Windward, Carriacou - an old Scottish fishing and boat-building village - and the reefs of Watering Bay still defy the otherwise ubiquitous yacht charter community, opening its harbor almost exclusively to West Indian cargo schooners and engineless fishing sloops plying their trade.
While the feeling of 19th century simplicity is evident, the cottages bridge the gap to the 21st century with fully modernized accommodations. A mere 5 minute walk will take you to local shops for basic supplies while larger supermarkets are 20 minutes away by foot. A 10 minute walk will take you to the bus stop where daytime service is available to town. Taxis are available, as are jeep rentals -- a definite convenience for those who want to explore off the beaten track or want to take advantage of the island's limited night life. Excellent snorkeling is right at your doorstep off of our pocket-sized beach.
A trip to Carriacou is well worth the trouble. However, careful planning is necessary to make your holiday a totally enjoyable experience. While Grenada has become highly accessible since the completion of Pt. Salines International Airport, Carriacou is not.
Traditionally, a trip to the small sister island began with a roller-coaster ride past Kick-em-Jenny on board a colorful schooner carrying the mail and an assortment of other goods to the island's capitol: Hillsborough. Today, there are 9-seater planes which arrive in Lauriston, Carriacou about three times a day and 200 passenger highspeed ferry boats that sail once daily between Grenada and Carriacou. If you prefer to fly, advanced booking on one of these flights is absolutely necessary.
Carriacou usually attracts the more seasoned Caribbean traveller, however, this should not be a deterrent for the newcomer. The island's name means "Land of many reefs" which speaks for itself for divers and sailors alike. While the duty-free shopping and hotel-style night life cannot be compared with the more sophisticated hot spots like St. Thomas and St. Maarten, the laid-back ambience and genuinely friendly attitude of the local people is clearly a breath of fresh air for those who are interested in getting away from the hustle and bustle of the daily rat race. This is truly LIMIN' at its finest.
Carriacou is the home of much traditional culture which you are sure to not only witness but partake in during your stay. For those interested in ethnomusicology this is truly a unique place: Next to Trinidad, some of the finest pan music can be heard here. African BIG DRUM and dance in traditional costumes is a regular event heralding everything from boat launchings and weddings to stone feasts and village street fetes. Also, traditional Scottish string music with quadrille dancing is a regular event during most holidays.
For those who like to walk and hike there are many tracks and trails as well as miles of beaches, which are not very heavily trafficked. Nearly every step of the way you will be turning over ancient shards of Arawak pottery or stumbling across vestiges of French and English colonial rule. Or, if you want to meet the colorful characters of Carriacou, settle down on a bar stool at any one of the innumerable rum shops or bars and sample the best rum in the West Indies: Carriacou JACK IRON.
The pre-tourism industries of the island still predominate. The signs of fishing and boat building, farming and animal rearing can be seen everywhere. A visit to a typical island dwelling will reveal neat rows of field corn and pigeon peas, a pig, several tethered sheep, a chicken coop, a boat in some state of completion built with naturally grown Carriacou cedar frames and a roll of fish pot wire in the shade of a mango tree. All of this in addition to what seems to be a disproportionate number of children of all ages happily at play.