Getting there: Most flights from the United States stop in Puerto Rico and then fly into Grenada's Point Salines International Airport. If staying in Grenada, visitors can rent a car at the airport (about $50 per day plus the cost of a local driver's license). The other option is to take either a metered taxi ($20) or a local minivan taxi ($2) to get into the capital of St. George's. Gouyave, the site of the nutmeg processing station, is only some 10 miles north, but the drive, with its winding steep roads, takes about an hour. To get to Carriacou, visitors can either fly from Grenada (about $100 round-trip) or take the ferry (about $20). The schedule for the catamaran changes frequently but there's normally a boat leaving around 9 a.m. from St. George's harbor. Once on Carriacou, the best way to see the small island and soak in the culture is with minivan taxis that charge $2.
What to do: Grenada has several great beaches, but most tourists head for Grand Anse, a two-mile-long white sand beach where the better hotels are. The island also offers some good scuba diving, particularly off the southwest coast where lies the wreck of the 600-foot Bianca C ocean liner that sank here in 1961. If you're interested in a spice tour, head up to Gouyave's nutmeg processing station or to the lush Dougaldston Estate, which is also near the scenic Concord Falls. If you simply want to buy spices, the Marketing & National Importing Board in St. George's sells spices, local hot sauces and chutneys.
In Carriacou, visitors can explore the island on the local reggae-thumping minivan taxis to see boat builders in Windward or visit L'Esterre, the home of the famous Caribbean artist Canute Caliste. He's often hanging around his studio in the woods and can also be found in the town's museum where his daughter works and tries to sell his paintings, which range from $200 to $700.
Lodging: Most visitors to Grenada stay in Grand Anse or Lance aux Epines. The Flamboyant Hotel on the Grand Anse beach offers nice ocean-facing rooms and a tasty food in its beachfront restaurant. Rates range from $80 in the low season to $120 in the tourist season; meals are about $20 per person. Another choice is Cinnamon Hill, which was recently being renovated. All of the rooms have generous ocean-facing terraces and cost about $100 per night. Guest houses are a cheaper option. One is the Mount Helicon Guest House on Upper Lucas St. Rooms cost around $50.
By law, no hotel on the island can exceed three stories, or the height of the palm trees.
Language: Most people speak English, although some speak Creole.
When to go: The best time to visit is from November to June, after the hurricane and rainy season. Temperatures are normally in the 80s.
What to bring: Shorts, sandals, cool clothing, sunscreen and good walking shoes to traverse the capital's steep cobblestone roads.
Currency: The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$2.70 equals $1). Most hotels and restaurants accept U.S. dollars, and major credit cards are also widely accepted.
Entry: There are no visa requirements.
Information: The government-run tourism Web site with links to tour information, lodging, diving and restaurants in Grenada and Carriacou is at www.grenada.org. Another useful site with history and tourism information is www.grenadaexplorer.com.