During my carnival adventures, I try to squeeze in a little time to explore and engage in activities outside of parties and events. While I was in Grenada, I was able to partner with GR Tours, a local tour company that focuses on providing insight into Grenada’s history, culture and lifestyle through their tours. The owner, Roger Batson, curated a unique tour for me based on my preferences, and it was an amalgamation of the tours listed on the company’s website.
Where we went:
Short driving tour of St. George’s
Grand Etang Forest & Lake
Mount Carmel Falls
Average price: $90 USD per person (not including entrance fees)
Time: 6 hours
‘Twas the day before j’ouvert and we decided to leave the entire day free to adventure through Grenada. After catching a couple of zzz’s after Biggest White, we set off at 10am on a drive around the island where we learned a little about Grenada’s history, spice exportation, chocolate making and beautiful waterfalls and nature trails…with delicious food along the way.
The Carenage is a captivating, horseshoe-shaped waterfront promenade in the heart of St. George’s where you can hang out at the many bars, restaurants and stores and take in the fishing boats. I had driven by in my first day in Grenada and was in awe. The scenic view of colorful homes stacked on the hills was so beautiful.
We found a lookout spot on Cemetery Hill that was perfect for a gorgeous view of the Carenage and I took full advantage.
Drive through St. George’s & Fort Frederick - entrance fee is $5 EC
We did not have time to walk around but St. George’s is such a hilly and quaint town with narrow streets, lively corners, colorful building and colonial architecture. The first place I thought of as we drove through was that it reminded of Port Antonio in Jamaica. The views from the top of the steep inclines were amazing - we saw the entire stretch of the Grand Anse shoreline and beyond. As we made our way further to the top (and out of St. George’s), we saw the Grenada Prison and fancy Parliament building.
Annandale Falls - entrance fee is $5EC
It was a somewhat popular day at the Falls; we came across a large group of excited university students who seemed like they had just moved into their dorms.
We played with a mona monkey, an animal you don’t typically find in the Caribbean these days. I learned that these monkeys are native to parts of West Africa (including Cameroon) and were transported to Grenada aboard slave ships during the 18th century. I had missed out on wrapping a snake around my neck in St. Lucia so I decided to test my bravery and allow this monkey to stand on my shoulder. LOL.
Annandale waterfall is a small-ish waterfall with a calm pool of water deep enough for diving. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a full dip but I waded in the water a little. It was refreshing, and it was cool watching the divers jump in.
Grand Etang Reserve & Lake
We drove on to St. Andrew’s parish to Grand Etang. Grand Etang Lake is a crater lake in an extinct volcano. The fresh water is pretty clear and we could see the hundreds of fish in the lake. It was a serene and peaceful location. We did not have time to take a guided tour within the reserve and wish we could have visited Seven Sisters Falls, but it was a worthwhile stop. Next time!
Next, we drove deep into the Grenada countryside into St. Patrick to go to the Belmont Estate. Once a plantation, Belmont Estate was now a champion of agri-tourism offering cocoa production and chocolate making tours. It was a brief glimpse of the way things may have been like around the middle of the last century with the antique machinery.
We took the opportunity to also enjoy the organic buffet lunch that was served (it cost extra). It was delicious and one of the best (if not the best) meal I had in Grenada. Slow service and all 🌚
Basse Waterfalls & Royal Mount Carmel Waterfalls
We journeyed back to St. George’s via the eastern side of the island and stopped by another waterfall.
Situated just south of Grenville, Mount Carmel Falls is the highest on the island, with two falls cascading over 70 feet into the raging pool of rocks and pebbles below. It is quite understated and hidden from tourists with only a small sign indicating where it was. We walked down the road and asked some residents if we were heading in the right direction and we were told where to enter to find the trail to the falls. It is private property and there are local guides available to guide you, but we were able to explore on our own. Also, perhaps it is because it was a Sunday but there was no charge.
The hike probably took about 15 minutes to get to the smaller waterfall - Basse waterfall. We originally thought we had reached Mt Carmel, but it was definitely not what the pictures showed so after spending some time there to catch our breaths, we decided to journey on and follow the sound of cascading water. After another 5-10 minute walk, we found Mount Carmel. It is beautiful and majestic. I wish I had been able to swim and go right underneath the water.
I love nature and water, so I really enjoyed this little taste of the island of Grenada. I am hoping next time I will be able to carve out more time to do even more!
Go check out GR Tours for educational and entertaining tours of Grenada.
Have you visited Grenada? Did you go to any of these sites? Tell me about it!