domain of supremely fertile forests and fields, of soft breezes
perfumed with frangipani and nutmeg, of sheltered beaches white
as new satin, Grenada is a modern-day Garden of Eden. Many foreigners
associate the island with strife - namely, the 1983 U.S. invasion
- but life here in the last decade has regained the sweetly confident,
welcoming air of centuries past, and if political debate on the
matter continues, it does so in a moderate tone.
Grenada (Gre-NAY-da), hospitality comes in all flavors - from the
growing bevy of luxury hotels on Grande Anse Beach (a two-mile stretch
of sunstruck perfection) to comely gingerbread inns with romantic
views and such genteel forms of recreation as croquet and billiards.
Tennis and many aquasports are widely available, though golf and
gambling are not. St. George's, the capital, has earned virtually
unananimous praise as one of the Caribbean's most handsome harbor
town. Tucked in a lush volcanic valley, it appears from the water
as a crazy-quilt of orange-tiled roofs fronted by a dockside parade
of elegant yachts. Grenada is, in fact, a sailing and boatbuilding
mecca; its gorgeous profile and sheltered west coast attract wealthy
sailors from all over the globe. (If honeymooning clients yearn
for an intimate chartered cruise, this island may be the perfect
a member of the British commonwealth, is one of the world's top
spice growers; cinnamon, mace, allspice, cocoa, vanilla, and nutmeg
fill the lowland fields that give way to the richly jungled mountains
of the interior. Perhaps because of all that fertility - with a
nod to the island's early French heritage - local chefs serve up
an exceptionally fresh and lively version of West Indies cuisine,
from callaloo to grilled armadillo. The pervasive greenery also
makes Grenada an attractive destination for travelers who want a
sampling of tropical nature without having to negotiate the daunting
outback of Jamaica or Dominica. In the Grand Etang Forest Reserve,
gentle trails wend their way among mammoth mahogany trees and cascading
waterfalls - all just a short drive from the coast (on the left
side of the road, of course).
you want scenic seclusion, you might try Carriacou, one of
Grenada's two tiny northern outposts. Here, native-built sloops
drift serenely past luminous beaches, where guests sip the local
(and lethal) "jackiron" potion, read, snooze, and sizzle.
is not as easily reached as other islands - from the U.S., one must
usually fly via Trinidad - but its natural beauties and manmade
luxuries more than make up for the trip.