Grenada is divided into six parishes, including one named St. George that includes the communities of Grand Anse, Morne Rouge, True Blue, L’Anse aux Épines, and the capital city of St. George’s. When exploring this beautiful island, please note that removing bark from trees, taking wildlife from the forest, and taking coral from the sea are all against the law.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Grenada’s capital is a bustling West Indian city, much of which remains unchanged from colonial days. Narrow streets lined with shops wind up, down, and across steep hills. Brick warehouses cling to the waterfront, and pastel-painted homes disappear into steep green hills.
Horseshoe-shape St. George’s Harbour, a submerged volcanic crater, is arguably the prettiest harbor in the Caribbean. Schooners, ferries, and tour boats tie up along the seawall or at the small dinghy dock. The Carenage (pronounced car-a-nahzh), which surrounds the harbor, is the capital’s center. Warehouses, shops, and restaurants line the waterfront. The Christ of the Deep statue sits on the pedestrian plaza at the center of the Carenage; it was presented to Grenada by Costa Cruise Line in remembrance of its ship, Bianca C, that burned and sank in the harbor in 1961. Bianca C is now a popular dive site.
An engineering feat for its time, the 340-foot-long Sendall Tunnel was built in 1895 and named for Walter Sendall, an early governor. The narrow tunnel, used by both pedestrians and vehicles, separates the harbor side of St. George’s from the Esplanade on the bay side of town, where you will find the markets (produce, meat, and fish), the Cruise Ship Terminal, the Esplanade Mall, and the public bus station.
If you’re visiting the northern reaches of Grenada, plan to stop at Belmont Estate, a 400-year-old working nutmeg and cocoa plantation. Settle into the breezy open-air dining room, which overlooks enormous trays of nutmeg, cocoa, and mace drying in the sunshine. A waiter will offer some refreshing local juice and a choice of callaloo or pumpkin soup. Then head to the buffet and help yourself to salad, rice, stewed chicken, beef curry, stewed fish, local vegetables, and more. Dessert may be homemade ice cream, ginger cake, or another delicious confection. Afterward, feel free to take a tour of the museum, cocoa fermentary, sugarcane garden, and old cemetery. Farm animals (and a couple of monkeys) roam the property, and there’s often folk music and dancing on the lawn.
This broad strip of white sand on the northeastern tip of Grenada is part of Levera National Park. A natural coral reef protects swimmers and snorkelers from the rough Atlantic surf; swimming beyond the reef is dangerous. A magnet for local folks on national holidays, the beach is almost deserted at other times. Changing rooms are located at the park headquarters. A vendor or two sometimes sets up shop near the beach, but you’re smart to bring your own refreshments. Amenities: parking (no fee); toilets. Best for: snorkeling; solitude; swimming; walking.
GRAND ANSE BEACH
Grenada’s loveliest and most popular beach is Grand Anse: a gleaming 2-mile (3-km) semicircle of white sand, lapped by gentle surf and punctuated by sea grape trees and coconut palms that provide shady escapes from the sun. Brilliant rainbows frequently spill into the sea from the high green mountains that frame St. George’s Harbour to the north. Several resorts face the beach, from Flamboyant and Mount Cinnamon at the southern end of the beach to Spice Island Beach Resort, Coyaba Beach Resort, Allamanda Beach Resort, and Radisson Grenada Beach Resort as you head north. Several of these hotels have dive shops for arranging dive trips or renting snorkeling equipment. A water-taxi dock is at the midpoint of the beach, along with the Grand Anse Craft & Spice Market, where vendors also rent beach chairs and umbrellas. Restrooms and changing facilities are available at Camerhogne Park, which is the public entrance and parking lot. Hotel guests, cruise-ship passengers, and other island visitors love this beach, as do local people who come to swim and play on weekends. There’s plenty of room for everyone. Amenities: food and drink; parking (no fee); toilets; water sports. Best for: sunset; swimming; walking.
MORNE ROUGE BEACH
One mile south of Grand Anse, a ½-mile-long crescent of pure white sand is tucked away on Morne Rouge Bay. The clear turquoise water is excellent for swimming, and the gentle surf makes this beach perfect for families with small children. Light meals and snacks are available at Gem Holiday Resort’s beachfront bar and grill. Amenities: food and drink; parking (no fee); toilets. Best for: sunset; swimming.
LA SAGESSE BEACH
Surrounding a sheltered bay along the southeastern coast at La Sagesse Nature Centre, this secluded crescent of the finest (gray) sand on the island is a 30-minute drive from Grand Anse. Surrounded by tropical vegetation, it provides a lovely, quiet refuge. The water is fairly shallow and always calm along the shoreline. Plan a full day of swimming, sunning, and nature walks, with lunch at La Sagesse Inn’s restaurant, which is adjacent to the beach. Amenities: food and drink; parking (no fee); toilets. Best for: solitude; swimming; walking.