Northern Venezuela’s offshore islands showcase the West Indies’ wealth of coastal beauty. Grenada and its numerous smaller islets and cays – once so strategic in the spice trade – today honour this ocean-bound heritage with some of the Caribbean’s best beaches, waterfalls, diving and snorkelling. So, from the beaches to the seabed and back, join us as we cause a splash on Spice Island with Grenada’s top six aquatic attractions.
Grand Anse Beach
No holiday to Grenada is complete without a visit to its most famous beach. Grand Anse is blockbuster stuff, wowing holidaymakers with a two-mile stretch of powder-white sand that shelves slowly into the Caribbean Sea’s turquoise waters. Spend laidback, sunkissed days under shady sea-grape trees and coconut palms; snorkel around nearby Boss Reef and admire kaleidoscopic fish and coral up close. Many of the island’s best luxury resorts are situated within walking distance of this iconic beach and there is also a good selection of bars to get the party started.
Discover marine life and underwater art
The island’s eclectic underwater kingdom is a top global dive destination, with 15 shipwrecks occupying varying depths beneath the surface, plus a subaqautic volcano. There are 30-plus recognised diving and snorkelling sites, catering to beginners and advanced divers alike. A variety of marine life can be spotted, with whale sightings on occasion.
Designed by the English sculptor and scuba fan Jason de Caires Taylor, the remarkable Underwater Sculpture Park is a unique underwater art gallery found just off the coast of St George’s in the Molinere Beausejour Marine Protected Area. Launched amid critical acclaim in 2006, this fantastic installation comprises 65 contemporary sculptures that are anchored to the sea floor. If you don’t fancy swimming down to see it, a great way to witness the marine gallery without getting wet is via glass-bottomed boat ride.
Diving Grenada style
Their balmy tropical climate makes the islands of Grenada and Carriacou great year-round destinations. The average water-temperature is similar to that of the air, and ranges between 24C to 30C. With over 40 boat diving sites beneath its waves, Grenada abounds in mysterious wrecks, as well as resplendent reefs, to explore. From plateau patch reef to sloping coral gardens, the marine life here enjoys a lot of variety, and divers can expect to glimpse all the common Caribbean reef fish: eels, turtles, rays and nurse sharks are frequent visitors. More uncommon marine life, such as frogfish, blennies, and nudibranchs can be found in shallower areas. The renowned resting place of the Bianca C – the Titanic of the Caribbean – should feature on every diver’s bucket list. Not to be missed.
With such rich rainforest climbing the mountain peaks, Grenada is home to plenty of waterfalls, several of which are breathtakingly dramatic. The Royal Mount Carmel Waterfalls cascades over 70 feet in a rush of the force of Mother Nature. Close to the capital St George’s, the pretty Annandale Falls is easy to get to for those who don’t want to venture off the beaten track. Adventurous hikers though can trek to the Seven Sisters; seven mighty falls just outside Grand Etang forest. This is not for the feint hearted however – the difficult terrain means that hiring a guide is essential.
A stunning beauty spot from which to appreciate sweeping views of the cone-shaped Sugar Loaf Island, Green Island and Sandy Island. This much loved beach also provides a nesting ground for leatherback sea turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs between May and September. And why not explore the beach’s mangrove swamp: one of the island’s most impressive ecosystems for myriad birds and aquatic animal species.
Sizzle in remote hot springs
It’s true that lots of Windward Isles are volcanic, and despite Grenada’s mountains having all become dormant over time, one towering inferno remains – albeit underwater. Kick ‘Em Jenny lies offshore between Grenada and sister island Carriacou, and is still definitely active. Other notable geological activity is the River Sallee Boiling Springs; six hot-spring waterholes in the far northeast. The water in these pools can reach temperatures of 35C, and many of contain clear, salty water, despite being more than a mile from the sea.
*Featured image: View of Sugar Loaf Island from ‘Welcome Stone’
Credit for all images is given to Grenada Tourist Board 2017