Saturday, December 10, 2011

An Overview of Grenada

Contents: Interesting Facts,What Grenada Is Known For, Climate, Language, Airlines, Banks, Money, Bus Fares, Credit Cards, Emergency Phone Numbers, Driver’s License, Electricity, Entertainment, Night Clubs, Pets, Restaurants, Roads, Tax, Taxis, Cultural Norms, Hilarious Grenadian Experiences

*Click HERE for a map of Grenada
*Click HERE for a map of St. George's
*Click HERE for my entry on where to go for everything (food, services, items + general advice).

Interesting Facts:
  • The state of Grenada is comprised of three islands: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique
  • Grenada is also known as "The Isle of Spice"
  • Grenada produces 1/3 of the world's nutmeg supply
  • Grenada was first sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1498 (although during orientation, locals joked around about the land being first discovered by the natives that were already living there before Columbus came around hahaha)
  • Grenada achieved its independence from Britain on Feburary 7, 1974
  • wearing camouflage (army's uniform) and swearing at an officer is considered a crime
  • the state of Grenada is 133 square miles. Grenada is 21 miles long by 12 miles wide. Carriacou is 13sq. miles, and Petite Martinique is 468 acres
  • the capital of Grenada is Saint George's
  • population-approximately 102,000 of African, East Indian and European descent

What Grenada is known for:
  • spices- they are otherwise known as the Isle of Spice.  There are more spices per square mile than any other place on the planet. The most popular ones are nutmeg, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
  • picturesque beaches- Grenada has 45 white sand beaches and 9 black sand beaches with turquoise waters containing amazing wildlife such as morays, sea-horses, and angelfish and must see reef formations.
  • tropical vegetation and waterfalls
  • culture and dance. each year July-August, Grenada hosts a big celebration, Carnival, where many events take place- bands compete against one another, costume contests, cultural dances, beauty pageants, and so much more.
  • their hospitality- they love to greet others they come across and love striking up conversations with others
  • tourism- tourism in Grenada is becoming more and more popular as the years pass by.  Although most hotels are locally owned, there are major plans to expand in the near future. 
The lowest temperatures occur between November and February. The climate varies according to altitude. Driest season is January to May.  Rainy season is June to December (even then, it never rains for more than a hour at a time and not every day). Average Grenada temperature year round- 85degrees F. It's almost always windy when it rains so you can expect to get splashed on from all directions.  Bring a poncho or an umbrella you can depend on (unless you want to entertain locals with your inverted umbrella).
  • Air Canada offers one weekly direct flight from Toronto during December-April
  • American Airlines offers 3 flights weekly from Miami, Florida
  • American Eagle offers flights via Puerto Rico
  • British Airways, Monarch Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways offer direct flights weekly from london
  • Delta Airlines offers weekly direct flights from JFK, New York
  • LIAT the Star of the Caribbean offers daily flights from 26 destinations in the Caribbean
  • Condor offers one flight weekly direct from Germany
  • SVG offers daily flights between Grenada and Carriacou with connections to Union Island
  • Conviasa offers flights twice daily to Grenada from Magarita
English is the official language.
    • Hours are generally Monday-Thursdays 8am to 2pm. Fridays 8am-4pm.
    • bank in Grenada- First International Caribbean Bank, Grenada co-operative bank, RBTT Bank, Republic Bank, Scotia bank. (Scotia bank is a sister bank of Ban of America. If you have a bank account with B of A, make sure you sign up for an ATM card to use on the Island. You may withdraw from Scotia Bank's 24hr ATM machine without being charged a fee)
    • The Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar is linked to the US dollar at 2.7169. Click here for a currency converter. 
    • to convert from EC to USD, take the amount of EC and divide by 2.7169. For example. I want to know how much 80EC is in US dollar---> 80/2.7169 = 29.57usd
    • to convert from USD to EC, take amount of USD and multiply by 2.7169. For example, I want to know how much 80USD is---> 80x2.1769 = 217.352ec
    • most places in Grand Anse accepts USD since there are a lot of foreign students in the area. Buses also accept USD

      Bus Fares in Grenada:
      from Grenada to:
      • Annandale-2.50ec
      • Concorde- 3.50ec
      • Grand Ase- 2.50ec
      • Grand Etang-5.00ec
      • Grenville-6.00ec
      • Gouyave-3.50ec
      • La Sagesse-3.50ec
      • Sauteurs-6.50ec
      • Victoria-5.00ec
      • Westerhall-5.00ec
      *Carriacou: Within one mile 1.50ec - over one mile 2.50ec
      *buses are numbered according to a certain route
      *bus fares are subject to change. usually during major events, drivers will charge more

      Please visit Saint George's University's website for more details on the bus system. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.

       Business Hours:
      *shops- generally Monday-friday 8am-4pm. Saturday 8am-1pm
      *government offices- Monday-Friday 8am-4pm but payments must be taken by 3pm

      Roman Catholics 64%
      Angelican 22%
      Methodist 3%
      Seventh Day Adventists 3%

      Lightweight summer clothing. Conservative in public-no bikinis or short shorts, unless at the beach.  Nude/topless bathing is not permitted. Semi-formal when visiting banks and government buildings.  Hiking shoes will come in handy for hikers.

      Credit Cards:
      Major credit cards accepted by most hotels. For students, credit cards are accepted at the grocery and hardware store.  Double check with your credit card company's international charges fees.

      Emergency Phone Numbers:
      *Police and Fire- 911
      -St George's 434
      -St Andrews 724
      -Carriacou 774
      *Coast Guard- 399

      Drivers License:
      You must present a legit License to the local traffic department at the Central Police Station on the Carenage. Cost is 30ec.  Most car rental firms issue temporary local permits. Most students take this route to avoid the hassle of applying for a license.  Please visit Saint George's University's website for rules, procedures, regulations, and fine details.

      220-240Volts- 50 cycles. for more details, please visit my entry on electrical plug/outlet and voltage information.

      Most hotels provide entertainment. Steel band music, crab racing, music and dancing. Grenadian performers include folk music, drama, and cultural performances.
      *Karaoke- Creole Shack, The Carenage (saint george's), Bananas (true blue, saint george's), flamboyant hotel
      *Movies- Reno Cinema (lagoon road, saint george's) tel: 473-440-5368
      Movie Palace, Grand Anse tel: 473-440-1500,
      Deluxe Cinema , Grenville, Saint Andrew, tel: 473-442-7636

      Night Clubs:
      Fantazia 2001
      Bananas, True Blue, Saint George's
      Karma, The Carenage, Saint George's

      Veterinary services are available for your pets at the GSPCA, Lowthers Lane, Saint George's. Tel: 473-440-4874

      A guide to prices-
      A three course meal, per person varies from 30ec in local restaurants to 120ec in 4/5 star hotels.

      there is a network of about 650 miles of paved roads.

      There is a %10 Government tax on hotel accomodation and 15% VAT on restaurant dining.

      Rates vary depending on the length of your journey and where you want to go, but travelers can anticipate some fees based on set rates for popular routes and tourist destinations. Traveling from the airport to Grand Anse, L'Anse aux Epines, and St. George's will cost approximately $10(USD) to $12(USD) per person, and if you travel within a one-mile radius of the airport, your trip will only cost $2.75(USD). There is a surcharge on cab rides between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. as well as for trips outside of St. George's.

      Some companies offer 24-hour cab service, so whenever you need a ride, all you have to do is pick up the phone. Private taxis can be arranged at a higher rate, or you can split the cost with another group if possible.

      I highly suggest Phillip:  he the nicest, most professional, most punctual, 24/7 taxi driver (he has a bus). He lives in Mont Toute close to Food Fair.
      1+ (473) 416 2546

      Elmus is also a nice driver, but his rates are more than Phillips. He also owns a bus and is located around Foodfair.
      1+ (473) 418 8295


      1. Thanks so much, Katherine, for creating such a detailed blog! I'm visiting next week, staying at the University Club with my husband. We'll use some of your information to help us get around. :)

      2. You're welcome Sheryl. Grenada has so much to offer. It's beauty alone can make your whole trip worthwhile. Let me know if you have any questions or need more suggestions... I haven't had a chance to upload all of my entries yet.

      3. really like your post!!