Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer

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Photo of Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer 1/1 by Caitlin Graaf
Welcome to Grenada!

Whether you are a solo traveler, lady traveler, or just your every day travel junky, finding a place in the Caribbean that is safe, cheap and accessible without staying in a dreaded resort is tough.

Luckily there is an answer: Grenada.

This lesser-known gem has not been fully consumed by tourism yet. Although the pristine beaches are open to the public, they are often deserted and are spectacularly clean. This unique spot is perfect to soak up the rays, have fun in the water (there's great snorkeling!), and also to explore the jungle!

Day 1

Arrive in Grenada and Relax on Grand Anse Beach

Grand Anse Beach, near St. George, Grenada

Photo of Grand Anse Beach, Morne Rouge, Saint George, Grenada by Caitlin Graaf

Upon your arrival in the quaint Grenada airport, your first order of business should be to pick up a rental vehicle.

A&A Car Rentals can help with that! This friendly (and legit!) car rental company will pick you up from the airport and help you go through the motions of picking up your slightly shoddy, albeit charming 4x4 "jeep" rental.

Grenada is left side drive. Be warned! The roads here can be of poor quality, very steep, and very narrow. While drivers do get impatient and honk, this is a very self-drive-friendly location! Grenada is safe as can be, the people are extraordinarily friendly and helpful, and the island is small enough to drive from one side to the other in 2 hours. Having the mobility of your own vehicle is a huge plus!

Amazing view from the side of the road on a steep mountain pass in central Grenada

Photo of Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer by Caitlin Graaf

There are plenty of accommodation options near Grand Anse Beach and St. George, the capital city. Although, I recommend the Grand Anse Beach Palace for something affordable and comfortable!

Grand Anse Beach is gorgeous! The white sandy beaches and clear waters are flanked by numerous festive eateries and bars. The Umbrella's Beach Bar and the Edge Bar are both worth checking out!

Day 2

Explore St. George's

The harbor at St. George's

Photo of St Georges, Saint George, Grenada by Caitlin Graaf

St. George's, Grenada's capital city, is touted as the most beautiful city in the Caribbean - and it does not disappoint!

This quaint city is like a Rastafarian Positano with colorful houses dotting the steep slopes up from the water. The city is vibrant and friendly, with many different shops and markets to check out.

An old fortress towers over the city, and after a bit of a climb, offers beautiful views over the city and the harbor below!

View of St. George's harbor from the fortress

Photo of Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer by Caitlin Graaf

The city's markets are the perfect place to pick up spices - which the island is famous for, as well as trying out the local beverages. Carib Lager is a good choice for a local brew, and Rum Punch (a mixture of rum, lime and nutmeg) is the go-to local drink!

Another must try from the markets in St. George's is guava cheese, a local delicacy made from candied guava (no cheese is actually included...). You can get small blocks of freshly made guava cheese from many of the stands around town.

St. George is full of funky, old dilapidated architecture - it only adds to the charm!

Photo of Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer by Caitlin Graaf
Day 3

Visit La Sagesse Bay

Beautiful La Sagesse Bay

Photo of La Sagesse Bay by Caitlin Graaf

La Sagesse Bay is one of Grenada's prime beach spots. This secluded palm-lined hideaway has calm, warm waters, soft sand, and a beach side bar. What more could you ask for?

It is located a short(ish) drive from St. George's, towards the island's southeastern shores. You may have to stop for directions on the way, as roads here are not well marked, but locals are more than happy to help, and this beach is more than worth a visit!

Day 4

Visit the Belmont Estate and Bathway Beach

Ruins at the Belmont Estate

Photo of Belmont Road, Saint George, Grenada by Caitlin Graaf

If you set off after breakfast and head north, you will reach the central, inner island in time to explore the Belmont Estate!

This 17th century plantation is working farm turned agro-tourism attraction. The property is exquisite, and boasts a chocolate shop, local artists co-op, a small and educational bird sanctuary, and a great restaurant! This is the perfect spot to stop for lunch.

Heading more northeast from the Belmont Estate, you will hit Bathway Beach - another phenomenal, clear water beach!

Bathway Beach, northeastern Grenada

Photo of Bathway Beach, Grenada by Caitlin Graaf

After you've soaked up enough rays at this pristine beach, head west towards the small fishing town of Gouyave.

There is no better place to stay in Gouyave than the quaint, delightfully cheerful, and locally-owned Rumboat Retreat!

Day 5

Explore Gouyave

The beach at Gouyave

Photo of Gouyave, Saint John, Grenada by Caitlin Graaf

The Rumboat Retreat is situated on the high hills that surround this small fishing village. The BnB's balcony overlooks the water below and is a great spot to have a cocktail and watch the sun go down.

Gouyave itself is rustic and atmospheric, although it lacks the certain vibrancy and warmth of St. George's. Off the traditional tourist grid, this is a working town!

A scenic side street in Gouyave

Photo of Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer by Caitlin Graaf

Gouyave does not have a plethora of dining options, however, one spot cannot be beat for lunch or dinner! Fort Wolf and the Brothers Bar & Grill is a festive and incredibly delicious river-side lunch spot near the main town of Gouyave. Try the fish!

Bar and open air restaurant at Fort Wolf

Photo of Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer by Caitlin Graaf
Day 6

Hike in Grand Etang National Park

View from the lookout point at Grand

Photo of Grand Etang Lake, Saint Andrew, Grenada by Caitlin Graaf

Head inland to discover one of Grenada's gems, Grand Etang National Park. The drive to Grand Etang is beautiful as it is treacherous! The winding roads take you through small villages and rain forest. Once at the National Park, you can leave your car behind and continue on foot.

First stop is a short walk up to Grand Etang Lake - a volcanic crater lake. A short walk up from the lake itself, is a wonderful lookout point from which you can see the lake in its entirety, and as far as out to the ocean on either side.

Grand Etang Crater Lake

Photo of Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer by Caitlin Graaf

For anyone looking for more adventure, you can take the 2 mile walk down the "main" road to the 7 Sisters Waterfalls.

At the entrance you will find a small office (you do have to pay a small fee) that offers guided tours. Your guide will tell you all about the local flora and fauna, will help you spot monkeys en route, and will lead you to the waterfalls.

The intrepid can take the plunge off of a 30-foot tall waterfall!

After exploring Grand Etang, head back to Grenada's eastern coastal road and enjoy a magnificent drive back to St. George. Once you get to the city, leave the car in the municipal parking lot by the harbor and jump aboard the ferry to Carriacou!

View of Carriacou from the docking ferry

Photo of Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer by Caitlin Graaf

Find out more about the Osprey Lines ferry from St. George's to Carriacou, including schedules and fares here.

Carraicou is island paradise at it's best! There are a few different accommodation options here, however the Green Roof Inn is a great Bed & Breakfast for anyone who cares about supporting local businesses and promoting ecotourism! Oh, and the food is amazing.

Day 7

Explore Carriacou and Paradise Beach

Beach at Carriacou Island

Photo of Carriacou, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Grenada by Caitlin Graaf

Carriacou has a small town at its center, but is mostly sparsely populated by residential dwellings and vacation homes. The island's main attraction is it's unbeatable and aptly named, Paradise Beach.

Paradise beach is a long stretch of phenomenally turquoise water - littered with thousands of conch shells.

Conch shells on Paradise Beach

Photo of Paradise Beach, Carriacou, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Grenada by Caitlin Graaf

While the beach is quiet, there are a few bars and restaurants that dot its shores. Off the Hook is a funky beach side bar with good food, better vibes, and beach bon fires at night!

By walking north (towards the town) along the beach, you can also find a secret shipwreck!

Ship wreck on Paradise Beach

Photo of Off the Hook Bar & Grill, Ferry Boulevard, Stratford, CT, United States by Caitlin Graaf
Day 8

Hike to High Point North

Panoramic views from High Point North, Carriacou

Photo of Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer by Caitlin Graaf

Need to burn off those margaritas from Off the Hook last night? No worries. Hiking High Point North is as difficult as it is rewarding at the top.

The hike is grueling. If you are walking from town, you will stroll gradually uphill for about an hour before reaching the beginning of the hike. As you climb in elevation, the hike becomes more difficult. The narrow path is flanked on either slides by sharp thorn bushes and cacti and gets so steep, using your hands becomes necessary! It is also extremely hot and dry (bring lots of water!).

Even if it isn't sounding enticing, the views from the top are nothing short of spectacular.

View of the harbor and Paradise Beach from the top of High Point North

Photo of Far Away From The Tourist Frenzy, This Hidden Island Paradise Should Be Your Happy Place This Summer by Caitlin Graaf

The hike to High Point North is difficult, but so very worth it!

Day 9

Go Snorkelling in the Grenadines

Perfectly clear snorkeling water in the Grenadines

Photo of Grenadines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by Caitlin Graaf

A must do from Carriacou is to join a tour to go snorkeling, just north of the island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (technically another country, although nobody really checks :).

A short boat rise takes you to these incredible islands where you can snorkel with sea turtles, watch iguanas lounge in the trees, and splash around in the endlessly clear water.

Day 10

Departure

An island in the Grenadines

Photo of Saint George, Grenada by Caitlin Graaf

It's not easy saying bye to this small island paradise - but, eventually all good things must come to an end.

The Osprey ferry can be taken back to St. George's from Carriacou, where you can collect and return your car before your flight home. Staying one last night on Grand Anse beach is a great way to bid this exceptional little country good-bye.

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