Born from the seafloor in a series of violent volcanic eruptions, Grenada is a tropical, three-island Caribbean country located 90 miles (145km) north of Venezuela. Part of the Lesser Antilles chain, it consists of the main island of Grenada and its neighbouring constituencies, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Visitors can look forward to lush soils and a rolling mountainous interior, from where breathtaking waterfalls gush down to meet the sea. Hikes through Grenada's verdant jungle make for a truly memorable nature experience. The unblemished beaches, azure coastline, low-key lifestyle and unrivalled diving sites such as the wreck of the also contribute to making it one of the most overlooked tropical havens in the Caribbean.

Heady fragrances of nutmeg and clove, and a warm-hearted reception from locals greet visitors to the 'Spice Island's' friendly capital, St. George's. Red-tiled roofs, Georgian architecture, a central spice market and picturesque natural harbour place the town among the Caribbean's most charming centres, and sun-worshippers can choose from its 45 beautiful beaches, the most popular being the two-mile (3km) long Grand Anse Beach. Or, they can seek out one of the many secluded beaches a little further afield.

Initially inhabited by Kalinago settlers from the Amazonian basin in South America, Grenada later became an unwilling station of European expansion, the effects of which are evident in the people, architecture and cuisine of the modern country. First invaded by the Spanish in violent slave raids, the resident Kalinago were then largely wiped out by French colonialists who exploited the land for large-scale sugarcane plantations and brought slaves in from West Africa to work them. Britain succeeded France, with Grenada only gaining independence from the British in 1974.

Grenada is a poor country but the friendly disposition of the locals, vibrant Afro-Caribbean culture, lip-smacking seafood, joyful calypso music and picturesque tropical location more than make up for the lack of infrastructure.

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