Tiny in comparison to its Caribbean neighbors, the island of Grenada covers an area of only 133 square miles. But what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in beauty, personality and endless adventure. The terrain is absolutely stunning and perfect for outdoor enthusiasts to hike, bike, sail, dive and explore to their heart's content.
Or, simply while away the day relaxing on some of the world's most breathtaking beaches. The people are friendly, the dining divine and the atmosphere is electric.
There are just a few things to take into consideration prior to a trip to this island paradise to ensure it is a safe and memorable one.
Perhaps a reflection of the island's small, tight-knit community, crime in Grenada is not a huge problem. Most incidents are petty in nature with opportunistic thieves targeting tourists for pickpocketing, purse snatching and muggings. Popular items to steal include credit cards, cameras, jewelry, money and passports.
Thieves often hang around in touristy areas like outside hotels and near restaurants and beaches. Take appropriate precautions to avoid being targeted keep valuables well concealed and remain aware of your surroundings at all times.
Crime rates increase after dark, so use particular care at night and avoid wandering around alone. Additionally, if you plan on using public transportation such as buses or taxis, you may want to first inquire whether the driver is a member of the Grenada Taxi Association (GTA), as membership requires further training and passing additional driving tests. GTA members are also typically more reliable and quite knowledgeable about the local attractions. As such, it is recommended that you only hire from reputable companies (preferably from your hotel or a restaurant) rather than just hailing a taxi on the street.
The good news is, local venders (particularly in the St. George's market square and the Grand Anse area) have begun to work together as a team to help prevent criminal activity. They have essentially formed their own neighbourhood watch and work together to employ security in the area. As a result, these places have become much safer to visit.
There are thankfully few unusual local laws to have to worry about during your visit, but there are a couple worth mentioning. First, it is considered highly offensive for anyone to dress in camouflage clothing, including children so leave the fatigues at home.
Also, in Grenada certain homosexual acts are considered illegal so if that is your forte, be discreet.
Driving in Grenada can be a bit challenging with less than perfect road conditions and steep, windy passageways. The fact that the "relaxed" island attitude also translates to the attention to and enforcement of road rules also makes for some interesting experiences. Use particular care when approaching traffic lights, intersections and pedestrian crossings, even if you feel you have the right of way as the others you are sharing the road with may feel the same way. When it doubt, yield and let others go ahead.
Many of the roads in Grenada are in poor condition. Potholes and open drains are everywhere and can mean disaster to your tires and vehicle so pay close attention.
Some recommend the use of four wheel drive vehicles, particularly in the more rural areas of the country since they are easier to handle on steep and rugged terrain.
If you decide to use public transportation like buses, be sure to use only designated bus stops. Standing anywhere else and attempting to catch a bus by flagging one down is frowned upon as it has caused many dangerous accidents, especially on busy roads.
Whether it's rest and relaxation or wild outdoor adventure you seek, the beautiful island of Grenada as the perfect destination. Breathtaking terrain, welcoming locals and delicious cuisine make a visit here akin to a trip to a tropical paradise.
Preparing ahead of time will help you avoid becoming the victim of local crime and help you to stay safe during your stay so that you can focus on having the trip of a lifetime!
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