If you're craving a solo vacation, planning a honeymoon, or looking for something different for this year's family vacation, consider Grenada. This 'Island of Spice' in the southern Caribbean has something for everyone: waterfalls, hiking trails, white sandy beaches, and deep history rooted in its forts and plantations. Whether you want to relax on the beach, spend hours hiking through the rainforest, or learn more about cocoa and rum, Grenada has something for you.
Westerhall Estate is located on the southern coast of Grenada and is home to the oldest working waterway in the western hemisphere. This attraction sits on 500 acres in St. David and has been in the rum business since the 1700s. Take a tour to see old artifacts and equipment and learn about the distilling process used today. You can also explore the estate's waterwheels and ruins, visit the museum, and sample a variety of delicious and skillfully made rum.
Mount Edgecombe Plantation is located on the elevated northwest coast in Saint Mark, perched above the Caribbean Sea. In the late 1700s, the plantation produced rum and sugar cane but later switched to cocoa, coffee, and spices. Today, it's a stunning place to spend the night when visiting Grenada, nestled in the hills surrounded by 28 acres of spices, flora, and fruit trees.
This structure dates back to the 1700s and is located on the southeast coast, 175 feet above St Georges Bay. It was originally designed to provide covering fire on the harbor but currently serves as the headquarters of the Royal Grenada Police Force. Most of the grounds are open for exploration, and the stunning panoramic view is free.
To experience the scenic northeast coast in Grenada, check out Levera National Park. This 450-acre park is one of the most important wildlife areas in the region, home to a large mangrove swamp inhabited by a variety of bird species. The coastal area features coral reefs and seagrass, where you can spot exotic fish and sea turtles hatching on the beach. If you're up for it, hike to the Welcome Stone for a breathtaking view of nine nearby islands, including Carriacou, Sugar Loaf Island, and London Bridge.
There are a lot of unique things to see in Grenada, but one of the coolest by far is the Underwater Sculpture Park. It opened in 2006 on the west coast in Moliniere Bay and was the first of its kind, designed by a British sculptor named Jason deCaires Taylor. There are more than 65 sculptures, all about 16 feet below the surface in an area of about 8600 square feet. While experienced divers can get up close and personal with this amazing art, there are also plenty of tours available for inexperienced divers or anyone who prefers to snorkel.
Grand Etang Lake and National Park are located in the center of Grenada and one of the best places to hike and explore the wilderness. There are plenty of breathtaking views here as well as hot springs, plantations, and waterfalls to explore, so be sure to take your camera. Hiking trails are marked, and there is something for everyone. Whether you want to take a quick walk and snap a few pictures or spend a whole day exploring the rainforest, Grand Etang National Park is the place to go.
In the northeast section of Grenada are the River Sallee Boiling Springs, one of the most popular spots on the island. The springs offer natural beauty as well as cultural significance--baptisms and other religious rituals are often performed here. There are six springs in the soft, porous volcanic rock with water temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The smaller springs are filled with clear, salty water while the largest contains muddy brown water and is 15 feet wide and 6 feet deep.
If it's an outdoor adventure you seek, check out the Mount Qua Qua Trail for one of the best hikes in Grenada. Mount Qua Qua is the fourth highest peak on the island and one of the most popular trails. The three-mile hike takes about three hours and passes right through the heart of the rainforest. The trail has some narrow sections and is very slippery after it rains, but experienced hikers find that the sweeping panoramic views, large tree roots, and native wildlife are worth the journey.
For a completely different way to experience the rainforest, take a river tube ride down the Balthazar River. The ride takes less than an hour and, though the water can be rough at times, experienced guides are trained to keep you safe. Take in the exotic surroundings and wildlife as you move down the river among rocks and rapids. Rafting tubes, helmets, and life jackets are provided to keep you safe during this one-in-a-life-time river ride.
There are a lot of waterfalls in Grenada, but Annandale Waterfalls are one of the easiest to access. Located in Saint George, they're so easy to get to that you don't need to take a hike through the rainforest or even get out of your car to see them. Annandale Waterfalls are a great way to experience the natural beauty of the island if you don't have time to hike through its rainforests.
You can't visit the Caribbean without going to the beach, and Grand Anse Beach is one of the best in all of Grenada. There are plenty of luxury hotels along this two-mile stretch of white sand, but if you're staying elsewhere, it's definitely worth the drive. Take an early morning run along the water, spend the day taking in the sun, or going for a swim, then visit the local shops and watch the sunset while drinking a fresh, minty mojito.
The Belmont Estate Spice Plantation is another destination to learn more about the rich history of Grenada. It sits on 400 acres of land in southern Saint Patrick, just an hour's drive from the capital of Saint George. The Belmont Estate has been a working plantation since the 1600s and has a range of activities to offer. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of chocolate production or learn more about the history, culture, and traditions of the area. If you'd rather explore on your own, check out the museum, goat dairy farm, petting farm, craft market, and cafe.