(A little bit) about Carriacou



Fast Facts:
Language: English (With each other, a local Patois is used.)
Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (or EC dollar) which is pegged to the US dollar. To convert most world currencies, click €£¥$ (It opens in a pop-up window.)
Banks: There are two in town - Republic Bank and Grenada Cooperative.
Shots:  None required.
Visa: Issued upon arrival.
Driving: On the left. Requires a temporary permit issued at local Police Station. Bring your driver’s license to apply. The cost is EC$60 for 90 days.
Additional Caribbean links: click here

Where is Carriacou?
    This is the first question we get asked.  Here’s the stats (you can also click on the map):  850 miles -12.5° north of the equator, 23 miles north of Grenada, and just 90 miles north of Venezuela  (see “Things to do”).

    Carriacou is also the southernmost of the Grenadines, a string of nearly 200 islands (some only tennis court size) between St. Vincent and Grenada. While some of Carriacou’s sister islands (Bequia, Palm Island, Mustique, and PSV) earned tony reputations years ago as playgrounds for the yachting crowd, Carriacou’s always been a quiet, less touristy place for those who truly want to get away from it all. (Although Oprah Winfrey was spotted here.)

What’s there to do?
    On Carriacou, you’ll find NO casinos, discos or boutiques. What you will find are delightfully creative eateries cooking up dishes with fresh local ingredients,  great beaches, great hiking, beautiful views and, for all you divers, (pardon the expression) breath-taking reefs.

    Which brings us to the island’s name. As every guidebook will tell you, “Carriacou” is Amerindian for “land of reefs.” No surprise then that it attracts divers from around the world. An extra special diving attraction is an active underwater volcano.

What about beaches?
    Ringing much of the island (there’s even a beach in town), beaches are picture post-card perfect. One of them, Sandy Island, even made it to the cover of Germany’s prestigious GEO magazine which rated it “one of ten best places in the Caribbean.”

When’s it best to go there?
    Anytime. While the temperatures are the same year round (nighttime lows around  78°F/25°C and daytime highs about 86°F/30°C), there are two distinct seasons: a “dry season,” generally from December 15 through May 15, and a “rainy season,” from June 1  through November 30. But these terms overstate the case. Even during the rainy season, the sun shines 80% of the time, enough to give you a good sunburn. Like a tropical car wash, the rains are heavy and short, sweeping over the island and gone after just 10 or 15 minutes. Also, most of the showers are at night.

Who owns Carriacou?
    No, it’s not part of the ABC’s. (It’s often confused with Curaçao.) Carriacou is politically and economically part of the three island nation of Grenada, Carriacou & Petit Martinique. The size of Key West or Manhattan, just 5000 people live here.

What about its history?
    Like most Caribbean islands, Grenada and its sister islands have been tossed back and forth between the Spanish (they named it after their Granada), and then the French and the British. For web visitors with an anthropological or academic bent, the island is famous for its Big Drum Dance which has been virtually unchanged from its original 18th Century African form. To see it, you have to be lucky ... or invited to some special local occasion. Another local tradition is the Tombstone Feast, a giant “block party.” On another historical note, Malcolm X's mother was Grenadian and the "X" was his response to slave names. A short explanation can be seen here.

Picture Gallery
(click to enlarge)

Caribbean Satellite Map The Weather Today incl.  
radar:  barbados

for more on boat building on Carriacou click here

C'couans are just nice


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