A couple years ago I went on a Caribbean getaway to Grenada. It was a trip that my significant other and I had planned together. We were hoping to visit an island that neither of us had visited before so that ruled out a few Caribbean gems.
We created a list of potential destinations, compared airfares and got quotes from hotels and resorts. In the end we selected Grenada because it was the most economical and it was highly recommended by close friends.
Grenada Island Tour
One of the highlights of the six day trip was a Grenada island tour with Mandoo. I had found him after doing a rigorous internet search for activities in Grenada. Since we had never visited Grenada before, I created an itinerary of activities that we wanted to do as well as placed that we wanted to visit.
Our full itinerary consisted of the island tour with Mandoo, a day in the capital city of St. George’s, a visit to a “popular” restaurant, a day boat trip to Carriacou and a whale watching tour. We did not go to the beach, even though we stayed on the gorgeous Grand Anse Beach.
The Grenada island tour was the perfect way to see the island and to get a local’s perspective. We called Mandoo on arrival in Grenada and arranged a tour for a day that was not too crowded. He collected us from our hotel and we were on our way to see the beautiful island. Funnily enough, we ended up on a personal tour because the other visitors were not ready for the pickup.
I can remember passing by the national cricket ground; a popular cemetery; several fishing villages; a gift shop with lots of nutmeg and cocoa; a “burial ground” for boats in a secluded cove and Grand Etang lake.
We travelled through coastal and rural neighbourhoods and heard about little known facts about the island. Our Grenada island tour with Mandoo, also included lunch at a restaurant on an east coast beach.
One of the stops on the Grenada island tour was a visit to the Annandale Falls which were located just on the outskirts of St. George’s. These are not the largest falls on the island, but they are gorgeous. There was a trail that was lined with local tress and plants that led to the waterfall. We were able to get a clear view of the falls thanks to a platform that led right up to the water. Boys were being boys and having fun jumping off of a ledge into the cool, inviting pool.
Dougaldston Spice Estate
Dougaldston Spice Estate is a historic plantation that processes spices that Grenada is renowned for. On our visit, ladies were tending to cocoa, cloves, nutmeg and mace in a large, sleepy warehouse. One of them explained how the spices were prepared and gave us a history of the estate. The plantation exudes an air of rich history, thanks to its ruins and many pieces of the old machinery strewn across the property.
River Antoine Distillery
If you are visiting any Caribbean island, you should visit at least one of the local rum distilleries. On our visit to Grenada, that was not part of our itinerary because we live on an island that has a rich rum history. But, the tour with Mandoo included a trip to the River Antoine Distillery. Our tour guide explained the rum-making process and gave us a tour of the facility. It was amazing to see how the rum is handmade in the majority of the process – from crushing the sugar cane to pumping the rum into bottles.
Pearl’s Airport, which has the distinction of being Grenada’s first airport, is now deserted and derelict. As we drove up to the area, it felt eerie and unusually quiet. There were two very old airplane shells – a crop duster and a Cubana aircraft. Pearl’s was the main airport prior to the 1983 invasion by the United States of America. The runway is now used for car racing, and the planes are memories of what happened in 1983 and life before that time.
Feeding a Mona Monkey
The capstone of our Grenada island tour was when we stopped to feed a mona monkey. We parked in a rest area at one of the island’s protected parks which had an observation area. It provided a view of what looked like miles and miles of jungles and gullies with many tall trees.
Mandoo had bought some bananas from a vendor just for this purpose! He made a funny sound which resembled a whistle and sucking of the teeth and this large monkey appeared. He climbed up, sat on the railing and looked around a bit. Mandoo placed a banana on the protective barrier and the monkey took it up, peeled it and started eating the banana.
We stayed there for a while and then headed back to the hotel. My experience in Grenada was unforgettable and I’d love to visit again. The only thing I would do differently would be to stay at least ten days.
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