Grenada Vacation Tips - Travel Guide

Grenada vacation will let you unwind from the every day life and to explore the world's famous landmarks. No wonder Grenada has been known as the Spice Island, because it is one of the top leading producers of spices. Due to so many spices being present in Grenada a smell of a mixture of all those delectable and fresh spices is quite noticeable throughout the island. You will find that the locals of Grenada are extremely friendly and welcome all tourists with open arms. What can be better than sunbathing on the perfect white-sandy beach, snorkeling or scuba diving in the crystal clear waters or taking a stroll through town, whether it's a night out or simply a historical tour, Grenada has something to do for everyone. Read on about Grenada travel tips.

  • Why vacation in Grenada?

    Beautiful Grenada island

    Here are the top reasons that attract tourists to travel to Grenada:

    Choosing Grenada vacation as your next Caribbean destination will leave you thankful as you explore the many sites the island has to offer. Engage in water sports such as sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, or simply take one of the sightseeing tours to explore the Grenadian life and the island's scenery. Never-ending white sandy beaches with crystal clear, turquoise waters will leave you wanting to spend hours on the beach and the local restaurants and cafes (suitable for any budget and taste) will give you that perfect taste of mouth-watering Grenadian cuisine.



    Grenada is one of the largest producers in the world of the most popular spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, mace, pimento, bay leaf and ginger. The smell of the spices permeates the air in Grenada. These could be the best gifts to bring from your Grenada vacation, as they are guaranteed to be 100% authentic.

    Grenada spice marketGrenada spice market

    Photo by Michael Lusk

    Pay a visit to the River Antoine Rum Distillery or take a trip to either Concord Falls or Grand Etang National Park to enjoy the nature untouched by a human. Visiting this beautiful island unspoiled by mass tourism will make you feel right at home.

    Best time to go to Grenada

    You can enjoy the pleasant weather all year-around during your Grenada vacation. The island does have a wet period from July to November, and a dry period December to June , but overall visiting the island during any of the months will allow you to have your perfect vacation even during the rainstorms in the wet season. Although rains don't last long in Grenada and mostly occur at night, the humidity levels can get higher than usual.

    December is a perfect month out of the whole year to go on Grenada vacation. There is very little precipitation, while the hotel rates are still reasonable and the crowds of tourists are only expected to arrive close to the New Year's celebration.

    Where is Grenada on the map?

    Grenada is a small, mountainous island that is 34 km (21 miles) long and 19 km (12 miles) wide with 2 sister islands - Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Both of these sister islands are fairly small; however, tourists that long for a secluded but still active vacation choose Carriacou over Petite Martinique as their Grenada vacation, because it offers spectacular views, a museum, High North Nature Reserve and a vast variety of water sports.

    Grenada is located 432 km (268 miles) northeast from the coast of Venezuela and 261 km (162 miles) southwest of Barbados.


    Capital city of Grenada

    st. George's - Capital of GrenadaSt. George's - Capital of Grenada

    Grenada vacation comprises of many fun and adventurous activities and memorable landmarks. Even though you may explore Grenada at its' other parts of the island, the capital city of St. George has the most to offer. It is a city of narrow streets, small but cozy shops, steep green hills making it the most populous city in Grenada with approximately 35,559 residents. The nicest harbour in the Caribbean is located in the capital of Grenada. It's called St. George's Harbor, which is a submerged volcanic crater in the shape of a horseshoe.

    St. George's Harbor in GrendaSt. George's Harbor in Grenda

    Market square in St. George's offers its visitors a wide selection of gifts and souvenirs to bring back home from your Grenada vacation. You will find things like spices, freshly bottled Grenadian sauces and handcrafted gifts. While in the capital of Grenada, make sure you explore the island's oldest forts namely Fort Frederick and Fort St. George that both provide spectacular views of Grenada.

    St. George's Fort in GrenadaSt. George's Fort in Grenada

    Population in Grenada

    According to statistics, Grenada's population is calculated to be 107,319 as of June, 2016. The median age of the population is 27.6 years. Even though you might come across a couple of caucasian residents, most of the people that live on the island are of the African decent.

    Most of Grenada's population is of Roman Catholic religion; however, other religions such as Anglican, Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, and Baptist are present on the island as well.

    Local Language in Grenada

    The official language in Grenada is English. You may spot a few locals speak Patois. It's a dialect with a combination of English words and some of the French and African language elements. It sometimes can be a little difficult to catch on, because it is spoken in a fast pace, but not to worry. All Grenadians speak perfect English, you will be understood everywhere during your Grenada vacation.

    How to get to Grenada

    Nonstop flights to Grenada are available from all major cities in the world including New York, Toronto, Frankfurt, London and Atlanta. Several airlines fly to the island on a daily basis, stopping at Maurice Bishop International Airport in the capital city of St. George's, very close to some of the resorts and hotels. If tourists are planning on continuing their trip further to the island of Carriacou or Petite Martinique, then regional flights are also available for their convenience and operate several times a day to Carriacou.

    Carriacou, GrenadaCarriacou, Grenada

    Photo by Lloyd Morgan

    Petite Martinique, GrenadaPetite Martinique, Grenada

    Photo by Jason Pratt

    Carriacou and Petite Martinique are not as popular tourist destinations as Grenada, they are smaller islands with fewer resorts and entertainment in general, but some visitors choose these destinations to unwind from their daily lives and have a more of a laid-back Grenada vacation.

    The best way to get to Carriacou is by taking one of the offered flights. It's a quick 45 minute trip, that leaves from Grenada's capital and is considered as number one choice of transportation. Ferries are the second-best choice and run on a daily basis just like the flights. Visitors can expect a 1.5-2.5 hour trip depending on the boat and very reasonable ticket prices. Ferries that depart from Carriacou to Petite Martinique take approximately 15 minutes each way and have a frequent schedule as well.

    Water taxis from Grenada to Petite Martinique and Carriacou are a good alternative to air travel and ferry service; however, they are privately owned and do not follow a particular schedule. You would need to call ahead and schedule a pick up time with them.

    Grenada vacation options

    Grenada offers a variety of accommodation options suitable for any budget, such as all-inclusive resorts, non all-inclusive resorts, resorts that are family-friendly or more suitable for couples and families with no kids, villas, guesthouses and apartment complexes.

    If you are travelling to an all-inclusive or non all-inclusive resort for your Grenada vacation, be sure to check what is included in the price and what will cost extra. Some of the resorts might include meals in their packages, some include meals and hotel amenities. Remember, that often the all-inclusive resorts will offer their guests an a la carte menu, where patrons will be responsible for paying for their meals and drinks separately during lunch or dinner hours. Check with them prior to booking to avoid extra charges. If you are renting out an apartment or a villa, then meals will be your sole responsibility just like the entertainment.

    Food in Grenada

    Since Grenada's climate has high precipitation during the wet months of the year, its rich and fertile soil produces some of the best spices and vegetation. Grenada's livestock gets fed rich and lush vegetation, that makes the meat dishes savory and appetizing.

    Grenada is famous for producing the world's best spices, such as cinnamon cloves, ginger, wild coffee, allspice, and of course the nutmeg and the mace crops.

    What's best about Grenada vacation, is that tourists with any kind of budget are able to enjoy its' mouthwatering cuisine anywhere on the island. Choose between high-end restaurants with a dress code to simple street cafes, either way you will be served with fresh, delicious meals prepared right there for you.

    Grenada's national dish is called Oil Down. It's a succulent stew mixture of saltfish, smoked herring or salt beef, breadfruit, turmeric, dumplings and taro leaves which are cooked in coconut milk until the milk has been absorbed by all of the ingredients, and the coconut oil is left at the bottom of the pot. Some of the most popular street foods among the locals are called fish cakes, aloo pie (a samosa filled with spiced mashed potatoes and vegetables), raisin ice cream, currant rolls, guava cheese and much more.

    Weather in Grenada

    grenada-weather

    Unlike other Caribbean destinations who experience unpleasant weather during some of the months and seasons, Grenada enjoys sunny weather all year around. Temperatures rise up to 32 degrees Celcius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer (dry) months and go down to 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter (wet) months during the night.

    Grenada has only 2 seasons - wet and dry, so planning a Grenada vacation should be a quick decision. During the wet season that occurs from July to November, temperatures are still pleasantly warm, the rainstorms do not last for days, and it's still a great opportunity to vacation on the island. In fact, rains will not have any impact on your days whatsoever, only the humidity levels will rise.

    The dry season in Grenada runs from about December to June and temperatures stay pretty much the same as in the wet season, only without precipitation. You will have a perfect chance to relax on the beach sipping a cocktail, glazing at the beautiful cloudless skies and enjoying the Grenadian sun and the light tropical breezes.

    Source: Holiday Weather

    Public Transportation Grenada

    Public transportation in Grenada is very reliable, convenient and very affordable. The choice lies between buses and taxis. The negative thing about the bus system is that the buses stop operating after 7:00 p.m. and it could be difficult to obtain service on Sundays or the holidays. The main bus terminal is located on Melville Street, in the capital city of St. George's. It's a very busy spot; therefore, hard to miss. All bus routes start and finish at this terminal, and their schedules are extremely organized.

    Buses in Grenada are privately-owned minivans that sit approximately 20 people. It can get tight, because the drivers (that are usually the owners of the minivans) would like to get the best out of the day by making more money. That is why they are trying to fit as many people as possible. There are official bus stops, but if a tourist on Grenada vacation is waving down a bus in the area not designated for a stop, he has a pretty good chance the bus will take him on board. An easy way to identify the bus is by looking at its' plate number that has a letter H. The route numbers and the destinations are conveniently located on the front windscreen.

    Do not be afraid if the bus speeds up and you feel like he is driving too fast. The drivers are experienced and know the roads and the streets well. Some bus drivers hire conductors, who look out for potential passengers on the roads and collect bus fares. If either the driver or the conductor sees a person walking down the bus route, they will yell out to you if you need a bus. If you do, signal the bus to come over, and if not, just wave away and say "no, thanks". While driving around passengers, the bus drivers also do other deliveries around the city to make extra cash. They might receive a call to stop at a pharmacy to get medication for an elderly person, or pick up lunch from a cafe for someone. Sometimes it might get frustrating that the ride is taking longer than usual, but all you need to do is sit back and enjoy your vacation.

    Taxis are an alternative way to move within the city during Grenada vacation, but they can get quite costly even if shared. Just like buses, taxis will have a letter H on their license plates but also the word "TAXI" written on their windshields. To identify other vehicles on the road remember that the government cars' license plates start with the letter G, personally-owned vehicles with the letter P, and trucks' license plates begin with a letter T.

    Taxi drivers are all licensed by the government, and even that the prices are set, make sure you agree on the fare before starting your trip. Taxi rides can get quite expensive, so it might not be a good idea to hire them on a regular basis. Buses are much more affordable, so a lot of tourists and locals choose that form of transportation over hiring a cab. Taxi drivers can also act as tour guides for approximately $30 per hour.

    If your budget is very tight, hitchhiking is another common way of getting around the island on Grenada vacation. If you happen to be far from the bus route, or it is a Sunday or the holidays, when it's a problem to catch a bus, then hitching might be a great solution. It might be a long wait, especially in rainy weather, but it is a fabulous opportunity to meet the locals.

    Rent a car in Grenada

    Renting a car in Grenada is fairly easy and allows you to get behind the wheel yourself even for a couple of hours. In order to operate a vehicle during Grenada vacation you will need a valid driver's license along with a temporary local permit, which can be obtained either at a car rental agency itself or any police station. Some car rental agencies may impose a minimum age limit (it could be 18 years old or 21). Rates vary depending on the season and the rental period. If you are renting a car for a long period of time, you might receive some discounts. High season rates differ from those in the low season, and there might be a 3-day minimum purchase. Check with the car rental agency of your choice to avoid surprises and extra charges.

    Driving in Grenada is on the left-hand side of the road. Roads on this island are kept in very good condition, but if you are travelling beyond the Grand Anse area, keep in mind that roads might get curvy, steep, twisty and narrow. Parking is permitted virtually anywhere on the island, so if you see an empty spot, it's yours. Just wave to the person behind you to indicate you are pulling over. Parking on the beach itself is against the rules in Grenada, find a spot along the road and make your way to the beach by foot. Since there are a lot of free land, parking is free. If you have a disabled passenger and require help, ask the locals. They will gladly help you, as tourism is the island's main source of income.

    There are no speed limits, and a limited number of traffic lights (only downtown in the capital of St. George's). Exercise caution while on the road, but if a police officer believes that you are going too fast, he will stop you and write out a ticket.

    Another important factor to take into account when strolling through the roads on Grenada vacation is that stray dogs, cats and chickens are frequent streetwalkers. Goats are usually tied up to a pole, but they can still make their way onto the road. Watch out for any potential hazards, after all this is Caribbean lifestyle which tends to be slow and laid back.

    Driving in Grenada is on the left-hand side of the road. Roads on this island are kept in very good condition, but if you are travelling beyond the Grand Anse area, keep in mind that roads might get curvy, steep, twisty and narrow. Parking is permitted virtually anywhere on the island, so if you see an empty spot, it's yours. Just wave to the person behind you to indicate you are pulling over. Parking on the beach itself is against the rules, find a spot along the road and make your way to the beach by foot. Since there are a lot of free land, parking is free. If you have a disabled passenger and require help, ask the locals. They will gladly help you, as tourism is the island's main source of income.

    There are no speed limits, and a limited number of traffic lights (only downtown in the capital of St. George's). Exercise caution while on the road, but if a police officer believes that you are going too fast, he will stop you and write out a ticket.

    Another important factor to take into account when strolling through the roads during your Grenada vacation is that stray dogs, cats and chickens are frequent streetwalkers. Goats are usually tied up to a pole, but they can still make their way onto the road. Watch out for any potential hazards, after all this is Caribbean lifestyle which tends to be slow and laid back.

    Money in Grenada

    Grenada's official currency is Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$). The same currency is used in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla and Montserrat. Both US dollars and all major credit cards are accepted anywhere on the island, but if you are paying with US dollars (paper bills, coins are not accepted), be advised that the change will be given out in the local (EC$) currency.

    There are ATM machines available in Grenada, and most of them are situated in the capital city of St. George. Currency exchange booths are readily available at the airport, hotels, and the banks and their rates are fixed at EC$ 2.70 to US$ 1. Should you want to exchange the money outside of those establishments, or pay with US dollars during your Grenada vacation at the restaurants, shops, taxis etc., then other rates will apply. Please be informed that they might be different from those that you will get at banks or hotels, and you might end up paying more than usual.

    Tipping in Grenada

    Tipping in Grenada is as common as in all other Caribbean destinations. Grenada has a tax called "V.A.T." (value-added tax) that is added to all of the hotel and restaurant bills. You will see a 10% charge on hotel invoices and 15% charge on restaurants bills and retail services. In addition, it's quite often to see another 10% of service charge added on hotel and restaurant bills. When on Grenada vacation, always examine your bills and if no service charge was included, be kind and provide a 10% tip on top of the total price.

    Housekeepers in Grenada receive $2 per day, bellhops $1 for each bag they assist you with, tour guides and taxi drivers should receive 10% of the fee or fare of the service they provide. In the situation, where the service charge was added to the bill and the guest thinks that they have received over the top service where the person went out of their way to asssit them, then additional tipping is at the discretion of the guest.

    Solicitation in Grenada

    Generally, tourists will not endure harassment during Grenada vacation. However, once the cruise ships docks at the port, you will find a lot of street vendors, taxies and people offering all kinds of tours. These type of things can get annoying to some, but keep in mind that Grenadians are there to make money and their intentions are clear, they are not interested in harassing you, they want to sell their merchandise.

    If you are not interested in purchasing anything vendors have to offer, a firm "no, thank you" will do. Do not engage in lengthy conversations and mislead the vendors that you will buy something later on in your visit, when you are not planning on doing do. The beach vendors in Grenada are extremely polite and are a great source of information, so they will never aggressively push you into anything. When they see a large number of tourists on Grenada vacation, they intent to approach as many as possible to make a living, just like in any other Caribbean place. Do not be alarmed just keep doing your own thing and enjoy the vacation.

    Safety in Grenada

    Grenada is a very safe island to vacation. Of course, regular security measures should always be taken in account when travelling anywhere in the world and Grenada is not an exception, but overall, tourists will feel protected and secure when vacationing here.

    Common safety precautions such as not walking in deserted areas alone or at night, not walking along the shore line on the beach after dark, and not leaving your valuables in the open areas, should always be exercised to ensure a safe and worry-free Grenada vacation.

    Securely lock your belongings in the hotel safe or a security box, and always keep your things with you. If you are planning on attending a party late at night outside of your resort or a villa, travel with a group of friends or at least another person. Please remember, if you need to order a taxi, call up a company that is widely popular across Grenada and is licensed.

    One of the extremely poisonous hazards to watch out while on Grenada vacation is the Machineel tree. It grows along the shoreline and appears to provides the best shelter from rains and sunshine. It has gorgeous apple-like fruits scattered all over its branches, however, tourists should not be fooled, the tree along with its' milky sap, fruits and leaves can become extremely dangerous, in some situations even fatal. Under no circumstances, do not get in contact with the tree especially during rain. Find shelter somewhere else, or just stay under your umbrella. Contact with this deadly plant can cause extreme burns, swelling, blindness and even death.

    Water in Grenada

    The water is absolutely safe to drink in Grenada. Grenada chlorinates its water supply, so for those that are concerned about drinking tap water, should not worry. However, sometimes if you are travelling to deserted areas outside and far from your resort, especially after heavy rains quality of water is variable, sometimes even lacking. In those instances bring bottled water with you, either purchased or boil it at the hotel, let it cool and you are ready to explore on your Grenada vacation.

    Electricity in Grenada

    The electricity in Grenada is set to be at 220 volts, which runs at 50 cycles per second. If you are coming from the United States on Grenada vacation, where the standard voltage for the appliances is 110 volts, then a transformer and the adapter plug will be required. You will find that some hotels will lend their guests adapters, and some will have the 110-voltage outlets already installed in the rooms, for your convenience. However, if you are bringing a dual-voltage device, the adapter will still be needed.

    Sources: grenadabluewatersailing.com, grenadagrenadines.com, grenadaguide.com



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