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Grenada
Introduction
Grenada is a rolling, mountainous island, covered with fragrant spice trees and rare tropical flowers. Bordered by stunning beaches, and dotted with picturesque towns, this verdant island has long been a major source of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa.

In the interior of Grenada are cascading rivers and waterfalls, lush rainforests, and one of the most breathtakingly beautiful mountain lakes imaginable. The capital, St. George's, is widely held to be the loveliest city in the Caribbean, with a French colonial style, cobblestone streets, churches, forts, and the National Museum, barracks of the French army by the time.
Geography
This small nation consists of three islands: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique. The three of them located in the Eastern Caribbean at the southern extremity of the Windward islands, only 100 miles north of Venezuela. To the north lie St. Vincent and the Grenadines; to the south Trinidad and Tobago.
Grenada is by far the largest of the three, with a width of twelve miles (18 km) and a length of twenty-one miles (34 km). The island is of volcanic origin and is divided by a central mountain range. It is the most southerly of the Windward Islands. Tropical rainforests and the stunning beauty of dormant volcanoes make this a fascinating and diverse landscape with some of the finest beaches in the world.
Grenada's smaller sister island, Carriacou, is hilly but not mountainous. With smoother terrain, Carriacou is an ideal destination for walking. It possesses fine sand beaches and natural harbors, as well as offering excellent views out over the northern Grenadine islands. Petite Martinique, the third and by far the smallest island in the state, consists of little more than the tip of a volcanic cone poking through the water.
Flora & Fauna
Flora
The ‘Spice Isle’ is covered with a mantle of green, from its sea level mangroves, up through pastures and plantation and dry Caribbean forest, to mountainous, rain forested heights. The island has a fantastic array of tropical plants, from the orange-red immortelle trees to cultivated orchids in specialist collections. The island is particularly fertile for certain types of plant, notably herbs and certain tropical spices.
Grenadians use their fertile volcanic soil to create superb gardens and the Grenadian team has been successful over the years at winning numerous gold and silver medals at the Chelsea Flower Show in London. There are many tropical gardens that are open to the public in particular Sunnyside, Bay Gardens, The Tower and Balthazar Estate.
Fauna
Characteristic wildlife includes the hummingbird, egret, dove, and wild pigeon; also to be found are armadillo, agouti, and monkeys.
Facts at a Glance
Visa and Documents
A valid passport and return or onward ticket is required. However, proof of citizenship bearing a photograph is acceptable from British and Canadian citizens, if accompanied with a copy of your birth certificate. Visas are not required from citizens of USA, Canada, United Kingdom and its dependencies, British Commonwealth countries, Caribbean countries (except Cuba), European Community countries and their dependencies, Norway, Japan, and Israel. Commonwealth of Independent States such as Russia and the Ukraine and the Baltic States such as Estonia and Latvia, and other eastern European countries such as Hungary, Romania and Slovenia are required to purchase a tourist visa on arrival in Grenada.
Population
Grenada's population numbers about 102,000, comprising citizens of African, East Indian, and European descent. The largest portion of the population, about 75%, is of African descent.
Political System
The tri-island state remains within the British Commonwealth as an independent nation and the Governor General represents Her Majesty the Queen. There is a 13-member Senate and a House of Representatives with a Speaker and fifteen members, each representing a constituency.
Religion
There is a good representation of all the major religions in most towns. Roman Catholics account for 64% of the population, Anglican 22%, Methodist 3% and Seventh Day Adventists 3%.
Language
English is the official language.
Currency
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar, linked to the US Dollar, is the local currency. Banks will exchange EC$2.67 for US$1.00 cash, and EC$2.68 for US$1.00 in travellers cheques. It is advisable to exchange currency at the banks, as the most favorable exchange rates may not be obtained elsewhere.
Travel Tips
Emergency numbers
Police and Fire 911
Ambulance St George’s 434
St Andrews 724
Carriacou 774
Coast Guard 399
Local time
Grenada, Carriacou & Petit Martinique are in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time and four hours behind GMT.
Electricity
Voltage is 220 volts - 50 cycles. Appliances rated at 110 volts (US standard) normally work satisfactorily with a transformer. Most hotels have standard British three prong plugs, and provide dual voltage shaver units. Bring an adapter plug for small appliances.
Its people
Grenadians are very enthusiasts and have a natural penchant for welcoming, socializing, cooking and celebrating. They are also protective of a local culture that has resulted from a long history of identity crisis. East Indian families uphold traditions and community ties, as the African Caribbean island majority does. However East Indians are viewed by some to own a disproportionately high number of businesses on the island and pay a disproportionately low wage. Stereotypes are changing, however, as the ethnic groups mix and inter-marry.
Food
Grenada’s Market Square offers seasonal local fruit, vegetables and spices. There are several super-markets, with a wide variety of produce. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables, milk, and dairy products are safe to eat.
Water
It is safe to drink.
Bottled water is available.                       
Vaccines
None are required unless you are coming from an infected area within six days of arrival, then a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required from all travellers over one year of age.
Shopping
Best buys include our spice baskets, locally made batiks and screen printed items, locally made perfumes and potpourris, local jams (especially nutmeg jam), jellies, syrups, local handicrafts, strawwork and paintings. Duty free stores exist in St. George’s, Grand Anse and at the airport, selling jewelry, alcohol, perfumes, crystal and other gift items.
Opening hours: 8am-4pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-1pm on Saturday. (Some shops close between 12 noon and 1pm.)
Banks
Banking hours are generally Monday to Thursdays from 8 am to 2 p.m., and on Fridays from 8 am to 4 p.m. Banks in Grenada include First International Caribbean Bank, Grenada Co-operative Bank, RBTT Bank, Republic Bank and Scotia Bank.
Valid driver's license
To obtain a local permit, a bona fide driving license must be presented at the local traffic department at the Central Police Station on the Carenage, the cost is EC$ 30. Most car rental firms issue local permits. Please note that driving is on the LEFT.
Telecommunications
The area code for Grenada is 473. International Direct Dialing is available from most hotel rooms; please check with your hotel front desk for their current rates. Mobile service is available from Lime and Digicel. Both companies provide reliable GSM and GPRS services. Phone services are available at various points throughout the island, Coin phones for local calls and Card Phones for both local and overseas calls.
Climate and Season
Average temperatures range from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 30°C), tempered by the steady and cooling trade winds. The lowest temperatures occur between November and February. Due to Grenada's remarkable topography, the island also experiences climate changes according to altitude. The driest season is between January and May. Even during the rainy season, from June to December, it rarely rains for more than an hour at a time and generally not every day.