One of the gems of the Caribbean, Grenada is a part of the Windward Islands, located about 100 miles north of Venezuela. The temperature on the Island ranges from 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit year round. With its unique vegetation, topography and diverse wildlife, the country has gone to great lengths to protect this stunning natural environment.
“As Grenadians, we are extremely proud of our beautiful and sustainable island,” said William Joseph, Director of Tourism for the Grenada Board of Tourism. “I hope that visitors take the opportunity to experience the diversity of Grenada, from its lush rainforests and secluded beaches to its natural waterfalls.”
The development in Grenada has been unobtrusive; none of the Island’s hotels (that are all family owned with no large hotel chains on the Island) exceed the height of the palm trees, allowing for unobstructed views of the beaches and beautiful surroundings.
One ninth of the land mass is dedicated to wildlife sanctuaries and rainforest parks.
If you are looking to discover beaches, you’ve come to the right spot. Dotted with small bays and inlets, Grenada and Carriacou are full of stunning white and black sand beaches and with over 40+ dive sites, it is home to some of the best diving in the Caribbean. The world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park can be found here and the sculptures that have been submerged have helped to regenerate marine life. For those looking for further active exploration and adventure there are many other options on land that exist.
Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve is one of the Island’s most popular locations for bird watching, hiking and trekking. Located in the interior of the Island, up in the mountains, the area is home to several ecological subsystems. Stop by the Grand Etang Lake during your visit to the park, located at 531 meters above sea level, it is a water-filled crater from one of the Island’s extinct volcanoes. During a visit to the Park you’re likely to see a variety of animals and species of birds. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see the mona monkey while hiking in the Grand Etang. This small primate was first introduced to Grenada from West Africa during the time of slavery. Hikes through Grand Etang can range in length from 15 minutes to a number of hours. Visit La Sagesse Nature Centre, on Grenada’s south-west coast, for some of the best bird watching on the island. The government protects the mangrove swamps found along the beaches of La Sagesse, in order to maintain their natural wildlife and vegetation.
For a different perspective, go river tubing and spend time floating down the Bathazar River, while taking in the lush vegetation as you glide along. For a truly unique experience, watch the majestic leatherback turtles as they lay their eggs on Levera Beach, a protected area from May to September. Turtle watching can be arranged through Ocean Spirits, a not-for-profit established in 1999 to protect Grenada’s turtles. For those looking to get outdoors and experience an island with so much on offer in terms of natural wonders, no other country can compare to Grenada, ‘the Spice of the Caribbean.’
How to Get to Grenada from Canada: Grenada can be reached via Air Canada Vacations that operates a seasonal direct flight from Toronto to Grenada (Sunday departure with easy connections from major Canadian gateways available at www.aircanadavacations.com) from December until April. AC operates year round daily flights from Toronto to Barbados (Saturday & Sunday departure from Montreal) with connections on LIAT to Grenada. Caribbean Airlines operate regularly scheduled flights from Toronto to Barbados and Trinidad with connections on LIAT to Grenada. GG Tours operates a seasonal summer charter services from July through to September with a weekly direct flight from Toronto to Grenada www.ggtours.ca, as well as Titan Tours www.titantours.com. West Jet operates a flight from Toronto to Barbados with connections on LIAT to Grenada year round.
Posted by Anne Gordon