Grand Etang Forest Reserve, commonly known as Grand Etang National Park, is a pristine and protected location on Grenada’s Caribbean island. If you enjoy nature, Grand Etang National Park is a must-see destination. It was founded in 1992. Grand Etang Lake is the name of the national park, which means “big lake” in French.
Even if you prefer to relax on Grenada’s white sand beaches, set aside at least a full day to discover the beauties of the island’s most popular national park. It’s a chance to experience one of the reasons Grenada is so incredible: its untamed jungles, breathtaking rainforests, and ancient crater lakes.
It’s a combination of outdoor adventure and history instruction. You’ll gain a better understanding of the island’s geology and how Grenada came to be the gorgeous location it is today. Hiking and seeing amazing waterfalls are also excellent options.
Stop by the Visitors Center to pick up a park map before hitting the trails; the Visitors Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on weekends when cruise ships are docked. It’s possible that you’ll be charged a price to trek here, although it won’t be more than $3 to $6 XCD ($1 to $2 USD).
The mona monkey (Cercopithecus mona), which was presumably imported to the island from Africa during the slave trade, lives in the forests of Grand Etang. The monkeys used to be a famous tourist attraction, but after two hurricanes, sightings have decreased. The loss of the monkeys’ habitat, as well as the lack of implementation of the law providing their protection from hunters within the national park’s boundaries, are of special concern. Hopefully, something will be done before the mona monkey follows in the footsteps of the agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) and becomes extinct in Grenada.
Grand Etang Lake, one of Grenada’s two crater lakes, is a 36-acre crater lake inside an ancient volcano. Between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago, there was volcanic activity. Lake Antoine is a nearby crater lake in Grenada that is part of the same mountain range.
When you look into the lake, you’ll realize that there is a lot of fish. Freshwater lobster, barracuda, bonefish, crayfish, and other fish can be found in Grand Etang Lake. Because the water is so pure, you can look down into the lake and see these fascinating creatures.
Hiking around the full perimeter of Grand Etang Lake is possible. It will take around an hour and a half to complete. If you walk down from the Visitor Center, it will take around 15 minutes longer. This is a short but pleasant walk around the lake, with lovely views all around.
If you want a more challenging journey, go from Grand Etang Lake to the summit of Mount Qua Qua for one of the best views of the lake. Although there are some stairs to help you along the way, this walk to the summit of one of Grenada’s tallest hills can be muddy and slippery. It will take approximately three hours total to travel round trip.
The Seven Sisters Waterfalls are another fantastic climb within Grand Etang National Park. Most hikers take roughly 20 to 30 minutes to reach the first of two waterfalls. Although there are many steps to descend, the hike is not particularly challenging.
The voyage there is almost as enjoyable as the final destination. You’ll be hiking through a lush, tropical jungle filled with beautiful, vibrant flowers. You can continue hiking to the next waterfall if you want to see more. It’s possible to go there on your own or you can book a tour to Seven Sisters Waterfalls that includes transportation and a guide.
Gift stores, eateries, park benches and cabanas, and an explanatory visitors’ center with many images and large signage explaining the history of the lake, the island’s flora and fauna, and historical details about Grenada is available. It’s definitely worth a look if you want to learn more about the park. We signed the guestbook that was there.
On the grounds of the national park, there are a few small shops as well as sellers selling spice necklaces, and locally made Grenada dark chocolate bars, made with cocoa grown by local farmers.
Stops were made at Grand Etang National Park, Annandale Falls, and other locations around the island during this trip. On a trip, you may be able to see Annandale Falls and Grand Etang Lake in one day.
If you’re on your own, though, we recommend stopping by Annandale Falls on your way to Grand Etang National Park. It’s not far away, and the short trip to this lovely waterfall is well worth it.
You must pay a nominal admission fee to visit Annandale Falls (equivalent to a few US dollars). As you descend down to the waterfall, you’ll be surrounded by lush, tropical flora. This gently flowing waterfall can be admired after a short walk. It features a 30-foot drop to a pool beneath it. If you’re feeling energetic, you can go for a swim in the little natural pool.
When you visit the falls, you will see a variety of performers. If you’re impressed, feel free to tip!
Another set of performers at Annandale Falls is the Daredevil Cliff Divers. These gentlemen took turns leaping from the cliff’s edge into the lake below. Because the cliffs are so high up, this is quite stunning. They must jump with great precision because there are many jagged rocks and boulders below.
Grand Etang Lake and Grand Etang National Park are visited by most half-day and full-day island cruises. This Grenada half-day island excursion comes highly recommended. If you want to travel at a slower pace, learn about the island from your tour guide, and not have to worry about transportation, this is a perfect alternative. During your island trip, you will also have the opportunity to participate in other enjoyable activities such as learning about local spices and sampling “under the counter” rum.
Another alternative is to rent a car in Grenada and drive yourself to Grand Etang National Park. You’ll have more freedom to explore, and it may also be a less expensive option. We recommend making a car reservation ahead of time.
There are several Airbnb accommodations in Grenada whether you prefer to have your own apartment or share a home. Mt. Parnassus Inn is a lovely facility that you’ll undoubtedly enjoy, and it’s a fraction of the cost of resorts, giving you the opportunity to have a unique vacation experience. It’s only a 15-minute drive to Grand Etang National Park.
The Mt. Parnassus Inn apartment features two bedrooms, one bathroom, a full kitchen, a breakfast bar, free WiFi, and a Smart TV. Ceiling fans and screened windows can be found throughout the house. Towels, bedding, and cooking utensils are provided, as well as a BBQ grill and a washing machine. The open-plan living room is connected to a breakfast balcony and sundeck via French doors. In this tropical refuge, interact with nature, enjoy garden vistas, and cool elevation as if you were a local. Guests have their own entrance and private parking on the grounds of Mt. Parnassus Inn. Book the Mt. Parnassus Inn on Airbnb