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.
Known as the Spice Island, Grenada is
everyoneís idea of tropical splendor. This small nation consists of three
islands: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique. Grenada is by far the
largest of the three, with a width of twelve miles (18 km) and a length of
twenty-one miles (34 km). Its 133 sq. miles (440 sq. km.) are mountainous,
volcanic terrain, reaching heights of over 2,750 feet atop Mount St.
Catherine. This topography provides Grenada with one of the loveliest and
most varied environments in the Caribbean.
Grenada is a microcosm of all thatís best in the Caribbean. There are
silky white beaches, unspoiled rain forests, hills and waterfalls, a
breathtakingly beautiful colonial capital town, warm, clear bays for
swimming and diving, a passion for food thatís a lasting legacy of the
early French settlers, peace and quiet for lovers of solitude and a lively
nightlife if you want it Ė all wrapped up in a perfect climate. Itís no
wonder that the British and the French fought over it so many times.
Bordered by stunning beaches, and dotted with picturesque towns,
this verdant island has long been a major source of nutmeg, cloves,
ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa. The seductive drifts through the colourful
Saturday markets and Grenada's dense forests. In the interior of this
volcanic island are cascading rivers and waterfalls, lush rainforests, and
one of the most breathtakingly beautiful mountain lakes imaginable. The
capital, St. George's, is widely held to be the loveliest city in the
Caribbean. Its horseshoe-shaped harbour is surrounded by a pastel rainbow
of dockside warehouses and the red-tiled roofs of traditional shops and
The most popular area in Grenada for hiking and trekking is
undoubtedly the rainforest around the Grand Etang Forest Reserve,
high up in the mountains of the island's interior. Grand Etang's varied
elevations and terrains maintain several different ecological subsystems,
culminating in the elfin woodlands high up the slopes of the reserve's
central mountains. The focal point of the forest reserve is Grand Etang
Lake, which fills the crater of one of the island's extinct
Hikes at Grand Etang range from easy 15-minute jaunts to rigorous
expeditions of several hours. The trails are quite good, and the Forest
Reserve provides excellent guides.
Grenada offers a number of excellent snorkeling and dive locations,
many of which are among the last great unexplored dive sites in the
Caribbean. The west coast of the island is edged by one long offshore
reef, and the reef itself is marked by the 600-foot wreck of the Bianca, a
cruise liner that went down here in 1961. The most convenient snorkeling
is found in the area just south of Grand Anse beach. This said, however,
visitors should know that the real center of dive activity is around
Grenada's sister island, Carriacou. Although largely undeveloped,
Carriacou is accessible by boat and plane, offers a number of
accommodations, and is encircled by marvelous, pristine reefs.
Several bars and most hotels provide some form of entertainment,
including Steel Band Music. Other nighttime offerings include folk music,
drama, and cultural performances. Grenada's musical calendar features
several events for jazz enthusiasts, which are scheduled on short notice,
so be on the lookout while you're there. The Village Hotel, near Grand
Anse Beach, has Wednesday night jazz sessions, with local and visiting
musicians and recorded music; the Grenada Jazz Society holds concerts
several times a year at hotels and other venues; and the Hall of Fame Jazz
Assembly has Sunday outdoor performances at the Botanical Gardens.
Access to Grenada by air is through the Point Salines International
Airport on the southwestern tip of the island. British Airways, BWIA, and
American Airlines provide direct service to Grenada; connections can be
made on other carriers via Trinidad and Barbados.
As a Commonwealth Realm, Queen Elizabeth
II is recognized as Queen of
Grenada. She is represented by a governor general, but real
executive power lies with the head of government, the prime minister.
Although appointed by the governor general, the prime minister generally
is the leader of the largest faction in the parliament.
Geography of Grenada
Of the Islands the encompess Grenada, Grenada itself is the largest
island. Smaller Grenadine Islands include Carriacou,
Saline Island and
Frigate Island. Most of the
countries population lives on Grenada, and the capital St. George's,
Grenville and Gouyave are the largest towns on Grenada. The largest
town/village on the other islands is
Hillsborough on Carriacou - which is certainly worth taking the
ferry for a day trip. Though modernized Carriacou is a throw back to the
The islands are of volcanic origin, and Grenada's inlands are slightly
mountainous, with several small rivers flowing into the sea. The climate
is tropical: hot and humid, and Grenada occasionally suffers from
hurricanes. The most recent storms to hit have been Hurricane Ivan in
September 2004 and Hurricane Emily in July 2005.
Diving in the Grenadines:
With more than 30 dive sites, Grenada offers dives a chance to dive
sites that are still relatively virgin territory. Grenada's underwater
adventures include wrecks, reefs, or be a little adventurous and do a
shark dive. The "Bianca C",
one of the largest ship wrecks in the Caribbean, gives divers a chance for
a deep water wreck dive. The boat is so long that unless water clarity is
perfect you can not see from one end of the ship to the other. The only
drawback to Grenada diving is water clarity, which can be variable
depending on the Atlantic or Orinoco currents. The Orinoco river in
Venezuela flows north in the Caribbean/Atlantic. If the current flows due
north this makes visibility from Trinidad to Grenada a little less.
During the rainy season (June - December) the heavy rains in South America
"can" bring the silt flowing out of the Orinoco river via the North
Equatorial current. The current also brings nutrients and plankton to
Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada and farther north - thus allowing for a healthy
reef and fish life. The upside is larger fish life are more prevalent -
whales, whale sharks and mantas.