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Facts about Grenada

Location

The three islands of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique are located in the eastern Caribbean at the southern extremity of the Windward Islands, only 100 miles north of Venezuela. To the north lie St. Vincent and the Grenadines and to the south lie Trinidad and Tobago.

Climate

Average temperatures range from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 30°C), tempered by the steady and cooling trade winds. The lowest temperatures occur between November and February. Due to Grenada's remarkable topography, the island also experiences climate changes according to altitude. The driest season is between January and May. Even during the rainy season, from June to December, it rarely rains for more than an hour at a time and generally not every day.

People

Approximately 108,132 (est 2008) people inhabit Grenada, including the 6,521 inhabitants of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. The nation's citizens are primarily of African, East-Indian and European descent, with the largest proportion of the population, approximately 75%, of African descent. Grenada is an English-speaking nation.

Business Hours

Banking hours in Grenada are usually Monday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m., and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Shops are generally open from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Supermarkets and shopping centers are usually open from 9:00 am. - 7 pm. And there are one or two that are open on Sundays. Craft and souvenir shops will open on a Sunday or Bank Holiday, especially if cruise ships are in port. Government offices are generally open from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, but may be closed from 12:00 to 1:00 pm for lunch.

Churches

There is a good representation of many of the major religious denominations in most towns and villages including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodists.

Credit Cards & Currency

Major credit cards are accepted by most hotels, car rental companies, and shops. Travellers cheques are accepted everywhere. The Eastern Caribbean Dollar, linked to the US Dollar, is the local currency. Banks will exchange EC$2.67 for US$1.00 cash, and EC$2.68 for US$1.00 in travellers cheques. It is advisable to exchange currency at the banks, as the most favourable exchange rates may not be obtained elsewhere.

Dress

Casual, light cottons are ideal during the day; in the evenings, elegantly casual attire is appropriate. Bathing suits or mini shorts should not be worn in the streets or stores. Long pants and hiking shoes are recommended for hiking.

Driving

Visitors wishing to drive while in Grenada must obtain a local driving permit from the traffic department at the Central Police Station on the Carenage. A bona fide driver's license must be presented and a fee of EC $30 paid. Most car rental firms also issue local permits. There is a network of approximately 650 miles of paved roads and most of the main roads are in good condition. Please note that driving is on the LEFT.

Electricity


Voltage is 220 volts - 50 cycles. Appliances rated at 110 volts (US standard) normally work satisfactorily with a transformer. Most hotels provide dual voltage shaver units, but an adaptor plug is necessary for small appliances.

Language


English is the official language but it is not uncommon to hear a French-African patois spoken.

Medical Facilities


There is a General Hospital in St. George's, a smaller hospital in Mirabeau in the northern parish of St. Andrew, and one in Carriacou. Clinics and doctors can be found throughout the islands.

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