There are lots of fun things to do in Grenada, a beautiful island in the West Indies, Caribbean. Whether you’re spending one day in Grenada, a week in Grenada, or longer, there’s plenty of things to see and do. While I would have loved to have spent more time on the island, Justin and I visited Grenada from a cruise ship for the day. With only six hours in port, we wanted to make the most of our time there.
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Our Original Grenada Day Trip Plans
Originally, we had planned to take a snorkeling excursion to the Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada. The two of us had our tickets in hand and waited for the snorkeling boat to show up. Unfortunately, the tour operator’s boat broke down and they were unable to offer the tour at the last moment. This left Justin and I wondering what we could do to salvage our day in Grenada.
After walking through the little mall of souvenir shops at the cruise port, we saw a sign that said “Historical” and thought that sounded intriguing. Directly in front of us was a long tunnel, and to the right of the tunnel were steps going up to Fort George. We decided to walk up the steps to Fort George first, and walk through the tunnel to the historical part of the town afterwards. I’m really happy that we made that decision or else our day may not have unfolded the same way.
As we walked up the steps to the top of the hill where the Fort was located, we found out that people could go inside the fort by paying a $5 entrance fee. We thought that the grounds around the outside of Fort George would be fun to explore, and the view of the island from this spot was pretty spectacular. So, we didn’t go inside the fort but there was that option. There were many tropical plants and flowers growing all around, and the view of the town and ocean down below was very beautiful.
How Our Day in Grenada Completely Changed
While we were walking, a taxi van slowly approached us. The taxi driver inside asked if we wanted to take a tour around the island, including the waterfall and the lake. Two ladies were already inside the van. I would be lying if I said that we both weren’t sure at first. I made the mistake of not entirely consulting with Justin first…the conversation basically went like this:
Lauren: Do you want to take this tour?
Justin: I don’t know, should we?
Lauren: What do you think?
Justin: I’m not sure….
Lauren: Yes, let’s go! *already halfway around the van and ready to jump in*
We are greeted by two lovely women from England – a mother and her daughter-in-law, as we discovered. Our driver’s name was Anthony. Justin seemed uneasy when we jumped into the back of the van, but I was really excited for an adventure. We really had no idea where he would be taking us other than “around the island” and maybe to a waterfall or a lake. But, I was incredibly excited to see where we would end up!
Things to Do in Grenada: An Island Tour
It’s really easy to take a half day island tour of Grenada without planning it in advance. When you walk outside of the cruise terminal or around the cruise port town of St. George, there will be numerous tour operators ready to take you around in their van. Our experience was a little different in that our van came to us! But, it’s easy to negotiate an island tour.
If you know where you would like to go, I am certain that the driver will take you to those places. If you’ve never visited Grenada before and would like a great overview, you can ask for that as well. We wanted to see the highlights of Grenada tourist attractions and as much as we could in a day. This spur of the moment tour we took is one of the best Grenada excursions by far.
We discussed a price with Anthony for the island tour up front and came to an agreement on $20/pp. It is always a good idea to agree on a price ahead of time to make it perfectly clear what you intend to pay for the trip. Fortunately, there was the mother-daughter duo splitting the trip with us, so this likely made things a little more affordable than if it were just the two of us.
First Impressions Driving Around Grenada
Anthony was a fantastic tour guide. We were offered an amazing Grenada island tour to see the spectacular natural attractions. But, we were also provided with a small glimpse into the life of a local Grenadian.
As we drove along and navigated the steep hills and winding roads, Anthony told us about the region itself and what it was like to live in Grenada. He was willing to answer any questions that we had about anything that came up in conversation. As we approached each location, Anthony continually let us know that we should never feel pressured to buy anything unless we really wanted to, and this made us feel very comfortable.
Sample the Local Fruits and Spices
It seemed like Anthony knew everyone on the island. I am sure that Grenada has a very close-knit community and it seems like the type of place where everyone knows everyone else. First, we stopped briefly at a fruit stand where a man approached the van with some small red fruits that looked like pears.
These small red fruits are French Cashew Fruits. It seems that the cashew nut is actually a seed that grows from the base of the cashew fruit! We had both never seen a cashew fruit before. Justin and I each sampled our own cashew fruit.
The texture was a bit like a pear, but the taste was completely different. It tasted almost dry, and very faintly nutty. Anthony said that most people make beverages or ice cream out of this fruit. They don’t typically eat it raw on its own. It’s not as though it was bad tasting, but it wasn’t the refreshing sensation that you’d expect from a juicy piece of fruit. Anthony told us to throw the cashew fruit cores (with a large seed inside) into the trees as a new plant may eventually grow from them.
The Spices of Grenada
On our first stop (where we actually got out of the vehicle), we reached a small shop that specialized in selling spices from the island. Grenada is known as the “Spice Island” as so many fresh spices grow there in abundance.
The main souvenirs you can bring back from the island are all of the wonderful spices: nutmeg, cocoa, cinnamon, turmeric, mace, and even vanilla! A man who worked at the shop, John, gave us a short demonstration of the various spices that grow in Grenada and how the spices are used. We also got to taste many of the products that are fairly unique to the island.
The most popular spice grown in Grenada is nutmeg. We were shown the nutmeg fruit that grows on trees in Grenada. Inside the fruit, there is the mace (the red part around the nutmeg) which is the most expensive part, and the nutmeg seed that is ground up to make the nutmeg spice.
In Grenada, they use the fruit, mace, and seed in various ways. Most obviously, nutmeg is used in cooking and baking. They also sell nutmeg syrup (very sweet, like honey, could be used on pancakes!), nutmeg extract, dried mace for cooking, nutmeg jam (the fruit and seed used here), nutmeg moisturizing cream, nutmeg spray, and nutmeg oil (can help digestive and nervous system). With so much nutmeg growing everywhere on the island, Grenadians have been very inventive by using this fruit/spice in so many different ways.
Cocoa / Chocolate
Yes, that slimy stuff coming out of that fruit, believe it or not, is cocoa! It looks so different from the chocolate or cocoa that we can buy at home. The cocoa fruit has a white, gooey pulp in the middle where you’ll find the cocoa seeds. To make chocolate, they dry the seeds across large surfaces in natural sunlight. The seeds turn darker in the sunlight and start to look more like cocoa and chocolate.
Extracts, Vanilla, and Spice Necklaces
We were also able to smell delicious extracts that are produced in Grenada. The vanilla one smells amazing. It smells so much better than the vanilla that I am used to using. We ended up buying a whole bunch of spices for ourselves and as gifts, including spice necklaces.
Spice necklaces are one of the most popular items that you can purchase in Grenada. They are dried spices and beads that are connected to form a necklace. The spice necklaces aren’t meant to be worn (unless you want to smell really delicious!). They are meant to be hung up in your kitchen or placed in a drawer like a natural air freshener. Every six months, you can dunk the spice necklace into a bowl of water and it rejuvenates and replenishes the yummy, spicy scent of the necklace.
We also purchased a five-pack of extracts in small bottles – vanilla, pear, banana, pineapple, and almond extract. We also bought some cocoa balls. They are very popular in Grenada as well, and can be used in cooking or to make hot chocolate.
Buying Spices and Extracts
I would say that Grenada is a paradise for anyone who loves to cook and eat. You can purchase very fresh spices here of many varieties, including some things that would be difficult to find at home (or very expensive!). It’s also much cheaper to buy them in Grenada than at your local grocery store.
You should have no problem bringing home spices or spice necklaces in your checked luggage. Also please note: when you get back to your hotel room/cruise ship, take the spice necklaces out of the plastic bag. Hang them up somewhere with proper ventilation, otherwise they will go moldy in the plastic bag as the necklaces are made of fresh spices. Ideally, on your way home, store them in a paper bag in your luggage. They should be fine for a few hours.
A Spice Demonstration on the Spice Island
A spice tour or spice demonstration is one of the best things to do in Grenada. It was great to learn more about the harvesting and production of these popular spices. Also, if you can manage to buy your spices outside of the main tourist area in St. George, you will likely have a better variety and it will be cheaper for you to purchase them.
The small spice shop we visited was up on a hill (my apologies, I do not know the name of the actual shop!) and it offered an amazing view from the back of the store. We were able to walk outside on the balcony and admire this beautiful place.
When we got back in the van and drove a little way down the street, Anthony stopped by a nutmeg tree growing at the side of the road. He got out to fetch us some nutmeg that had fallen to the ground. In Grenada, you’re not supposed to pick the nutmeg fruit from the trees that grow on public property. But, you’re allowed to pick the fruit or seeds from the ground.
Following our spice demonstration, we were on our way to one of the best places to visit in Grenada, Annandale Falls. It’s a gorgeous waterfall surrounded by tropical plants and flowers.
Annandale Falls was located within a short walking distance from the parking lot, which made it very easily accessible to visitors. You just have to watch your step as the ground can be a little bit slippery. We paid the admission ($2.50 each) for a chance to witness the beauty of the waterfall. The waterfall has a 30ft drop to a pool below where you could take a swim. We admired the scenery of the lush tropical plants along with the endless stream of water plunging over the rocky cliff.
There were a variety of performers surrounding the falls – feel free to tip when you’d like! There was a man playing a guitar who sang to the guests. He was comparing the various tourists to famous people in his songs – he called me “Jennifer Aniston” and called Justin “Antonio Banderas”! Haha! We were laughing quite a bit over his lyrics and those compliments earned him a tip. He sang a song to one lady in our group and kept calling her “Lady Gaga”, which I don’t think she appreciated very much.
Another group of performers there were the Daredevil Cliff Divers. These men would take turns jumping off the edge of the cliff down to the water below. These cliff jumpers are experts. They had to jump from the correct spot as many boulders and jagged rocks are down below. They must be pretty fearless; there’s no way you’d catch me jumping off the edge!
Grand Etang National Park
Visiting Grand Etang National Park is another one of the most amazing things to do in Grenada. We drove up winding roads higher and higher to reach the park, 1700ft above sea level. The main attraction at Grand Etang National Park is Grand Etang Lake. Grand Etang Lake is a long extinct volcano crater filled with azure water. Admission to the national park was $2.50 per person.
There is a visitor center with many photos and giant signs with explanations about the history of the lake, the flora and fauna of the island, and historical facts about Grenada. It was definitely worth taking a peek to better understand the area and the sights. There was a guestbook there that we signed – I love doing that!
The Mona Monkey
Grand Etang National Park is home to the Mona Monkey, a protected species of monkey in Grenada. These monkeys arrived in Grenada during the slave trade from Africa. Now, they live throughout the rainforest and we were lucky enough to see one up close at the entrance to Grand Etang Lake.
The Mona Monkey has a distinctive trait: chubby cheeks where he can store food for later, much like a chipmunk. A man with another tour group had some bananas and called out to the monkey. Suddenly, the Mona Monkey appeared from the forest and jumped towards us. He swung from branches to the fence and happily took chunks of banana from the man’s hand. The monkey quickly stored the whole pieces of banana in his cheeks. He swung back into a tree and consumed the banana safely away from the large group of spectators that had formed.
We also saw a cat that lived in the area. One of the shop owners had some kitty food out, so it must be their cat (or they at least fed it every day). I love seeing cats wherever we visit.
Grand Etang National Park Souvenir Shops
There are some little shops on the national park grounds, as well as vendors selling spice necklaces. In one of the shops, I found some locally produced Grenada dark chocolate bars using cocoa produced by the local farmers. This chocolate is delicious and comes in a few different varieties. It’s organic, carbon-neutral/sustainable, fair-trade, and extremely tasty. You can purchase chocolate bars from the Grenada Chocolate Company in the USA and around the world, and they have a store listing on their website.
Grand Etang Lake
Grand Etang Lake is a crater lake in an ancient volcano, and it’s one of two crater lakes in Grenada. It is approximately 20 feet deep. There’s a legend that a mermaid lives in Grand Etang Lake, and she tries to lure men to their death in the lake. Spooky! Visiting Grand Etang Lake is one of the top things to do in Grenada because it’s such a beautiful and interesting place.
After viewing Grand Etang Lake from up above, we drove down below to actually be able to sit by the lake itself. We were the only ones down there. I didn’t see any of the larger tour groups drive down to see the lake up close. Perhaps the taxi drivers and private tour operators give this “extended” tour. It was equally as beautiful up close.
Up close, I noticed that there were some fish swimming in the lake. We were also able to walk out on a small dock built over the lake with a railing to ensure that no one falls in. If you have some extra time, it’s possible to go for a hike around the lake and through the jungle. There are hiking trails that take between 15 minutes and four hours.
As we drove away from Grand Etang National Park, we were able to witness some breathtaking views of the island from one of the highest points of Grenada.
Grenada Rum Tasting
After enjoying the scenery at Grand Etang Lake, our taxi driver, Anthony drove us to a small bar, Mark’s Sports Bar, for a rum tasting. It has a great little patio outdoors with a wonderful view. Anthony is friends with the owner, Mark.
Anthony guided us through the rum tasting himself. First, we tried a rum punch, a very popular drink throughout the Caribbean. This rum punch was particularly strong and very tasty, as it was one of Mike’s homemade concoctions. All of the rum was also available for purchase, though we didn’t end up bringing any back with us.
Next, we sampled a spiced rum called “under the counter”. There were all kinds of fresh local spices stuffed inside a one gallon jug, soaking in rum. This was an authentic homemade mixture that’s very popular on the island and I’m very glad that I got to try it. It was 140 proof and wow, was it ever strong!
There is a method to drinking this particular rum. You take a sip from the shot glass and hold it in your mouth for a few moments. Then, you take some water and swish it all around in your mouth before you swallow it. You can really taste the spices this way, plus the water helps to…well, water it down a little bit. It’s pretty intense.
Grand Anse Beach
Grand Anse Beach is one of the prettiest beaches in Grenada. While there are lots of beaches in Grenada, this is a beautiful and convenient one to visit if you’re spending one day in Grenada. There are turquoise blue waters, soft white sand, and palm trees everywhere. If you’re spending a longer amount of time in Grenada, you might even stay at one of the luxury hotels that line Grand Anse Beach.
While we were cramming a lot of activities into one tour, Justin and I didn’t get to spend very much time at Grand Anse Beach. We didn’t have time to lounge or swim there, but we took a short walk, admired the views, and dipped our toes in the water. If we had more time than a day in Grenada, we’d certainly be swimming and relaxing at this beautiful beach. It’s one of the best things to do in Grenada.
While we didn’t book our island tour with Anthony in advance, it’s possible to do so if you like to plan your excursions in advance. I found this island tour online that is identical to the one we took. It also seems to be led by a man named Tony, which could be the same person as our Anthony! Hopefully it is the same tour guide as we had a fantastic day and couldn’t ask for a better tour guide. Book your Grenada island excursion here.
More Things to Do in Grenada
Beyond the island tour with all of the activities described above, there are many more things to do in Grenada. You can easily see all of the above attractions in Grenada in a day. If you find yourself with more than one day in Grenada, feel free to add these places to visit to your list.
See the Seven Sisters Waterfalls
The Seven Sisters Waterfalls are located within the Grand Etang National Park. Visiting the Seven Sisters Waterfalls is one of the best things to do in Grenada. It’s possible to go there on your own and pay the entry fee (EC$5 or $2 USD) or you can book a tour to Seven Sisters Waterfalls that includes transportation and a guide.
Most people hike to the first set of two waterfalls, which takes about 20 or 30 minutes. There are a lot of steps going down, but it isn’t a super difficult hike. The journey to get there is almost as wonderful as the destination. You’ll hike through a lush, tropical rainforest with lots of pretty and colorful flowers. If you’d like to see more waterfalls, you can continue to hike to the next one (about a 30 minute hike from the first two).
Check out River Antoine Rum Distillery
River Antoine Rum Distillery is Grenada’s oldest rum facility, built in 1785. You can learn about their traditional methods to produce some of the finest rum in the Caribbean. Not only will you tour the distillery with an expert, but you’ll also be able to sample a flight of rums and liquors. You can book your tour to the River Antoine Rum Distillery in advance, which includes transportation.
Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
This was what we were supposed to do in Grenada before our tour got cancelled. However, most of the time, the tour is fully operational, and I’d love to do this when we return to the island. Plan a snorkeling or scuba diving trip to Grenada’s famous Underwater Sculpture Park.
It’s pretty amazing that there are tons of beautiful sculptures in the sea that you can only see by snorkeling or diving. If you’re searching for what to see in Grenada, the Underwater Sculpture Park is one of those places you must visit. Book this half day snorkel tour that takes you to the sculpture park and another stunning coral reef in Grenada.
Visit Levera National Park
Aside from Grand Etang National Park, Grenada has another amazing national park to visit: Levera National Park. You can go for a walk there to see an abundance of bird species. Levera National Park is home to an expansive mangrove swamp, brilliant coral reefs, and gorgeous beaches. From May to September, the beaches are protected because this area is a hatchery for sea turtles.
Take a Sunset Champagne Cruise
Sail the spectacular waters around Grenada. My top pick is a sunset champagne cruise from St. George. You can sit back and admire the views with a glass of bubbly in your hand. Before the sun goes down, you can even put on the complimentary snorkel gear and see some of the beautiful fish living beneath the surface.
Hike Mount Saint Catherine
Looking for what to do in Grenada if you’re a nature or hiking lover? Mount St. Catherine is the highest peak on Grenada (at 2,760 feet or 840m), and there are amazing views from the top if it isn’t too cloudy outside. This hike can be very muddy and wet, so you’ll need to take the proper precautions here. Also, I recommend that you hike with a knowledgeable guide as it’s easy to get lost here.
Where to Stay in Grenada
There are so many fantastic places to stay in Grenada for a memorable tropical island getaway. Here are our top picks for every budget.
Luxury Hotel: Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel
The Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel in Saint George’s, Grenada, provides that wow factor in a getaway to paradise. You’ll get the celebrity treatment at this highly rated hotel. There’s an outdoor swimming pool, a high end spa, and Grand Etang National Park is only a 20 minute drive away. Breakfast on your balcony overlooking lush gardens…doesn’t that sound good right about now?
You can read more reviews of the Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel written by guests who have stayed there and experienced the resort.
Mid-Range Hotel: Petit Anse Hotel
Petit Anse Hotel is a mid-range accommodation with tons of modern amenities and stunning waterfront scenery. Every room has views of the sea, and there’s also a tropical garden and a swimming pool. It’s a beautiful property that you’ll surely love, and it’s at a fraction of the price compared to other resorts.
You can read more reviews of the Petit Anse Hotel written by guests who have stayed there and fully experienced the hotel.
Airbnbs in Grenada
If you prefer to have your own apartment or share a home, there are lots of Airbnb accommodations in Grenada. You might be able to find an even better deal on Airbnb with the chance to have a unique travel experience. Browse the map below to find an Airbnb that’s right for you.
Grenada Frequently Asked Questions
Have any more questions about what to do in Grenada? Here are some popular questions about Grenada that will hopefully provide some insight for you.
Crime is not a major issue in Grenada for tourists. The biggest threats are pick-pocketers in touristy areas, so I advise that you properly conceal your valuables. Don’t wander around after dark by yourself, but I’d recommend these measures in many places around the world. Grenada is a safe place to visit for travelers.
The best time to visit is also the peak season: between mid-December and mid-April. There is the least amount of rainfall during these months, so you’ll have the best weather.
There are so many reasons to visit Grenada. It’s a beautiful island with lush rainforests, beautiful beaches, mountains, coral reefs, and more. The people are warm and inviting, and you’ll feel right at home within a short period of time. The food is fresh and incredible, and it’s called The Spice Island due to all of the amazing spices that grow there.
Grenada uses the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) as the local currency. However, you can easily use US dollars in Grenada as well. Please be advised that your change will be likely given in EC$.
While many traditional dishes in Grenada involve fish or seafood, there are lots of vegan and vegetarian foods to try in Grenada. Doubles are absolutely delicious. They’re a chickpea curry sandwiched between fried bara bread. There are also several vegan restaurants in Grenada, too.