Grenada is a small country comprising of 1 large island and 6 smaller islands in the Caribbean. Its nearest neighbours are Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the north, Barbados to the northeast, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela to the south and Curacao to the west.
This quiet volcanic island in the Caribbean is known for its stunning beaches, lush forests, and renowned underwater beauty. Here are some interesting facts about this island nation.
Interesting facts about Grenada
1. Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1498 and named it Concepcion. A year after that, another bunch of explorers passed by the island and changed the name to Mayo . When the French came, they changed it to “Le Grenade” and finally when the British took over, they called it Grenada.
2. Grenada boasts of having the world’s first underwater sculpture park. The Moliniere underwater sculpture park is a fascinating compilation of over 65 human sculptures on the ocean. These works of art can be found be viewed by snorkeling, scuba diving or through clear glass bottom boats.
3. Grenada produces many spices and therefore is also called “Island of Spice”. A ship travelling to England from the East Indies stopped and planted some nutmeg tress on the island. Today, Nutmeg accounts for one of the major exports of the country. If you look closely at the country’s flag, Nutmeg also appears in a field of green to the left of the flag’s center.
4. Civilians in the country can’t wear camouflage in any form. The camouflage is reserved for the army only.
5. The island has only 3 traffic lights.
6. It was a nationwide catastrophe for Grenada in September 2004 when Hurricane Ivan destroyed or damaged 90% of the houses.
7. The Grenada dove is the national bird and is endemic to the island. It is included on the critically endangered list with only less than a hundred believed to be in the wild.
8. The country serves as nesting grounds to Leatherback turtles. These massive turtles date back to the era of dinosaurs and rank 3rd in the list of heaviest living reptiles in today’s world. They are also critically endangered with only 35,000 female turtles left in the world. Only one in 1,000 of their hatchlings can survive to adulthood.
9. There is a lake in Grenada, Grand Etang, which is said to be a bottomless lake because nobody has been able to find its bottom with SONAR. The lake was formed over a dormant volcano, and it has become a popular tourist attraction. There is also a tale that it is home to the legendary Loch Ness monster and that beautiful mermaids have been spotted swimming in it.
10. There are no venomous snakes in the country even though almost half of it is covered with forests.
11. Due to a limited military budget, the officers are trained in other countries to gain military proficiency.
12. River Antoine Rum Distillery is the oldest functioning water-propelled distillery in the Caribbean. The distillery has been producing rum for Grenada since 1785.
Trip leader Sakshi’s Recommendations if you are visiting Grenada:
Grand Anse Beach: Grenada is blessed with some of the loveliest sandy beaches in the Caribbean and Grand Anse tops that list. The beach is a fabulous long curve of soft, white sand, shaded by sea grapes, almond trees and palms. Water hues here range from clear turquoise in the shallows to deep cobalt blue, and the calm waters are perfect for swimming.
Grand Etang National Park: The Grand Etang National Park in the interior of the island offers some beautiful rainforest scenery and rewarding hikes. The famous Etang Lake is the most popular spot here. There are many trails to explore and plenty of waterfalls to jump in.
Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park: The Park was created by British sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor. He installed concrete figures onto the ocean floor, mostly consisting of a range of human forms. It is the world’s first underwater sculpture park and was open for public viewing in May 2006. Divers, snorkelers, and glass bottom boat passengers can admire this underwater exhibition.