25+ Interesting Facts About Grenada

  1. Grenada is an island country in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It is the southernmost island of the Lesser Antilles. Its nearest countries are Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
  2. Grenada consists of the main island of Grenada and some smaller islands. Carriacou and Petite Martinique are the other notable islands. It is the second-smallest country in the Caribbean after Saint Kitts and Nevis.
  3. The initial settlers of Grenada were Arawaks who arrived here from South America. Later, Caribs from South America captured these islands and drove away the peaceful Arawaks. The people present here at the time of the arrival of Europeans were Caribs.
  4. Christopher Columbus was the first European to land on this island in 1498, and he named it Concepcion. Later, it became Grenada when other Spanish sailors named it after the Spanish city Granada.
  5. English merchants were the first Europeans who tried to settle in Grenada. However, the Caribs forced them to leave. Later, the French successfully colonized this area in 1650 and administered these islands for over 110 years.
  6. The French handed over Grenada to Britain in 1763 after the Treaty of Paris. Its brief recapture by France in 1779 ended in 1783 after the Treaty of Versailles.
  7. Grenada became the headquarters of the British Windward Islands in 1885 and retained this position until it became part of the West Indies Federation (1958-62). Grenada became a self-governing state in 1967 and gained independence from Britain in 1974. It was the first of the West Indies Associated States to attain freedom.
  8. New Jewel Movement (NJM), a coalition of leftist parties, staged a bloodless coup against the Grenadian Prime Minister (Erik Gairy) in 1979 when he was out of the country. Western countries generally opposed this government due to its socialist ideology and relations with Cuba. However, it managed to improve the country’s economy.
  9. The new government could not last longer due to internal divisions. Hardliners within the coalition deposed the regime of Maurice Bishop after a military coup in 1983. Supporters of the former prime minister tried to resist, which resulted in the assassination of Bishop and several top members of his party. 
    U.S. military during the 1983 invasion of Grenada
    American military's largest action after Vietnam War was in Grenada

  10. Soon after the military coup, neighboring countries in the Caribbean requested assistance from the USA to overthrow the illegal regime of Grenada. Consequently, the US invaded Grenada on October 25, 1983, alongside soldiers from OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) countries. Operation Urgent Fury was the largest US military action after the Vietnam War and resulted in overthrowing the military regime within days. Grenada celebrates October 25 as Thanksgiving Day to remember this invasion.
  11. Grenada has no regular military. Its police force includes coast guards and paramilitary units. The country joined RSS (Regional Security System) to boost its defense with cooperation from other regional countries.
  12. Grenada is known as the “Island of Spice” as its fertile soil favors the growth of several spices, such as nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. The most famous dish in the country is “oil down,” where they cook salted meat, breadfruit, and vegetables in coconut milk.
  13. Sugarcane became the major crop of Grenada after the arrival of colonists in the 17th Century. Both French and English brought African slaves to grow sugar plantations. This trend changed in the 19th Century when cacao became the main export crop of the island. The dominance of cacao continued for several decades until the extensive growth of nutmeg in the 20th Century. The country’s flag also features nutmeg due to its economic significance.
  14. The hurricane season in Grenada is from June to November. However, it lies on the edge of the hurricane belt and receives less frequent hurricanes than many other countries in this belt.
  15. Tourism and agriculture are the main economic sectors in Grenada. The top agricultural exports of the country are nutmeg, mace, cocoa, bananas, and other tropical fruits. Tourist destinations include white sandy beaches (Grand Anse and many others), waterfalls (particularly Seven Sisters), shipwrecks, and forests.
  16. Bianca C. (also known as Titanic of the Caribbean) in Grenada is the largest diveable wreck in the Caribbean and one of the largest in the world. Other notable shipwrecks in this Caribbean country are MV Shak’Em, Hema I, Tyrrel Bay, and Veronica L. Some of these shipwrecks are also suitable for beginner-level divers. Due to these fascinating sites, Grenada is known as the shipwreck capital of the Caribbean. (Source)
  17. In May 1650, French soldiers attacked a group of local Kalinago on a hill in the area now known as Sauteurs. It resulted in several deaths, while nearly 40 of these men jumped from a cliff instead of surrendering to the French. Later, the hill was called Le Morne des Sauteurs (Hill of the Jumpers).
  18. The River Antoine Rum Distillery on the northeast coast of Grenada island is the oldest functioning water-powered distillery in the Caribbean. It started operations in 1785 and provides strong rum. (Source)
  19. Around 82% of Grenadians are descendants of African slaves, while 13% belong to mixed races. The remaining population consists of East Indians (descendants of indentured laborers from India), Europeans, and others.
  20. The largest religion in Grenada is Christianity (Roman Catholics and Protestants), followed by nearly 85% of the population. Others are either non-religious or adherents of Rastafari and other religions.
  21. English is the official language in Grenada. However, many Grenadians also speak local versions of English and French (Grenadian English Creole and Grenadian French Creole).
  22. After the destruction of a cricket stadium in 2004 due to Hurricane Ivan, China assisted in its reconstruction with a grant of US$40 million. In reply, Grenada recognized China and broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 2005. However, the anthem of Taiwan was accidentally played instead of China during the opening ceremony of the St. George’s Queen’s Park Stadium in 2007. (Source)
  23. Grenada opened the world’s first underwater sculpture garden with 75 sculptures in a protected marine area off its west coast in 2006. It later added 31 more sculptures to the Moliniere Underwater Sculpture Park in 2023. They are made from pH-neutral natural cement and act as a habitat for marine life. (Source)
  24. The Grand Etang Lake in Grenada is located in an old crater and surrounded by a rainforest. It is also known as a “bottomless lake” due to a legend. However, its maximum depth is around 20 feet.
  25. The northern and southern parts of the country are mountainous, while forests (teak, saman, mahogany, and blue mahoe) cover around 50% of Grenada’s land area. Some of the mountains have volcanic origin. The two main seasons are rainy (June to December) and dry (January to May).
  26. Grenada is one of the few countries without a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The absence of any cultural or natural site is partially due to its small size.

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