Spending time on this magnificent island while on your Carriacou Yacht Charter is a dream come true. Carriacou is also known as the “Isle of Reefs.” It is, in fact, recognized as the friendliest and safest island in the Caribbean. The island is located 23 miles north of Grenada and it is only 13 square miles in size. Based in the Windward Islands, it features some of the most unspoiled coral reefs in the region. As a result, most dive sites are fantastic and ideal for all levels of divers and snorkelers. Hillsborough is the capital. The locals are commonly known as “Kayaks or Kajaks.” Kayaks have passed this tradition through generations from their Scottish forefathers. English is the official language and the currency used is the Eastern Caribbean dollar.
Carriacou enjoys a hot, tropical climate that is tempered by cooling trade winds. The average year-round temperatures are 72-88 F. December to May are the driest months. Since the island is located on the southern edge of the hurricane and tropical storm belt, it is rarely affected by storms that pass through the region from July to November. Rainfall is abundant, but it receives less than Grenada especially away from inland elevations. Carriacou’s rainfall is less than 60 inches a year. The rains usually occur in the form of downpours or thunderstorms, however, it does not last long.
Places to See
Hillsborough – Carriacou National Museum. A renovated cotton gin mill. Here you will find not only exhibits of Amerindian, British, and French colonial-era artifacts but also a small museum shop. Hillsborough itself is lively, with its small, brightly painted rum shops.
Belair National Park – Houses many old plantation buildings and windmills from the French and English era. Certainly fabulous views over the north of the island. Also the site for the Maroon Cultural and Parang Festival.
Belair Estate – An old English great house. Be sure to bring the camera and take a selfie in front of the old windmill tower.
Tyrell Bay – Beautiful bay with amazingly gorgeous beaches.
Village of Windward – Windward has a long tradition of boat building, a quintessential part of Carriacou’s cultural heritage.
Things to Do
Diving – It is called the “Isle of Reefs” for a reason. Carriacou has some of the best diving in the Grenadines. Dive amazing shipwrecks, colorful reefs, and 20 dive sites. The crew of your chartered yacht will be happy to provide you with the necessary equipment. Then dive Sharky’s Hideaway: plentiful nurse sharks. Sisters Rock: black coral. The Whirlpool: a small tugboat wreck.
Snorkeling – Sandy Island is one of the best snorkeling spots in the area.
Beaches – Relax, swim and snorkel. Sandy Island. Paradise Beach, serene and idyllic beach with soft white sand and beautiful calm seas. Petit Carenage Bay Beach. Specifically look for the hull of a grounded ship to take your Instagram pic with. Anse La Roche Beach. This is the most scenic beach on the island. Abundant coral reefs just offshore. Tyrell Bay Beach.
Hiking – Hike to High Point North, a national park and the highest point in Carriacou. Also, explore beautiful coastal walks and wooded trails and hills.
Watch humpback whales migrate past the island – Late spring. Their song can be heard by scuba divers from a long way off.
Festivals – Carnival in February. Shakespeare Mas. An island-wide Shakespeare competition on Shrove Tuesday. Carriacou Maroon Festival in April. This celebrates the African roots of the island. Carriacou Regatta in August. And the Parang Festival in December.
Rum Shops – Since Carriacou has over 100 rum shops and only one gas station, you must buy a bottle of Grenadian rum here.
Oil Down – A stew consisting of salted meat, breadfruit, and vegetables steamed in coconut milk.
Callaloo – Callaloo is a popular Caribbean vegetable dish.
Fried bake and saltfish – A classic Caribbean breakfast.
Conch and seafood – Prepared in a variety of ways
Pelau – French West Indies specialty. Combines pigeon peas, meat or chicken, and rice along with fresh herbs and coconut milk. Certainly a must-try dish.
Cou cou pois – Caribbean cornmeal made with coconut milk.
Nutmeg Ice Cream
Breadfruit – The symbol of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Delicious when grilled.
Bogles Round House – Caribbean cuisine as well as fresh local seafood. Warm and a particularly welcome atmosphere, overlooking the ocean. Perfect place for a romantic dinner while watching the sunset.
Paradise Beach Club – Paradise Beach. Caribbean and super fresh seafood and superb service. Gourmet dining in a laid-back setting right on the beach. Amazing sunset views.
Off the Hook Bar and Grill – L’Esterre Bay. This is a great, casual place right at the beach that sometimes has live music and a bonfire.
Kayak Kafe & Juice Bar – Hillsborough. Sally bakes her own bread and prepares her own jam. This is an oasis after exploring the town.
Marinas and Anchorages
There are two official ports of entry into Carriacou, Hillsborough (weekends) and Tyrell Bay (Monday through Friday).
Tyrell Bay Marina – Full-service boatyard and marina with ample dockage space for all sizes of vessels.
Marina de Carriacou
Tyrell Bay – A natural protected, attractive and sheltered anchorage. Space for about 60-100 boats with depths from 3-5 meters.
Carriacou Marine – Offers a few moorings
Sandy Island – Mooring buoys and anchoring allowed.