Explore Carriacou: Culture, Lifestyle & Things to Do
Carriacou (pronounced 'carry-a-cou' and meaning isle of reefs) boasts some of the Caribbean's most beautiful beaches, seas and coral. A small piece of paradise, this idyllic island gives a slice of ‘real’ island life and is the perfect stop-off for sun seekers.
From Grenada, Carriacou is located just 20 miles to the north and is the largest of the Grenadine islands sandwiched between St. Vincent and Grenada. An intriguing island, rich with history, culture and beauty Carriacou is not one not to skip if you are thinking of visiting this part of the world.
What is Carriacou Like?
Carriacou is surrounded by shallow and clear water which makes it ideal for snorkelling. Residents on the island, of which there are between 5000 - 8000 are traditional and follow the rich traditions passed down from their African and European ancestors. When you visit Carriacou you will often see these customs and traditions manifest in the many celebrations which take place on the island; from weddings to boat launches, and in local events such as Shakespeare Mas and the Fisherman Birthday Celebrations.
Why Visit Carriacou?
Carriacou has a jagged coastline which is lined with beautiful coral, white sand beaches and turquoise waters. It offers a completely raw and different experience to the glamorised Bahamas and Barbados. Carriacou gives you a chance to see what real Caribbean life is like; you can live like a local, buying food at the bustling Monday market near the pier in Hillsborough, to drinking rum with the locals at the weekend.
Things to do in Carriacou
Whilst Grenada offers more in terms of nightlife and shopping, Carriacou offers a variety of other experiences. Some of these are detailed below!
Carriacou is an ideal location for snorkelling and diving as the seas are crystal clear and there is an abundance of coral reefs. Carriacou is also perfect for wind or kitesurfing.
Culture on Carriacou is rich and made up through a tapestry of its origins. Due to the island's isolation these customs have managed to remain untouched. If you visit the island on a Sunday, you should try and catch one of the services. There are a great number to choose from, from Catholic masses to African/spiritualist inspired Baptist services, and congregations will be welcoming, making you feel part of something special, and giving you a new perspective on what religion is really about.
In Carriacou all of the islanders know each other. The safe, small communities make a safe environment where social control is quite strong.
Carriacou Regatta & the Carriacou Carnival
The Carriacou Regatta (July-August) is an annual event with yachters visiting from around the world to take part in various activities.
However, you don’t need to be a yachting expert to experience the sailing lifestyle in Carriacou as there are numerous sailing trips and tours that can help get your toes wet. You can even visit Carriacou as part of a sailing holiday around the Grenadines. For those interested, Tobago Cays are located just a few miles north of Carriacou and are worth a visit.
Music is also a key part of not just Carriacou but the Caribbean in general and the Carriacou Carnival embraces the colourful and vibrant vibe, showcasing a wealth of musical styles and embellished, beautiful carnival dress.
Yachting in Carriacou
Whether you do it yourself, or through an independent yacht charter company, the island-hopping opportunities in and around Carriacou are truly irresistible.
If you are interested in chartering a yacht and sailing this areas Grenada is the largest island from where most sailing tours begin. Cruise-ships tends to stay in this area so if you are looking for a way to discover the smaller islands in the Caribbean then a yacht charter is an ideal way to do so. These small islands have remained relatively untouched by tourism and it is a much smaller number of tourists who venture as far at Carriacou and Petit Martinique. This is what makes these kind of trips so appealing for more adventurous tourists.
Unlike other destinations, residents of Carriacou are not overwhelmed by tourism and instead are interested to speak to tourists to understand their way of life. You will feel warm and welcomed on the island and your skipper will be able to explain where to visit or eat.
For more information about visiting Carriacou you can contact Kalimba Caribbean Tours. Our independent sailing holidays are the perfect way to explore this beautiful part of the world... Check out our typical itinerary to see the kind of tour you could take.