The World: Grenada
Northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada is a country made up of three islands, including Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and is touted as the spice of the Caribbean for good reason. More spices are harvested per square mile here than anywhere else.
Considered an aphrodisiac by islanders, nutmeg is the most abundant, with tiny Grenada ranking second only to Indonesia in exports, followed closely by its twin spice, mace. Nutmeg is sprinkled on everything from chicken to rum punch to oildown (Grenada’s national dish, a stewlike concoction of dumplings, breadfruit and other zesty ingredients).
In the mountainous capital of St. George’s on the main island of Grenada, the market is a potpourri of activity and the place to meet locals. Fragrant spice necklaces, nutmeg syrup, cinnamon, tonka beans, cocoa, turmeric, cloves and ginger abound. Organic dark chocolate from the Grenada Chocolate Company is a must-have for chocoholics. Zip across the harbour, which was created by a volcano and considered one of the prettiest in the Caribbean, to The Nutmeg for lunch, a casual spot to relax, or “lime” as the friendly locals call hanging out. Visit authentic plantations to learn about the origins of your favourite spices.
On the way to the Dougladston Spice Estate and Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station, the island’s largest nutmeg-processing facility, you’ll drive by patches of a spinachlike, leafy green vegetable known locally as callalo, pimento trees (the source of allspice) and plenty of banana trees. Wrap up your day of sugar and spice with dinner at the Calabash Hotel & Villas, home of the first Rhodes Restaurant, namesake of the famed chef Gary Rhodes, outside the U.K. Enjoy dishes made with local produce and, of course, spices.
Give your taste buds a break. Spot one of the world’s most critically endangered birds on a Grenada Dove expedition and eco-tour with Anthony Jeremiah. Spend an afternoon with Mandoo Tours to glimpse wild monkeys at Grand Etang National Park, or venture into the tropical rainforest to see the Seven Sisters Falls.
Hike through a private plantation of cocoa, nutmeg and banana trees before arriving at the foot of the seven falls, where swimming is permitted. Honeymoon Falls is close by but difficult to find. By now, your body will be begging for a spa treatment at LaSource beach resort. (Bonus: Day passes are offered to cruise passengers.)
Set sail on a 90-minute catamaran cruise to the beautiful sister island of Carriacou, “Land of the Reefs,” and spend the day. Explore the island’s traditional wooden-boat-building culture and the Carriacou Museum, tour the remains of a historic lime factory at Craigston Estate or while away the hours snorkelling at Sandy Island. Squeeze in some smoked lobster at the Green Roof Inn restaurant before returning to St. George’s on the Osprey Express’s 3:30 departure.