5 Things To Do in Grenada

by Lebawit Lily Girma

Located on the southernmost end of the eastern Caribbean islands, a stone’s throw from the coast of South America, Grenada remains relatively off the beaten track. So much so, that it is often confused by some with the town of Granada, in southern Spain.

But Grenada — which includes its smaller sister islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique — isn’t just another pretty island. It has a pulse of its own, and has managed to grow while still preserving the way the Caribbean used to feel, long before the influx of mass tourism.

Here are some key activities not to miss in a week’s stay.

Credit: Lebawit Lily Girma

Credit: Lebawit Lily Girma

Go Beachcombing

Grenada’s beaches are pure heaven. They’re not only gorgeous in gold, pink or white, but their long stretches are ideal for walks and runs. Grand Anse is the most popular stretch, often ranked in top 10 best beaches lists for its ideal location and views of the sea and hills. Have a sunset drink at Umbrella’s Beach Bar or lay on the sand for some great sunning or people watching. For a quieter option, head over to Morne Rouge Beach or “BBC Beach” as the locals call it. There’s also Dr. Groom’s Beach, beside the delicious Beach House Restaurant, or the rockier Magazine Beach, home of the popular Aquarium Restaurant. Want more? Ask for Pink Gin Beach and take your camera.

Spend Friday Nights at the Gouyave Fish Fry

One of the most fun nights in Grenada takes place at the end of the workweek, in the traditional fishing village of Gouyave. Minivans and bus loads of visitors, as well as locals, head west to sample Grenada’s best catch of the day at the weekly fish fry. While this takes place all across Grenada, Gouyave’s is known to serve up the best. The streets fill up with plenty of food stalls, drumming and dancing, shopping and, of course, grills and cooking. Pick any one of the fresh food stands and order seafood to your heart’s content: fish cakes, fish kebabs, grilled or jerk snapper, lobster, conch, shrimp and more.

Credit: Lebawit Lily Girma

Credit: Lebawit Lily Girma

Visit the Nutmeg Factory

You can’t come to Spice Island and not learn about one of its primary spices and exports: nutmeg. This all-important fruit is used to make jams, liqueur, syrups and more. Head to the Nutmeg Factory in Gouyave. There, for a small entrance fee, you’ll observe how nutmeg is processed, from storage to cracking, sorting and drying.  It’s a short tour and worth it to see just how important this industry is to Grenada, and how hard Grenadian women work at the factory, behind the scenes.

Credit: Lebawit Lily Girma

Credit: Lebawit Lily Girma

Hike to Seven Sisters Falls

One of my favourite experiences in Grenada is a fairly rigorous and scenic rainforest hike to reach the Seven Sisters Falls. The main waterfall is reached after 45 minutes, and has a refreshing, wide swimming cove. Often missed by visitors, however, is a hidden, second waterfall, reached after an additional 15 minutes of tricky but worthwhile spelunking. Honeymoon Falls is a stunning tub-sized emerald hole with its very own cascading water, just perfect for two (or one).

Spend an Afternoon at the Grand Etang Lake and Forest Reserve

Popular with residents for walks, jogs or pure relaxation, this sanctuary tucked in the mountains of Grenada is one of the island’s prime sights. Located a mere eight miles from downtown St. George’s, the Grand Etang — a crater lake at 1, 700 feet above sea level — sits in the middle of a dense rainforest. There are marked trails for hikes, ranging from 15 minutes to several hours, some of which lead to waterfalls. On site is a visitors’ centre, where you can learn more about the park’s flora and fauna before setting out on your adventure. And be sure to look out for the mona monkeys.