Guide to Carriacou.
This isle of reefs is the most southern of the Grenadine Islands.
The Windwards are at the southern end of the Caribbean island arc.
Largest islands in this region are Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada.
Between St. Vincent and Grenada are the beautiful Grenadines and the Tobago Cays.
These are a chain of smaller islands, some no bigger than a sand cay with a couple of palm trees.
Carriacou is the most southern of this Grenadines island chain.
It is a favorite stopover for sailboats travelling the Caribbean.
One of the great anchorages in the Grenadines is Tyrell bay this is for most a last stop before entering the Tobago Cays.
Picture gallery of Carriacou.
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You will find the island attractive for the lack of tourist traps, with a friendly population.
Picture perfect beaches and ideal conditions for hiking around the island.
Discover the best beaches of Carriacou, diving and sailing in the Grenadines.
Cheap holidays and 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.
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.
Carriacou and Petit Martinique are part of Grenada.
PM – Carriacou and Grenada together form a country in the Grenadines.
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.
Guide to the country Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
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.
The largest island of the country is Grenada, 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.
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 on Carriacou 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.
Once you get used to the relaxed pace and island vibes it will be hard to leave again.
You will 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.
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.
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 stay a few more days on the island of reefs.
Local Life on Carriacou.
Meet the people who live on the island.
- Life on the island is typical for the social life in small , enclosed comunities.
The people from Carriacou are referred to as Kajaks , or sometimes written as
Even the busiest street on the Island is calm and relaxed, on the picture right you see Hillsborough on Carriacou.
each others names, here everybody knows everybody, and many people are somehow
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.
The society on Carriacou.
- 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.
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…
Places to visit.
Paradise Beach on L’Esterre bay.
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.
Another fine beach is Anse La Roche.
Anse La Roche 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.
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
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.
Transportation by boat.
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.
National park of Carriacou.
In Belair National Park you will find French and English 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.
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.
L’Esterre and Paradise Beach.
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.
Windward side of Carriacou.
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.
Harveyvale – boat anchorages.
In Tyrell Bay you can visit the Oyster Beds.
- 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 Kido Ecological Station is an Eco-tourism project.
Turtle and whale watching can be arranged. Call: 443-7936.
Sailing in the Grenadines.
- 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.
Map of Carriacou with on the top left Union Island.
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.