Carriacou in the Grenadines

In front of Paradise beach is sandy island.

Sandy Island – Carriacou.

Guide to Carriacou, discover the best beaches, diving and sailing in the Grenadines.
Cheap holidays, safe Caribbean vibes.
Quiet beaches and cristal clear waters.

Where can you find the diving operators and divesites around the island?
Find the best tour guides for tourism and discover the optional activities in the Grenadines.
Information about flights and the ferry between Grenada and Carriacou.

To rent a car on Carriacou you will need a temporary driving licence.
This will be issued by the traffic police on the basis of your home country driving licence.
It costs EC$30.00 to obtain the temporary license.

On Tripadvisor you can read a small list of activities which you can undertake on the island.
Grenada is a lot larger with many natural parks and waterfalls.

Carriacou and Petit Martinique are part of Grenada, a country in the Grenadines.

Saint Vincent is the most northern of the Grenadines and Carriacou is the most southern of the chain.
The Tobago Cays are a few miles north of Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
These islands are a world famous location for sailing, kite and windsurfing.
Check the weather map with wind conditions in the Grenadines and precicipations for today.

Paradise Beach - Carriacou - Off the hook.

Off the hook – beach bar and restaurant on Paradise Beach – Carriacou.

Guide to the country Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
Discover the best diving and sailing in the Grenadines.
Cheap holidays, homestays with hospitality, islands with safe Caribbean vibes.
The Grenadines are a chain of islands in the southern Caribbean.
These islands are a part of what is called ”The West Indies”.

Grenada is a small southern Caribbean country.

Grenada is the largest island of the country, Carriacou is a lot smaller and its neigbouring island Petit Martinique is an even more minute piece of land.
All three these islands are relative undiscovered by mass tourism.
Most visitors arrive on Grenada with a cruiseship, the largest amount of tourists tends to stay around Grand Anse beach on Grenada.

Only few foreigners make it to the somewhat remote islands Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
That is exactly what makes these islands so attractive for backpackers and the more adventurous tourists.

A typical scenario for visitors to Carriacou.

Tourists on Grenada hear about the other islands and decide to go on a discovery trip of a few days.
The medium length of stay is around four days.
That is more then enough to see most of island but for many visitors a few days is not long enough.
You get caught with the relaxed atmosphere, you have a few drinks with locals in a rumshop.
This is the true Caribbean, like the more known islands were before tourism arrived.
Relax – Chill – Irie Vibes.
That is when you cannot wait till you return.

The best of both worlds.

Grenada is a lot larger, there is more to see and do on the mother island.
On Grenada there is more nightlife, a better variety in restaurants and better shopping.
No wonder that many Kajaks, as the people from Carriacou are called, visit Grenada on a regular basis.

Because all international flights arrive on Grenada you get to see both islands.
That is why most visitors of Carriacou use Grenada as a minivacation.
Arrive by plane on Grenada and stay a day or two.
Then take the ferry or a flight to Carriacou, to stay a few more days on the island of reefs.

Local Life on Carriacou.

Meet the people who live on the island.

Hillsborough Carriacou.

The busiest street on the Island is calm and relaxed, Hillsborough on Carriacou.

  • Life on Carriacou is typical for the social life in small , enclosed comunities.
    The people from Carriacou are referred to as Kajaks , or sometimes written as
    Kayaks.
  • Unlike the big cities where people can be neighbours for years and not even know
    each others names, here everybody knows everybody, and many people are somehow
    related.
    This results in a safe environment where social control is still quite strong.
    When someone forgets his umbrella in one of the minibuses , the next day someone passes by to return it to the owner.
    When shoppings have been done, the bus driver stops at the supermarket to help people loading their shopping bags.
    Just plain, uncomplicated human behaviour which is unfortunately so often lost in modern society.
  • Culture on Carriacou is rich in it’s inheritance of various origins.
    Due to the relative isolation of Carriacou the old customs have been well preserved.
  • Perhaps you get lucky and are invited to a wedding or a tombstone when strolling about in Carriacou, both are subjects to big gatherings where people stop by to show their respect, have a drink.
    Maybe try a rum punch and taste what’s cooking, or simply to have a chat with other villagers or locals flown in from abroad for the occasion.
  • On Sunday’s there are many church-services to choose from in a great variety of church societies- From Catholic mass to a spiritual and African inspired Baptist service.
    You will be warmly welcomed by the congregations.
    The joy in the spirituality, the singing, handclapping and tambourines are a beautiful example of spirittuality that even convinced atheists can appreciate.
    The church congregations here can give you a completely new perspective of what religion is really about.
  • People from Carriacou are happy to meet you, and a glass of rumpunch usually gets great conversations going.
    Unlike many other destinations where people are fedup with tourists coming and going, here they are genuinly interested in getting to know you, the country where you are from. Kayaks are anxious to know about other places without relying on what they see on television.
    It’s the first hand information that they want to know, and you are the one to reveal that information.
  • The local people are ofcourse your best source of information about the island.
    Want to plan a trip for the next day?
    Just mention what you plan doing, and for sure you will get loads of advise
    and ideas, probably someone has a cousin or an uncle that can bring you to your
    destination for a reasonable price.
    Be it by car , taxi or by boat, transport is always easy arranged on Carriacou .
  • Go on the bay one early morning to meet the local fishermen coming in and the
    villagers going for their morning swim.
    If you hear the conkshell blowing hurry to the beach, then there is fresh fish on sale…

Paradise Beach on L’Esterre bay.

Paradise beach – L’Esterre Bay is a peaceful beach with beautiful calm seas.
It is one of the best beaches in Carriacou.
There are three bars on the shoreline.
Ideal for strolling along the shoreline and stopping by at each bar for a drink to cool down.
Hardwoods , Bananajoe and Off The Hook are the places to be for liming, the caribbean expression for a chat and drink.
Sometimes one or two other bars open at the beach.

At Hardwoods and Off the Hook you can get good meals on the beach.

  • Another fine beach is Anse La Roche.
    This beach is very good for snorkling on the left and the right of the bay.
    Unless you don’t mind a little bit of walking, the easiest way to get to Anse La Roche is by boat.
    Arrange with some fellow tourists for a mutual trip there by boat, it will turn out very economical that way, and you will be able to bring some drinks and food with you for a lazy afternoon on a perfect caribbean beach.
  • Go for a scenic tour of the island and stop at Belair to get the most breathtaking view of the entire island with its expanse of water and islets.
  • Take a trip to Petit Martinique and visit the mud-hut museum.
    Return and relax on the many white sandy beaches and be sure to bring your gear to go snorkelling among the reefs.
  • Go for a trip to White Island to enjoy the marvellous water and snorkelling. White Island has no construction and no facilities, which gives you that special Caribbean feeling.
    Have a Caribbean siesta on white island and wake up after dreaming of pirates.
    There are many places around white island for snorkling and diving in extremely clear
    waters.
    Depending on waves and currents one side of the island can be better then the other, so it’s allways wise to return here to see what you couldn’t see before.
    Talk to the locals (probably the boat driver who takes you there) about where to go snorkeling.
  • Visit Mabouya in front of Paradise Beach to experience a completely untouched islet.
    Bring your fishing gear, this is where the locals go spearfishing .
    If you go hiking and climbing on Mabouya in the afternoon, you should bring plenty insect repellant, since at sunset the mosquitos get quite hungry on Mabouya.
    During the rest of the day you are fine and will not get bitten. (Unless you drink jack iron rum , and there’s an alcoholic mozzie on Mabouya).
    There are still plenty Iguanas on this Island.
    They are protected now, and if you are lucky you can spot some of these beautiful prehistoric creatures.
  • Take a water taxi, and let the boat driver entertain you with his knowledge while you enjoy the coastline.
    Often you will see Fishermen returning in the morning from a succesful catch of barracuda, shark or kingfish.
    Get up some day early in the morning and join them on a fishing trip.
    The same evening you will eat your own catch.
  • Have a wonderful afternoon on Sandy Island, and feel like Robinson Crusoe.
    Take a cooler and your snorkels, have a swim in the lagoon .
    An unforgettable experience!
    Sandy Island was used in various tv spots and magazines for its beautiful white beaches.
    The Microsoft company spent more then a week there for a commercial ad.
    Only five minutes by boat from Paradise Beach, this is the most beloved excursion on Carriacou for tourists and Kayaks alike.
  • In Belair National Park you will find French andEnglish ruins, along with pristine windmills that attest to Carriaocou’s industrial past.
    It is also the venue for the Maroon Festival and the Heritage Village.
    Do not miss the breathtaking scenery from the Princess Royal Hospital.
    Hospital hill gives you a view of the part of the island with Hillsborough on the foreground , then L’Esterre , Paradise Beach and finally on the horizon you can see Crossroads.
    Tyrell bay is hidden from the view by sugar hill.
  • In Hillsborough you’ll find The Botanical Gardens, the best place to view the many displays of tropical plants, flowers and trees.
    Allso in Hillsborough you will find a small museum with some precolombian pottery and archeological finds from carriacou.
    Even though it is definitely not a huge museum, it is still well worth a visit.
    The people who run it are very friendly and allways happy to give you some extra background information.
  • In L’Esterre you can visit the exhibition about Canute Calliste in the art Gallery, Canute was the island’s most famous artist.
    He is known to have completed sixteen paintings in one day…
  • Spend some time on Paradise Beach and walk towards Crossroads where you could have a delicious icecream in the tyreshop !
    The first time that I’ve seen the combination of selling tyres and icecreams, on Carriacou
    there’s not a big market for either, so the combination of various types of trade is not an uncommon thing at all.
  • In the Dover ruins you’ll find the site of the first church in Carriacou
  • Visit the Anglican Rectory Garden at Sea View, formerly known as the Old Beausejour Great House.
    This site has the most amazing variety of cactus, coupled with a lot of history.
  • The Nautical Museum and Boat Building Academy is well established.
    A fifteen-minute boat ride from this point will take you to Petite Martinique.
    The Boat Building legacy was brought to Windward and Carriacou in the early 19th century by the Scots and is still the pride and joy of the people in the village.
  • In Tyrell Bay you can visit the Oyster Beds.
  • The Kido Ecological Station is an Eco-tourism project.
    Turtle and whale watching can be arranged. Call: 443-7936.
Tyrell Bay oyster beds.

Oyster beds between the mangroves of Tyrell Bay with on the left Harveyvale.

  • In Harvey Vale (the village where the moorings and the yachtclub is) you can enjoy the healing amerindian well, only 40 ft away from the sea.
    This source of natural mineral water can do a lot for your health.
  • In Dumfries you find the ruins of Dumfries, and 200 years of fascinating history. The area is earmarked for Heritage Tourism
  • The Caribbean is renown for the fantastic sailing that can be done between those islands, and the Grenadines are amongst the most ideal for Sailing from island to island because of their vicinity.
    Once you are here, if you like being at sea, it is welll worth chartering a boat to visit some other islands.
  • The Tobago Cays are very close to Carriacou, so a trip there should not be to expensive.

Carriacou with on the top left Union Island.
Above Union on the right are the Tobago Cays.
The larger island right of Carriacou is Petit Martinique.
Not visible but close to P.M. is Petit Saint Vincent, PSV is a private resort.

Carriacou Union Island and Tobago Cays.

Top-right are Petite Martinique and PSV.