Grenada: A Dash of Spice
The fertile island of Grenada offers an untold variety of attractions. Sun-kissed beaches, winding rivers, impressive waterfalls, lush rainforests, and historic spice plantations are all close to the cruise pier.
If variety is the spice of life, then Grenada epitomizes the taste of the tropics. Throughout the island, the intoxicating aroma of spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves is carried on the winds of centuries-old tradition. Grenada presents a rich culture and an equally rich environment flush with natural splendor. From the welcoming presence of its locals to the even more inviting distractions from everyday life, Grenada is simultaneously a haven for relaxation and a source of invigoration. The island offers an untold variety of attractions, from the 45 sun-kissed beaches to the jungle-covered central mountain range.
After Christopher Columbus spotted the island in 1498, homesick sailors were reminded of a flora-covered area of Spain and dubbed the land Grenada. The French established a presence on the island in 1649 but spent the next century battling for control before ceding it to the British in 1783 under the Treaty of Versailles. In 1974, Grenada became an independent nation within the British Commonwealth, the first of the Windward and Leeward islands to do so.
From the cruise terminal, hop on a water taxi or stroll through the 125-year-old Sendall Tunnel to reach the Carenage, the promenade that runs along the waterfront. Grab a seat at one of the many open-air cafés and absorb the visual splendor of what is widely considered one of the most picturesque ports in the Caribbean.
The steep streets are lined with colonial buildings, colorful 18th-century warehouses, and brick homes adorned with wrought-iron balconies and sloping red-tiled roofs. The labyrinth of roads winds up the hills surrounding St. George’s, where a handful of old military forts command stunning views of the city.
North of St. George’s on the west coast, the town of Gouyave is the epicenter of the Grenadian spice industry. The Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station is the world’s second-largest producer of nutmeg. At the factory, workers choose, grade, and package the bounty by hand. There is nary a conveyor belt or machine on site.
In the island’s central region, Grand Etang National Park has miles of scenic trails that meander through a bird sanctuary and forest reserve. The rainforest is teeming with waterfalls, mahogany trees, and tropical plants and birds.
Discover how nutmeg, Grenada’s most versatile spice, is used in a variety of products, from syrup to massage oil. Visit the 18th-century River Antoine Rum Distillery to discover some of the world’s strongest rum with 75-percent alcohol. Encounter Mona monkeys at Grand Etang National Park and take a scenic stroll through the lush gardens at Annandale Falls.
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