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Grenada Destination Guide

The wreck-diving capital of the Caribbean

Grenada Destination Guide

The wreck diving capital of the Caribbean

From the Editor

Located in the Eastern Caribbean just south of Barbados and outside of the hurricane belt, Grenada and Carriacou provide a safe, quiet and family-friendly year-round getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life. There is much to do on land, but it is underwater where the islands really come into their own.
Between them, they boast a veritable fleet of sunken ships – with the enormous 600-foot-long Italian liner Bianca C as an impressive flagship – alongside some of the healthiest coral reefs in the Caribbean, and both habitats (man-made and natural) support a diverse range of marine life, including various species of turtle and shark, eagle rays, stingrays, barracuda, tarpon and all the usual reef suspects.
The islands could be purpose-made for dive groups. From a diving perspective, you have a rich selection of sites to choose from, in depths to suit all levels of experience, and with reefs, wrecks and marine life aplenty, there is something for everyone. And for any non-diving members of the party – or when you just want to let your gills dry out – the islands boast a multitude of topside activities and attractions, from historic forts,rum distilleries, chocolate factories and cocoa plantations to magnificent waterfalls, national parks and mountains.
Grenada and Carriacou are also great spots for couples. I have fond memories of Grenada as it was the first place I visited with my now-wife many years ago. Whether you are both exploring beneath the waves, enjoying a romantic stroll along a stunning beach, or trekking through lush rainforest to some remote waterfall, there is much to bring you together.
Once two becomes three or more, and you have a family in tow, then Grenada and Carriacou unveils its ‘fun side’, and children will love the off-road safaris, river tubing, snorkelling and other adrenaline activities.
The islands offer plenty to lure you in, and while you can choose to stay on one or the other, a twin-centre holiday taking in both Grenada and Carriacou should be high on your bucket list.

Mark Evans, Editor-in-Chief

From the Editor

Located in the Eastern Caribbean just south of Barbados and outside of the hurricane belt, Grenada and Carriacou provide a safe, quiet and family-friendly year-round getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life. There is much to do on land, but it is underwater where the islands really come into their own.
Between them, they boast a veritable fleet of sunken ships – with the enormous 600-foot-long Italian liner Bianca C as an impressive flagship – alongside some of the healthiest coral reefs in the Caribbean, and both habitats (man-made and natural) support a diverse range of marine life, including various species of turtle and shark, eagle rays, stingrays, barracuda, tarpon and all the usual reef suspects.
The islands could be purpose-made for dive groups. From a diving perspective, you have a rich selection of sites to choose from, in depths to suit all levels of experience, and with reefs, wrecks and marine life aplenty, there is something for everyone. And for any non-diving members of the party – or when you just want to let your gills dry out – the islands boast a multitude of topside activities and attractions, from historic forts,rum distilleries, chocolate factories and cocoa plantations to magnificent waterfalls, national parks and mountains.
Grenada and Carriacou are also great spots for couples. I have fond memories of Grenada as it was the first place I visited with my now-wife many years ago. Whether you are both exploring beneath the waves, enjoying a romantic stroll along a stunning beach, or trekking through lush rainforest to some remote waterfall, there is much to bring you together.
Once two becomes three or more, and you have a family in tow, then Grenada and Carriacou unveils its ‘fun side’, and children will love the off-road safaris, river tubing, snorkelling and other adrenaline activities.
The islands offer plenty to lure you in, and while you can choose to stay on one or the other, a twin-centre holiday taking in both Grenada and Carriacou should be high on your bucket list.

Mark Evans, Editor-in-Chief

GRENADA AND CARRIACOU

The diving off Grenada and Carriacou is best described as the perfect blend of natural and man-made.

First off you find prolific coral and sponge growth smothering some of the most-pristine and healthy reefs in the Caribbean. Then, interspersed among these pockets of colourful coral kingdom, you come across all manner of shipwrecks, ranging from purpose-sunk vessels like the Buccaneer and Boris to ‘genuine’ wrecks like the Shakem, King Mitch and Persia II. And let’s not forget the mother of them all, the Bianca C, a 180-metre-long Italian liner sitting upright in 50m that has sat at the head of the islands’ vast sunken fleet ever since she went down in 1961. 

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

The waters around Grenada and Carriacou are ideal for all levels of diver, or even those who have never taken the plunge.
If you are a non-diver, the islands are the perfect place to get your diving certification – you would be hard-pressed to find a more-idyllic location to chalk up your first foray into diving.
At the other end of the scale, many of the shipwreck sites in particular lend themselves to technical diving, whether that be open circuit or rebreather diving.
Underwater photographers will also have an absolute ball in the waters off Grenada and Carriacou because the phenomenal coral and sponge growth and the accompanying reef fish are excellent for wide-angle and macro shooting.

TITANIC OF THE CARIBBEAN

You cannot talk about wreck diving in Grenada without first mentioning the mighty Bianca C, a gigantic 180-metre-long, 18,000-ton Italian liner which went down off the coast of Grenada in October 1961 after catching fire while at anchor off St Georges.

Over 55 years on the seabed has taken its toll on the old girl, and she is deteriorating year on year, but there is no taking away from the epic scale of this enormous vessel, and she still makes a fine flagship for the rest of Grenada and Carriacou’s sunken fleet.

WRECK DIVING

Due to its location on various shipping routes, Grenada is also blessed with a plethora of shipwrecks that were the result of maritime accidents. These include 50-metre freighter Shakem; the Veronica L, a freighter which sank but was then raised and moved to a location near Grande Anse; and the World War Two US Navy minesweeper-cum-cargo vessel King Mitch.

Not that they necessarily need it with such a selection of genuine shipwrecks, but Grenada and Carriacou also boast several artificial reefs, including the sloop Buccaneer; cargo ship MV Hildur; and the Twin Tugs, two vessels – Westsider and Boris – sitting within a short distance of one another.

REEF DIVING

Grenada and Carriacou have a multitude of reef dives, ranging in depth from just a few metres to some in the technical arena – in fact, between the two islands, you have such a selection you could probably spend a month or more here and not have to hit the same site twice. Most of the dive sites are located on the west and south side of both Grenada and Carriacou; some sites are very sheltered, with little or no current, while others are more exposed and can be subject to quite extreme currents at times.

TEN THINGS YOU MUST DO

Grenada and Carriacou offer plenty of attractions both topside and underwater – we select ten things that should be on your ‘must-do’ list when visiting, including strolling along a picturesque beach, exploring a majestic mountain, trekking to a waterfall, diving the famed Sisters, Underwater Sculpture Park – one of National Geographic’s Top 25 Wonders of the World – or the mighty Bianca C, or delving into history in St Georges or on the Belmont Estate plantation.

TOPSIDE ATTRACTIONS

Grenada and Carriacou are the complete holiday destination, boasting a host of attractions and activities to keep you occupied when you are not exploring beneath the surface.

For the adventurous, the lush interior offers many hiking trails, or you can venture off on a jeep safari, self-drive guided buggy tour, or on a bicycle.

If you can’t get enough of that inviting, warm, blue water, then there are plenty of surface watersports on offer, from sailing catamaran cruises and high-speed RIB safaris to Hobie Cat catamarans, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.

And let’s not forget that Grenada and Carriacou are the perfect place to just kick back, relax and let the islands whisk away the trials and tribulations of daily life back home.

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