|Nutmeg ice cream. Nutmeg cheesecake. Nutmeg sprinkled
over rum punch. There's even a nutmeg rub that's supposed to cure the common cold. Grenadians are nothing if not resourceful
with the spice. And that's understandable: They grow one-third of the world's nutmeg.
But although you'll see (and smell) plenty of the glossy brown nuts
in Grenada, there's more to this country than spices. St. George's, the capital city, is one of the prettiest ports in the
region. Pastel-colored houses with red-tiled roofs perch on green slopes overlooking the bay, which includes a lagoon that's
actually the collapsed crater of an extinct volcano. Then there's the intensely blue lake atop the rain forest in Grand Etang
All of the islands that make up this nation have the languid charm
of the Caribbean as it used to be. Although resort developers have discovered Grenada, only a small stretch of beach is given
over to them. The rest of Grenada feels very local rather than touristy. Grenada was badly damaged by Hurricane Ivan in September
2004, but most hotels and services -- including the new Melville Street Cruise Port Terminal -- are now functioning.
Carriacou and Petite Martinique -- the other two islands sometimes
visited by travelers -- are especially enticing for those who find even the leisurely pace of Grenada too hectic. A windjammer-type
cruise or a yacht trip through the area is a good option: These are some of the finest sailing waters in the world.
Area: 133 sq mi (344 sq km)
Population (2005 est.): 89,502 (growth rate 0.2%);
birth rate: 22.3/1000; infant mortality rate: 14.6/1000; life expectancy: 64.5; density per sq mi: 674
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): St. George's, 4,300
Monetary unit: East Caribbean dollar
Language: English (official), French patois
Ethnicity/race: black 82%, mixed black and European 13%, European and East Indian 5%, and trace of Arawak/Carib Amerindian
Religions: Roman Catholic 53%, Anglican 13.8%, other Protestant 33.2%
Literacy rate: 90% (1970 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2002 est.): $440
million; per capita $5,000. Real growth rate: 2.5%. Inflation: 2.8% (2001 est.). Unemployment: 12.5%
(2000). Arable land: 6%. Agriculture: bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, mace, citrus, avocados, root crops, sugarcane,
corn, vegetables. Labor force: 42,300 (1996); services 62%, agriculture 24%, industry 14% (1999 est.). Industries:
food and beverages, textiles, light assembly operations, tourism, construction. Natural resources: timber, tropical
fruit, deepwater harbors. Exports: $46 million (2002 est.): bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, fruit and vegetables, clothing,
mace. Imports: $208 million (2002 est.): food, manufactured goods, machinery, chemicals, fuel. Major trading partners:
Germany, U.S., Bangladesh, Netherlands, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, France, Trinidad and Tobago, UK.