Grenada is a little, green gem at the southern end of the Windward Islands. The Caribbean is full of beautiful places, but there is something unique in each one.
Grenada is referenced as the “isle of spice”.
This is because of its strong bond to the spice trade and its abundant supply of locally grow spice products.
The rich, volcanic soil that covers this island is teeming with life. Mountains, jungle, waterfalls, beaches and plenty of rich Caribbean culture.
While there is a small section of the island inhabited by tourist hotels, the majority of the island is relatively untouched by the tourist industry.
This guide has a quick review of some of the best and most unique things to do on the beautiful island of Grenada, West Indies.
Explore the Beaches.
One of the more obvious attractions to the island is its beaches. Voted in 2019 by Conde Naste Traveller, Grenada is home to the “Best Beach in The World, 2019”, Grand Anse.
This undeniably beautiful beach with white sand and crystal-clear water is also home to the majority of Grenada’s hotels. However, no matter which day of the week you visit this beach, you can always find a spot to yourself (in most cases, a tree to sit under).
The island is full of beaches. Most of them are a mixture of white (coral-based) and black (volcanic) sand, which creates a somewhat grey look. They are often empty, covered in palm trees and waiting to be explored.
Some of the best local beach favourites in Grenada include:
- La Sagesse Beach – a calm bay with one small motel/restaurant, palm trees & a small river entrance. Surrounded by green hills, you can often have this spot to yourself (even the restaurant).
- Bathway Beach – at the northern end of the island, this beach looks out to some of the tiny, uninhabited offshore islands surrounding Grenada. With a unique, natural rock formation it has a long strip of natural pools, perfect for an afternoon dip.
Waterfall Hikes in Grenada.
There are several remote waterfalls on the island that are “off the tourist trail”. There is really only one waterfall on the island that gets busy (as it is close to a purposely built carpark. The rest, you have to walk to.
These walks can vary from 10 minutes to 2 hours. Regardless, the scenery along the way is amazing, and there’s no better way to connect to a place than to get deep into its natural setting.
Some of the best waterfall hikes include:
- Concord Waterfall – roughly a 30-minute hike from the carpark deep into the jungle this waterfall is remote. Completely encapsulated by jungle, there is only a small opening in the canopy where the water flows heavily down from an inaccessible summit.
- 7 Sisters Waterfall – as the name suggests, this is a series of waterfalls (it’s actually 5, not seven). The first of the five waterfalls is actually a double which has a swimming hole and a place to jump off (for those that can brave the slippery climb to the top).
Welcome Rock Lookout the best lookout on Grenada.
Easily the best lookout location on the island, Welcome Rock Lookout is a must-do for those looking to capture the perfect gaze shot over a series of Caribbean Islands below.
With direct views down to Grenada’s most iconic private island “Sugar Loaf,” the welcome rock lookout is also a great place to bring some food and hang out for a while.
Be sure to wear comfortable footwear. The walk up a seemingly vertical road (not accessible by car) takes around 15 minutes. While it might seem impossibly hot, the view from the top is definitely worth it.
Stop at Rum Shacks.
The classic roadside bars made from wooden planks and painted bright colours. Rum shacks are a must-visit when in Grenada.
Anytime from around 9 AM to 9 PM in Grenada, there will be at least a few people drinking in the rum shacks.
People normally have two drinks on the go. A local beer (either Carib or Stag – which cost 5EC/ USD$2) and a small shot of rum.
In some cases, it might look overwhelming, seeing a group of men hanging out drunk before the middle of the day. But people in Grenada are very welcoming. You can just about get on with anyone if you’re open to a chat.
Keep your eyes out for Rivers Rum. It is 75% alcohol! Locals like to mix it with a kind of sweet juice. Don’t be fooled, this stuff is painfully strong and will set your chest on fire if you try to knock it back in one.
Caribbean Gin Distillery Tour.
A new addition to the things to do in Grenada (and Caribbean) list. A micro-distillery located on the property of a beachfront hotel is making the first Caribbean Gin.
Using local botanicals and spices, the Blue Light Caribbean Gin is surprisingly smooth and has a unique taste. A tour of the distillery includes taste testings of the gin and botanicals at different stages of the distillation process.
You can also walk out into the resort marina and climb aboard the famous Lightship. A converted floating lighthouse boat into a bar/restaurant. It also serves the locally made Blue Light Gin on Tap!
Have fun at Carnival in Grenada.
The most festive week in Grenada by far. If you’re able to make it to Carnival in Grenada (approx. dates are 5th August to 11th) you should.
The island comes alive with some of the craziest parties you will see in the Caribbean.
The two main days/events include:
- J’ouvert Morning – this is the wildest of the events. Its origin stems from the dark days of slavery. In a kind of rebellion against the slave drivers at the time, a character called the “Jab” was created. During the J’ouvert morning, many locals dress up and “Jab Jab”. Motor oil is covered over their bodies, horns are worn on helmets, while broken chains are attached to their arms and legs.
Despite the event (and characters) looking mostly black and scary, it is a fun time that is enjoyed by both locals and tourists.
- Pretty Mass – this is where the colourful, feather costumes come out in a full afternoon of dancing on the streets. It is expensive to join in the party (costume/float cost), so you can also stand along the streets and watch.
Chocolate Festival or Make your Own Chocolate.
The Grenada Chocolate Festival is a week-long event that takes place in May/June every year. It is a celebration of all thing’s chocolate on the island.
With four main chocolate makers, there are plenty of products to choose from. However, some of the best experiences come from participation in events and making your own chocolate.
There are also tours to the factories and plantations. The event draws in chocolate enthusiasts from around the world and encourages the celebration of the local product.
You can also visit the plantations any time of the year, though, the chocolate festival has a lot more events all put together in a nice, chocolaty package for convenience.
Sailing around the island.
One of the best ways to see the island is from a boat. There are a lot of different charter companies on the island that offer all kinds of tours and packages. From a sunset cruise, an afternoon sail to a full island and inter-island, week-long adventure.
The main road that goes around the island does not ‘hug the coastline’. So, in order to really see the whole coastline and find the most secret/remote of beaches, you need to travel by boat.
Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada.
The world’s first of Jason De Claire Taylor’s underwater sculpture series. This site has the iconic ring of people and some of the other first-round sculptures that you won’t see anywhere else (inclusive of the first sculptures that fell during installation and have been left).
This is a great one to tie into a sailing trip as it is much easier to get to by water than from land. While it is swimmable by land, to get to the beach, you have to climb up and down a rock cliff and navigate through thick jungle.
While you can enjoy the site snorkelling, to really get the most out of it, you’re going to want to dive. The depth of the sculptures makes it that little bit tiring to get up and down.
There are plenty of great diving companies on the island that offers trips to the sculpture park.
A West Indian favourite, doubles are a blend of cultures in a hand-sized wrap. Somewhat of a soft burrito, the “Double” is a chickpea curry in a roti style bread.
It’s said that they originated in Trinidad; however, over the years, Grenada has certainly made them their own and take real pride in the local delicacy. Sold in many roadside stalls, the double is a crowd favourite and a great conversation starter/chance to meet some of the locals in their element.
As part of the Dharma Trails Aaron has lived on the island of Grenada and travelled to many of the Caribbean Islands. Together with his partner, they focus on sustainable ways to live and see the world.
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