Grenada encompasses its own large island as well as six other smaller islands, including Carriacou and Petite Martinique. The abundant and warm waters have often served as an attraction to the island as has its abundant nutmeg crop, which gave Grenada its nickname, the Spice Island.
Grenada was first discovered in 1498 by Christopher Columbus. At that time, it was populated by the Carib Indians. In 1649, the French invaded from Martinique and colonized the island. Over the next few decades, the French effectively dismantled the local population. And After the Seven Years’ War, the British gained the territory in 1763. Independence was not granted until 1974 and from 1979 until 1983, the island withstood two military coups as well as an invasion by the United States. Fortunately, since 1983, the island has survived in sustained peace.
Sadly, recent years have brought disastrous hurricanes to Grenada’s shores. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan damaged 90% of the island’s structures, and Hurricane Emily in 2005 hindered recovery efforts. Today, 96% of the buildings have been repaired and strengthened for future storms. It is hoped that the island will soon return to being a major supplier of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and cocoa.
The above the water scenery here is just as good as it is under the water. Known as Spice Island, Grenada offers visitors a variety of activities to keep busy.
Exploring the island’s nutmeg industry is a must-do. Stops on this tour include a visit to Georgetown’s spice market and a tour of the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station. There is also a plethora of hiking trails in dense rainforests ending in magnificent waterfalls. To learn a bit more about the island’s tumultuous history, stop by the Grenada National Museum or Fort Matthew.
International flights originating in North America, South America and Europe arrive and depart from Maurice Bishop International Airport on Grenada. Regional flights also use the same airport.
Getting around the island is easily accomplished by bus, rental car or taxi.