The Ultimate First-Time Visitor’s Guide to Grenada

So you’ve discovered the amazing island of Grenada and decided to put it high on your bucket list. Congrats! In the past 22 years, I’ve traveled to over a dozen Caribbean Islands and still consider Grenada my absolute favorite.

Not only is the landscape refreshingly diverse with top-rated beaches, rainforests, and mountains but also a rich culture and fascinating history. Best of all – Grenada is not overrun with tourists. The vibe is super chill and relaxed – more than any other island I’ve been to. 

I created this guide after a frustrating experience planning my first trip to Grenada. The information I found was either outdated or non-existent. This guide is geared toward first-time visitors to Grenada and intended to provide basic and essential information to easily plan and experience your first visit to the island. I say “first visit” because I’m confident once you arrive you’ll start planning your next visit. 

Everything you need to plan your first trip to Grenada is included here in The Ultimate First-Time Visitor’s Guide to Grenada.  Topics include: 

  • When to go
  • How much it costs
  • How to get there
  • Where to stay
  • How to get around
  • Things to do 
  • Safety & Security

There is so much information I could share but in my opinion, it would be overwhelming and unnecessary to planning your initial visit. Once you’re in Grenada you’ll discover more things to do, places to stay, and places to eat that suit your preferences. But you have to get there first, right?

Happy Planning!

tammy's signature

Tammy Poppie
www.caribbeanauthority.com

When to go to Grenada

Grenada is one of the southernmost Caribbean islands allowing for amazing year-round temperatures. On average, you can expect 83 Fahrenheit every month. Because of Grenada’s proximity, it rarely is hit by hurricanes. Even more, the reason to visit any time of year.

Note: Grenada is hit by hurricanes far less than other Caribbean islands, but it has still been hit. 

With that said, the island does experience a rainy season. Grenada’s rainy season starts in June and lasts until December and is characterized by frequent thunderstorms and downpours, which are short-lasting but very intense and typically followed by plenty of sunshine.

Of course weather is not an exact science. Lately, it seems like no matter where you are in the world , you’re experiencing “unseasonal weather”. I point this out because although no time of year is guaranteed warm and sunny days in Grenada, your chances are more likely outside the rainy season.

Whether your travel goals are to get out and experience activities on the island, attend a particular event (like Spice Mas in August!), or save money on your trip, the chart below should help you determine when to visit. 

$$ – Average cost
$ – Below average cost

MonthCost of AirfareCost of HotelsRainfall
(Inches)
Sunshine
(Hours)
January$$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
$$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
5279
February$$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
$$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
3226
March$$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
$$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
2.2217
April$$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
$$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
3240
May$ – US
$$ – UK
$ – Canada
$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
5248
June$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
9210
July$ – US
$ – UK
$$ – Canada
$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
7.7248
August$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
7.8248
September$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
7.6240
October$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
10248
November$$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
10.1240
*December$$ – US
$$ – UK
$$ – Canada
$ – US
$ – UK
$ – Canada
7248
*Rates go up the week of Christmas

How much does it cost to travel to Grenada

How much you will spend to travel to Grenada is somewhat subjective. It’s totally dependent on your travel style. To provide some idea of the cost to travel to Grenada I’ve established three different travel styles – average, luxury, and budget- and cost of each styles’ main expenses – airfare, hotel, food, and transportation. I’m an average traveler so the costs associated with the average traveler below are actual costs from my recent trip to the island. 

Cost for an Average Traveler

The average cost to travel to Grenada for 2 people for 7 nights is estimated to be $1,964.34 per person. Here’s the breakdown.

Travel ExpenseCost
Airfare$1,686.10
Hotel (Blue Horizons Garden)$1,575.00
Food & Drink$571.58
Taxi$96.00
TOTAL >>$3,928.68
PER PERSON >>$1,964.34

Cost for A Luxury Traveler

The cost for a luxury trip to Grenada for 2 people for 7 nights is estimated to be $4,042.55 per person. Here’s the breakdown.

Travel ExpenseCost
Airfare$1,686.10
Hotel (Sandals)$6,335.00
Food & Drink (included with all-inclusive resort)$0.00
Taxi$64.00
TOTAL >>$8,085.10
PER PERSON >>$4,042.55

Cost for a Budget Traveler

The cost for a budget trip to Grenada for 2 people for 7 nights is estimated to be $1,262.00 per person. Here’s the breakdown.

Travel ExpenseCost
Airfare$1,376.00
Hotel (Siesta Hotel)$588.00
Food & Drink$560.00
Taxi$0.00
TOTAL >>$2,524.00
PER PERSON >>$1,262.00
Plate of food with lobster and vegetables

Cost for Groceries

Regardless of travel style, many people like to have groceries on hand to cook meals or snack on. Below is a sampling of groceries and the price you can expect to pay in Grenada just to give you an idea.

For a more extensive list of groceries and costs in Grenada check out The Cost of Food in Grenada & How to Avoid Busting your Food Budget.

Food or Beverage Item  Average Cost in Grenada
Eggs$3.50 / dozen
Cereal (Name Brand)$7.40 (This is an expensive item that can be cheaper if you buy local brand)
Butter$2.60/pound
Beef$6/pound
Chicken Breast$3.80/pound
Market Fish$3/pound (You are on an island, so quality fish is plentiful and affordable)
Loaf of Bread$1.30 
Cheese$3.30/pound
Bananas$1/pound
Citrus$1.50/pound (Available year-round)
Tomatoes$1.70/pound
Onion$0.70/pound
Chips$1.50/bag (This will depend on the size and brand of the chips you choose)
Milk$7/gallon (This is one of the more expensive items you can purchase on the island)
Coffee$8 – 8 oz. (This price will depend on the brand you buy)
Bottled water$1 – 1.5 L
Beer$1.50 – 0.5L Domestic (Imported beer will be slightly more expensive, about $0.50 on average)
Wine (Mid-Range) $13
Soda$1.50 – 12 oz. (Larger bottles will be more cost-efficient)
BB’s Crabback is a popular restaurant in Grenada.

Cost for dining Out

You’re on vacation so of course, you’ll want to dine out occasionally. Even luxury travelers staying at an all-inclusive may want to duck out for some local fare at some point. 

Obviously you’ll pay more for food when dining out vs buying and cooking your own meals. Below is pricing for dining out at various restaurant types in Grenada. You’ll notice the cost is relatively close to US restaurants, which seems high, considering the overall pricing and standard of living on the island.

Restaurant Type Cost
Street Vendors$6
Casual Dining$10
Mid-Range Dining$25
Fine Dining $50
cell phone taking a picture of the sunset on a beach

Cell Service

To avoid exploding your cell bill when traveling to Grenada? You can: 

  • Purchase a SIM card from a local carrier like Digicel or Flow;
  • Purchase an international day pass or cell plan from your cell provider (if offered);
  • Turn your phone on airplane mode and only use wifi when it’s available.
Eastern Caribbean Ten Dollar Bill.

Money

Everything you need to know about paying for things in Grenada is below.

  • The EC$ (Eastern Caribbean dollar) is the standard form of currency, but the US$ (US dollar) is widely accepted.
  • Bring crisp US dollars, not ripped or wrinkled ones as they’re likely to be rejected.
  • Major credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants, stores, and tour operators. One exception – American Express is often not accepted. 
  • Have cash available for taxis, market vendors, water taxis, ferries, and independent guides. Unless you pay the exact amount you will likely receive change in EC$.
  • Unless you want to come home with a wallet full of EC$, bring lots of $1 and $5 bills with you to pay for cash items.
  • There are several banks on the island with ATMs available for cash withdrawal but be aware they are closed weekends and holidays.

How to get to Grenada

passport with boarding pass

Entry Requirements 

  • A valid passport book and evidence of return/onward travel arrangements are required for entry to Grenada. 
  • A valid passport means it doesn’t expire at least 6 months after your return date.  
  • You can stay for a max of 90 days without a VISA.
view of airplane's wing

Flight Information

When planning my first trip to Grenada I was surprised at how difficult it was to find flight information. It was a challenge to learn which US airlines flew to Grenada, what days of the week they flew there and which times of the year.  Sure you could use Skyscanner but without knowledge of the days the airlines fly to Grenada you’re often left with a flight adventure”. What’s a “flight adventure”?

Flight adventures are a combination of several stops &/or layovers and take more than a day to get to your destination. They are a long, tiresome, and inefficient way to get to your destination.

-Tammy Poppie, Caribbean Authority

Since airfare information was not readily available I spent a ton of time digging online and calling airlines. I fly from the US but I know many of you are coming from Canada, the UK, and other countries so I gathered flight information from those countries as well so you don’t have to go through the same rigamarole I did.

Fly to Grenada From the US

Three airlines fly direct from the US to Grenada:

  • JetBlue flies directly to Grenada from New York. Flight time is 4 hours 50 minutes.
  • American Airlines flies direct to Grenada from Miami & Charlotte. Flight time is 3 hours 31 minutes from Miami and 4 hours 15 minutes from Charlotte.
  • Delta Airlines flies direct to Grenada from Atlanta. Flight time is 4 hours 34 minutes.
AirlineDirect Flight CitiesSchedule
JetBlueNew York City – JFKTuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, SundayBetween Thanksgiving and New Year’s:  Monday , Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
American AirlinesMiamiMonday , Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
American AirlinesCharlotteSaturday
Delta AirlinesAtlantaBetween Christmas and Easter: Friday, Saturday**Outbound only available on Saturday 

Fly to Grenada From Canada

Two airlines fly direct from the Canada to Grenada:

  • Air Canada flies directly to Grenada from Toronto
  • Sunwing Airlines flies directly to Grenada from Toronto
  • Flight length is 5 hours and 15 minutes.
AirlineDirect Flight CitiesSchedule
Air CanadaTorontoJanuary – April: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday May – August: Monday, FridaySeptember – November: Monday, Saturday December: Tuesday, Saturday
Sunwing AirlinesTorontoJanuary – April: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday May – August: Monday, FridaySeptember – November: Monday, Saturday December: Tuesday, Saturday

Fly to Grenada From the UK

Unfortunately, there aren’t any airlines that fly direct to Grenada from the UK. However, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic both have near-direct options since they both fly from London to Grenada with only one short stopover in St. Lucia.

  • British Airways flies from Gatwick Airport to St. Lucia, then on to Grenada. The flight to St. Lucia is 8 hours 45 minutes. 
  • Virgin Atlantic flies from Manchester Airport St. Lucia, then on to Grenada. The flight to St. Lucia is 9 hours 5 minutes.
  • The flight from St. Lucia is provided by Liat (airlines) and is a 55 minutes flight.
Flight CitiesSchedule / Flight Time
British AirwaysGatwick AirportWednesday and Saturday
Virgin AtlanticManchester AirportMonday and Friday
LiatSt. Lucia (to Grenada)Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
large blue suitcase
My Big-Ass Suitcase

Packing Tips

I don’t mind packing for vacation but many people hate it! I think this loathing comes from the travel experts’ advice to “pack light” which creates anxiety resulting in overwhelm and ultimately procrastination to begin the task of packing. I love packing a big-ass suitcase and thing everyone should do it.

If you want to learn how to fall in love with packing – or at least stop hating it – check out my article Why you hate packing for Vacation and What to Do About It.  If not, here are the cliff notes: grab a big-ass suitcase, create a list of essentials, start throwing stuff into the suitcase a week before, pack the suitcase the night before.

Download my handy-dandy packing list and customize as needed. 

How long Should You stay in Grenada

If you’re traveling from the US, Canada, or the UK you’ll need at least 2 days for travel. From there, determine how many days you need to rest & relax, explore, and generally just chill out. 

Of course, how long to stay on vacation is a personal decision dependent on many factors such as your available vacation time from work, home & work commitments, and of course flight schedules. 

The max you can stay in Grenada without a visa is 30 days.

Where to Stay in Grenada

Grenada offers an array of accommodations including hotels, resorts, airbnb, apartments, and even just a room. This guide is geared toward a typical traveler  (vs. backpacker) so I’ll assume you’re interested in a hotel or resort type accommodation. 

Below I’ve listed high rated accommodations by price point in the St. George’s area. You can get more information about each property and check the pricing by following the link. 

Luxury All-Inclusive Accommodations ($1,000+ per night)

Sandals Grenada – Check out pricing for Sandals
Calabash Hotel – Check out pricing for Calabash Hotel
Mount Cinnamon – Check out pricing for Mount Cinnamon

Affordable Luxury Accommodations (Under $250 per night)

Blue Horizons Garden Resort – Check out pricing for Blue Horizons Garden Resort. Check out my review of this resort at Blue Horizons Garden Resort Review
True Blue Bay Boutique Resort – Check out pricing for True Blue Bay Boutique Resort
Radisson Grenada Beach Resort – Check out pricing for Radisson Grenada Beach Resort

Budget Accommodations (Under $100 per night)

Siesta Hotel – Check out pricing for Siesta Hotel
La Heliconia – Check out pricing for La Heliconia
Grooms Beach Villa & Resort – Check out pricing for Grooms Beach Villa & Resort

Things to Do in Grenada

I could fill this guide with fun and amazing things to do in Grenada but you wouldn’t be able to get to all of them on your first trip, so I opted to list only the top 3 by interest. Click the link for more information about each attraction.

Grand Anse Beach in St. George’s, Grenada

Beach Bums

a cannon at Fort Georges, Grenada
Fort George in St. George’s, Grenada

History Buffs

Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada
Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada

Scuba & Snorkel Enthusiasts

Cultural Connoisseurs

Nature Lovers

A leatherback sea turtle swimming.
A leatherback sea turtle swimming.

Ecotourism Fanatics

A woman in costume at the Carnival Parade in Aruba
Caribbean Carnival. Photo by Qijin Xu on Unsplash

Festival Junkies

How to get around in Grenada

Bus

Grenada’s bus system consists of minibusses that transport people all over the island. It’s an amazing way to get around while getting to know the locals and learning about the country. And, you know your life is in the hands of an expert – they drive those roller-coaster roads every day so have developed the skill.

Things you should know about riding the bus in Grenada

  • Hours: Weekdays 7AM – 7PM (Not all buses run on weekends)
  • Fares are cheap! Depending on the destination expect to pay $1 – $6 EC each way. Be sure to ask the driver to confirm the cost beforehand. 
  • There are 9 zones with one or more routes per zone. 
  • Each bus displays the route number in the windshield.
  • Each route is a loop ending at the same location it starts.
  • Some buses can get quite crowded as its the main transportation for many residents. Don’t worry – hop on and room will be made for you.

Grenada Bus Routes

Bus NumberGeneral AreaBus Stops
1Grand AnseSt. George’s Bus Terminal > Lagoon Road > Grand Anse > Caliste > and back again
St. George’s Bus Terminal > Belmont > Grand Anse > Caliste >  and back again
2WoburnSt. George’s Bus Terminal > Springs > Woodlands > Woburn >  and back again
St. George’s Bus Terminal > Calivigny > Westerhall > Grenville >  and back again
3MarianSt. George’s Bus Terminal > Richmond Hill > Morne Jaloux > Marian >  and back again
4GrenvilleSt. George’s Bus Terminal > Beaton > La Tante > Pomme Rose > Grenville >  and back again
St. George’s Bus Terminal > St. Paul’s > Perdmontemps > Vincennes >  and back again
St. George’s Bus Terminal > St. Paul’s > Mardigras > and back again
St. George’s Bus Terminal > St. Paul’s > La Borie > Victoria and back again
5Victoria / GouyaveSt. George’s Bus Terminal > Goyave > Victoria > Sauteurs > and back again
St. George’s Bus Terminal > Concord > Grand Roy > Gouyave and back again
6Grand Etang / GrenvilleSt. George’s Bus Terminal > Grand Etang > Birch Grove > Grenville > and back again
7Willis / Mt.  ParnassusSt. George’s Bus Terminal > Annandale > New Hampshire > Willis > and back again
St. George’s Bus Terminal > River road > Tempe > Mt. Parnassus > and back again
8Happy Hill / Mt. Moritz / BrizanSt. George’s Bus Terminal > Cherry Hill > Fontenoy > Happy Hill > and back again
St. George’s Bus Terminal > Cherry Hill > fontenoy > Mt. Moritz  > and back again
St. George’s Bus Terminal > Happy Hill > Beausejour > Brizan > and back again
9From Sauteurs to GrenvilleSauteurs > Rose Hill > Mt. Rose > River Sailee > Grenville > and back again
Sauteurs > Hermitage > Tivoli > Grenville > and back again

Taxis

Taxis are widely available throughout the island and cost more than a bus but offer privacy and convenience especially on weekends when buses can be scarce.

Things you should know about taking a taxi in Grenada:

  • Taxis are licensed by the government and should prominently display their official credentials. They don’t run meters, instead, because they are licensed by the government, there are set rates.
  • Hotel and airport taxis are price-fixed by the government. To give you an example, the price for a taxi from the airport to the St. George’s area is $16. That’s total, not per person.
  • Fares to and from the airport are set by the government. In March I paid about $16 US each way to my hotel.
  • Be sure to confirm the fare with your driver, and whether it’s in US$ or EC $, before setting off on the journey. Often the rate can be negotiable. 
  • Many travelers have been known to hire a taxi for a day to explore the island.

Rent a Car

I don’t recommend renting a car unless you’re accustomed to driving on the left with the steering wheel on the right and willing to put up with certain challenges including Narrow, steep & windy roads, pedestrians walking across the street paying no attention to traffic, and drivers that don’t use turn signals and drive very fast. 

Things you should know about renting a car in Grenada

  • It cost about $70 US per day to rent a car. 
  • The government requires a visitor’s temporary driver’s license, which you can easily obtain by showing the rental company your regular driver’s license and paying for a Grenadian one. The cost is about $25 US.
  • You can rent a car at AVIS in St. Georges. 

Safety & Security

Is Grenada Safe?

Grenada is very safe but it’s always sensible to exercise caution regardless of where you’re traveling. Exercise these precautions while in Grenada (or any country your visiting for that matter):

  • Leave your flashy jewelry, and clothes at home. 
  • Stay in well lit and populated areas after dark. 
  • Do not leave valuables such as money, credit cards, cameras and other electronic devices unattended – especially on the beaches or in vehicles.
  • Most hotels provide a safe in the room. Lock your passport in it.

US travelers should always check the State Department’s Travel Advisory page to learn the current advisory level for the country they’re traveling to. Here’s a link to the state department’s information on Grenada.

Safety is a topic not to be taken lightly. If you’re concerned about the safety of Grenada check out my article Is Grenada Safe for Tourists? which takes a deep dive into why all signs point to it being a safe place to visit.

us flag waving on flag pole

US Embassy

All US citizens should know where and how to reach the US embassy for the country they’re traveling to. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for an emergency to happen before you figure out how to reach the embassy. 

Not sure what the U.S. Embassy does? Check out my article Don’t wait for an emergency to find out where the US Embassy is located in Grenada

The U.S. Embassy in Grenada is located in the capital city of St. George’s, however, the U.S. Ambassador operates out of the U.S. Embassy located about 170 miles away in Bridgetown, Barbados.

US Embassy in Grenada Contact Information

Phone NumberMain: 473-444-1173, extension 6Emergency: 473=407-2495
AddressUS Embassy GrenadaLance Aux EpinesSt. George’s, Grenada, W.I.
Hours• Monday – Friday: 8:00-4:30• Consular Services: Available by Appointment on Monday from 2:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m., and Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. until noon• Closed: Local & US Holidays 
water bottle on the beach

What about the Water?

According to NAWASA (National Water & Sewerage Authority), the organization that treats Grenada’s water, Grenada’s water is “safe for human consumption”. Many in the hospitality field in Grenada will recommend you drink bottled water because visitors’ bodies are not accustomed to Grenada water. It’s up to you. I decided to boil water and drink bottled (Montezuma’s Revenge anyone?).

Travel Insurance

Things happen out of our control all the time, even when we have a vacation planned. (Coronavirus anyone?). Travel insurance not only prevents financial loss due to having to cancel your vacation but also provides peace of mind leading up to the trip. If you ask me, peace of mind is priceless. 

Get a free quote from World Nomads, the world-renowned and respected provider of travel insurance and plan your trip with peace of mind. 


Final Thoughts

Plan on falling in love with Grenada. I’m so confident you’ll love Grenada that I’m willing to bet your first trip will not be your last. With that, take your time and truly enjoy each experience while you’re there. Unlike other vacations you may have taken to popular Caribbean destinations like Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic, there’s no sense of urgency to grab a beach chair, rush to the tour bus, or stand in line for a beer. The vibe is more chill in Grenada.

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