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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Grenada Offers Spice And Island Hopping


Visitors to the Spice Island of Grenada can easily island hop to the sister islands of Carriacou, just 45 minutes away, and Petite Martinique - a 20 minute trip  



At one time Grenada was far removed from the tourist scene - not so much anymore. As cruise ships added the island to their Southern Caribbean itinerary, and as the word got out, more tourist are discovering  the lovely Spice Island.

Grenada still thrives on their "one on one" approach to the visitor relationship, and the island has always been conscious of the environmental impact of high volume tourism. "Less is more" is a popular saying among Grenadians.

The fertile soil makes this island the world's top producer of nutmeg. Fill up the spice rack after this trip, as you will also find fresh cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger. The fragrant smell of spice and exotic flowers flow through the island breezes. 

The winding roads take you through nutmeg trees, banana groves, cocoa trees, mangroves, hot springs, a vast rain forest located in the center, and small villages - reminiscent of life in the Caribbean before tourism. The local villages are filled with colorful houses surrounded by spice gardens, and tropical flowers in every hue of the rainbow.




And of course surrounding Grenada are beautiful white, tan and black Caribbean sand beaches. The black sand beaches can be found on the eastern coast, along with many secluded bays you can enjoy all by yourself.

No trip to the Caribbean is complete without rum! If you have ever wondered how rum was made back in the 18th century, then head to River Antoine. This is the oldest distillery in the entire Caribbean, and they still use traditional centuries old methods. I would suggest having a meal before sampling the 150 proof rum - you have been forewarned. (ˆ◡ˆ) 

Grenada's underwater scenery offers even more . . .




The stunning underwater sculptures showcase Grenada’s history, culture, and folklore. The sculptures provide a perfect artificial reef for fish, sponges and coral.


The National Marine Park is located in clear, shallow water on Moilinere Bay, just north of the capital city St Georges. Between Grenada and sister island Carriacou, there are at least 50 dive sites with pristine reefs, preserved wrecks and walls.

The center of the island is home to the rainforest which offers visitors the opportunity to view an abundance of exotic birds, monkeys and iguana.


Mona Monkey - 
Grand Etang National Park Grenada


















Mount St. Katherine towers the island at  2,750 feet, and beautiful Grand Etang Lake fills the crater of one of the island's extinct volcano.






The nutmeg tree actually yields "two spices" - Nutmeg and Mace. 

I first visited the island long before it was on the radar. Grenada's tourist development actually started after Hurricane Hugo destroyed 80% of the island back in 2004.

Things looked bleak for the island as the number one import source (nutmeg) was ruined, along with the majority of the islands structures. 

It wasn't just a matter of replanting - as it takes 10 years to fully regenerate the nutmeg crop. It was then island officials made the decision to to open the door to more development, and within four years Grenada has recovered, and stands as one of the loveliest islands in the region.

After reading this article I hope you decide to put Grenada on your Bucket List of places to visit in the Caribbean. Who knows, you might just fall in love with this fragrant tropical paradise.

Happy Travels,
Linda
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