small nation consists of three islands: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit
Martinique. Grenada is by far the largest of the three, with a width
of twelve miles (18 km) and a length of twenty-one miles (34 km). Its
133 sq. miles (440 sq. km.) are mountainous, volcanic terrain, reaching
heights of over 2,750 feet atop Mount St. Catherine. This topography
provides Grenada with one of the loveliest and most varied environments
in the Caribbean, including crater lakes as well as a startling variety
of plant and animal life. Dwarf forests high atop Mount St. Catherine
descend to the montane rainforests of middle altitudes, which give
way in turn to the dry forests of the lowlands. Those forests shift
to mangrove at the coast, giving way to stunning white sand beaches,
brilliant blue water, and exquisite coral reefs.
Grenada's smaller sister island, Carriacou, is hilly
but not mountainous. With smoother terrain, Carriacou is an ideal destination
for walking. It possesses fine sand beaches and natural harbours, as
well as offering excellent views out over the northern Grenadine islands.
Petite Martinique, the third and by far the smallest island in the state,
consists of little more than the tip of a volcanic cone poking through
the water. It is only now being developed for visitors.
The three islands of Grenada are located in the Eastern Caribbean at the
southern extremity of the Windward islands, only 100 miles north of Venezuala.
To the north lie St. Vincent and the Grenadines; to the south Trinidad
Average temperatures range from 24C/75F to 30C/87F, tempered by the steady
and cooling trade winds. The lowest temperatures occur between November
and February. Because of 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
Grenada's population numbers about 93,000, comprising citizens of African,
East-Indian, and European descent. The largest proportion of the population,
about 75%, is of African descent.