Hi, Kathleen. The highly recommended dive operator is in Tyrrel Bay (Jean Philippe who owns Lumbadive) my husband dove with them, I went out on the boat, great trip and people. That area also has access to Sandy Cay. Are you renting a car/scooter, and what will you do on the other days? I liked the quiet and the beaches around the Paradise Beach area, and you can easily drive into Hillsborough for food, etc. Our favorite beach bar was 'Off the Hook' near Paradise Beach..(let me know if you need directions, it's not clearly marked) But we stayed in Hillsborough at The Grand View Hotel. It has a pool and it was worth it! The room was A/C and the operators helpful and friendly. Nice view, but not near the beach, you have to drive to the nicer ones. I have pics of Carriacou at: …google.com/emmechelle/Grenadines2009…
Not and expert, but will try to answer any questions as we were there for 4 days and not much to be found on the forums otherwise.
I should also mention that getting to the Tobago Cays from Carriacou is quite an undertaking. Hope you don't mind small boats on big seas!
Thank you for the info!
I am so excited to go on this trip!
Would you recommend staying in Hillsborough, then? I read it was polluted a bit? Tyrrel Bay is quieter? Where would you stay?
Thanks for the info about the diving. What was the ride to Tobago Cay like? How long did it take?
We are going for 8 days and staying 3 on Grenada and then I want to explore a bit- do you think Carriacou is worth seeing for a few days? Is there any where else you think I should look in to?
I definitely second the recommendation to stay on Paradise Beach...I found the beach at Tyrrell Bay muddy owing to the nearby mangrove swamp.
OTOH the restaurants in Tyrrell Bay were pretty good when I was there (Scrapers, the Old Rum Shop, Sel et Poivre) and it was a pleasant 40 minute stroll (or short taxi) from Paradise.
Hillsborough is not a very pretty town in my opinion and, yes, the run off goes directly into the sea. I wouldn't stay there again (once was enough)
I did not find the trip to the Tobago Cays to be very difficult but if you are prone to seasickness, you might want to take some gravol/dramamine first. We went with the delightful Cuthbert Snagg in his speedboat.
I don't know what your budget is or requirements for lodging other than A/C. That plus a pool were ours, which led us to Grand View which is walking distance, (that's relative, I know) from Hillsborough. After spending time on Carriacou, I think we would have preferred the Paradise Beach area, but I don't think it has the accommodations we could afford, or find, with the A/C and pool. Actually, we would have forgone those if we could have found a place outside of Hillsborough on the beach in our price range. Bogles was booked. I don't recommend staying right in town, too noisy and dirty. Is that all vague enough for you? :)
IMO, I am glad we went to Carriacou to experience it, but it wasn't my favorite. To do over, I would spend the extra time on Grenada.
The Tobago Cays are beautiful. Our trip consisted of a water taxi from Carriacou to Union to clear customs and then on to the Friendship Rose that was docked in the Cays as that was our transfer to Bequia. Pretty hairy at times on the speed boat, but doable if you're adventurous!
Thank you for all the advice! Much appreciated!!!
Would you recommend staying a night or two on Union? Is it worth it?
I am not sure if I should spend 3 or 4 nights in Grenada and then 2 or 3 nights on Carriacou?
Hard to decide!!
If you are planning on more than 1/2 day for the Tobago Cays, I would definitely spend a night or two on Union Island. Much easier access to the Cays which you can see from Union. A couple of lovely beaches and bays and several good restaurants. Also a water taxi ride away is tiny Mayreau which has a lovely beach. Looking back on the St Vincent and the Grenadines forum you'll find suggestions for places to stay there. Grenadines Dive w/ Glenroy Adams is the dive shop there.
I agree with oxbpat...With 2 weeks, What we DID do was flew into Grenada, spent the night and then ferried to Carriacou for 3 nights, and then on to Bequia for a 8 nights, flew back to Grenada, spent the night, flew home.
What I WOULD do if had to do over would be stay in Grenada for 3 nights, fly to Union for 3 nights, as a base for the Cays and the other islands. Not crazy about Union itself, but location is a good base. Then on to the remainder of our trip. Grenada was worth exploring more than Carriacou, IMO. And Union would have gotten us closer to the Cays and a chance for another island day-trip.
But you will ultimately have to just take the plunge! Even if you don't get it "perfect" it's still all beautiful and you will know for next time! :) A lot of places we travel are good one-timers...but Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are somewhere I would go again, just too much to do and see to hit it all on one short trip.
My husband and I go to the beautiful island of Carriacou every other year, if possible. We rent a villa through downisland,http://www.islandvillas.com/ so I can not comment on hotels for you. We have had dinner at the Grand View and the folks are extremely friendly - swimming pool and AC are amenities at the hotel. I would recommend checking out the variety of villas that you can rent before committing to anything else. Each time that we go to Carriacou we go diving with Lumbadive! Great folks -experienced, knowledgeable and patient. I would also recommend going to Tobago Cays with Dave at Bayaleau Cottages carriacoucottages.com/mostly_harmless.html
never have had a rough trip!
Hope this helps! Have a great trip.
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