Mention Grenada, and some people think of a military invasion, the Reagan era and pro Marxist rebels. But Grenada some 20+ years on is a beautiful petite Caribbean island, known as the Isle of Spice for its exotic bounty of natural spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Lying near the equator, Grenada is the furthest south in the group of islands that includes the Lesser Antilles and Windward Islands, and is 100 miles north of Venezuela. Now what we have the geography straight, you may want to know why you should visit. The foremost reason in my opinion is that there are no direct flights from the U.S. (you must fly via Jamaica, Puerto Rico or several other Caribbean points), which means that you'll be sharing those idyllic beaches and sumptuous French inspired Caribbean cuisine with fewer tourists. In a sea (the Caribbean) teaming with tourist hot spots and vacationer infested resorts, Grenada is a breath of fresh air where you can enjoy the lush green mountainous vegetation, volcanic hot springs, colonial architecture, sailing in clear waters, exceptional dive sites and 40 of the best beaches in the region. All this and the charm of French-African influences make Grenada a "must visit" Caribbean destination. If you crave a bit more than spending all your time on one small island, you can always take a day trip by boat to neighboring Carriacou or Petit Martinique - together the three islands make up the Grenadines.
Cheap Caribbean (tel. 800/915-2322; www.cheapcaribbean.com) always has a discounted Grenada deal on offer. Book by May 11, 2006 and enjoy staying in a deluxe ocean front view room for this five-night package with round-trip airfare from New York priced from $989. The Coyaba Beach Resort, situated on world famous Grand Anse Beach, has been recently rebuilt and offers an authentic Caribbean Indian theme. Indulge in their all-inclusive meals and beverage program that is perfect for families, those seeking romance or sporting enthusiasts with two restaurants, three bars, a large pool with Grenada's finest swim-up bar, a PADI pro scuba center, and inclusive non-motorized water sports plus golfing and tennis. This summer / fall sale is available for trips between now and October 31, 2006 and represents a saving of $250 per person. Children sharing the same room pay $529. Add $50 from Orlando, Boston or Baltimore, $100 from Washington DC or Detroit and $200 from Los Angeles, Phoenix or San Francisco. Many other departure cities available.
AA Vacations (tel. 800/321-2121; www.aavacations.com) is offering a five-night package at the Rex Grenadian in a hillside room with round-trip airfare on American Airlines via San Juan from New York and airport transfers from $1,590 for midweek departures from now until December 22, 2006.
Air Jamaica Vacations (www.airjamaicavacations.com/dest/gnd.asp) has Grenada packages with round-trip airfare and accommodation in moderate or superior hotels starting from $769. Sample summer season sale packages from New York include:
- Five-nights at the Grenada Grand Beach Resort $769
- Five-nights at the flamboyant Hotel $815
- Seven-nights at the True Blue Bay Resort $1,039
- Five-nights at the all inclusive Coyaba Beach Resort $1,219
What would a stunning Caribbean island be without a world class diving site? Actually Grenada boasts several, the most famous of which are the Bianca C, a 600 foot sunken cruise ship, plus The Shakem and Ile de Ronde.
Caradonna Dive Adventures (tel. 800/328-2288; www.caradonna.com) offers a selection of Dive Grenada land-only deals and recommends travel (and diving) in the region between December and August when the water offers the best visibility - water temperature ranges between a comfortable 78-80Â¿ throughout the year. Stay at the Coyaba Beach Resort with a package that starts from $931, which includes seven nights' accommodations and five-days of two-tank guided boat dives. At the True Blue Bay Resort begin your dives just steps from your water front room. Seven nights' accommodations here plus six-days of two-tank guided boat dives and continental breakfast daily starts from $854. Stay on board the M/V Wind Dancer, a member of the renowned Peter Hughes Dancer Fleet and live at sea with 18 divers from July through November, 2006. Wind Dancer offers all of the luxury amenities and a seven-night package with five and a half days of unlimited diving, plus all meals and beverages, including alcohol, starts from $1,595.
All package prices include hotel taxes and service charges, round-trip airport transfers, and use of tanks, weights and belts.
Jenny's Place (tel. +473/439-5186; www.jennysplacegrenada.com), a newly opened property on Grenada's beautiful Grand Anse Beach is currently offering "Jenny's Spring Specials" until the end of May 2006. Stay at Jenny's for less with garden suites from $75 per day per room or ocean view suites from $85 per day. The cost of breakfast is additional.
True Blue Bay Resort (tel. 888/883-2482; www.truebluebay.com) has special summer rates on all Villas from now until July 30, 2006 starting from $320 per night, representing a saving of over 30 percent off regular prices. A three-night minimum is required and rates are subject to 8 percent tax and 10 percent service charge. Stay in a True Blue Bay's new Tower room or a Club True Blue Villas until 15 July, 2006, pay for six-nights and stay for seven. The new Tower rooms are romantic second floor units with a spectacular view of the bay.
LumbaDive (www.lumbadive.com) is offering a special dive package in conjunction with the Grand View Hotel in Carriacou. The package includes ten dives with rental equipment, an additional two free dives, six-nights at Grand View Hotel with continental breakfast plus one free night with continental breakfast for $575 per person. The same package but staying at the Paradise Inn, directly on beautiful Paradise Beach in L'Esterre, Carriacou with a view of Sandy Island is priced at $490.Green Roof Inn (tel. +473/443-6399; www.greenroofinn.com) in Carriacou is offering a deal where guests pay for six nights' accommodations and get the seventh night for free. Carriacou Silver Diving (tel. +473/443-7882; www.scubamax.com) has a "Cariacou Diveaway" package that includes ten dives (tanks / weights / boat / guide), six-nights at Ade's Dream Hotel and an island tour with tour guide for $489 per person based on double occupancy. The Grenada Board of Tourism's website (tel. 800/927-9554; www.grenadagrenadines.com) features a variety of information about hotel specials, events and activities on the three Grenadine islands. It's a great resource for doing your research and working out where and when to travel.
Grenada's Point Salines International Airport, (tel. 473/444-4101) about seven miles from Grenada's capital St. George's is serviced by regular flights from Air Jamaica and American Airlines (American Eagle).
Chat it up with fellow Frommer's travelers on our Grenada Message Boards today.