Carriacou – The Island Surrounded by Reefs
Most tourist guides are quick to point out that there are over 100 rum shops on the small island nation of Carriacou. The island is located in the Vincentian and Grenadian Islands and is generally considered to be the third largest island in the chain. Like many island nations in the Caribbean, the nation has a complicated colonial history. Originally settled by the French, the British took control of the island for nearly 15 years in the late 1700’s. It was claimed by French Grenada in 1776 and has remained a part of Grenada since 1974. It has approximately 8000 residents and is popular travel destination for Grenadians. There are many beautiful and renowned beaches on Carriacou.
The two most famous are Anse La Roche and Paradise Beach. Nicknamed the “Island Surrounded by Reefs,” Carriacou has many coral reefs that are easily accessible with a short ten minute boat ride. The coral grows up to 10 feet tall and is filled with sea life. The nurse shark, stingrays, moray eels, eagle and turtles are all found there in abundance as are entire lobster colonies.
There are several major festivals held on the island each year. These are Carnival, the Carriacou Regatta and the Parang, which celebrates the traditional Christmas music of the nation. Additionally, village Maroons are celebrated all year round in various villages across the country. Travel on the island can be problematic at times; most of the citizens travel via small buses, although there are taxi’s and rental cars available.
The island does boast its own airport as well as the “Osprey” a small ferry that runs between Petite Martinique, Grenada and Carriacou. The national drink of Carriacou is the Jack Iron and the island is typically considered the friendliest of all Caribbean islands, making it a favorite tourist destination.