Grenada’s small size makes it possible to explore the entire island in one visit, although there are definitely some places where you will want to stop and stay a while. The north coast in particular is a treasure–light on tourists and abundant in breathtaking scenery, cultural sites, and charm.
Many do not know that Grenada is actually a tri-island state, comprised of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Grenada is considered the mainland as it is the biggest geographically of the three islands and holds the largest population of around 90,000. It is 312 sq km and has 121 km of coastline.
Unlike Trinidad and Tobago, islands once connected to South America by a land bridge, Grenada developed isolated from the mainland. Here volcanic thrusts lifted land out of a shallow sea. Islands formed, and plants and animals (including people), those that could make the hop or float from the mainland and adjacent islands, took root.
Grenada supports a wide diversity of forest types, including rainforest, deciduous forest and dry woodlands, and mangrove forest. Like many Caribbean islands, Grenada was cleared of most of its forests to make way for sugarcane cultivation. Other crops were introduced in 1782, like nutmeg and cacao, encouraging the development of smaller landholdings and giving rise to Grenada’s current identity as the “Spice Island.”
Over 160 species of birds have been recorded from Grenada, with resident landbirds represented by just 35 species. The remainder is comprised of Neotropical migrants, waterbirds and seabirds. There are seven Lesser Antilles endemic bird area restricted-range species, which include the Grenada Dove and the Grenada Hook-billed Kite, both endemic to Grenada. Others include the Grenada Flycatcher, the Lesser Antillean Tanager and the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.
Little has been documented concerning the status and distribution of Grenada’s breeding and non-breeding seabirds (or waterbirds and migrants). However, some of the unpopulated islets between Grenada and Carriacou are important areas for breeding seabirds, particularly the Red-footed Booby and the Brown Booby. Also observed are the Roseate Tern, Bridled tern and Sooty Tern.