Saint Georges, Grenada Travel Guide

An Introduction to Saint Georges Parish, Grenada

Grenada is part of the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea, and is among the southernmost and easternmost of the Caribbean islands. Known for its bountiful spices and picturesque turquiose beaches, Grenada is a great travel destination for families and solo adventurers alike. The people are welcoming, the waterways stunning, and the food delicious. While these statements are true throughout the island, they are especially true within the tourist areas of Saint Georges Parish. This parish includes the capital city of  Saint Georges, the award-winning beach of Grand Anse, and the college town of True Blue.

While there are many spectacular sights to see throughout the island, Saint Georges Parish is uniquely easy to navigate by foot or minibus (more on that later). Of special note are the glowing waters of Morne Rogue Beach, the restaurants around Grand Anse, and the Roatan Rum Company in nearby Lance Aux Epines (pronounced “Lance ah peen”).

The stunning waters of Morne Rogue Beach, just a short walk from the equally gorgeous Grand Anse Beach.

 

Is Saint Georges Parish Safe? Is Grenada Safe?

Saint Georges Parish is very safe. My main transportation method was walking, and at no point did I feel unsafe or run into any issues. I traveled mainly during the day, but did walk through Lance Aux Epines a few times at night. The rules of the road are more like polite suggestions, so extreme caution should be taken while walking along roads or while driving. Each of the main towns and cities within Saint Georges Parish are perfectly safe. During my trip I walked somewhere around

The remainder of Grenada can be a bit more sketchy depending on where you go. Each of the horror stories I heard included luring locals from the tourist and college areas of the southwest into the more remote northern parishes, where they were then robbed and assaulted. While I heard this particular tale a few times, the events seemed to be very uncommon. In the few times I ventured to the northern parts of the island, the locals were mostly friendly and the biggest problem I noticed was the marked increase in pollution. Just as a precaution, I’d recommend limiting trips to northern towns to the daytime. This makes sense for three reasons- nighttime increases your likelihood of being a victim of a crime, the bus system stops in the evenings and doesn’t continue until the next morning, and the roads are horrifying to drive at night through the mountains.

 

Hiking along Antoine Bay in Saint Patrick Parish, in the northeast of the island.

 

Is Grenada Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Well, unfortunately, yes and no. Like much of the Caribbean, Grenada suffers from a macho masculine culture. Part of this manifests in unwanted sexual advances and cat calling. A friend I made had experienced lots of sexual harassment during her stay in Saint Georges, but said none of it was violent nor particularly scary. She described it as a reality of traveling alone in the region as a young woman.

Of course, I would recommend heightened caution for solo female travelers. Avoid walking alone at night and don’t meet up with strangers in unfamiliar places. Come to think of it, that advice is equally applicable for men. The horror stories I heard on the island were all void of any common sense and could have been easily prevented with basic safety precautions.

How Expensive is a Grenada Vacation?

Grenada is a tremendous value for a budget vacation. Chock full of affordable entertainment options and boasting one of the lowest housing costs in the Caribbean, Grenada can be enjoyed on practically any budget. For my trip, I was able to find a month-long apartment stay along a nice stretch of beach for $1,100 per room. The total price for the two bedroom was $2,200 and included two bedrooms with two desks, two bathrooms with two separate showers, a living area, and a rather nice, large kitchen. The apartment also had a lovely garden and overlooked a beach just steps from the front door.


How Expensive are Restaurants in Grenada?

The food at restaurants is generally less expensive than it is in the United States, though this varies greatly based on the type of restaurant. Local-focused options were usually much tastier and significantly more affordable than restaurants catering to tourists. One of my favorite options along Grand Anse, Lotta & Frank’s Hot & Tasty Doubles, only charged 10EC (Eastern Caribbean Dollar) for two doubles. This comes out to around $3.75. Closer to Lance Aux Epines, Aziz Fine Food and Drinks offers burgers the size of a manhole cover for 20 EC, or about $7.50. The way to find the best food in Grenada, no matter where you’re staying, is simple. Just ask the locals! This is how I found a bunch of special gems that I go into a bit later. The food will be cheaper, tastier, and will provide a much more authentic experience.

Nick’s Donut World, one of the hidden gems off the beaten path between Lance Aux Epines and Grand Anse Beach.

 


Best Supermarkets Near Saint Georges Grenada

If you’re looking to make your own food in Grenada- which I’d highly recommend- you have a few great options for local supermarkets. The best market in Saint Patricks Parish is called Real Value IGA and is located in the Spiceland Mall along Grand Anse Beach. Here you’ll find the best selection with the best prices, including many items that are common in the USA. If you are in True Blue or Lance Aux Epines and trying to minimize how far you have to travel, CK’s Super Valu Food Depot is a great option. CK’s selection and prices were not as good as what was offered at Real Value, but for someone that is walking from place to place and doesn’t want to add the extra mile to their journey, it’ll work just fine.

For fresh eggs, fruits, and vegetables, avoid the markets and go straight to a roadside vendor. This is how I purchased all of my produce and it couldn’t be more convenient- there is one set up every mile or two. To avoid potentially getting taken advantage of, ask a local what some of the common prices are for eggs, pineapples, mangoes, and plantains before heading to the produce stand. Mangoes will be your best value fruit, coming in at around 5 EC (about $1.75) for 4-5 mangoes.

Here’s a fun little fact for my American friends- the eggs you eat in Grenada will be, hands down, the best you’ve ever eaten. The size, the taste, everything; the eggs are just genuinely better. I’m guessing this is because most of the eggs come from small, local operations that treat the chickens much more humanely than the factory farming processes of the United States. Whatever the reason, prepare for a trip to flavor town.


Finding Cheap Apartments in Grenada

As a general rule, the more flexible you are and the further out you plan, the better the deals you’ll be able to find. Look for rentals that offer a discount for monthlong stays, have a handful of very positive reviews, and are in locations that are slightly off from the main drag. You can find very significant discounts if you book with a newer host. Newer hosts will often provide excellent service, but be careful- make sure there at least some positive reviews before you book. Not every host is good, and not every listing is entirely truthful. Balance the cost-savings from a newer rental with the unknowns that you may encounter.

My Airbnb in L’anse Aux Epines, directly across the street from a local beach.

How to Find Cheap Flights to Grenada

Finding cheap flights to Grenada from the United States can be a bit tricky. There is only one international airport, Maurice Bishop International Airport, and it is very small. The only airports that fly into Grenada are Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Charlotte (CLT), and Atlanta (ATL).  Only three American airlines fly into Grenada, American Airlines, Delta, and JetBlue. If you’re not within one of those markets, proper planning will be imperative.

I was able to find round trip tickets to Grenada for about $600, but a savvy searcher that begins scanning for deals far ahead of time can get a better price. First, try to start planning at least 7 months in advance. Set up triggers on Google Flights so you get notified if prices drop for your trip. Other services, such as Scotts Cheap Flights, can help you find even better deals from a few different airports near you. I use Scotts Cheap Flights for all of my trips, and have saved up to $700 before on a single roundtrip ticket- trust me, you’ll want to use them. To get the absolute best deals, include major market airports that you can travel to. This makes for a bit of a logistical nightmare, but can save you big.


What Language is Spoken in Grenada?

English! While you’ll hear a bit of Creole English and Creole French as you explore, the official language of Grenada is English and is spoken by most everyone. As you travel out from Saint Georges into the less-touristy quarters of the north, you may run into some that only speak the Creole dialects, but you’ll be able to communicate just fine.

Getting Around Grenada

Getting around Grenada is quick, cheap, and fun! Compared to some other islands I’ve traveled to, such as Roatan, Grenada has a well established bus system that can carry you throughout the island. Taxis are also well-established, especially around tourist areas in Saint Georges or Grand Anse beach. While Saint Patricks Parish is easily walkable from corner to corner, the rest of Grenada is more restrictive. Mountains and narrow, curvy roads prevent a hiker from traversing safely.

 

The Grenada Bus System

While many Caribbean islands miss the mark in terms of reliable, affordable transportation, Grenada delivers. Dozens of drivers take to the roads daily in ostentatious sprinter vans, yelling at passerby to jump in. Each of these vans have a number and color in the front windshield which denotes their route. There are 9 routes in total that stretch the entire length, width, and most of the circumference of the island.

Image courtesy of SV Guiding Light, which also has some great resources on Grenada travel!

The main bus hub is in the heart of Saint Georges, the capital city, next to the fish market. Travelers from True Blue, Lance Aux Epines, or Grand Anse can take the red zone 1 bus to the main hub where they can then board any of the others. Zone 1 is by far the most common route- during my walks from Grand Anse beach to Saint Georges, I must have been passed (and yelled at) by dozens of busses each time.

 

Grenada Bus Prices

The best thing about the Grenada bus system is the price. Zone 1 is only 2.50 EC, which is less than $1.00, and no route is more expensive than 10EC. For only a few US dollars you can realistically travel around the island. What Grenada buses provide in affordability they make up for in comfort. Don’t expect a comfortable ride- you will more than likely be squeezed between many people. This is part of the experience, and you should just roll with it.

 

How the Grenada Bus System Works

As soon as the bus stops, the conductor will let you in and likely point you to a seat. The music will be loud and the bus will begin driving before you even sit down. Depending on how many people are in the bus, expect both frequent stops to let in more passengers and equally frequent shuffling off and back on to let passengers depart. When you are ready to get off, just rap a non-ring finger against the metal frame of the roof or siding a few times. The bus will stop (sometimes abruptly while still in traffic) and the conductor will let you out. This is when you pay, with cash already in hand to not slow them down, and depart.

An important part of the experience is the driving. Most roads connecting towns in Grenada are narrow, winding passages through seemingly endless stretches of mountains. If you’ve ever played the classic SEGA arcade game Crazy Taxi, you’ll know about what to expect. As someone that never gets carsick, and is also not particularly religious, Grenadan buses made me both in short order.

The full Grenada bus map.

 

Things to Know About the Grenada Bus System

While Grenadan buses are equal parts fun and affordable, there are some things you should know before you go. The bus drivers will sometimes venture from their routes to run an errand, grab a bite to eat, or pick up a passenger. Don’t get freaked out by a bit of a detour, but feel free to ask the reason if it’ll make you feel safer. Make sure that you are heading back to Saint Georges by 5pm, as bus routes usually stop around dusk and do not resume until the following morning. The bus system, along with most everything else on the island, does not operate on Sunday. If you need to travel on a Sunday, consider either going by foot or taking a taxi.

The bus map provided is an outstanding resource (again, thanks SV Guiding Light) but I do not believe it is complete. While wandering around the country I came across quite a few buses that were well away from marked routes, but seemed to be operational. Use this map as a general guide, but not as gospel in securing a bus.

The Zone 1 buses run constantly throughout the day, but some of the other routes are much less frequent. After a hike around Grand Etang National Park I waited for about 45 minutes to be picked up. Fortunately for me there was someone getting off of a completely packed to the brim bus- had I not been so fortunate, there is no way of telling how long I would’ve waited for. Buses in Grenada are by far the most affordable way to explore all that the island has to offer, but be sure to plan ahead and leave plenty of time at the end of your day to get home safely.

 

Taxis

If buses aren’t your style, you should probably pick a different destination. Just kidding, of course- though you won’t be escaping the Grenadan buses just because you opt to get a private ride. Most of the taxis on the island are also part of the Grenadan bus system, and offer taxi rides separately. Taxis in Grenada can be secured ahead of time from anywhere on the island, or acquired by walking around and flagging one down as it passes. I’d only recommend the walk-and-flag approach if you are in Saint Patricks Parish- the more remote, less touristy districts have much lower taxi traffic. As is the case in most destinations, your Airbnb host or hotel front desk will be able to point you to a reliable taxi service.

 

Exploring Grenada by Foot

Hiking around Grenada is an incredible- albeit exhausting- experience. The majority of Saint Georges Parish is walkable, from True Blue to Lance Aux Epines and from Grand Anse Beach to Saint George’s. Besides the roudabouts that can seem a bit daunting, paths are well-marked and safe throughout this area. I even walked back to the airport from Lance Aux Epines to visit the gorgeous Magazine Beach- a hike that was, frankly, more fun than the beach itself. This southwestern section of the country is significantly less mountainous than the remainder, making it so walkable. For the rest of the country, I’d suggest a bus or a taxi.

It is hard to convey in writing just how dense the greenery is around the mountains, and just how winding the roads are. There is little to no margin on the side of the road, often with nothing preventing a significant fall but a flimsy guard rail. While this is fine for a safe driver, a hiker would have to be crazy to attempt traveling such dangerous terrain. Wanting to see Virginia again, I decided against it.

The Best Restaurants in Saint Georges, Grenada

Get ready for the culinary time of your life. Saint Georges Parish includes the college town of True Blue, the beach resort of Grand Anse, the high-end area of Lance Aux Epines, and the capital city of Saint George’s. Each of these destinations, and the roads linking them, feature some of the best food you can eat anywhere, period. Now, I’m a budget traveler, so my restaurant picks are all on the affordable side. In general, restaurant prices in Grenada are between 30% to 50% lower than average restaurant prices in the USA. 

BEST BREAKFAST SPOTS IN GRENADA

Nick’s Donut World

Located on the dusty highway (that’s the actual name, by the way) near The Lime, the town connecting the main roads bringing travelers to Grand Anse, True Blue, or Lance Aux Epines, is the best donut shop you’ll ever experience. The food is delicious and the coffee fresh, but the real winner here is the conversation. The owners are fantastic people and I loved chatting with them in the mornings. Be sure to get here early, as they regularly sell out by 10:00am!

Value
5/5
Experience
5/5

Bella Milano Bakery

A quaint Italian café near the Spiceland Mall, right down the road from Grand Anse beach. Featuring a wide selection of coffee beverages and pastries, this café is an excellent choice for a small bite and a cappuccino. Everything I had was great, but I’d recommend the Nutella brioche and fruit tarts. Everything is purchased a la carte, but getting a few pastries and a cappuccino will only run you about 20 EC, or $7.50. 

Value
2.5/5
Experience
5/5

Latta & Frank’s Hot & Tasty Doubles

Food being served out of an iglo cooler from the back of a 90’s sprinter van? Count me in! This is THE destination for doubles in Grand Anse, which will become obvious as soon as you see the number of locals that come here for the tasty treat. Don’t expect an extensive menu- you have the option of spicy or mild, and that’s it. The price is only 5 EC each, or $1.85. It should go without saying, but they don’t accept US dollars or credit card, just Eastern Caribbean currency. If you’re not much into spicy food, go mild- their spicy doubles don’t mess around.

Value
5/5
Experience
5/5

Prickly Bay Tiki Bar and Restaurant

A bit on the pricey side, and not the most amazing food I’ve ever eaten. Still, for the ability to kayak up to the dock and enjoy a large breakfast, this place can’t be beat. For 20 EC you can get a full English breakfast with a coffee, or choose one of a few other usual breakfast staples such as pancakes or omelets. Prickly Bay also throws some fun events, including a weekly trivia night, pizza night, and daily happy hour specials. To learn more about these weekly deals, visit the Prickly Bay Facebook page where updates are regularly posted.

Value
5/5
Experience
5/5

Best Lunches and Dinners

Patrick’s Local Homestyle Restaurant

The go-to spot for oildown, curry, and other local specialties. This is a fairly popular tourist spot, but is still definitively a local experience- unlike the more popular and conveniently located BB’s Crabback, which I found to be expensive and lacking in flavor. Patrick’s is anything but a tourist trap, boasting flavorful Caribbean cuisine at reasonable prices. Everything I had here was great, but I’d recommend the goat curry. Just be aware, it includes quite a few bones!

Value
5/5
Experience
5/5

Roger’s Barefoot Beach Bar

I know I already mentioned it earlier, but it warrants another segment. The fish I had at Roger’s Barefoot Beach Bar was grilled to perfection, beating out all the fantastic seafood I had in Roatan– and that is saying something. I brought my hammock and enjoyed the fish while swinging over the Caribbean, and that is an experience it’s hard to put a price on. That being said, the price is hefty compared to other options- you get a lot of food, but it’ll run you around $15 or $20 US. Still, for the experience, it is completely worth going.

Value
3.5/5
Experience
5/5

Aziz Fine Food and Drinks

Right down the road from the West Indies Beer Company and the much more expensive Spice Affair sits Aziz Fine Food and Drinks. A smaller, cozy restaurant featuring gigantic burgers and hearty ribs, Aziz’s spot is a favorite of long-time visitors to the island. Both food and drinks are very affordable, and while it isn’t particularly local cuisine, damn if it’s not delicious. I made my way here repeatedly during my stay, having the pleasure to chat with the amicable owner and namesake. He’s great, and the restaurant is great.

Value
4/5
Experience
4.5/5

La Plywood Beach Bar Cafe

A classic beach bar along the gorgeous Morne Rogue Beach. Offering some basic food fares and beachy drinks, La Plywood provides unpretentious offerings to hungry beachgoers. The drinks are cold, the food is hot, and the conversation often inticing. I made a few friends chatting with some of the locals and fellow tourists that came to this special spot. A bit more secluded than the much more popular Grand Anse down the road, Morne Rogue and La Plywood provide a more secluded Caribbean experience.

Value
4/5
Experience
4.5/5

West Indies Beer Company

Definitely not cheap, but certainly delicious. Sure, there are way more affordable places to grab a drink, but I’m a sucker for a good craft beer. In that standpoint, this place delivers. In addition to a rotating beer selection, the West Indies Beer Company offers great pizzas, burgers, and fish in the afternoon hours. In the mornings, they offer a decent breakfast menu along with nice coffees. The Wi-Fi is reliable and the staff friendly, making this a great option for an hour or two of remote work while you eat breakfast.

Value
4/5
Experience
4.5/5

Assorted Food Stands in Grand Anse

Near the roudabout in Grand Anse, within the same parking lot that hosts Latta & Frank’s Tasty Doubles, sits several awesome food trucks and stands. What are their names? I couldn’t tell you. All I know is that I smelled the sizzling meat from a few streets away and wandered over. My personal favorite was the grilled chicken under a small blue tent. For only about $7 I got two large pieces of grilled chicken and a local beer. Looking for a truly  local culinary experience? Areas like this is where to find it.

Value
4/5
Experience
4.5/5

Things to do in Saint Georges parish, Grenada

Explore Fort George, Fort Frederick, and Fort Matthew

Grenada is home to multiple well-preserved 18th century forts that are excellent for exploring. Three of the best, Fort George, Fort Frederick, and Fort Matthew, are within a few miles of each other right outside of the capital city.

The view from the top of Fort George, overlooking the city on one side and the ocean on the other.

Fort George is accessible by a short walk from the capital city. Large and open to explore, Fort George can easily take an hour or more to go through. Don’t miss the interesting underground paths, but be mindful if you’re on the taller side- the entrance is only about 5 feet high. From the top of the fort you can see for miles over the water, or turn around for one of the best views of Saint George’s.

Saint Georges as seen from the top of Fort George.

The other two great forts, Fort Frederick and Fort Matthew, are a bit further off the beaten path. While I walked to them, I would not recommend doing the same- the roads are narrow and have quite a few blind turns, making it tough to navigate safely. A much safer option is to take a taxi to the top, or to take a bus to the stop right down the road from the forts. If you take the bus, be prepared for a few safe, but very steep, hills to climb to get to the forts. 

As you walk up Richmond Hill to the forts, Fort Matthew will be on your left and Fort Frederick will be a bit further down the road. Fort Matthew is somewhat fun to walk through, but is quite underfunded and… well, sketchy. Graffiti and broken glass framed the decaying fort as I walked past the deserted pay kiosk inside. After 15 minutes, I felt I’d seen everything to see and headed out. For a temporary stop that includes a visit to Fort Frederick, Fort Matthew is worth visiting. As a standalone? Not so much.

Making your way out of Fort Matthew, Fort Frederick is just a few steps further up the hill. This is one of the highest locations in Saint Georges and affords sweeping views across the region. I probably spent an hour strolling around the well-preserved fortifications, taking time to soak it all in. Like Fort George, Fort Frederick offers a cool underground section that is fun to explore.

 

Hike with the Grenada Hash House Harriers

These guys know where to hike, and know how to party. I was fortunate to make it on two hashes during my stay, and wish I could’ve attended a few more. The Grenada Hash House Harriers host a weekly hash every Saturday afternoon throughout Grenada. The two I attended were in Grand Anse Beach for the annual Red Dress Hash, and a hash near La Poterie in Saint Patrick Parish. While kids are welcome and there were certainly plenty of them there, the environment at the after party is, well, just that- a party. The beers are cheap, and it is one of the best ways to enjoy some delicious oil down, a Grenada culinary staple.

The Red Dress Hash, an annual charity event put on by the Grenada Hash House Harriers.

You can check out the upcoming hash on the Grenada HHH website, which includes contact information for the driver, DeMel. DeMel is an awesome resource, bringing you to and from the hash alongside some other hashers that will quickly become your friends. If you want a reminder as hashes come up, you can also sign up for the mailing list on their website.

 

Explore National Parks and Waterfalls

Taking a yellow zone 6 bus to the interior of the country is the easiest- and cheapest- way to get to the best parks Grenada has to offer. Grand Etang National Park, Annandale Waterfalls, and Seven Sisters Waterfalls are all along this route and provide excellent opportunities for hiking and sightseeing. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of monkeys on the trail surrounding Grand Etang Lake.  Seven Sisters Waterfalls is simply stunning, a turquoise cascade into emerald waters. Each of these locations feature hiking trails that are very muddy, but otherwise accessible to most skill levels.

The beautiful Seven Sisters Waterfalls. Wear appropriate footwear- the trek is quite muddy.

If your experience is anything like mine, you will be caked in mud by the time you finish your trek. Make sure to clean off your footwear as best you can before getting in a bus. It is a courtesy, but also a smart decision- drivers are protective of their vehicles, and may reject you if you look like you’re about to mess it up. As I mentioned earlier, make sure to leave plenty of time to catch another bus back to town.

 

Walking to Hog Island and Roger’s Barefoot Beach Bar

If you are in Lance Aux Epines on a Sunday and looking for something to do, or just want to check out an awesome party, Pig Island is the move. Every Sunday around 3pm, the uninhabited Pig Island comes to life with beers, rum punches, barbeque, and the best grilled fish you’ve ever had in your life. The island is accessible by boat, or through a 7 mile out and back hike through the secluded Grenada dove sanctuary. Obviously, I’d suggest the latter.

Taking off from Lance Aux Epines beach, Pig Island is about a 3.5 mile walk through the woods and over a bridge. While the walk through the high-end neighborhood of Lance Aux Epines is certainly safe, starting on the secluded path can feel a bit spooky. I went alone, which is something I would highly advise others not to do, but went early and returned before sunset. On my walk, I passed a few friendly locals and two SUVs parking at the end of the dirt road to finish the walk to the island.

The path was gorgeous, and the only issue I ran into was some guard dogs at a property about a third of the way to the island. Coming up on a strange compound surrounded by tall metal fencing, I was accosted by two barking dogs. My trip to Aruba was chock full of semi-aggressive stray dogs, so I knew how to handle this situation- calmly, working to make space between me and the dogs while still moving forward along the path. If you run into these dogs, just remain calm and you’ll be fine.

The view from Hog Island, looking back at Lance Aux Epines.

 

Snorkel at Flamingo Bay and the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park