You won’t have any trouble chasing waterfalls in the Caribbean from slow flowing streams bubbling over rocks to cascading water tumbling over cliff tops. The rivers and streams that feed these falls are the veins of the islands themselves. Here in Grenada – at the bottom of the southern Caribbean chain – they are found in abundance, some well known and others so well hidden that few will ever get to see them.
My favorite waterfall in Grenada is Concord Falls halfway up the west coast. The two mile road leading up to the falls from the main road is lined with cocoa and nutmeg trees. Concord Falls is not one but three waterfalls along the River Concord. The first fall is easily accessible from the road. A few vendors sell spices and hand-carved jewellery, a couple of small colourful bars sit at the entrance and charge a nominal fee of $2EC. They have a bathroom area where you can change. Ginger lilies and heliconias add splashes of colour to the surrounding greenery. Under the waterfall you can let the current pull you back behind the torrent or just float in the small pool. To the left of the pool warm water trickles down the rock surface.
The second of the falls (Au Coin) is larger and is approximately a 40 minute walk through nutmeg and cocoa plantations. The third falls (Fontainbleu) is even further off the beaten track and involves clambering over mossy boulders. But the effort is worth it to reach the impressive falls that drop 65-feet to a refreshing pool below.
To reach Concord Falls, drive halfway up the west coast until you reach the village of Concord. Turn right at the sign to the falls and follow the road for two miles until you reach the vendors at the top. Alternatively take the No 5 bus from St George’s’ bus station and walk or hitchhike the two miles up to the falls.
Seven Sisters Falls
The Seven Sisters are, as you might guess, a series of seven falls. The entrance is discreetly marked with a small sign saying St. Margaret Falls, aka Seven Sisters. After a short walk up a dirt track you pay $5EC and get handed a wooden stick … handy for the muddy trails. The hike to the falls takes around half an hour. You can choose to take a guide but it is not necessary. The path takes you down steep steps, through plantations and rainforests with large bamboo and across a small babbling brook. The first two falls you come to are the most popular and a great place to cool off after a hot and sweaty hike. To find the other falls higher up take a side path on the right.
By car, take the road from St George’s past Grand Etang National Park and continue on towards St. Margaret. You will see a signpost saying St. Margaret Falls, take a right and park just up the track. By bus, take the No 6 from St George’s’ bus station towards Grenville. Ask the driver to let you off at the falls. It’s a short walk down the track to the pay station.
Annandale is perhaps the most popular and most touristy waterfall on the island. Set amongst green fertile grounds where hummingbirds dart in and out of the tropical flowers. At the entrance vendors sell cold drinks and spice necklaces. Trails surrounding the falls are marked with signs identifying plants. Locals dressed in Grenadian colours vie for your attention (and your dollars) to watch them jump from spectacular heights into the pools below, where you too can take a cooling dip.
Travelling by car, take the road towards Grand Etang National Park, on the Beaulieu Road, and before you reach Vendome take the road on the left through Willis to the falls. By Bus take the No 7 from the St George’s’ Bus station. Tell the bus driver you want to get off at the falls. He will let you out and point you to the left. You have a short walk over a small hill.
Mount Carmel Falls
Mount Carmel Falls are the least touristy and reputed to be the highest on the island, falling over 70-feet. From the road the falls are a 20 minute walk along an easy trail taking you through private plantations. There are locals who will guide you for a negotiable fee. Stand under the falls or swim in the natural pools below. If you are feeling adventurous you can cross the river to the hiking trails on the other side where you will come across another small waterfall and pools.
Getting there by car, take the Eastern Main Road up the east coast of the island. Mount Carmel Falls are about a third of the way up the island on the left.
Rosie and her husband Sim Hoggarth have cruised the Caribbean and North America for the past 12 years aboard Wandering Star. You can follow their travels at: www.yachtwanderingstar.com