Carriacou provides a laid-back alternative to the larger neighboring island of Grenada, where many day trips to Carriacou begin. One of the Grenadine Islands, Carriacou is known as “the island surrounded by reefs." Its pristine beaches and clear waters offer ideal conditions for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Located northeast of Grenada, Carriacou was settled by Arawak and Carib people from South America; their influence, along with that of the French and British, can still be seen in Hillsborough, the only town on the island. Gain insight into island culture by attending a music or dance performance, or visiting the small Carriacou Museum. Day trips from Grenada via ferry are available.
Things to Know Before You Go
If you plan to celebrate Carnival in Carriacou, pack clothes that you won’t mind getting messy. The Carnival tradition of J’ouvert morning includes smearing paint, mud, or oil on participants’ bodies.
Popular dive spots include Sharky’s Hideaway, where you can see nursing sharks. There’s also Sisters Rock for its black coral, and Whirlpool with volcanic bubbles.
The uncrowded, sugar-white sand of Paradise Beach is a favorite place for relaxing.
How to Get There
Carriacou is 20 miles north of Grenada. Ferry service is available Monday through Saturday starting at 9am, and Sunday from 8am. Travel time from Grenada is 1.5 hours. Return ferries depart Carriacou daily starting at 3:30pm. Small aircraft can also land at the island’s Lauriston Airport. Minibuses run on the island from 7am to 5pm.
When to Get There
If you want to catch the Carriacou Maroon Music Festival, which celebrates the traditional Caribbean practice of a “maroon”—offering thanks for the last harvest and asking for good fortune for the next planting season—plan your trip for April. If you want to join in the celebration of Carnival, book your visit for some time in February or early March (depending when Easter falls).
Nearby Petite Martinique
Located 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from Carriacou, Petite Martinique is a tiny island with a small population, most of whom make a living building boats, fishing, and seafaring. Tourists who visit Petite Martinique and Carriacou on the same day trip can climb Petite Martinique’s Piton volcano via a well-marked trail. From the top, catch views of the neighboring Grenadine Islands.