If you’re heading to Grenada on your next vacation, you need to add Grand Etang Lake to your itinerary. It’s a beautiful spot situated in the heart of Grand Etang National Park, and no trip to Grenada would be complete without visiting it.
So, why is Grand Etang Lake a must-see on your next visit to Grenada? Here are a few reasons:
- Many hiking trails circle the lake.
- The water is filled with colorful fish.
- It’s surrounded by beautiful rainforest.
- You can investigate the myths about mermaids and mysterious ceremonies.
- There’s a robust visitor’s center that everyone can access.
To learn more about Grand Etang Lake and why it’s a must-visit location on your next trip to Grenada, read on.
Why visit Grand Etang Lake?
Grand Etang Lake sits in the middle of Grand Etang National Park. Bursting with spectacular views and beautiful wildlife, this 36-acre lake is blanketed with lush and abundant vegetation.
While the lake’s beauty is reason enough to pay a visit, it’s not the only reason you should consider visiting. Here are a few of the other reasons a trip to Grand Etang Lake is essential.
Plenty of Hiking Trails
There are various hiking trails around Grand Etang Lake. They vary in length and difficulty, making it easy to choose one best suited to your plans and fitness level. But regardless of the hiking trail you pick, you will still be immersed in waterfalls, wildlife, and lush jungle.
The majestic Mount Qua Qua also provides a dramatic backdrop for some stunning photo opportunities at many points on the trails.
Note: The terrain around the lake is gentle, which means it can get slick and muddy when it rains. Check the forecast before heading to the lake, and be sure to bring the appropriate footwear.
Brightly colored reptiles and birds live in the rainforest, along with many other fascinating animals.
The pinnacle of wildlife-viewing in the area, though, is the Mona monkey. These creatures, which live in the forest canopy, are a rare but fantastic sight to behold. Although typically native to western Africa, they were brought to the island in the 18th century by slave ships headed to the Americas.
A word of warning: The Mona monkeys tend to steal personal items such as hats and sunglasses. Keep your valuables close at hand, and be sure to remain on the lookout for these mischievous creatures!
You will also likely get to see armadillos and mongooses as well, and the mahogany trees and rare tropical orchids are an absolute feast for the eyes.
The underwater creatures in the lake are an eclectic bunch. If you’re lucky, you might catch sight of freshwater lobster, crayfish, snapper, barracuda, jack crevalle, bonefish, or some of the other beautiful residents of the lake.
The best sightings include colorful fish such as parrotfish and pufferfish, which are also present in the depths of the lake. You can even feed the carp and koi fish that reside in the lake as well.
And thanks to the clarity of the water, you can have a great time setting up a lakeside picnic and attempting to catch sight of all of these wonderful freshwater creatures. Also, if you stick around long enough, some of the resident stray cats might come over and affectionately ask for you to share your food with them.
Grand Etang Visitor’s Center
The Grand Etang Visitor’s Center is an excellent place to stop after you’ve had your fill of lakeside viewing.
Here’s a list of fun things to do within the Visitor’s Center walls:
- Grab a refreshing drink at the bar and watch the Grand Etang World Cruise sail along the water.
- Browse the exhibits showing local crafts from the surrounding area.
- Learn about the cultures and traditions of the people who live near Grand Etang Lake.
- Learn about flora and fauna around the lake. Some of the most interesting exhibit topics include the nine-banded Armadillo and the rainforest vegetation.
Mythical creatures and mysterious ceremonies
There is an aura of mystique around the Grand Etang. As the deepest point of the lake hasn’t been found yet, some rumors say that the lake is bottomless.
There are several other strange tales and stories abound, such as the rumors of a mermaid residing at the bottom of the lake.
Every year, the local fire Baptists make sacrifices to the goddess Orisha. These sacrifices would apparently be dragged to the bottom of the lake by the mysterious mermaid. Some also believe that those who drown in the Grand Etang Lake reappear in places like St. Vincent or Trinidad, or even as far as Venezuela.
Are any of these tales and stories true?
It’s hard to say for sure – no mermaids have been found yet, anyway. Nevertheless, the veil of mystery and intrigue around this lake is certainly enticing. And it makes for another exciting reason for you to pack your bags and embark on a mythical adventure to Grenada!
Grand Etang National Park
Grand Etang National Park was established in 1992. It’s a vast expanse of mountainous forest located in the center of the island. The name “Grand Etang” means “a large lake” in French, which is a reference to the centerpiece of the national park.
The summits of the glorious Mt. Granby, Morne Fedon, and Mt. Qua Qua can also be found in the park. The mountainous ridges along these summits are also home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna.
And if you’re a fan of breathtaking waterfalls, there are several located within the park’s boundaries.
How was Grand Etang Lake formed?
Grand Etang Lake is located in the central highlands of Grenada. It formed as a crater of one of the extinct volcanoes present on the island – a result of volcanic activity approximately 12,000 – 25,000 years ago.
The crater is part of the Mount St. Catherine massif. For those who aren’t familiar with geological terms, a massif is a group of compact, interconnected mountains that form a small piece of a larger mountain range. The massif that Grand Etang Lake is part of also includes two other nearby crater-based lakes: St. George’s and Lake Antoine. Together, these three craters make up the youngest volcanic structures on Grenada.
The lake formed shortly after a volcanic eruption created a large crater. Once the rock cooled down and solidified, the crater collected rainwater until it was filled with liquid from brim to brim.
Today, the lake is an average of 20 feet deep and covers an area of 36 acres. Several creeks and waterfalls flow into this beautiful lake. They are filled with bright, blue, clear water, thereby creating a fantastic tropical landscape in the middle of the pristine Grand Etang National Park.
If you want to make your next trip to Grenada as exciting as possible, then you need to pay a visit to Grand Etang Lake. Here’s why:
- It has plenty of beautiful hiking trails.
- The lake and surrounding rainforest are filled with beautiful wildlife.
- The area is known for its mysterious, mythical history and fascinating ceremonies conducted by the native people.
- The mountains surrounding the lake are gorgeous, and make excellent backdrops for pictures.
- The visitor’s center offers a variety of interesting exhibits and experiences for anyone interested in Grand Etang Lake or Grenada in general.
So if you haven’t penciled Grand Etang Lake into your itinerary yet, you need to do so now! Happy Planning!