Options for getting around the isle

ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada -- There are many options available for exploring this island.

A sampling follows:

To hire a car and driver for the day costs about $100. The price for a rental car is $50 per day.

For an organized tour with a guide, the price ranges from $2 to $50 per person. A four-person minimum is generally required.

A view of St. George's, Grenada.Travelers can do as the locals do and pile into one of the 2,000 privately owned mini-vans that traverse the island day and night.

The rate from one end of the island to the other is less than $2.

The minivans leave for designated parts of the 220-square-mile island from the foot of the outdoor market in St. George's. Destinations are not indicated, so visitors have to ask for the vans for Grenville or Grand Anse or Sauteurs, for example. Each van is likely to have a name emblazoned on its back window, such as Girls Dem Sugar, Dancehall Queen, the Rising Sun and Installment.

In addition to the driver, a conductor aggressively hustles for riders and may hold up the van, despite crowding and sweltering heat, until every last seat is filled. Sometimes there may be 15 passengers, crowded four or five to a seat.

In midafternoon, school lets out and children in their Catholic school uniforms take the vans home. There are frequent stops. At each one, the conductor opens the door and collects the fare.

If visitors don't care to investigate this boisterous, sometimes comic mode of transportation, taxi drivers charge $15 per hour for island tours. Tourists will find that some drivers are more knowledgeable than others. The government of Grenada recently offered a free course in island history to increase taxi drivers' island knowledge.

One standout among the drivers is William Ellcock, known as the Singing Taxi Driver, who also is a popular calypso singer. In addition to numerous tourists, some of Ellcock's notable cab fares include members of British royalty and President Ronald Reagan.

  • For guided nature hikes and offshore island excursions, try Henry's Safari Tours.
    Phone: (473) 444-5313
    Fax: (473) 444-4460
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: www.spiceisle.com/homepages/safari
  • Mandoo Tours & Taxi Service (voted Tour Guide of the Year in 1996 by the Grenada Board of Tourism) offers full- and half-day motor tours as well as hiking expeditions.
    Phone/fax: (473) 440-1428
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: www.grenadatours.com
  • Sunsation Tours takes visitors by air or sea to nearby St. Vincent and Carriacou as well as to offbeat places on Grenada.
    Phone: (473) 444-1594/2243/1842
    Fax: (473) 444-1103
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: www.grenadasunsation.com
  • Sunshine Tours and Rentals offers tours of the island as well as deep-sea fishing excursions.
    Phone: (473) 444-4296/2831
    Fax: (473) 444-4296)
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: www.travelgrenada.com/sun.htm
  • For reliable information about the island, look up Edwin Frank, a public information officer with the Board of Tourism who moonlights on weekends as a tour guide. The cost is $25 per person with a minimum of four people. Lunch is included.
    Phone: (473) 443-5143
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