Cruise ships can also be seen coming in on the south side, as well as ferries to Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Grenada's sister islands. Fort George, now the police headquarters, can be seen on the headland, where some public viewpoints have been erected.
What Would you Wish For?
Boiling Sulpher Springs of River Sallee
River Sallee's boiling sulphur springs are a natural phenomena of bubbling water at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The springs are located just a mile and a half north of Lake Antoine on the northeast side of the island. There is evidence of the sulphur in the surrounding landscape as the runoff channels have orange and yellow hues.
There are six holes in all, the largest being an amazing 16.5 feet wide and 6.5 feet deep. The large one is filled with brown, muddy water, while the other five are salty, clear water – quite surprising as they are more than a mile from the sea.
These springs have spiritual importance for various religious sects and serve as a natural wishing well. The Baptists frequently use the springs in baptism ceremonies and the special atmosphere of the place compelled me to throw a coin in the spring and make a wish, like many before me.