Carriacou: A place that feels like home right away

By Nora Valdés
Carriacou Island Home

Before finding Caribbean Reef Buddy, I don’t think I ever heard of Carriacou.
Commonly mistaken with Curacao, this small island is located north of its home country Grenada, and for me, being from down south of the world, was quite a journey to get here the first time I came in 2018, but today I can heartily say that it has totally worth the effort.

It’s an unique place, with unique landscapes, unique smells, unique people and food flavors and, of course, a total paradise for scuba divers.

Hillsborough, Carriacou
Hillsborough Bay, Carriacou

From day one you get instantly mesmerized by the turquoise color of the water and the green color of the trees in the hills, but for me it was the kindness of Kayak people that sounded familiar, due to my dear Patagonian origins I guess, the same sense of security and peace that you feel when living in a small town where everybody knows who you are. I think that’s something we easily lose nowadays, especially when you get caught by the routine of adulthood and living in a big city, that usually tends to wash off certain greeting and basic social interactions, like saying “good morning” and “good afternoon” to people when you enter a room, or simply smiling back at someone in the street, for example. Well, that’s exactly what you find here, that’s the kindness that welcomes you on day one.

Others might say “the weather!”, of course, this is the Caribbean, West Indies, with beach paradises, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, rum punches and loads of aquatic sports and sea life to explore. Sure! That you can read about on touristic adds and brochures, but more of that on some other article, today I really want to share my love and appreciation for this place that I feel like home already.

I remember when I first came and spent 4 months here, it felt like I was leaving home when I left, and I love my home town, living in Punta Arenas (Chile) and being from Patagonia it’s amazing and makes me proud. I love the outdoors, I constantly miss the wind and the beautiful clouds, don’t get me started on winter days and the snow… I was always a more “cold” that “hot” weather kind of person, but I have to thank “diving” for that, cause thanks to it I found this place and now I love the sun, the warmth days of endless summer, being in the water and even the damn sand that gets everywhere.

So let me give you some pointers about this cute little place, I still haven’t been everywhere in the island, but a couple places I’ve been, like the Cemetery by the Sea and Grand Bay have become my favorite spots to spend a Sunday afternoon by myself or to take a couple of friends to chillax for a bit. There are also great view points to visit, like the Princess Royal Hospital, the High North hill or Chapeau Carre in the south side of the Island that offers a 360° view, although it can be a bit challenging to get there, but totally worth trying.

High up in the hills, looking towards Petite Martinique

For beach lovers there’s Paradise Beach of course, the most popular one for the easy access with public transportation, it also holds a variety of beach bars and is right in front of Sandy Island, so you can even take a water taxi or book a day trip from here. There’s also Anse La Roche and the most beautiful one of the island has to be Petite Carenage, turtle sanctuary located at the northern point of Carriacou, past Windward.

Petite Carenage, Carriacou

When it comes to food, I have to say I actually like it and enjoy it a lot, but must warn you to be prepared and patient, you will have to wait and somedays you won’t find any service at all. This is the mayor downside for tourists that visit the island, but it gets easier if you rent a car or get a taxi, cause there are some really good restaurants to go to, especially for dinner, but it might be a bit tricky to get there.

So this are my favourites so far for special dinner occasions:

  • Pizza Meh Heart in Winward, best pizza in the island;
  • Big City Grill in Tyrel Bay, for great burgers or steaks and ribs;
  • Lambi Queen in Tyrel Bay for pizzas on a Friday night;
  • CowFoot in Belview, this is where the locals go for the best fried chicken and pork ribs of the island;
  • Tanty Mavis in Tyrel Bay for chicken on Friday and sea food on Saturday nights;
  • Butterfly Bar in Hillsborough for pizzas, roties and a killer rum punch;
  • Off The Hook in Paradise Beach to spend a Sunday drinking rum punches;

For everyday lunch in Hillsborough:

  • Kayak Café has a delicious menu from breakfast and lunch, try the smoothies;
  • Steamboat is the place for fried chicken lovers, they usually have only chicken wings, but it´s delicious;
  • Patty’s Deli makes sandwiches, tarts and pastries;
  • Nancy, she has a small food stand next to the bus stop, makes sandwiches, smoothies, cakes and fried chicken;
  • Good to Go for great value for money, tasty stewed chicken, turkey & fish with generous sides;
  • Rosa’s Guest House Mom’s Trini Rotis are very popular, available on Fridays & Saturdays only;

These are my favourites so far – there are many others I still have to discover!

After what you’ve read so far, I guess you get the drill to how life is like here in Carriacou, so needless to say that if you’re looking for big resorts with All Inclusive, crowded pools and luxurious hotel rooms, please D O N O T C O M E ! You will not find that here, and we like it that way. That’s more of the uniqueness of this beautiful little island. A big part of it feels like its been frozen in time, and the pace of the lifestyle takes over you once you get here, another resemblance with Patagonia: “If you try to haste, you’ll waste your time…”

There is so much more to say about living here, but I guess I’ll have the opportunity to experience a bit more and give you guys an update later.

So if you’re thinking on paying us a visit, I would love to tell you all about our beautiful island. Just like back in Patagonia, I’m always eager to explore a bit more of my beloved new home and enjoy discovering new wonders, Come and join me, so you can have the chance to fall in love with the island like I did.

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About the author: Nora is a dive instructor at Deefer Diving. Originally from Patagonia, she fell in love with Carriacou when she first came here 3 years ago. It has now become a home for her.

For more information about diving in Carriacou, please visit our website,