Our cruise ship stopped in St. George’s, Grenada on March 28th. I booked a tour for my family and 9 other cruise passengers with Peter Morain. We did the Island Safari tour which visited Concord Waterfall, Gouyave Nutmeg Station, Carib’s Leap in Sauteurs, River Antoine Rum Distillery, Belmont Estate and the Grand Etang National Park.
We met Peter in the cruise terminal at the agreed upon time (also met his wife Michelle) and headed off for the waterfalls. A swim here was optional but the group decided to pass on it. The falls were beautiful and the people in the pool at the bottom of the falls seemed to be enjoying themselves. We were able to learn a bit about nutmeg and cocoa that was on display at nearby vendors.
We then drove to the nutmeg processing factory in Gouyave (we were told it is pronounced “warve”). What a neat place! It’s very labour intensive and the knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide said the process hadn’t changed in the last six decades. A store there sells nutmeg jam, jelly and syrup amongst other things. You can also buy random spices like cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves, cloves, etc from ladies in front of the plant. These are totally safe and can be taken through customs without a problem (they are NOT considered to be food or seeds).
We then made our way to Carib’s Leap in Sauteurs where more than 300 years ago the last 3 or 4 dozen Caribe Indians in Grenada jumped to their death from the 100 foot high cliff rather than be enslaved by the French. Not a happy story but the views from the site of the ocean and nearby beach are stunning. Had a great lunch at Helena’s Restaurant in Sauteurs.
From there we went to the Belmont Estate, a working plantation over 300 years old. It sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Ivan in Sept./2004 and currently grows more cocoa than nutmeg. The grounds are beautiful and we had an informative tour from an estate guide. You can buy some chocolate that is made on-site.
Our next stop was the River Antoine Rum Distillery. It is well known for producing some of the strongest rum you will find along with being the oldest distillery in the western hemisphere. You get a chance to see an age old process of crushing sugar cane (using a still functioning water wheel), how it’s distilled and then manually bottled. If you like it you can buy a bottle there as it's not found in many stores.
The tour was almost 7 hours long at this point so we headed back to the ship via the Grand Etang National Park. It wasn’t as beautiful as the rain forests in Puerto Rico or Dominica but still very scenic. The Crater Lake was nothing to get excited about and we didn’t even get out of the van to take a closer look.
We would recommend the Pete’s tour as a good way to see a large part of the island in a day. Peter is not very chatty but is knowledgeable and helpful when asked for information. All entrance fees (at falls, nutmeg station, Belmont Estate and National Park) were included in his advertised price which was comparable to other tour operators. My only suggestion is that it would have been nice if he had provided some complimentary drinks as many other tours do. Some in our group didn’t bring anything thinking it would be provided although there were spots along the way to buy drinks if needed.
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