Grenada might not be the first sun-kissed spot that pops into your head when you think about a beach vacation, but the eastern Caribbean island is well worth adding to your must-visit list. In addition to white sand beaches and luxe accommodations, you’ll find plenty of opportunity to get active – from hiking to snorkelling to river tubing. Whether you’re in search of a romantic escape for two, or a chance to explore an under-the-radar island gem, Grenada has it all.
Descending into Maurice Bishop International Airport it becomes clear that this is an island with personality – it’s more than sand and sea – it’s got a mountainous landscape just begging to be explored. Beaches? We’ll get to them, but first, it’s time to check in and drop your bags.
Mere minutes from the airport you’ll find the newest member of the Sandals family, Sandals LaSource Grenada, open since December. Choose from three distinct “villages” (Pink Gin, South Seas and Italian) all situated around two main pools, seemingly endless spots to chill out and soak up the sun, that aforementioned white sand and nine (count them nine) spots to grab meal or a drink. Situated on Pink Gin Beach, the resort is a haven for water sports enthusiasts – scuba diving (look into a learn to dive program if you’re new to scuba), snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, to name a few. If you happen to be travelling with your significant other, rooms here are made for romance. Soaker tubs on balconies, private infinity pools, butlers at your beck and call – you get the idea (splurge on a Skypool room if you can, where your bedroom doors open out to that private infinity pool).
When you’re not lounging in your balcony tub, sipping run punch by one of the pools, getting your butler to bring you lunch on the beach, or enjoying a massage at the spa, the rest of Grenada beckons. Start by donning your snorkel mask and fins and taking a trip to see the world’s first underwater sculpture park. Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park in the National Marine Park is a pretty otherworldly sight to behold. Among the tropical fish and swaying fan corals, you’ll find a variety of cement figures that give the ocean floor a hauntingly beautiful quality it’s tough to turn away from. The park (there is another one now open in Cancun) was designed by British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor and is definitely worth a visit.
Get moving with a hike through Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve, in the island’s interior. Temperatures are slightly cooler here since you’re up in the mountains and scenery is camera-ready and Instagram-worthy. There are many trails to choose from for every level of hiker, from a quick 15 minute walk to hikes that will take you several hours. Try a loop around Grand Etang Lake, or what’s considered to be one of the best hikes in Grenada, a trek to Seven Sisters Falls, a series of seven waterfalls.
Cool off and have a whirling, twirling blast with a trip down the Balthazar River in a tube. Once you shimmy awkwardly into the rubber ring (there is no graceful way to do it) and don your requisite helmet and life jacket, you’re sent with a shove and a splash down the river. Light rapids keep you moving (be wary of the many rocks) and where the water levels are low, guides will give you a healthy shove to keep your momentum going. The entire trip takes about 20 minutes and it’s an exciting, not to mention scenic, float through the rainforest.