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  • Overview

    Born from the seafloor in a sequence of violent volcanic eruptions, Grenada is a tropical, three-island Caribbean country located 90 miles (145km) north of Venezuela. Part of the Lesser Antilles chain, it consists of the main island of Grenada and its neighbouring constituencies, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

    Visitors can look forward to lush soils and a rolling mountainous interior, where breathtaking waterfalls gush down from the centre to meet the sea. Hikes through Grenada's verdant jungle make for a truly memorable nature experience. Couple that with unblemished beaches, billowing sails criss-crossing an azure coastline, a low-key lifestyle and unrivalled diving sites such as the wreck of the and visitors have one of the most overlooked tropical havens in the Caribbean.

    Heady fragrances of nutmeg and clove and a warm-hearted reception greet visitors to the 'Spice Island's' friendly capital, St. George's. The red-tiled roofs, Georgian architecture and central spice market make it one of the Caribbean's most charming centres, complemented by a picturesque natural harbour. Sun-worshippers can choose from 45 beautiful beaches, the most popular being the two-mile (3km) long Grand Anse Beach. Or, they can seek out one of the many secluded beaches a little further afield.

    Initially inhabited by Kalinago settlers from the Amazonian basin in South America, Grenada later became an unwilling station of European expansion, the effects of which are evident in the people, architecture and cuisine of the modern country. First invaded by the Spanish in violent slave raids, the resident Kalinago were then largely wiped out by French colonialists who exploited the land for large-scale sugarcane plantations and brought slaves in from West Africa to work them. Britain succeeded France, with Grenada only gaining independence from the British in 1974.

    Grenada is a poor country but the friendly disposition of the locals, the vibrant Afro-Caribbean culture, joyful calypso music and dancing tradition, and the picturesque tropical location more than make up for the lack of infrastructure. Grenada has long been a favourite port of call for yachties, divers and holidaymakers alike, offering some of the best scuba diving in the region, with coral gardens, an underwater volcano and the largest underwater shipwreck in the Caribbean, not to mention the alluring homemade Caribbean cuisine and lip-smacking seafood.

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Grenada enjoys a tropical climate with an average year-round temperature of 80ºF (26ºC). Grenada's weather is divided across two main seasons, determined by rainfall rather than temperature. The dry season falls between January and May, when showers are few and sporadic and the land is cooled by northeast trade winds. This is the ideal weather for visitors. The rainy season is June to December, when conditions are hot and humid and short bursts of heavy rainfall frequently occur. Conditions are humid along the coast but become considerably cooler and wetter toward the mountainous interior. Grenada lies on the edge of the hurricane belt and hurricane season normally runs from June to November.

    Maurice Bishop International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated six miles (11km) from St George’s.
    Time: GMT -4.
    Getting to the city: Buses do run to St George's but there is no fixed schedule. Taxis are located at the exit of the Arrivals terminal and there is a fixed fare to St George's.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies are available at the airport.
    Facilities: Facilities include a tourist office, bureau de change, restaurant, cafeterias, duty free shops, newsagent, gift shop, fresh flower stalls and first aid. There are disabled toilets and ramps in the terminal. Wheelchairs and disabled parking spaces are also available.
    Parking The car park is a short walk from the terminal. There are long-term and short-term parking rates.
    Money:

    The official currency of Grenada is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD), which is divided into 100 cents. The Eastern Caribbean dollar is tied to the US dollar at USD 1 = XCD 2.70. ATM machines are available at most banks and major credit cards are accepted at most hotels, car rental companies and shops. Many establishments will accept payment in US dollars, giving change in the local currency. Banking hours are generally Monday to Friday from 8am to 2pm.

    Language:

    English is the official language and is widely spoken, but Grenadian Creole is considered the main language of the island.

    Electricity:

    Electrical current is 220 - 240 volts, 50Hz. British three-prong plugs (Type G) are in use.

    Entry Requirements:

    US nationals: US citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Grenada. No visa is required for a stay of up to three months.

    UK nationals: British citizens must have a passport that is valid upon arrival in Grenada. No visa is required for stays of up to six months for British passport holders, irrespective of the endorsement regarding their national status contained therein.

    CA nationals: Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon arrival in Grenada. No visa is required for a stay of up to three months.

    AU nationals: Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon arrival in Grenada. No visa is required for a stay of up to three months.

    ZA nationals: South African citizens must have a passport that is valid upon arrival in Grenada. No visa is required for a stay of up to three months.

    IR nationals: Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid upon arrival in Grenada. No visa is required for a stay of up to three months.

    NZ nationals: New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid upon arrival in Grenada. No visa is required for a stay of up to three months.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    All foreign passengers to Grenada must hold onward or return tickets, and all necessary travel documentation for their next destination. Visa extensions are possible, and can be obtained at the Immigration Authorities Office in Grenada. As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers going between the United States, and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean region, are required to present a passport or other valid travel documents to enter or re-enter the United States. Note that if departing from the USA, a valid passport will be required by immigration authorities. Also note that a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter Grenada, if arriving in the country within six days of leaving or transiting through an infected area.

    It is highly recommended that travellers' passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

    Travel Health:

    The Zika virus has been linked to Grenada, so travellers should take precautions against mosquito bites and unprotected sexual contact. Pregnant woman are especially at risk, and are advised not to travel to Grenada. Dengue fever is common in Latin America and the Caribbean and cases have been reported in Grenada. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age coming from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. Travellers should also consider vaccinations for hepatitis A and hepatitis B, and those planning to eat outside of hotels and restaurants may want to get a typhoid vaccination. Good medical care is available in the urban areas of Grenada but most doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash, regardless of travel health insurance. Grenada doesn't have a decompression chamber for divers; the nearest decompression chambers are in Tobago and Barbados, 30 minutes away by air ambulance. The water in Grenada is clean and safe to drink.

    Tipping:

    Tipping is common in Grenada and many hospitality industry professionals largely rely on tips for a living. Crew of sailing charters should be tipped 10 to 15 percent of the total cost. If a service charge is not included on a restaurant bill, a 10 percent tip is customary. Bellhops usually receive about US$1 per bag, and taxi drivers usually receive 10 to 15 percent of the fare.

    Safety Information:

    Most visits to Grenada are trouble-free. Petty crime is prevalent so travellers should be vigilant and shouldn't carry their travel documents or large amounts of cash or jewellery on them. Isolated areas, including beaches, should be avoided after dark.

    Local Customs:

    Some homosexual acts are illegal in Grenada and gay couples should avoid displays of public affection. It is also an offence to wear camouflage clothing and there are severe penalties for all drug offences.

    Business:

    When conducting business in Grenada, dress should be formal and meetings should be arranged in advance. Business cards are usually exchanged at meetings and English is widely spoken in business circles. Business hours are 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Many offices are closed between 12pm and 1pm for lunch.

    Communications:

    The international dialling code for Grenada is +1 473. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for the UK). No area codes are in use. Roaming services are available. Almost all hotels and many restaurants provide wifi, and most yacht marinas have wifi setups for those who dock there.

    Duty Free:

    Travellers are allowed to import 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 225g of tobacco, 1 litre of wine or spirits and perfume for personal use without paying customs duty. Illegal drugs, arms and ammunition are prohibited.

    Useful Contacts:

    Grenada Tourism Authority, St. George's: +1 473 440 2279 or www.grenadagrenadines.com

    Grenada Embassies:

    Grenada Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 265 2561

    Grenada High Commission, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7385 4415

    Consulate General of Grenada, Toronto, Canada: +1 416 595 1343

    Honorary Consulate of Grenada, Johannesburg, South Africa: +27 83 461 6559

    Foreign Embassies in Grenada :

    United States Embassy, St. George's: +1 473 444 1173

    British High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados (also responsible for Grenada): +1 246 430 7800

    High Commission of Canada, Bridgetown, Barbados (also responsible for Grenada): +1 246 429 3550

    Australian High Commission, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (also responsible for Grenada): +1 868 822 5450

    South African High Commission, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (also responsible for Grenada): +1 868 622 9869

    Grenada Emergency Numbers : Emergencies: 911 (Police and Fire)
    Grenada