Carriacou Beaches: Complete Guide and Map
Carriacou, Grenada’s lovely little sidekick island, is blessed with a number of gorgeous, deserted beaches. As with the rest of the island, these beaches are unspoiled, clean, quiet and safe at all times.
Practically the whole leeward side of Carriacou is beach after beach. The windward side also has some beaches but no need to bother with these, Bunny says. They pale in comparison to those on the western side.
Bunny recently spent three months in Carriacou and devoted a considerable amount of time and effort to exploring all the beaches on the island (such hard work!) for the purpose of enlightening others on this important subject.
Bunny the beach explorer hard at work!
Check out the results of Bunny’s work below, including a short compilation video and map.
Hillsborough Beach is where you’ll swim if you fancy a dip while in town or stay at the Mermaid Hotel. It is a long sandy beach that gets little attention. It runs the entire length of the town of Hillsborough and continues even past its tiny airport.
The last stretch of the beach (after the turn to the airport) is Bunny’s favorite. It is almost always completely empty and has lovely soft white sand, views towards Sandy Island and a picturesque shipwreck.
At this end of the beach, there is also a structure (bars, tables, movie screen) where local festivals, such as the annual corn fest, are held, but it sits deserted most of the time. Otherwise there are no facilities on this beach, apart from the restaurants and bars in the neighbouring town itself.
How to Get There
Just swim directly from Hillsborough or walk the road towards the airport and pop in for a dip at any point. It could not be easier.
The aptly named Paradise Beach is probably the most popular (and mentioned) of Carriacou’s beaches. It is a long, picturesque stretch of sand, with views to Sandy Island and further towards Union Island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The waters are usually calm here and swimming is lovely. There is also some snorkelling on the left hand side of the beach (when facing the sea). Mr. Bunny once saw a gorgeous spotted eagle ray right off the beach.
Unlike most other beaches in Carriacou, Paradise Beach has some (modest) services as well. You can find drinks, bathrooms, a couple of shacks selling beach clothes and a handful of restaurants offering local fare. Legendary establishments include Off the Hook Bar & Grill on the beach’s southern end and Hardwood Bar on its northern end. At Off the Hook, you can rent kayaks and snorkelling equipment or organize a trip to nearby Sandy Island.
Although Paradise Beach is by no means busy, there are always a couple of colourful fishing boats in the bay, bobbing up and down in the gentle waves. On weekends and holidays, Paradise Beach gets popular with locals. The parties are often loud and fun - join in. Just be careful with the potent local rum, Jack Iron.
How to Get There
Paradise Beach is easy to reach from both Hillsborough and Tyrell Bay. Minibus route number 10 goes right past Paradise Beach; you can ask to be dropped off at either end of the beach. The airport is also very close, so much so that you can catch a close-up of the planes from the beach when they land or take off.
Tyrell Bay Beach
Bunny spent a month living 20 metres from Tyrell Bay
Beach. Happy times!
The beach spans the length of Tyrell Bay which is usually full of sail boats. Swimming is good at any spot. It is a perfect, long and calm beach for doing laps in the sea in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not too hot.
Mr. Bunny also did quite a bit of snorkelling there and claims that there was always something interesting to see. The water in Tyrell Bay is very clear but Bunny cannot help wondering what happens to the waste water from all those sailboats…
There are a number of restaurants, rum bars and grocery shops along Tyrell Bay. The only service missing is a public bathroom.
How to Get There
Ferries from Grenada arrive at Tyrell Bay. It is also the end stop of the minibus route number 10 which starts at Hillsborough.
Anse La Roche
Anse La Roche is the least accessible of Carriacou’s beautiful beaches but it is totally worth the extra effort. It is the quintessential Caribbean horseshoe bay with the softest sand and some great snorkelling just off the beach.
Swimming is a delight and various trees lining up the beach provide some shade on hot sunny days. Because of its challenging location, you are likely to have this paradise all to yourself whenever you visit.
Sometimes a sailboat or two are anchored in the bay for an afternoon of swimming and snorkelling. There are no services at Anse La Roche.
How to Get There
The easiest way to visit Anse La Roche is by boat, sailing in on a catamaran or making arrangements with a local fisherman to take you by speedboat.
Outside that option, your only chance is to hike. You can make your way to the settlement of Bogles by minibus number 11 and keep going north after passing the crossroads to Windward on the right. The paved road soon turns into a dirt road. There are occasional signs to Anse La Roche on the way so you are in no danger of getting lost.
Once you have passed a sign announcing 91 metres to Anse La Roche, keep your eyes peeled to the left. There will be another small sign at the beginning of the forest trail. The hike through the forest is just under a kilometre but it gets a bit steep at times. If cycling, don’t be tempted to take your bike with you on this last, steep part of the hike. Leave it on the trail. Don’t worry: it will still be there when you come back. That’s Carriacou!
Petite Carenage Beach
This is one of Bunny’s favourite beaches in Carriacou, and that is saying something considering the whole island is packed with absolutely gorgeous beaches! It is also a protected turtle egg laying area.
Although it is not that difficult to get to, Petit Carenage feels totally secluded. You almost never encounter anyone there. The beach is ridged, very long, but quite narrow, with gorgeous white sand and some pieces of coral. The horseshoe-shaped beach is very clean and swimming is easy although it gets deep quite quickly and the waves can be strong - so don’t venture too far.
There is an old wreck and a bird-watching platform on the northern end of the beach and a small beach gazebo about halfway down the beach. This is a good sheltered place for a picnic or changing. Depending on the time of the day, you can also get shade elsewhere on the beach from the surrounding mangroves.
The view towards Union Island is gorgeous. There is no snorkelling here but the water at Petit Carenage is the brightest colour of turquoise Bunny has seen anywhere in the world. Truly a blissful place!
How to Get There?
Take a car (or minibus number 11) just past the village of Windward. Once you see a big cemetery on the left-hand side of the road, look for a nice big sign on the right. Park there, take the stairs down and follow the path marked with conch shells for less than half a kilometre until you hit the beach. The path is flat so you can also take your bike right down to the beach if you are cycling.
Sparrow Bay Beach
Sparrow Bay is a pretty, long black sand beach to the north of the capital Hillsborough. Bunny does not visit this beach often but whenever she does, she marvels at the softness of the sand. The swimming is good too and as with most of Carriacou’s beaches, you are likely to have it completely to yourself.
There are a couple of villas on the southern end of Sparrow Bay, with access to the beach, but no services.
How to Get There
The best way to visit Sparrow Bay is to have lunch at the excellent Bogles Roundhouse restaurant and then make your way through its grounds to the beach to digest. From the Bogles garden, exit through the wooden gate and turn left, following a path through the flat meadows until you see a huge patch of cacti and an old structure in front of you. This is a good access point to Sparrow Bay.
Beaches on the St. Louis Peninsula
There are three very different beaches on the lovely St. Louis peninsula in Carriacou.
This is a long white beach facing Mabouya and Sandy Islands. The sand is white and soft and supposedly the snorkelling is not too bad but Bunny is yet to try it. Apparently, there are some stunning Gorgonian corals to see. Unfortunately, this beach’s potential charm is hindered by the roughness of the sea at times as well as the amount of sediment and rubbish coming onshore with the waves.
White Sand Beach
White Sand Beach is a perfect place for observing beautiful sunsets. It is a tiny beach, with views toward faraway Grenada. The swell can look quite intimidating at times but once you are in the water, it is all fine. Snorkelling on the left hand side of the beach (when facing the sea) towards Jack Iron Point is particularly good. Bunny has spotted lobsters and barracuda here.
Black Sand Beach
This is a beautiful beach with very black sand due to its surrounding volcanic terrain. The sand is incredibly soft and clean. It is a bit longer than White Sand Beach and has more shady trees under which to take refuge.
There is interesting snorkelling on both sides of the beach, particularly on the right hand side (when facing the sea). In fact, this is the same reef that continues on White Sand Beach around the Jack Iron Point. Some people even snorkel from Black Sand Beach to White Sand Beach around the intimidating point. Bunny has not yet been brave enough to do so.
How to Get There
Minibus routes in Carriacou do not cover St. Louis, so you will have to walk a hilly route for about 15 minutes from the “L’Esterre Cross” minibus stop or rent a car. You can also try bushwhacking a rough path that leads from Paradise Beach to L’Esterre Beach.
Once you are St. Louis, Black and White Sand Beaches are easy to access along established paths. Black Sand Beach is an easy 5-minute walk downhill from the end of the dirt road. Another short path (5-minute walk) connects Black and White Sand Beaches.
Whichever beach you’ll be visiting, leave only paw prints behind, Bunny says!
Beaches on Nearby Islands
White Island is a lovely dramatic-looking deserted island about a mile off the south coast of Carriacou. It has incredible turquoise waters and the whitest of sands (with some bits of coral) and is punctuated by a steep hill. It is very rarely visited so you usually have the entire island to yourself.
There is some snorkelling on the eastern side of White Island but the sea is best suited for swimming. Just be aware of the strong currents and don’t venture too far left (when facing out to sea).
There is a small (somewhat run-down) picnic area behind the trees on the eastern side of White Island. This is the only place providing some shelter and shade. Bring plenty of sunscreen and a long-sleeved top if you are prone to sunburn.
The steep hill on the otherwise flat White Island didn’t look very hikeable when the Bunnies explored the island. The western side of White Island (accessed via the shore but there are some slippery stones there!) has a protected shallow bay for some easy gentle snorkelling.
Saline Island is located next to White Island also about a mile off the south coast of Carriacou. It is privately owned but nothing stops you from making a day trip to snorkel and enjoy the beach there. Granted, the beach is not the best in Carriacou as the sand quickly turns into rocks and corals once you enter the water. Water shoes are strongly recommended.
But the snorkelling at Saline Island is excellent! The water is extremely clear, there are some interesting corals and no current to speak of. If you are lucky, you can spot turtles there. Mr. Bunny encountered a nurse shark bigger than himself (and he is not a small fellow) right off the bay once.
There are some mangroves and trees that provide (limited) shade on the beach. There are no services, so bring a lot of water and sunscreen.
The tiny Sandy Island is one of Bunny’s favourite places in Carriacou. It is has one of the loveliest beaches in the region, excellent snorkelling and those picture-perfect Caribbean looks: white sand, turquoise water and swaying palm trees.
Sandy Island is part of a marine protected area that supports two species of sea turtles, the hawksbill turtle and the green sea turtle. You will have to be lucky to spot either species though. But there is always an abundance of other marine life here to enjoy.
Sandy Island can get very popular with day trippers and yachties, but somehow it never feels crowded despite its small size.
How to Get to the Islands
You will have to charter a water taxi (boat) or make a deal with one of the local fishermen to give you a ride. Ask around in Tyrell Bay or Paradise Beach, or go with one of the island’s tour companies.
For Sandy Island, you can also rent a kayak on Paradise Beach and paddle your way there. Check out further details in Bunny’s blog post on Visiting Sandy Island.
Carriacou and the neighbouring small islands boast some amazing stretches of sand. Most of them have no facilities but you will often have them to yourself. Bunny for one, is more than happy to trade beach loungers and cocktails for the seclusion and unspoiled natural beauty offered by Carriacou’s beaches.