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Grenada and Curacao are polar opposites when it comes to Caribbean islands.

Fondly known as the isle of Spice, Grenada was a previously a British Colony and this is reflected in its culture today.

Contrastingly, Curacao was a Dutch colony and its influence is still seen currently especially in the architecture of the city.

Diving further into Grenada’s history, the island was a French colony until 1762.

The French influence on the island can be felt even today when it comes to the names of the villages and towns on the island.

Examples of the names of French places in Grenada include Morne Jaloux, Gouyave and Sauteurs.

While Dutch is the official language of Curacao, English is widely spoken on the island.

As a general rule, Grenada is better for travelers who are interested in West Indian cuisine, chocolate, amazing beaches, freshwater lakes and tranquility. Alternatively, Curacao is ideal for visitors who are interested in white sand beaches, diving, hiking and bustling nightlife atmosphere.

Read on for further details and explanations on how these two beautiful Caribbean Islands compare. This article was written by a Caribbean National who is extremely familiar with both islands.

Grenada Vs Curacao: How Does The Size & Landscape Differ

Curacao is the larger of the two islands being 171 square miles. In terms of topography the island is flat and desert-like in appearance.

Alternatively, the island of Grenada is smaller and covers 133 square miles. Grenada is hilly, mountainous and lush in appearance.

The state of Grenada comprises of three islands.

The largest island being also called Grenada and two other smaller islands bearing the names Carriacou and Petite Martinique respectively. Curacao is a single island state.

Grenada being the more mountainous of the two islands has the higher point of elevation which is Mount Saint Catherine at 2,757 feet. On the other hand, Mt Christoffel in Curacao is 1,220 ft.

Visitors may find Curacao’s flat terrain easier to navigate than the curvy and winding roads in Grenada.   

Grenada Vs Curacao ( Which Island Is Better For A Vacation)                                                                                                                           

Grenada Vs Curacao: How Does The Currency Differ

The official currency of both of these islands differs. The official currency of Curacao is the Netherland Antillean Guilders or Florins.

The Netherland Antillean Guilder is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of USD $1 to $1.79 ANG.

This currency is also used by St Maarten and there is a Central bank for Curacao and St Maarten responsible for managing the stability of the currency.

The local currency is available in bank notes and coins.

Bank notes are available in $10, $25, $50, $100 Guilders. Coins are available $1 Guilder, $5 Guilders, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents pieces.

Contrastingly, the official currency of Grenada is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) which has been pegged to the US (United States) dollar since July 7th, 1976 at a rate of USD $1 to XCD $2.70.

This currency is also shared by seven other Eastern Caribbean islands and is managed through a regional central bank which is based in St Kitts.

The Eastern Caribbean currency has bank notes as well as coins. Bank notes are available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. 

Coins are available in 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, $1 and $2 denominations.  Coins in 1 cents and 2 cents pieces were recently discontinued.

Grenada Vs Curacao: Which Island Has Greater Threat of Hurricanes

Geographically, both islands are located outside of the hurricane belt. However, Grenada based on historical trends is more at risk of experiencing a hurricane than Curacao.

The last dangerous hurricane to hit Grenada was hurricane Ivan in 2004.

In an article published on September 23rd, 2009, World Bank.Org confirmed that the category three storm caused devastation to the tune of over USD$900 million more than twice the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

World Bank. Org also concluded that the hurricane damaged over 80% of the country’s building structures; only two of the 75 public schools remained intact.

Approximately 80% of the power distribution grid was lost and nearly 70% of the tourism infrastructure was deemed uninhabitable.

The agriculture sector was also severely damaged with widespread devastation to the nutmeg crop. It takes seven to ten years for a nutmeg tree to start producing fruit.

Grenada Vs Curacao: Which Island Has Better Beaches

Both islands have fantastic beaches. Grand Anse Beach is an award winning beach located in the Southern end of Grenada.

Additionally, Grand Anse Beach is also the beach nearest to the cruise port.

There are several high end hotels on this beach such as Spice Island Beach Resort, Allamanda Beach Resort and Coyaba Beach Resort.

The beach has many almond trees and sea grapes.

The area of the beach near the Catholic Church tends to be the calmest while the area on the other extreme end tends to be much rougher.

This beach is a 2 mile stretch of white sand beach and there are life guards stationed there for your safety.

In Curacao, the beaches have white sand and the water is blue.

If you will like to swim with sea turtles, Playa piskado which translates to fisherman’s beach is the spot to visit. In addition, you can swim with dolphins at Jan Thiel beach.

If you are visiting Curacao on a cruise ship, then Mambo beach is one of the favorite of cruise passengers.

Grenada Vs Curacao ( Which Island Is Better For a Vacation)

Grenada Vs Curacao: Which Island Has Better Nightlife

Curacao has the better nightlife of the two islands. Curacao has a fantastic choice of night life and as a result many expats enjoy living on the island.

There are many restaurants and casinos that visitors and locals on the island enjoy such as Mambo Beach Boulevard for restaurants and beach clubs.

Another favorite of visitors and locals alike is St Tropez.

Pace of life is much slower in Grenada with a more limited selection of restaurants.

There is a bowling alley, Lavo Lanes that opened a few years ago in Grenada on Maurice Bishop Highway that locals and foreigners enjoy.

Grenada Vs Curacao: Which Has The Better Cuisine

Both islands have uniqueness in its cuisine. The national dish of Grenada is oildown which is a must try if you visit Grenada.

Breadfruit is the star ingredient which is cooked with local provision, callaloo and different types of meat such as salt fish, chicken and salt meat.

Tumeric and curry powder is used to give the dish its yellow colour. Oildown is all cooked in one pot with coconut milk being the mixture that it is cooked in.

Contrastingly, if your food preferences are more around finger foods and snacks, then Curacao may be your preferred destination.

The Dutch snacks and finger foods are unique to the Dutch Caribbean and you would not find these in the Eastern Caribbean islands.

Frikandel and bitterballen are two Dutch snacks that you should try in Curacao.

Due to the weather, Grenada tends to have a variety of fresh fruit juices as there are more fruit trees than Curacao which is arid.

As a result, juices are available based on what is in season at the time of the year.

Alternatively, in Curacao the main and popular fruit drink is Awa di lamunchi.

This is a local Antillean drink made with lime that is served in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. This drink is not served in Dutch St Maarten.

Grenada Vs Curacao- What Are The Unique Things To Do

Unique Things To Do In Grenada

Dive The Underwater Sculpture Park– this one of a kind sculpture park was constructed in 2006 and is located in Molinere in Grenada. 

The British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor is the creator of the park. It is about 5-8 metres deep and is accessible by scuba diving, snorkeling and glass bottom boats.

Visit Lakes- If you enjoy visiting lakes and looking at various animals around that ecosystem then Grenada is the right place for you.

The most popular lake on the island is Grand Etang Lake which is the crater of an extinct volcano.

This lake is approximately 1740 feet above sea level. The serene environment makes it an ideal spot for yoga retreats and picnic gatherings.

Eat Chocolate- If you love chocolate, then Grenada is the destination for you.

Home to six producers of fine local chocolate, these factories in some instances grow their own cocoa and process it into chocolate bars.

Some of these bars are infused with various flavors such as nutmeg, turmeric, cinnamon, mace, bee pollen, sea salt and ginger.

In addition, there is a lovely shop nestled in the heart of St George, the capital city called House of Chocolate where you can buy a wide range of chocolate and chocolate flavored products such as tea, cakes and ice-cream.

These café is a perfect stop to rest for both kids and adults in the city.

Unique Things To Do In Curacao

Visit Christoffel National Park– if you love nature, then this park is a must visit on the island. There are several species of flora and fauna at the park as well as birds.

There are eight hiking trails which you can explore as well as the Savonet Museum is located at park where you can learn more about the history of Curacao.

Explore Klein Curacao- this is a small island 15 miles from the mainland where you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in some of the clearest waters on the island.

While over in Klein Curacao, do not forget to visit the pink lighthouse and dive into the history of the island.

Final Thoughts

On a whole, Grenada is an ideal choice for a traveler who wants to enjoy authentic West Indian cuisine, freshwater lakes, excellent beaches and a slower pace of life. Alternatively, Curacao is an exceptional choice for visitors whose priority is enjoying the beach, snorkeling and Dutch Snacks.

Need More Information?

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