Travel in Grenada - Health concerns & natural hazards to watch out for

If it's an authentic tropical island experience you're after, a visit to Grenada offers the perfect solution. Colorful people welcome you to their charming island home, where you have the option to relax and unwind, participate in exciting outdoor adventure or perhaps enjoy a little of both.

Discover a land of breathtaking beauty, from enticing beaches to an underwater paradise, from intriguing history to delectable cuisine, there's something for everyone on this true Caribbean gem. But before you head over there are a few things to consider with regard to health and natural hazards on the island.

Health

Dengue fever is common across the Caribbean and outbreaks may occur at any point throughout the year. Dengue is an insect borne illness that is typically contracted through bites from infected mosquitos.

To avoid contracting this nasty and dangerous disease you should always wear a quality insect repellent and if you plan on trekking off the beaten path, be sure to wear long sleeved shirts, pants and closed-toed shoes to prevent exposure.

The drinking water in Grenada is safe to drink for the most part, since it is chlorinated. However, during and after periods of heavy rain the quality control of the water is sometimes lacking.

This is particularly true in the city of St. George's. You're safest bet is to stick with bottled water, regardless of the weather during your stay, to avoid any unpleasant bouts with the stomach bug. Bottled water is available just about everywhere throughout the country and it's pretty cheap so why take the chance?

Finally, for those who like to partake in an adult beverage from time to time, beware of local bars that offer something called a "pain killer" cocktail. These nasty concoctions have become somewhat famous in Grenada but you should note that they are often prepared with a homemade rum that has an extremely high alcohol content as well as a few "under the counter" ingredients. You could find yourself very ill or worse so you're better off passing on this drink.

Natural Hazards

Grenada's size and location, it's no surprise that tropical storms and hurricanes can be a problem. Hurricane season runs from June through November and these storms may bring with them heavy winds and torrential rains, which can result in beaches being closed to swimming and serious flooding in some of the low lying areas such as parts of St. George's and Hillsborough. Plan your trip accordingly.

One of Grenada's biggest industries is spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, mace and nutmeg. The quality is unmatched. Keep in mind, however, that there are counterfeits out there that may contain unknown ingredients so if you plan on purchasing some spices to bring home with you, be sure they are properly packaged.

If anything appears to have been tampered with, don't take any chances – discard it. Also, be sure to check with the quarantine department in your country to see if you can bring food material like spices back home.

Lastly, one particular natural hazard to watch for is the Manchineel tree. These deadly plants grow along the shoreline and give the false appearance of being a lovely provider of shade from the hot Caribbean sun or an unexpected rain shower.

Don't be fooled! Just about every part of the Manchineel tree is highly poisonous because it contains a toxin called tigliane phorbol esters. Any contact with the skin can cause blistering, burns, erythema, swelling, and inflammation. The sap of the tree can even cause blindness.

If the apple-like fruit of the tree is ingested, it will cause burning and swelling of the mouth and throat, making it almost impossible to swallow, difficult to talk, and hard to breathe. It can even be fatal. If you see one of these deadly trees, steer clear.

Perfectly nestled within the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, the country of Grenada provides some of the most authentic island experiences in the world. From alluring sun-kissed beaches to warm, welcoming people, a laid back atmosphere and fantastic terrain just waiting to be discovered, its size may be small but its personality is enormous.

These tips will help you to stay healthy and safe as you explore this beautiful tropical paradise.

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