Grenada is truly the hidden gem of the Caribbean which comprises of three islands.
The largest island being also called Grenada and two other smaller islands bearing the names Carriacou and Petite Martinique respectively.
Nevertheless, there are several pros and cons of living on this beautiful island.
The pros of living in Grenada are its low crime rate, stable currency, secure Government, easy access to the USA, warm weather and friendly people. On the other hand, living in Grenada has its disadvantages such as the threat of hurricanes, poor infrastructure and a slower pace of life.
Fondly known as the Isle of Spice, Grenada is the world’s second largest exporter of nutmeg, according to the World Bank (2003), holding 20% of the market.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Fact Book confirms that the official language is English and the island covers 344 square km (133 square miles).
Read on for comprehensive details of the pros and cons of living in Grenada from a Grenadian.
Pros of Living In Grenada
The Island Has Sunny And Tropical Weather
Grenada enjoys tropical weather throughout the year. Between the months of December and May, the island is the driest.
On the other hand from June until November is the wet or rainy season where there is usually about 8 to 10 inches of rainfall each month.
Grenada’s Currency Is Stable
The official currency of Grenada is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar 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 US dollar is readily accepted by businesses on the island. However, expect to get change in the XCD dollar.
As with every other country when using a foreign currency, at times a business may be skeptical to accept larger currencies but the smaller denominations are easy to spend around the island.
US notes that are tattered or torn will be rejected.
Despite Grenada’s turbulent political history, it currently enjoys a stable political environment with a Government led by Prime Minister, Dr. Keith C Mitchell.
In the past, the island was challenged by its unstable politics with a revolution which led to the assassination of the then Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.
As a result, the revolution has severely hindered the growth of Grenada’s tourism product compared to other Caribbean islands.
The United States of America (USA) invaded the island in 1983 and restored peace. Additionally, generally on the island there is a high level of civic honesty.
As an example, if you lose your wallet there is a great possibility that it will be safely returned.
Many tourists have praised nationals as several lost/misplaced items were restored.
Grenadians Are Very Friendly People
Grenada is well known as one of the Caribbean islands with the friendliest people.
If you are visiting the island or considering relocating to Grenada, it is extremely easy to integrate with the locals.
One can make friends at places such as church where a large percentage of persons congregate to worship every week as well as through volunteering.
There are several places where one can volunteer. For example, if you enjoy swimming and love to teach, Get Grenada Swimming is a great organization that you can consider.
Approximately 90% of Grenadians are non-swimmers, so this is an initiative where you can make a sterling contribution.
Alternatively, if you prefer the outdoors and love hiking, you can meet others by joining Hash House Harriers who are an international group of runners and walkers.
The group in Grenada was established in 1985 and meets every Saturday completing different hiking trails throughout Grenada’s rainforest and mountainous terrain.
There Is Easy Access To International Cities
Various international airlines provide direct service from Grenada to major cities.
Prior to Covid 19, the island enjoyed direct and non-stop flights from the USA, United Kingdom (UK) and Germany.
A valid passport as well a return ticket is required for all visitors traveling to Grenada.
A visa is not required from citizens from the USA, Canada, and most European countries, the British Commonwealth, South Korea, China, Japan and most Caribbean countries.
Table 1 below shows the international airlines and their ports of embarkation.
|Service Provider||International Port|
|American Airlines||Miami (MIA)|
|Delta Airlines||Atlanta ( ATL)|
|Jet Blue Airways||New York (JFK)|
|British Airways||London (LGW)|
|Virgin Atlantic||London (LGW)|
|Air Canada||Toronto (YYZ)|
|Condor Airlines||Frankfurt (FRA)|
Table 1: Direct and Non Stop Flights to Grenada
Furthermore, if you are traveling with a pet, visitors must submit a request for a permit to the Government of Grenada’s Veterinary Officer based at the Ministry of Agriculture.
This office can be contacted via email at [email protected].
The Island Is Beautiful And Unspoiled
Grenada is truly a natural gem with scenic views. It is filled with so many attractive tropical features such as rivers, lakes and waterfalls.
There are 45 beaches and 18 waterfalls on the island.
Hereunder is a list of some of these must visit natural attractions:-
- Grand Etang Lake
- Annandale Waterfalls
- Concord Waterfalls
- Seven Sisters Waterfalls
- Mt Carmel Waterfalls
- Grand Anse Beach
- Bathway Beach
- BBC Beach
Grenada Is A Safe Place To Live
According to the US Department State, Overseas Advisory Council based on a 2018 crime report per 100,000 citizens, Grenada had the lowest murder and kidnapping rates when compared to six other regional counterparts.
Visitors can walk and take public transportation safely. Nevertheless, due care must be taken as in any other country.
Travelers should avoid walking in secluded areas at nights and take only taxis authorized by the Grenada Taxi Association.
Cons of Living In Grenada
The Cost of Living Is High
Visitors to the island may find the cost of goods and services expensive when compared to more developed countries.
Grenada’s manufacture sector is underdeveloped and hence the island imports a large number of everyday goods and services.
This has led to the increase in the cost of goods and services on the island.
On average a household of four spends approximately USD $78 on electricity, USD $27 on water and USD$105 on internet, landline phone service and cable TV.
The table 2 below shares the cost and the brand of some everyday goods. The prices are all expressed in US dollars.
|Toilet Paper||Silky Soft||0.87|
|Brown Sugar (2 lbs)||1.19|
|Adobo Seasoning (5.5oz)||Goya||1.83|
|Orange Juice (42 oz)||Goya||4.43|
|Tuna Chunk In Oil||Brunswick||1.94|
|Tuna Flaked In Oil||Brunswick||1.22|
|Corn Beef (12 ozs)||Oderich||2.65|
|Whole Kernel Corn||Goya||2.04|
|Full Cream Milk (1.8 kg)||Anchor||14.93|
|Sandwich Loaf Bread||Local Bakery||1.57|
|Peanut Butter||Red & White||4.17|
Table 2: Cost of Goods in Grenada Expressed in US Dollars
Limited Access to Specialized Products/ Services
Being a small island state means that local access to popular products and services is limited when compared to developed countries.
If you require certain medical expertise, overseas travel is necessary.
Furthermore, as an example, if you love to read, there is a limited selection of books at the local bookstores.
The best selection that you will find on the island is at business called Art & Soul Spiceland Mall, Grand Anse.
However, there has been several new businesses that facilitate easy online shopping and shipping to the island.
One such business is Ezone located in the south of the island.
As a result of the Government’s limited budget, infrastructure is not advanced.
Road networks are not as sophisticated as those in developed countries and buildings and public transportation lack proper facilities for the disable.
However, there is a new app that launched that offers food delivery and rideshare services named Caribe Eats.
Thus someone with a disability can book transportation easier.
There are few buildings with wheel chair access and privately owned buses do not have facilities for persons with a disability.
Nonetheless, newer buildings are now incorporating wheel chair access so that individuals with a disability can enjoy similar amenities as able bodied individuals.
There Is The Threat of Hurricanes
Grenada is located outside of the hurricane belt however, the island has experienced dangerous hurricanes, the most recent one being hurricane Ivan in September, 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.
In addition, World Bank. Org stated that damage was also sustained in the health sector with the almost complete destruction of Princess Alice, the second largest hospital on the island.
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.
There Are Mosquitoes During The Rainy Season
While the tropical weather makes the island a remarkable place for visiting the beach and hiking its many majestic trails, the wet season brings mosquitoes and flies.
Visitors to the island are advised during the rainy season to utilize repellent as well as a mosquito net to avoid the bites.
The flies on the other hand though harmless can be annoying and one must clean up constantly to keep them at bay.
Nightlife is Not Brisk
Generally, the pace on the island is slow.
Night life is not as brisk when compared to other larger islands with the majority of events and festivals hosted over the carnival season.
There are several bars and clubs on the island as well as one bowling alley, Lavo Lanes located on Maurice Bishop Highway.
Sundays as well on the island is peaceful and many businesses remain close as people go to church, relax and spend time with their families.
There Could Be A Loss Of Privacy
While there is a great sense of community which can be helpful, the drawback to this is that there is a loss of privacy.
In small villages and communities where everyone knows everyone, people may tend to overstep which can be detrimental to relationships and families, hence a measure of privacy could be loss.
The pros of living in Grenada are that the island safe and beautiful haven with easy access to major international cities. On the other hand, the cons are that one must be prepared for a slower pace of life and limited access to the amenities and conveniences enjoyed in a large country.
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