Grenada

Grenada is a small nation that it consists of three islands: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique. Grenada is by far the largest of the three, with a width of 18 km and a length of 34 km. Its 440 sq. km. are mountainous, volcanic terrain, reaching heights of over 838 mt atop Mount St. Catherine. The three islands of Grenada are located in the Eastern Caribbean at the southern extremity of the Windward islands, only 100 miles north of Venezuela. To the north lie St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the south Trinidad and Tobago.

The scent of nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon perfumes the air in sleepy Grenada, nicknamed the “Spice Island” for its fertile spice plantations. The largest of the three-island independent nation of Grenada tempts visitors with waterfalls, rainforests, and white-sand beaches. Devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the nutmeg crop is back in full flower, as is the island interior, a riot of blooms, from hibiscus to bougainvillea to frangipangi. The 18th-century harbor capital, St. George’s, is one of the prettiest in the West Indies.

The capital city of Grenada, St. George’s is the prettiest harbor town in the West Indies. Its landlocked inner harbor is actually the deep crater of a long-dead volcano. In the town, you can see some of the most charming Georgian colonial buildings in the Caribbean, still standing despite a devastating hurricane in 1955. The steep, narrow hillside streets are filled with houses of ballast bricks, wrought-iron balconies, and sloping, red-tile roofs. Many of the pastel warehouses date from the 18th century. Frangipani and flamboyant trees add to the palette of color. The port, which some compare to Portofino, Italy, is flanked by old forts and bold headlands. Among the town’s attractions are an 18th-century pink Anglican church, on Church Street, and the Market Square, where colorfully attired farm women offer even more colorful produce for sale. Fort George, on Church Street, built by the French, stands at the entrance to the bay, with subterranean passageways and old guardrooms and cells.

The Grenada National Museum, at the corner of Young and Monckton streets, is set in the foundations of an old French army barracks and prison built in 1704. Small but interesting, it houses finds from archaeological digs, petroglyphs, native fauna, the first telegraph installed on the island, a rum still, and memorabilia depicting Grenada’s history.

Some visitors never leave the sugary sands of Grand Anse, the beach near St. George’s, which has watersports, craft vendors, and ice cream. La Sagesse has a tranquil olive-green horseshoe cove, and at Magazine Beach flickering schools of silver fish reward beachside snorkelers, both beaches have good restaurants. In the northeast, where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean, wild Levera is often deserted and fronts a miniature offshore cay, the moss-backed, cone-shaped Sugar Island.

Watch as daredevil divers entertain tourists at Annandale Waterfalls near St. George’s; the blissful walk through the steamy flower-filled rainforest to the higher falls at Concord or the Seven Sisters feels as rewarding as a dip in the sparkling water. Hike the trails of the Grand Etang National Park to see unexpected vistas of the coastline, kaleidoscopic bird life, and the extinct volcano‘s crater lake. Experienced divers explore the “Titanic of the Caribbean“, the coral-encrusted sunken remains of the passenger ship Bianca C.

An attraction at north of St. Georges is the River Antoine Rum Distillery, St. Andrew Parish, which offers a set of almost bizarre visuals, each ripped directly from the pages of the colonial Caribbean’s mid-19th-century Industrial Revolution. It’s the oldest rum distillery in the world, replete with much of its original cane-crushing machinery and complicated network of siphons and distillation vats. Components of the facility include a late-18th-century water-powered mill whose groaning, creaking gears continue to mesh, connect, and crush the sugar cane.

Regular evening entertainment is provided by the resort hotels and includes steel bands, calypso, reggae, folk dancing, and limbo even crab racing. The island’s most popular nightspot is Fantazia 2001, Morne Rouge Beach. Just as fun and a bit less gratuitously rowdy is Club Banana, True Blue, St. George’s down by the marina. Grenada’s population numbers about 93.000, comprising citizens of African, East-Indian, and European descent. The largest proportion of the population, about 75%, is of African descent.

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