Grenada, that island in the sun – the spicy one known and loved for its wide variety of spices like nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and more. Though the fact that you can find an abundance of spices in Grenada is well known, there’s much more to be discovered about this intriguing island country, including its world-class cocoa, amazing beaches, majestic waterfalls and world’s first underwater sculpture park!
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Doing a bit of research will help you quickly get your bearings once you arrive in Grenada for your vacation, and for this purpose we’ve compiled a list of some of the things Grenada is famous for. Being familiar with these things will have you feeling like a local by the time you land and begin to explore Grenada; an island where you can find spectacular waterfalls and beaches, lush botanical gardens, abundant rainforests, and other stunning attributes. Grenada is the perfect destination for travelers of all varieties, especially those seeking group travel opportunities, families, and couples.
In this article on the Sandals Blog:
The Underwater Sculpture Park in St. George’s was conceptualized with the aim to help preserve the coral reefs. Jason deCaires Taylor, the creator of the underwater sculptures located off the west coast of Grenada, has noted that the sculptures serve as artificial reefs.
Most of the sculptures were built from rebar and concrete, and over the years they have attracted an array of marine species in areas where damaged reefs previously existed. The sculptures surprisingly blend well into the underwater environment.
The underwater art tells its visitors cultural and historical stories relating to Grenada, and can be viewed via snorkeling and diving excursions.
Are you a chocolate fiend, or do you know anyone who is? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, you’ll love the House of Chocolate and the Belmont Estate where you can learn about the process of chocolate making and about some of the spices that can be found in Grenada.
The tour of the 17th century Belmont Estate and plantation typically includes tastings and lunch. Try the organic dark chocolate for a mood boost, or a cup of steaming hot chocolate to mellow out!
If you’ve decided to vacation in Grenada, chances are you’re going with the expectation of spending a significant portion of your vacation exploring exotic shores. Grenada is filled with amazing beaches, and one of the most popular is Grand Anse Beach.
Grand Anse is an extensive strand with lots of shade and amazing views. Morne Rouge Beach is also a good option and a little quieter than most. For a more private beach experience you can go to places like L'anse aux Epines, St. Patrick’s or St. David’s where you can find many little beaches that you’ll have mostly to yourself. To get to some of these beaches though, a four-wheel drive is required.
Other options include La Sagesse Beach, which is part of the Las Sagesse Nature Center, Bathway Beach on the north eastern end of the island, and Levera Beach inside the 450-acre Levera National Park. Levera Beach offers amazing views of the 3 offshore islands, Sugar Loaf, Green and Sandy Island.
After the incredible beaches that can be found in almost every nook and cranny in Grenada, the waterfalls are the next must-see attraction. The Annandale Waterfall is among the most visited, likely due to its nearness to the capital, St. George’s. For travelers that are willing to explore a bit further, there are several other waterfalls that generally offer a better experience: Seven Sisters, Mt. Carmel and Concord Falls.
One of the most amazing waterfalls on the island is the Seven Sisters Falls which is located in the Grand Etang National Park. Sign up for a tour of the falls which includes a 45-minute hike. After the hike, you can take a refreshing dip in the natural pool. Bring water shoes and extra clothes if you plan on getting wet. If you really want to get into waterfall explorations while on the island, also visit Concord Falls. There are trails to venture on in this area, and impressive views. When going around to the different waterfalls, it’s always best to go as part of a tour as not all of them are easy to find.
If you’ve been to Grenada before, or even the Caribbean, you’ll likely have heard the island being referred to as the Spice Isle. This is because Grenada has a huge spice industry – so much so that spices have become synonymous with its very mention. Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, bay leaves, and turmeric are some of the spices you can find on this island which is a top exporter of these products. So spicy is this island, that there’s even a little nutmeg on its flag!
Did you know: Nutmeg trees reach their peak 20 years after being planted.
Fort George was constructed in 1705 by the French. Today, it is a major sightseeing location with some ancient cannons still on site. During a visit to this location you’ll be able to take in amazing views of the Bay, as well as St. George’s. While exploring the fort itself, you’ll need to do a bit of climbing, but the view from the top is completely worth it. Also check out Fort Frederick, also built by the French, in 1779. The views here are also amazing. These sites both provide an opportunity to get better acquainted with the island’s history.
Volcanic islands offer unique opportunities to get a firsthand look at craters and other elements related to dormant or extinct volcanoes. In the case of Grenada, you can visit an extinct volcano where the main attraction is a crater-formed lake. The lake is surrounded by jungle all around, and while on a tour you’ll encounter unique wildlife including birds and lizards, and other flora and fauna so strikingly beautiful that you likely won’t be able to stop taking photos.
While in this area, you can also try the moderately challenging hike up Mount Qua Qua which will take you along a volcanic crater ridge.
Botanical gardens were truly conceptualized by and for people with a true appreciation of nature’s magnificence. If you want to see a truly flourishing botanical garden while in Grenada, spend some time at the Palm Tree Botanical Garden in St. David’s.
Spread across 2 acres, the Gardens overlook the picturesque south coast of the island. This site gets its name because of the multitude of palm trees that can be found – over 25 species. In addition to the gardens, other attractions include lily ponds, a greenhouse, and more. The botanical gardens are open daily, except for Sundays.
An island famous for spices might as well be just as well known for rums, and this is definitely the case for Grenada. The benefits of having such great quality of both spices and rum, means you can find some of the best rum punch mixes on this island.
Notably, there are quite a few rum distilleries in Grenada. The rum produced on the island is sold locally and exported internationally. If you want to find out more about the rum making process in Grenada, visit the River Antoine Royal Rum Distillery which is the oldest water-propelled distillery still in operation in the Caribbean. You can also go to Clarke’s Court Rum, which is the largest distillery on the island. This distillery produces rums (light and dark), liqueurs, as well as blended and spiced rums.
You can also visit the Westerhall Estate (producers of Westerhall rum) which started out as a private agricultural estate which produced coconuts, sugarcane, bananas and limes.
If you haven’t been turtle watching before, Grenada is the place to do it. Leatherback turtle watching is very popular on this island. As these are the largest reptiles alive which have dwindled in numbers over the years to the point that they are critically endangered, this might be one of those things you can consider a once in a lifetime opportunity. Levera Beach in Grenada has the biggest leatherback nesting population, and so this is a great spot to go turtle watching.
Everything about Grenada is spicy, and carnival is not excluded. Spice Mas, as it is known, comes to life on the island in the second week of August annually. Things build up from July, and this is a high peak time to travel to the island. As there are many parties and cultural activities happening around this time, this is a great time to go if you’re looking for a lively holiday with activities happening all around. Carnival in Grenada involves costumes, Soca and Calypso music and competitions, and of course dancing in the streets for the grand finale!
The Carenage is the local harbor and anchorage. Here, you can have a mellow waterfront experience exploring the shops and overall, just taking in the ambiance. There are historical buildings in this area, and you’ll also see fishers going in and out of port, as well as catamaran tours heading out. If you embark on a catamaran tour from this area, there are restaurants that you’ll be able dine at once you get back. While in this area, look out for the bronze Christ of the Deep statue which has a pretty interesting history!
At Sandals Grenada we've taken the best of everything to create a whole new experience...
The Caribbean is one of the only places in the world where you can get warm weather all year round. This kind of consistent weather is what keeps travelers coming back to Grenada. Even when it’s rainy, the temperature doesn’t change much from the annual average of 88°F.
The tropical climate here makes the island perfect for tropical beach getaways. The island also appeals to travelers who just want to get away from chilly temperatures for a few days or weeks on end. When you’re travelling to this part of the world, you’ll have to adjust your seasonal perspective as islands like these only recognize two seasons which alternate between humid, hot and a little rainy (June - December) and dry and warm (January - May).
Grenada is one of the greener islands of the Caribbean, and here you can enjoy a vacation which offers the best of both worlds. The island is developed enough that travelers can opt for opulent accommodation like that of the all-inclusive Sandals Grenada and still get a wild and secluded experience trekking through the rainforest, during hikes and other nature oriented tours. As nearly half the island is covered with rainforest, you won’t have to search long to find a good starting point to explore the rainforest.
The Caribbean is a magical place to scuba dive. The islands are as beautiful beneath the surface of the waves as they are on land and during a scuba diving excursion you’ll get to explore the reefs, learn about the marine life that thrives in this part of the world, and overall just enjoy stunning views. There are over 30 dive sites off the coast of Grenada, plus more that are lesser known. You can even boat across to the islands of the Grenadines, to enjoy more amazing diving inclusive of shipwrecks and vibrant coral reefs. Try the Bianca C Shipwreck near Carriacou or Flamingo Bay for an eclectic experience.
Want to dive for free during your stay? All guests staying at the Sandals all-inclusive resort in Grenada can go on free scuba diving trips (max. two tanks a day, includes professional equipment) during their entire stay.
As Grenada pays attention to preserving its natural attributes, there are wide spaces like the Grand Etang National Park (3,800 acres) where you can see some of these stunning features. In Grand Etang National Park you can kind all kinds of plants as animals, hiking opportunities, and great scenery. At the center of it all is the Grand Etang Lake, which started off as a crater. Levera National Park is another great option with a beach, a mangrove swamp with a roped walkway, a boardwalk, and observation tower.
Each Caribbean island has its own national dish, and in Grenada, Oil Down is one of the most traditional things you can eat. Try this scrumptious purely Grenadian dish made with breadfruit, coconut milk, dumplings, turmeric, callaloo, saltfish, smoked herring, or salted beef. Chances are, you’ll find yourself asking the chef for the recipe!
Leaving Grenada without nutmeg equates to a somewhat incomplete vacation. This little island is the second biggest exporter of nutmeg in the world, which means you won’t have a hard time finding some at the local market.
So popular is nutmeg on this island, that you may even catch whiffs of it as you’re exploring, which adds to the intrigue of this spicy island. You can get whole nutmegs still in the shells, or the ground variety. Nutmeg is a great addition to cocktails, jams, oils, and syrups.
Can’t decide what souvenir to take back home? Go with chocolate. You can hardly go wrong with some authentic, made in Grenada chocolate. Whether you go for organic dark chocolate bars or organic cocoa powder, you’re sure to find something that will make a great gift. If you can’t decide, you can always just grab a variety pack at a local souvenir shop which offers a little bit of everything.
Guava jam is a favorite among Caribbean people, and if you haven’t tried it before, Grenada is a great place to indulge. It’s as delicious as it is healthy, with lots of nutrients due to the flavorful guava, as well as a high antioxidant content.
Eat guava jam straight out of the jar, or glide some over your toast, or even incorporate it into pastries. Either way, it’s super addictive and you’ll love being able to have and share a taste of Grenada once you’re back home.
There are many distilleries on the island of Grenada that you can explore during your holiday. During most of these tours you’ll have opportunities to purchase a variety of local rums. If you want to take some Grenadian rum home with you, another option is going to the local supermarkets which usually sell a range of high-quality rums. If you want to explore and see which ones you like best, try a rum sampling excursion during which you can also purchase a bottle or two.
The process of creating Batiks involves applying dye to fabric, as well wax in areas that are not to be dyed. This style of clothing design originated in Indonesia, and Grenada is one of the islands which have embraced it. While souvenir shopping, look out for this style mixed into the designs of clothing, art, blankets, and more.
If you’re looking for a souvenir that will stand out, handwoven baskets are a good option. This would seem fitting since baskets go hand in hand with spices as you’ll discover while exploring local markets.
Typically, these baskets are made from palm fronds or straw, and you can usually find baskets of different sizes filled with local spices. These unique baskets are great gifts and good take home items for yourself.
Buy more than one, because you’ll surely find something inside the baskets that you’ll want to keep for yourself. You can also buy an assortment of empty baskets which you’ll certainly be able to make use of at home.
The beginnings of Grenada’s nutmeg industry have something to do with a ship bound for England from the East Indies, which is said to have left nutmeg trees on the island. Grenada is now a major exporter of nutmeg, supplying an international quota of almost 40% throughout the globe.
The story of “Jumpers Hill” is one of sadness and courage. This hill in Grenada is said to be the point where Caribs jumped off to escape captivity by the French in their attempt to take charge of the island. Caribs were notably the first settlers on the island of Grenada.
Unlike some of the smaller Caribbean islands which are heavily dependent on tourism, Grenada has a few lucrative industries, including seafood. Tuna fish is an immensely popular catch and locals manage to maintain great profits with just about 85 boats. Though tuna fish catching is lucrative, fishermen sometimes encounter issues, like being raided by pirates or other looters on the sea.
Like many Caribbean islands, greetings matter in Grenada. This means that when you encounter locals, you’re expected to exchange a greeting, and to respond to other people who might exchange a kind salutation. Not responding, or not greeting people you encounter is considered rude in Grenada.
Added to all the amazing things that can be found in Grenada, as previously stated, the island is also well known for its cocoa. In fact, this is one of the islands where you can find all three types of cocoa. If you want to try a variety of cocoa, visit Grenada’s House of Chocolates in St. George’s.
Relax in one of our Skypool Suites, while soaking in the Caribbean's surrounding tropical beauty and splendor.
There’s a lot to love about Grenada, and whether you go for the unique cuisine, incredible beaches, expansive rainforests, or luxury experiences at an all-inclusive resort, you’ll take home some unforgettable memories. Hopefully by the end of your vacation, you’ll be able to add more amazing elements to your own list of things Grenada is known for!