Peppered with fragrant spice trees and centuries old spice estates, Grenada has an air of exoticism. Today, nutmeg, allspice, clove, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, bay leaves and tumeric are all grown on this volcanic Caribbean island and the seductive scents linger in the colorful Saturday markets and Grenada’s forests.
Working spice plantations and rum distilleries on the island still use traditional, old fashioned methods: sugarcane pressed by water power, fermented into rum in copper pots and bottled by hand. Take guided tours to sample rums or see the spice factory in Gouyave where spices are sorted, dried and milled.
Grenada’s scenery ranges from tropical rain forests to mountaintop dwarf forests to gorges. Take a swim under cascading water in a clear rainforest pool formed by waterfalls, such as Annandale Falls and multilevel Mount Carmel Falls. Atop Mount Sinai is the Grand Etang, a lake cradled in its crater. Levara National Park and La Sagesse Nature Reserve’s estuary are havens for birdwatchers.
The island’s best beaches can be found on the southwest coast, near the capital St. George’s, including the two mile long, white sand Grand Anse, which has hotels and resorts. St. George’s inner harbor is lined with a rainbow of pastel dockside warehouses and homes with red tiled roofs. The main street offers seaside restaurants, calypso and reggae bars and hotels.
The nation of Grenada also consists of the islands Carriacou and Petite Martinique in the southern Grenadines. Carriacou is a yachtsman’s dream and major sailing races and regattas are held here year round. Petite Martinique has striking beaches on its leeward side.