Know Before You Go

4 Things to Know Before Visiting Grenada

Grenada is a Grenadines-island chain country in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea. St. George’s is the island capital and boasts a picturesque city on a hill. Also known as “Spice Isle”, the island features powdery soft sands, year-round sunshine, a glistening waterscape, and an ever-present rich scent of nutmeg. Several diving sites beckon the adventurers who prefer underwater excursions, calling to them with vibrant marine life and unique subsurface features, including an iconic underwater sculpture park.

This paradise island is like no other with the beautiful Grand Anse Beach and the nearby smaller islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique within close enough proximity for you to explore more. Grenada is an island where you can find spectacular waterfalls and beaches, lush botanical gardens, mystic rainforests, and friendly people at every turn. A Grenada vacation is perfect for families and couples, and even the solo traveler … but these are all things you probably already know.

Here are four interesting particulars to know about Grenada.

1. You Can Explore a Magical World Wonder

Grenada attractions abound but even the locals will tell you that the Grand Etang featuring the Seven Sisters waterfall is an experience not to be missed. What makes this part of Grenada so magical is the lush rainforest that surrounds Grand Etang Lake as well as the many area activities and sights—a perfect blend of easy-going and grand hiking opportunities, rare flora and fauna, and the history lessons by way of the Grand Etang Forest Center and the resident forest ranger. Add in the waterfalls, incomparable views, and an ancient crater lake, and you’ve got a natural world wonder you can delve into for hours!

Deep in the mountainous interior of Grenada, the Grand Etang is a crater lake with a 36-acre expanse and seated 1,740 feet above sea level. Legend has it that the lake (so clear you can easily spot schools of vibrant marine life) is bottomless. You don’t have to be an avid hiker to appreciate this place. But you do need to be prepared. Make sure you’re equipped with a good camera, hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes, water, and snacks. Other suggested items to include are: backpacks, binoculars (to spot a fantastic catalog of birds in the area), hat, and collapsible hiking pole.

2. No Swimwear Allowed

Anywhere outside of the beach that is. Of course, if you’re enjoying one of the many Grenada beaches with their soft sands, endless vistas, and warm water, then, wear your swimwear of choice. However, if you want to go for a leisurely walk down the street after your dip, be sure to put some clothes on. Here, you are not encouraged to walk the streets in only your swimming clothes. In fact, you could even be fined hundreds of dollars!

Grenada, like some other islands, also adhere to the “no camouflage” rule. Locals do not wear camouflage, and neither should visitors. Wearing camouflage in Grenada is no-go. Here, all forms of camouflage are strictly reserved for the armed forces, and you will likely be fined, and your camo seized.

3. Grenada’s Chocolate is Award-Winning

Get your palate ready and bring your sweet tooth when you visit this island nation. You might know that Grenada has some of the best chocolate found in the Caribbean, but did you know it also has all three types of cocoa beans? Grenada’s chocolate is not only award-winning, but this island paradise has also earned the “fine flavor” distinction by the International Cocoa Organization (ICO). The trinitario, forastero, and criollo cocoa beans can all be found here, each type producing high-quality chocolate with fine flavor that is hard to beat (or resist). Each type has its own distinct taste when ripe. A little chocolate fun fact: the very rare criollo isn’t sought after commercially because it is so small, however, it is the Rolex of the trio with unique, delicious, and surprising flavor.

The story of Grenadian chocolate goes back to 1714 when cocoa trees were first introduced to the island. Today, you can find plenty of single origin “tree-to-bar” farms here.

Grenadians have spiced things up offering chocolate mini museum tours; small chocolate boutiques that carry a selection of all things made with cocoa in Grenada like a dark chocolate bar infused with nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and ginger; and even an annual spring chocolate festival featuring, cocoa farm tours, yoga with chocolate, rum and chocolate tasting sunset cruises, and more!

4. A National Dish You Can’t Resist

Grenada’s beloved national dish is called “Oil Down” — a creamy, hearty meal cooked in coconut milk until it is completely absorbed. What you must know is that not just anyone can make this national dish. It must be enjoyed homemade and fresh. If you are lucky enough to have a Grenadian friend or make some friends on a visit, you must have them prepare this for you!

Spices in Grenada are plentiful but just a few lace this dish that is made with love.

There are different variations, but Oil Down is most commonly made with fresh callaloo leaves, coconut milk, saffron, pepper, breadfruit, and carrots, with fish (or meat of choice) and dumplings. Prepare your tastebuds for a rush of flavor. And don’t forget to watch closely so you can make it for yourself. No true Grenadian follows a recipe when it comes to Oil Down.

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