Grenada is a group of three larger islands (Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique) and several tiny islands in the Caribbean, or West Indies. It lies just northeast of Trinidad and Tobago, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is famous for spices and is known as the Spice Isle, being a major source of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa. St. George’s, the island’s capital, is often called the most beautiful city in the Caribbean.
Grenada is a popular turning point for cruisers to either return back up the Caribbean chain or to turn westward towards Panama. Visitors to Grenada must obtain a visa from one of the Grenadian diplomatic missions or in certain cases in United Kingdom diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the 103 visa exempt countries or 13 countries whose citizens may obtain a visa on arrival. All visa-exempt nationals can stay in Grenada up to 3 months without a visa, except for nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom who are granted a 6-month stay. Many cruise ships dock in or near St. George’s between October and May. A large cruise ship terminal was completed in 2005, allowing up to 4 ships to be docked at once. The terminal “mall” houses numerous shops, some typical for Caribbean cruises, a few unique to the island. Cruise ship passengers of all nationalities can visit Grenada for up to 24 hours without a visa.
About 89% of Grenada’s population is of African descent. An additional 8.2% are of mixed East Indian, African, and/or Caucasian ancestry, reflecting Grenada’s history of African slaves, East Indian indentured servants, and European settlers. An additional 2% of the population considers itself East Indian, which includes some descendants of the indentured servants brought to Grenada from 1857 to the 1890s, as well as immigrants arriving from Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Indians since the 1970s. A small community (less than 1% of the population) of the descendants of early European settlers resides in Grenada. Grenada was granted full autonomy by the British over its internal affairs in March 1967. Full independence was granted on February 7, 1974.
Grenada signed a mutual visa-waiver agreement with the European Union on 28 May 2015 which was ratified on 15 December 2015. This agreement allows all citizens of states that are contracting parties to the Schengen Agreement to stay without a visa for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period.
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