Honeymooning in lush & spicy Grenada

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of May 14-20, 1998
Scandinavian sojourns on foot
Honeymooning in lush & spicy Grenada
Trekking beside Nanda Devi: India’s Kuari Pass
Summertime day hikes in Santa Fe

Honeymooning in lush & spicy Grenada
Question: My fiancé and I are thinking about going to Grenada in August. I have already been to Grand Cayman and loved it, but I want to go somewhere that is just as lovely but different. I enjoyed the fact that I could have wonderful snorkeling right off the coast of Grand Cayman — can I expect the same thing in Grenada? I also want to know how Grenada compares to Grand Cayman security-wise, and safety-wise? We are planning to stay at the Renaissance, but how are the beaches, accommodations, restaurants, etc.? Last but not least, is Grenada expensive for dining? Thanks for your input.

Robyn Matty
Hudson, Ohio

Adventure Adviser: You’d think by now that the entire Caribbean would have morphed into a homogeneous Florida-like urban development, but thankfully, that’s not the case — each little link in the chain is an island unto itself. Which means, unfortunately, that if you’re looking for a Cayman experience, you probably won’t find it in Grenada. You may, however, find something better, depending on what your priorities are. Where the Caymans are overrun with people and resorts, Grenada is overrun with spices and lush tropical forest. Grenada has a healthy tourist industry, but is nothing like the Caymans’ banking/diving/Seven Mile Beach scene. Another distinguishing factor is the latitudinal difference. If you’ve looked at a map, you’ll notice that Grenada is one of the last large islands in the Caribbean and is roughly one hundred miles off the coast of Venezuela. The distance between the islands has an affect on two things: first, the flight to Grenada is much longer, second, the terrain on Grenada is much more tropical. Also, Grenada has the distinct advantage of having a mountainous interior which provides endless opportunities for rainforest hiking. The down side is that, though Grenada has some spectacular dive sites, it doesn’t boast the calm, turquoise blue waters for which the Caymans are renowned.

In answer to your other questions, you don’t need to worry much about personal safety on Grenada. The biggest danger is the crazy taxi drivers who careen over the steep mountain roads like they have a death wish. Stay out their way and you’ll be fine. Regarding food, the expense is similar to the Caymans, but the food is actually better, thanks to the islanders’ impressive use of the spices that grow rampant on the island — incidentally, Grenada is the nutmeg capital of the world. Last but not least, the Renaissance Grenada is a fine choice of hotels. Located on Grand Anse, the best beach on the island, the Renaissance offers a full-service dive shop and 186 rooms in a lush garden setting just off the beach.

If you loved the Caymans and really want to imitate that experience without returning there, I’d recommend the Turks and Caicos. Exactly like the Caymans were 20 years ago, these islands just south of the Bahamas provide crystal clear water for snorkeling and diving, fabulous beaches, and a number low-key resort options from the reasonably priced all-inclusive Club Med and Sandals, to the opulent luxury of your own private villa. Plus, American flies there directly from Miami, cutting cramped flying time to a bare minimum. For more information on the Turks and Caicos, call 800-241-0824.

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