The Puddle-Jumper's Reward: Carriacou

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
News for Adventurous Travelers, December 1996

The Puddle-Jumper's Reward: Carriacou
By Bob Howells

Laid-back, authentic, endearing, and mostly overlooked, Carriacou is Grenada's smaller sister island, about 23 miles to the north. You can see most of its 13 square miles in a day, but Carriacou is more about gentle rhythms than sights, and it takes a night or two to synchronize your pace to that of the island.

One way to do that is to stay in Hillsborough, the main town, watch fishing boats come and go, and sleep at Ade's Dream (809-443-7317), right on the main drag. A pleasant room with private bath costs $37-$48. Ade's also rents mountain bikes for $25 per day. The little wisp of an island about a mile offshore from Hillsborough is Sandy Island, so narrow that waves sometimes meet in its center-a lovely place for a day of beaching and snorkeling. Cuthbert Snagg's water taxi (809-443-8293) will take you there for $25 per couple.

Outside town, high on a west coast promontory above a cove, the Caribbee Inn (809-443-7380) is sensuous and secluded, the epitome of Caribbean romance. Each of its ten rooms, most with four-poster bed and panoramic, shuttered windows, feels apart from the world. Doubles start at $150; breakfast and an excellent dinner add $45 per person.

A worthwhile half-day hike starts at the Caribbee, continues 1.5 miles north along a dirt road, and then turns right through thick forest (and past stone ruins lurking in a tangle of undergrowth) to ascend High North (955 feet), the highest point on the island. Or turn left at the leaning tree and hike down to Anse La Roche, the prettiest, most secluded beach on the island, where there's decent snorkeling at the north end. Or do both: Bullen's Tours (809-443-8590) will arrange a guide for $5 per person. On farther forays, check out the village of Windward, with its colorful fleet of home-built fishing boats, and the mangrove swamp at Tyrrel Bay. But be forewarned: Once you get used to Carriacou, Grenada will seem like the metropolis.

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