Grenada is an archipelago comprising the island of Grenada – the most southerly of the Windward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean – and some of the Southern Grenadines.
Grenada is the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg after Indonesia; a symbol of a clove of nutmeg is on the national flag.
Grenada consists of the island of Grenada, the most southerly of the Windwards in the Eastern Caribbean, and some of the southern Grenadine islands, the largest of which is Carriacou (33 sq km). Its Caribbean neighbours include St Vincent and the Grenadines (which includes the more northern Grenadines) and Trinidad and Tobago.
St George’s (capital, pop. 5,200 in 2010), Gouyave (3,000), Grenville (2,400), Victoria (2,300), St David’s and Sauteurs on Grenada; and Hillsborough (800) on Carriacou.
There are 1,127 km of roads, 61 per cent paved. In the mountainous terrain roads are often narrow and winding.
St George’s is a deep-water port. Anchorage and facilities for yachts are offered at St George’s (at the Lagoon), Prickly Bay on the south-east coast and Secret Harbour, south of St George’s. The port for the Grenadine island of Carriacou is at Hillsborough and ferry services run between Grenada and other islands.
Point Salines International Airport is 11 km south of St George’s in the south-west of Grenada and there is a small airport at Lauriston on Carriacou.
Grenada is a member of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, Association of Caribbean States, Caribbean Community, Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Organization of American States, United Nations and World Trade Organization.
Mountains, chiefly of volcanic origin, form a backbone stretching the 33 km length of the island and rise to 840 metres at Mount St Catherine. The terrain slopes down to the coast on the east and south-east. The island is watered by its many streams and springs, and a small lake, Grand Etang, occupies an old crater at 530 metres.
The tropical climate is especially pleasant in the dry season (February to May) when the trade winds prevail. The rainy season runs from June to December, when hurricanes may occur and in some years – for example, Hurricane Ivan in 2004 – cause extensive damage. The temperature and rainfall vary with altitude, with much heavier rainfall in the mountains.
The natural vegetation is tropical rainforest (about 75 per cent of surviving natural forest is state-owned) and brushwood. Species include the gommier, bois canot and blue mahoe. There are also mangrove swamps and stunted woods. Forest covers 50 per cent of the land area and there was no significant loss of forest cover during 1990–2012.
Mainly smaller species, such as the mona monkey, agouti, armadillo and mongoose. There is a large variety of birds; the Grenada dove and hookbilled kite (an endangered species) are unique to the island.