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Grenada Globe Independent TravelLiving and travelling in Grenada for over a year has given us valuable insight into the country and its people, activities, food and culture. This is a true Caribbean jewel. Close your eyes and try to conjure up images of white sand beaches, turquoise waters, lush jungles, beautiful flowers and smiling people. Now smell the aroma of delicious street barbecues, feel the refreshing cool water of a hidden waterfall, hear the melodic tune of steel pan, and taste fragrant curries and sweet tropical fruits.

This is Grenada. It’s the epitome of that tropical paradise that you have in your mind… minus the crowds, the cost and the hassle.

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How Much Will Grenada Cost?

travel grenada
East Caribbean Dollar (EC / XCD)

Budget: $150/day for 2 people

Sorry budget travellers, as with most parts of the Caribbean, this will not be a destination that is easy on your wallet, but don’t worry, there are ways that you can really cut down on your expenses. It is legal to camp and cook on beaches here, you can hitch hike easily, there are some cheap street meals, local transport is affordable, and you can even get between islands by hitching on sailboats.

If you are visiting Grenada on a total budget and follow the above limitations every day, you could probably get by on $50 / day for a couple. Just know that hotel rooms are expensive, meals at restaurants average about $15 USD, and taxis are comparable in cost to those in Europe and North America (although half/full day taxi hire is a good value).

Budget Accommodation: (Average $100 / night)

We had our accommodation costs covered in Grenada because we were house sitting, but we’ve looked at numerous hotels, and the cheap end of the spectrum will cost at least $90 / night.

There are some cheaper hotels on the island (around $50), but they’re not in Grand Anse or St. George’s area (where you’ll probably want to spend most of your time), so you’d need to rent a car or take a 30 – 60 minute minibus ride every day.

There are also some local homes available for renting short-term but again, you’d be lucky to find them in the Grand Anse area.

Eating: ($4-$100 / meal)

There are some delicious street meals and quick snacks to be found in Grenada. Rotis can be bought for around 10EC ($3.25 USD), barbecue chicken for under $4 USD, and some cheap, side of the road eateries can serve up a full meal for around $5 – 7 USD. Just know that if you are eating in ocean-side restaurants or bars, it will be hard to find a meal for less than $10 – $15 USD.

travel grenada independently
Grenadian Food – Top: Roti, Bottom Left: Oil Down, Bottom Right: Star Fruit

For cheap and delicious eats, check out Umbrellas on Grand Anse Beach (burgers $10USD), Roseanne’s BBQ near La Sagesse ($2-3USD), Grill Master at the Grand Anse roundabout ($5-10 USD), and Cloud 9 near the University ($12+USD).

IGA Real Value, Food Land and Home Pride bakery also have some cheap, cafeteria style lunch meals (around $5 USD).

Entrance Fees: (Free – $10/person)

Entrence fees For Budget Backpackers in Iran

There aren’t too many sites that you’ll likely have to pay entrance for in Grenada. Fort George costs 5 EC ($1.80 USD) and fees for some other historical sites and landmarks can be found here.

Alcohol:

caribAhhh, finally something that’s super affordable (when compared to North America)! Happy hour is great (typically from 5-7pm) when beers can be as cheap as 3 for 10 EC (3 for $3.33 USD). You can also get huge glasses of wine for 10 EC, delicious cocktails for around 15 EC and pretty much any type of alcohol you can think of. Outside of happy hour, beers are typically 5 EC each, while wine is 15-20 EC and cocktails are around 20 EC.

For cheap drinks and good happy hours, head to Umbrellas, Prickly Bay, Laluna (only affordable at happy hour), Dodgy Dock (try the locally brewed West Indies Beer co.) and Cloud 9 (margaritas!).

Oh, by the way, Carib and Stag beer are not only affordable… they’re delicious!

Tipping:

Tipping Iran backpackers
Tipping

Typically 10% gratuity is expected in Grenada, but it’s sometimes included in the bill. If it is included, there is no need to add more of a tip, the locals normally don’t tip, so it’s up to you. If service is great, like anywhere, a little extra is appreciated. Truth be told, there are few places with “great” service in Grenada and if you are in a touristy restaurant, it would be strange to leave without tipping.

Money:

eastern_caribbean_dollarCurrent Exchange Rate:

$1 USD = 2.70 ECD

The currency in Grenada is called the East Caribbean Dollar (EC for short) and it is the same as 8 other countries in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

US dollars are widely accepted and most ATMs in the country use the Plus or Maestro international banking network, meaning that your home country debit card should work here. A large portion of the nation’s ATM machines are located around St.George’s town and Grand Anse. Try to use Blue Machine to avoid extra ATM fees.

You can also use your credit card at almost all restaurants, grocery stores, shops and hotels, but sometimes there is an extra 3% credit card fee added to the total.

Must Swim Beaches:

We don’t normally have a beach section in our Goat Guides, but with so many picture-perfect beaches in this country, we figured they needed to be mentioned. Below are just a few of the many beaches in Grenada, in order of our favourite to least favourite.

Note: ALL BEACHES IN GRENADA ARE PUBLIC. If someone tries to tell you that you’re on a private beach, ignore them and swim anyways.

Grand Anse Beach:

This is the longest and arguably the most beautiful beach in the entire country. Powdery white sand, crystal clear aquamarine waters and a gentle slope into the sea, this is what the Caribbean is all about. Here you’ll find resorts, many restaurants and funky bars. Our favourite place is Umbrellas. For a quieter day at the beach, avoid the crowded area near the bars and head to the far south near Dive Grenada and Flamboyant Hotel.

backpacking Grenada
The gorgeous Grand Anse Beach

Morne Rouge:

If Grand Anse isn’t your favourite beach, then Morne Rouge probably will be. We still haven’t decided which one we love more, but Morne Rouge is definitely the quieter and more serene of the two.

Update: One of the hotels on Morne Rouge has erected a hideous inflatable jungle gym for kids. If you have children, they may find it amusing. For the rest of us who loved the once serene cove of Morne Rouge, it definitely takes away from the charm of this beach.

Laluna:

The beach at Laluna Resort is picture perfect, with clear water and just a few pebbles and corals scattered throughout the otherwise gradual white sand. You don’t have to stay at the resort to swim here and it’s the best place on the island for sunset.

sunset grenada backpacking
Sunset at Laluna

Carriacou Beaches:

Almost every beach on the island of Carriacou is beautiful. Most tourists flock to Paradise Beach or Sandy Island, but the 3 km long stretch of sand right in front of the main settlement of Hillsborough is pure perfection.

La Sagesse:

This beach may not have the blindingly white sand that the above five beaches boast, but there’s still something special about La Sagesse. Only busy on weekends, this long stretch of dark golden sand in St.Davids Perish is definitely a crowd pleaser. There is a small restaurant and boutique hotel here, the water is usually clear and some days it’s a good spot for body surfing.

Bamboo Beach (Petit Bacalat Bay):

This secluded stretch of black sand is reached via a rugged 20 minute jungle hike, but once you get here, you’ll have the place all to yourself.

Note: The land leading to Petit Bacalat from the main road has now been purchased. To reach the beach, you’ll have to hike from Grenada Marina or from St.David’s Point.

Levera:

A nice beach to look at, but be careful if you go swimming, some people have lost their lives to strong currents here.

Must-See Places:

For a full run-down on where to go and what to see in Grenada, check out our list of 61 Things To Do In Grenada. Below we’ve listed a few of the main highlights.

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St.George’s:

The capital of Grenada and frequently referred to by locals as just “town”, St.George’s is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in all of the Caribbean. A quick stroll along the seaside carenage and you’ll quickly see why.

Colourful houses and historical buildings rim a glass calm bay and gently climb up a jungle-clad hill in the distance. Fort George stands proudly on the south side of town, while funky rum shacks and ocean front bars play relaxing Caribbean reggae music all day long.

things to do in grenada st georges

If you are landing in St.George’s from a cruise ship, you would probably never think it was the Capital of the country. Despite the buzz and hustle of this city compared to the rest of the island, it’s still just a small, seaside fishing village.

Check out our St.George’s episode of GoatLife TV:

Note: Don’t miss a walk up to Fort George for some great history and beautiful views of the town and surrounding coastlines.

Grand Anse Area:

This area is just as happening as St.Georges, but here you’ll find the countries longest beach, the biggest congregation of hotels and resorts (still just a few, boutique style places), and a good number of restaurants and bars. For tourists, travellers and expats, this feels more like the capital.

Grand Etang National Park:

The cool, wild jungle has never looked so good. Grand Etang is a microcosm of Grenada’s rugged and mountainous interior. You’ll find all the flora and fauna here that is typical of the island. You can hike to (and swim in) waterfalls, visit a crater lake, learn about wildlife and enjoy the wilder side of Grenada.

travel grenada
Seven Sisters Waterfall – Grand Etang National Park, Grenada

To get here, you’ll need to first peel yourself from Grenada’s beaches. Once you’ve done that, you can either rent a car (highly recommended for your entire stay), or hop on the #6 bus from St.George’s Melville Terminal (around 1 hour / 3EC). You can also organise a tour through your hotel, or a travel agent in town. If you’re limited on time, a tour or taxi hire is probably your best bet as you’ll be able to see many sites in one day.

Check out our video of Grand Etang’s 7 Sisters Waterfall:

Belmont Estate:

This lovely, 17th century plantation is a great place to go to learn about cocoa processing. Grenada is known as the Island of Spice, but it also produces world-class organic chocolate!

After a cacao tour and tasting, you can visit gardens, the goat dairy farm and enjoy a delicious Grenadian lunch (50 EC/$17 USD). To go on a tour of the plantation and learn about cocoa, the cost is only 13 EC/person, which includes tasting some delicious chocolate at the end!

To get here by public transport, take the #6 bus from St.Georges Melville Terminal.

River Antoine Rum Distillery:

You’re in the Caribbean, and the Caribbean is all about rum! River Antoine is the only distillery left in Grenada that is still using traditional methods to produce its powerful spirits (some are 80% alcohol). Tours cost 5 EC ($1.80USD) and include a tasting.

backpack grenada

Caribs Leap (St.Patrick):

Located in the town of Sauters, this is a very historical spot in Grenada. In 1651, rather than face domination by the French invasion, the Carib population allegedly leaped to their death off of this cliff.

Carriacou Island:

That’s right, the main island of Grenada isn’t the only speck in the sea that belongs to this wonderful country. Carriacou is absolutely stunning and it’s definitely worth a couple of days to visit. You can get here via a short (and rough) 2 hour ferry ride (80EC / $31USD). You can also take a flight for around $150 (recommended for those who suffer from sea sickness).

Petit Martinique:

Another serene island bobbing in the Caribbean sea, this one is also accessible by ferry and flight, it’s even smaller than Carriacou but Petit Martinique is definitely still worth a visit.

Must-have Experiences:

Go on a Hash:

Hash House Harriers operate social runs in Grenada and there is no better way to meet people (locals, expats & tourists), and see parts of the island that you would otherwise miss. If you’ve never heard of hashing, it’s an international phenomenon and it’s fantastic.

In Grenada, a group of 50 or more (now up to 200) people meet up every Saturday to run, walk and jaunt into some of Grenada’s most beautiful areas. The trail is pre-marked using shredded paper and there are some false trails to make it interesting. Check out their website for more.

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Sunset at Laluna:

Laluna is a luxurious, beachside boutique hotel set right on the Caribbean Sea on the southeastern shores of Grenada. During happy hour (5-7) beers are half price and most drinks are on special. There isn’t a more beautiful place on the island (or in the world) to watch the sun kiss the sea at the end of a day in paradise.

Enjoy Friday BBQ:

Every weekend in Grenada, the delicious aroma of grilled meat fills the air and it will be hard to avoid stopping in at one of the hundred or so roadside barbecues for a quick bite to eat. Don’t miss Rosanne’s BBQ near La Sagesse Beach and the Jerk Chicken stand (very spicy) on the way down Grand Anse Valley road east of the beach.

BBQ Travel in Grenada
BBQs Open Up All Over The Streets On Weekends

Watch The Turtles Lay Their Eggs:

On Lavera Beach in the northeastern corner of Grenada, leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs from around April to June. There are numerous tours set up to witness this incredible phenomenon, or you can just drive to the beach and wait until they arrive (usually in the middle of the night).

Do A Cycle Tour:

Mocha Spoke is a funky cafe / bike shop near the University in True Blue area (south Grenada). Here you can meet people, enjoy delicious coffee, sandwiches and Belgian waffles, and also head out on cycle trips around the island. Tours vary from easy to advanced and the prices are more than fair.

Find An Oil Down:

Grenada’s national dish isn’t easy to find and isn’t always done well. Your best bet is to make local friends who can have their family make you an Oil Down the traditional way. Show up early like we did so that you can see the entire preparation process. This meal is extremely tasty.

Fish Friday:

We must admit that we have never been to fish friday, but it’s a classic tourist experience in Grenada. You can book over-priced transport through Cloud 9, or take a local bus and hitch hike back (fish friday goes until the wee hours when the buses stop running). If you’re going in a rental car, be warned… driving the narrow and windy streets of Grenada at night is a game of Russian roulette. Be careful!

Must Try Dishes:

Plate Road SignThe food in Grenada is largely influenced by French, British, African and East Indian cuisine. Meals are mostly grilled or fried meats, or tasty curries using an assortment of the spices that the island is famous for, including bay leaves, nutmeg, capsicum, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and clove.

Oil Down:

Grenada’s national dish, oil down is a curry and saffron-flavoured stew of breadfruit, dumplings, salted meat or chicken, coconut milk and more spices. This meal can be hard to find because of its labour-intensive preparation.

Roti:

If you’re travelling around Grenada, you would be forgiven for thinking that Roti is the national dish. You’ll find it almost everywhere and it is absolutely delicious. White or whole-wheat flatbread is wrapped around a curried vegetable filling. Typically meat such as lambi (conch), chicken, lamb, or beef is also added.

Fried Chicken:

At the risk of agreeing with a long-standing stereotype, you can’t help but to notice how much Grenadians LOVE their fried chicken. KFC is the only American fast food joint in the country, and it’s definitely a local favourite. Luckily, you don’t have to endure chemically modified KFC to eat fried chicken in Grenada, as it can be found in most restaurants, supermarkets and some side-of-the-road stands.

Callaloo Soup:

This delicious, thick and creamy soup is made with a local spinach-like plant known as Callaloo. The soup finds its origins in West Africa and is a common staple on the island.

food backpacking grenada
Delicious Callaloo Soup

Barbecue Chicken & Pork:

Mostly on weekends, this is a great, cheap and quick meal. It seems like every barbecue stand boasts its own, special sauce. Unfortunately, the only sides are usually dry bakes, so you won’t get any veggies, rice or salads with your meats. Try as many stands as you can!

Saltfish Cakes:

An acquired taste, these little fish pies can be found all over the country. If you hear the soca song about this Saltfish, you should know that it’s not referring to the food (it’s a naughty song).

Lambi:

Lambi is the Caribbean word for conch and it is the seafood of choice for Grenadians. You can find a lambi meal on just about every menu in the country and it’s a food that you should definitely try (if you’re not allergic to shellfish). Know that lambi is a finicky dish to prepare, so if it’s not good the first time, try it again somewhere else!

Travel Grenada
Conch (Lambi) Shells

Doubles:

The best breakfast in Grenada, doubles are originally from Trinidad, but we’re happy that Grenada played copycat on this one. Soft, fried bread is rolled around a spicy mix of chickpeas. Doubles are usually served with a mix of sauces including Shadon Beni (cilantro sauce), Mango Chutney and pepper sauce. The best ones can be found on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Saturdays on Wall Street in Grand Anse (ask for Latta the double lady).

Pub Food:

We don’t usually include normal, western pub food in our list of local dishes, but Grenada has some great golden snacks that are worth mentioning. If the locals love them, they’re local dishes right? Try the wings and (the best) burgers at Umbrellas and the incredible Chicki-Cheese-Fries at Cloud 9.

Off The Beaten Path In Grenada:

Travelling to GrenadaNot many people visit Grenada and by coming here, you’re already “off-the-beaten-path”.  This place is far more rustic than it’s Americanized Caribbean counterparts and you’ll feel a real sense of tradition and authenticity here. Some main places to note that are further away from the “crowds” are Petit Anse, Morne Rouge, Sauters, Grenville and any one of the 100 or so ocean view points.

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Pros Of Travel In Grenada:

Thumbs Up RoadsignYou’re planning a trip to an amazing place and there are many pros to travelling Grenada. Travel is very personal and different for everybody, so you’ll probably find many more positives when you’re here. We’ve only listed a few.

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Cheap booze!

As stated above, alcohol is one of the few aspects of travelling Grenada that is actually cheap.

Safety:

Grenada stands apart from many of its Caribbean neighbours in this respect… It is safe! Violent crime is extremely rare and hardly ever aimed at tourists. Petty theft is barely a threat for visitors, though regular precautions and common sense are still necessary.

Note: Some recent thefts and assaults have occurred on the island. Don’t walk around alone at night around Grand Anse, True Blue, Lance Aux Pines and other touristy areas.

Beautiful Beaches:

There are 3 or 4, postcard perfect beaches in Grenada, but every beach is lovely in its own way.

Grenada Beaches Travel Independently
We think Morne Rouge is the most beautiful beach in Grenada!

Funky Vibe & Rustic Feel:

Grenada has everything that you’d expect as a Caribbean holiday destination, but it has its own vibe. It’s more rustic than its westernized neighbours and that’s what makes it so special.

SO MANY ACTIVITIES!

For an island that’s just 344 km², Grenada is jam-packed with awesome activities. We’ve lived here for over a year and haven’t come close to feeling “island fever”. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the world with as many fun things to do per square kilometer.

English is the first language:

If you hear a couple of Grenadians talking to each other, you would be forgiven for thinking that they’re not speaking English. The local dialect is thick, steeped in colloquialisms and curse words and it’s very hard to understand, but many Grenadians are able to speak slowly and put on a decipherable accent for tourists.

No Dangerous Animals:

Well, there are foot-long centipedes and near-mythical tarantulas here, but nothing can kill you. You can camp out on beaches with the comfort of knowing that there are no large predators, no venomous snakes and no deadly creepy-crawlies (the Grenadians have killed them all).

centipede grenada
A huge centipede – eek!

Honest People, Honest Business:

You may have the odd shop-owner trying to rip you off if you’re buying touristy stuff near the cruise ship dock in St.Georges, or if you’re buying anything from beach hawkers in Grand Anse, but aside from that, Grenadians are extremely honest. You can usually buy with confidence and know that you’re getting the right price.

Note: The more you can look / act like an expat, the more likely you are to get a better deal. If you can make yourself look and act Grenadian, you’ll get amazing prices.

Cons Of Travel In Grenada:

Thumbs Down RoadsignLike anywhere, there are a few cons to travelling Grenada. It’s a fantastic tourism destination, but it’s not perfect.

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Grumpy Service:

This is not true of every place in Grenada, in fact, if you stay in a resort you’ll probably have great service. But many restaurants and supermarkets manage to hire some pretty bitchy people. Don’t let it bother you, because Grenadians are actually extremely friendly, kind and honest… they just hate being at work!

Dangerous Drivers:

Grenadians would argue that the slow-moving, sketchy tourists and expats are the poor drivers, but we’re just trying to get out of the country alive. Grenadians will pass going around corners, stop at a moments notice and cut you off frequently… but here, it’s always your fault!

It’s Expensive:

While you can struggle to get by on a backpackers budget in Grenada, if you want to enjoy yourself, it’s going to cost you.

Kissy Faces and Harmless Harassment Towards Women:

If you’re a woman, you’ll likely hear kissy faces and verbal harassment when you’re walking down the street. These lame attempts are completely harmless and you should always feel safe here, even alone. (Still, women shouldn’t walk around at night).

Update: There have been some more aggressive reports of women being harassed around Grand Anse area. Be sure to walk with friends after dark.

The Need To Rent A Car:

Okay, you don’t need to rent a car in Grenada, but your trip will be much better for it. There are long, windy drives in between towns, perishes and beaches and you’ll really want to get a car. Buses can take you to many places on the island, but you’ll end up wasting valuable time waving down minibuses on the busy roads. Renting a car is expensive in Grenada and it will add to already high travel costs, but it’s definitely worth it.

Note: Charge your car rental to a major credit card and you’ll automatically be covered for the Damage Collision Waiver (double-check with your card provider). This means you won’t have to pay the expensive daily insurance through the rental agency.

The People In Grenada:

The people you encounter while travelling through a country can have a profound impact on the way you view a destination. Not only the local people, but the types of other travellers as well.

Types Of Other Travellers:

travellers in GrenadaWith the American University and a healthy population of British, French and North American expats in Grenada, you’re probably more likely to run into a white person who lives here, than you are a tourist. There are cruise ships that come here, so many people may only be on the island for 4-6 hours (what a shame). Other travellers tend to be more vacationers and honeymooners rather than backpackers, but they obviously have a bit of intrepid travel in them if they make it this far south.

The Locals:

local people in grenadaDon’t expect fake smiles and shy giggles from Grenadian people. Here, you have to give respect (and sometimes excessive niceness) in order to receive it. They are real, genuine and not usually shy. The great thing about the people here is that they are easy to befriend, they are loyal and they have a great sense of humour.

Please don’t judge Grenadian people by those in the service industry! The waiters, receptionists, cashiers etc. may be abrupt and rude, but Grenadians are actually very friendly.

Religion In Grenada:

According to 2004 reports, about 64% of the population were RomanReligion Catholic. Other main groups included Anglicans (22%), Methodists (3%), and Seventh-Day Adventists (3%). Other Protestant denominations included Presbyterians, Church of God, Baptists, and Pentecostals. You will hear Grenadians use religious phrases in day-to-day conversation, like “bless you”, “have a blessed day”, “lord have mercy” and “god willing”.

Language In Grenada:

Communication Backpacking Iran

The national language, and the only language you’ll likely hear in Grenada is English. The Creole-based English spoken here is steeped in colloquialisms, slang and curse words, so it is often very hard for English-speaking visitors to understand. The accent is pronounced with strong consonants, hard vowels and a lovely melodic tone.

Some Handy Grenadian Phrases To Know:

We reach- We have arrived.

High – This actually means “drunk” in Grenadian English. If someone asks if you want to get high, they’re almost certainly talking about booze, not drugs.

We limin’- To “lime” is to relax and do nothing with friends.

Da is you? – Is that you?

Dan-dan – Any sharp-looking outfit.

Dat good for yuh – Serves you right.

Dat – That.

Allyuh- All of you people (or “you all”).

Doh – Don’t.

Dotish – Silly, stupid, foolish and dumb.

Drogue -To carry bananas on your head from the field to the road.

Dougla – Mixture of East Indian and African parentage.

Vex- To be angry.

Dada head – Matted and unkempt hair.

Dead Out – Tired. Anything past its prime.

Deadin’ – Dying.

Good Morning, Good Morning: Grenadians will almost always repeat their greetings twice. Doing so yourself will show that you know Grenada.

Deck Off – To wear one’s best clothes.

Deputy – Mistress. Outside woman or man.

Getting Around In Grenada:

transportation travel grenadaThere is a large network of minibuses that are pretty reliable and can take you to most parts of the island, but they don’t run on weekends! They cost $2.50 EC to $8 EC (roughly $1 to $3 USD) and they stop pretty much anywhere on the road. You’ll have to ask a local which ones to take to get you where you want to go.

Otherwise you can hire a taxi, which will usually cost you around 120 EC ($50) for a half-day depending on how far you drive. Hotels, restaurants and locals will usually have the number for a “good” taxi driver.

If you want to rent a car here, it’ll cost around $60 USD for 3 days. You’ll also have to go to the police station with a valid driver’s license from your home country (no need for IDL) and buy a local license for 60 EC ($23 USD). Remember, rent the car on your credit card and don’t pay for extra collision insurance at the rental agency!

If you want to travel between islands in Grenada (yes there are 3 islands here) you’ll need to either take a ferry or a flight. Osprey Lines Ltd. provides regular ferry service from Grenada Island to Carriacou and Petit Martinique. Ferries depart from the carenage in St. George’s every morning at 9 a.m. and return every afternoon at 3:30 p.m. The trip from Grenada Island takes roughly two hours and can be extremely choppy. A one-way trip from Grenada to Carriacou costs $80 XCD (around $30 USD) for adults; continuing on to Petit Martinique requires an extra $20 XCD (just over $7 USD).

You can also access Carriacou by plane from Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) to Carriacou’s Lauriston Airport (CRU). Planes fly twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon and tickets are priced at around $119 XCD ($44 USD) one-way and $235 XCD ($87 USD) roundtrip at the very cheapest. The flight takes approximately 20 minutes.

Getting In & Out:

There are a few ways to enter Grenada, either via a cruise ship, by sailing from another island chain, a ferry from Venezuela (good luck) or by flying into Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport.

Plane Road SignBy Air:

Maurice Bishop International Airport is a small strip of tarmac on Grenada’s south coast. This is likely your port of entry into the country. Make sure when you land, you have a valid address in Grenada to write on your entry card.

A residential address may raise flags so we recommend having a hotel address. There are a few airlines that fly direct to Grenada (listed below), but most will have stop-overs in Miami, St.Lucia, or Trinidad.

If you do decide to stop over in the latter, you can choose to spend a day or two during the stopover instead of just changing planes. There are many things to see and do in Trinidad and Tobago, but you’d probably be better off leaving the capital and heading to the more charming (and safe) islands).

Direct Flights Serving Maurice Bishop:

Airlines Destinations
Air Canada Rouge Toronto–Pearson[5]
American Airlines Miami
British Airways London–Gatwick, Saint Lucia-Hewanorra
Caribbean Airlines New York–JFK, Port of Spain, Toronto–Pearson
Condor Barbados, Frankfurt
Conviasa Porlamar, Port of Spain
Delta Air Lines Seasonal: Atlanta, New York–JFK
JetBlue Airways New York–JFK
LIAT Barbados, Port of Spain, Saint Vincent
Virgin Atlantic London–Gatwick, Saint Lucia-Hewanorra

Above list via Wikipedia.

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Visa Regulations For Grenada:

A valid passport and return or onward ticket is technically required (though return-tickets are seldom enforced). Visas are not required for citizens of the USA, Canada, UK and British Commonwealth countries.

All Caribbean countries (aside from Cuba), Venezuela, European Union countries, Norway, Japan, and Israel are also granted visa-free entry. Commonwealth of Independent States such as Ukraine and other eastern European countries are required to purchase a tourist visa on arrival in Grenada which costs 25 EC (around $8 USD).

Make sure you have a valid Grenada hotel address to write down on your entry card upon arrival. Most nationalities will be automatically stamped into Grenada and allowed to stay for 90 days.

Extending the visa is easy in Grenada and can be done at the visa office near the roundabout just off of Lagoon Road. The cost will be 25 EC ($8 USD) / month and can be extended 3 months at a time for up to 1 year. This post has everything you’ll need to know about extending your Grenada tourist visa.

Health In Grenada:

Health Road Sign

There is a small risk of typhoid and hepatitis A in Grenada, but if you’ve had your routine vaccinations, you should be fine. Hepatitis B can be contracted through sexual contact, so if you’re having sex in Grenada, follow the local slogan “don’t be a fool, wrap your tool”. There is no risk of Yellow Fever or Malaria here.

There is however a risk of Chikungunya (Chik-V), which is a horrible virus to catch. Symptoms include intense joint pain (which can last over a year), fever, headache, and an extremely irritable rash.

There is no vaccination or proper treatment for Chik-V, so once you catch it you’ll likely just have to drink lots of water and take painkillers and fever suppressants. There are also some local remedies like Papaya leaf tea and coconut water (the former lowers blood pressure so use with caution).

In 2014, the risk of catching Chik-V was enormous, but since then, cases have all but disappeared.

There is also risk of Dengue Fever, another bug born illness with similar, but shorter-lasting symptoms to the ones above, but it is unlikely you will contract this while on the island.

Read about our experience of surviving Chik-V in Grenada Here.

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Phone & Internet In Grenada:

Laptop Road SignPhone and internet on Grenada is run by three main companies, Digicel, Flow and Lime. You can pick up a local SIM card for around 40 EC ($18) at any Lime, Digicel, Flow or cellular store around the island. The card will come with 10 EC ($4) talk-time loaded onto it already. Data and 3G SIM cards will cost around $70 EC ($30) and will also come with $10 loaded. International calls will cost about 0.53 EC (25 cents) / minute.

Typically internet is also through Digicel, Flow and Lime (Lime is considered faster) and you’ll get around 4 mb/s download speed when testing online. However, you’ll be lucky to get over half a mb/s when actually downloading from peer-to-peer apps like Bit Torrent.

The internet and cell service is generally reliable throughout the island, but if something goes wrong with the internet service, the slow-moving repairmen can mean that it takes days to get back online.

Good Movies & Books About Grenada:

Movies:

Hearbreak Ridge (1986): A hard-nosed, hard-living Marine gunnery sergeant clashes with his superiors and his ex-wife as he takes command of a spoiled recon platoon with a bad attitude. Be warned, you may feel like your waiting for action in this movie and it never really comes! But it’s an alright history of the American occupation.

Books:

Grenada: A History Of It’s People: A novel about the often turbulent struggle for survival from the earliest Arawak (indigenous) settlement to the 1981 execution of revolutionary Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, to today.

Tales From The Isle Of Spice: Three classic stories by Richardo Keens-Douglas: The Nutmeg Princess, La Diablesse and the Baby, and Freedom Child of the Sea, retold for middle readers and with new illustrations. This book is well-known on the island.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Grenada?

Weather Road Sign

Any Time.

You can literally visit Grenada at any time of year, though most tourists flock to the island around December, when there are less rains.

During the rainy season, you’ll get heavy showers from time-to-time but they generally don’t last more than an hour and are often followed by pure blue skies. There are 2 or 3 periods throughout the rainy season where the rain and cloud is constant for 3 days or so at a time.

Visiting in the winter (dry) months from December – April may keep you from getting wet on your holiday, but the wet season is when the island truly comes to life. Everything is much greener and more beautiful from around July – November.

Keep in mind that June – November is also considered the hurricane season. Before climate change, this little island was considered immune to these kinds of storms, but in 2004 Grenada was rocked by Hurricane Ivan. Winds reached 266 km/hr and damaged 90% of homes on the island, many of which have not been repaired to this day.

The storm also killed 12 people and destroyed a prison wall allowing most of the inmates to escape. One year later, Hurricane Emily hit Grenada, but luckily she didn’t inflict as much damage as Ivan.

storms travelling in Grenada

The risk of hurricanes in Grenada is still considered to be relatively low, despite back-to-back storms 10 years ago. Generally there is 3 days warning or more before a hurricane hits the island, so check out StormCarib.com if you’re concerned about hurricanes and cancel all travel if there’s a risk of hurricane during your trip.

Goat Note: Ivan was a devastating natural disaster for Grenada, but many local people and expats have some amazing stories. If they’re willing to divulge, we recommend listening. It will give you a good idea of how strong and resilient Grenadians are.

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Current Weather Conditions:

Grenada is only 344 square kilometers so the weather is usually forecasted the same around the island, though you’ll get more rain at higher altitudes and sometimes Grand Anse beach can be perfectly sunny, while Fort Jeudy (only 10kms away) is getting dumped on. It’s better to heed the local advice: “if you don’t like the weather right now, wait a couple of minutes”.

 

Overall Rating:

9 Stars

We have spent over a year on this island, so yeah… we like it a lot!

Grenada is safe, full of energy and wonderfully Caribbean. From white sand beaches to lush jungles, waterfalls and beautiful national parks, this island has everything you could want from a tropical travel destination. If you have a car and are willing to explore, you’ll find that Grenada has more hidden gems than its tiny stature would imply.

When people hear exotic Caribbean names like Barbados, St.Lucia and Bahamas, they think that you are speaking of the most beautiful islands in the world. Grenada has all of the beauty that you would hope for from the more famous islands, with none of the over-development and over-crowding. For now, Grenada is a well-kept secret and we’re happy that people don’t get as excited when they hear its name.

Notepad Road Sign SMALLGOAT NOTE: Rating a country is completely subject to one’s own opinion, so any rating system should be taken with a grain of salt. Travel is personal and your experience will differ from ours. The star rating above is based solely on our personal experience and in no way attempts to evaluate Grenada as a whole. 

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The Ultimate Guide To Travelling Grenada

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Nick Wharton

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Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. Nick’s advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider and Forbes.

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21 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide To Travelling Grenada

  1. Wow what an amazing guide. I can’t believe you guys have spent a year down there! That’s awesome. I don’t know when I’m going, but I’ll definitely be turning to this for information.

  2. Wow, this is such a great guide! You guys really have put Granada on my radar! I’m hoping to make my way down there one day and your guide will be a massive help! Thanks!

  3. Unless things have changed since last summer, US dollars can only be spent instead of EC if the US currency is ‘perfect’ – no holes, tears, nicks, ink marks etc. No one could explain to me why this was, but it was true throughout Grenada and the Grenadines.

  4. drogue, deputy, deadin’… classic eastern caribbean terms, love it! Not from Grenada but from its similarly low key , laid back northern neighbour St.Vincent and just reading this post made my day, reminded me so much of home. Having visited Grenada and having worked with Grenadians, I must say you did an excellent job in this post of capturing the essence of the people and the country. Kudos to you for taking the road less traveled, shout out to all “undiscovered” , authentic gems in the eastern caribbean…..What I wouldn’t do for some callaloo soup right now.

  5. What an extensive and detailed guide! That’s a lot of work you guys put into it and will be so helpful for those visiting Grenada. I have to say, I don’t know much about Grenada at all, but after seeing the food and beaches, I’d love to visit. Doesn’t seem like a bad place to spend a year, not bad at all 🙂

  6. Watching your videos led to my husband and I planning our visit to Grenada this February. We are not ones to spend all the time in the hotel so your videos and using your tips we are going to explore! By the way you guys need to try Trinidad doubles!

  7. Thanks so much for the comment. We’re so happy to hear that you’ve chosen to travel to Grenada, and that you were watching our videos! Enjoy all of the exploration. Are you from Trini? We’ve had Trini doubles, but in Grenada 😉

    Cheers and enjoy your trip!

  8. Thanks Goats on the Road for representing my island well. One update I would make – the mini buses (public transportation) do travel on weekends, especially Saturdays when everyone is doing their shopping. I agree that they don’t work on Sundays (actually Grand Anse and Grenville I know for sure work on Sundays, but maybe only 1 or 2 from each area).

  9. That’s a great travel guide guys!! Congrats!! I traveled all the way backpacking from Venezuela up to Puerto Rico throught the Lesser Antilles and it was a great adventure!! I loved Grenada! Such a beautiful country! Seven Sisters was super cool! 😉

  10. Thanks for such a well detailed account of your thoughts on Grenada. Lots of information to take into consideration and good pointers for food & sunset watching. We’re going very soon so this was very helpful, thank you

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