Grenada’s Carnival, better known as Spicemas, is a 10-day celebration with monarch competitions, great food, fetes, jab and pageantry. This celebration concludes with two days of parades – jouvert, monday night mas and pretty mas. Prepare yourself for minimal to no sleep!
To experience the best Grenada has to offer, visit the island from August 7th or 8th.
The parades take place on August 12 & 13, 2024
Grenada is accessible by air, and the primary airport to fly into is the Maurice Bishop International Airport (IATA code: GND). It’s good advice to plan ahead and monitor flight prices, as booking early can often help you secure better deals on airfare. Flights for Spicemas 2024 will post in October/November 2023.
WHERE TO STAY
Most of the major Spicemas events happen in St. George. However, there are quite a few amazing events that happen outside of this parish as well. It is advised that visitors rent a vehicle, hire a designated taxi driver during their stay or use the local ride share app – HaylUp. I highly recommend Tour De Spice taxi services .
- Spice Island Beach Resort ($$$$)
- Silversands Grenada ($$$)
- Sandal’s Grenada (All-Inclusive) ($$$)
- Royalton Grenada ($$$)
- Radisson Grenada ($$)
- Mount Cinnamon ($$)
- Coyaba Beach Resort ($)
- True Blue Bay Resort ($)
- Grooms Beach Villa ($)
WHERE TO PARTY
You cannot have carnival without fetes. Grenada offers many fete types for revelers. When I asked around these fetes came highly recommended:
- The Biggest White
- Soca Monarch : The National Stadium comes alive on Carnival Friday for Soca Monarch. Watch the top Grenadian soca artistes battle for the coveted titles of Groovy and Power Soca Monarch.
- C4 Promotions Rum Boat : This is an all inclusive breakfast boatride that starts off the festivities on Carnival Saturday. Top DJs and performers keep the vibe on lock while we party on the open seas.
WHERE TO GET COSTUMES
You can find relatively affordable costumes at Spicemas. Vibe Mas Carnival for example has backline costumes starting from $460usd. Here is a list of bands to choose from:
- Golden Mas
- Vibe Mas Carnival
- Xtascy Mas
- Oro Carnival
- Lavish the Band
- Andre Garvey & Associates
If you are interested in Jab Jab jouvert, this experience is free. Prep your body with baby oil so you are able to wash off any oil or paint remnants easily and join in on the fun. Simply bring your own alcohol or some pocket change to purchase a drink from a nearby vendor. There are various jouvert bands playing music, you can join in and dance at no cost to you.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST
Carnival vacations are expensive. If you are based in the USA and own a smart phone, there are apps that allow you to save mindlessly. I use Qapital [use code xw2ds8bm to get $25 once you sign up] and the app rounds up my purchases and puts this extra change in my piggy bank. which rolls over my purchases to the next dollar and saves it for me. For example if I spend $3.40, it will put 60 cents in my Qapital account. This really adds up! I bought a flight for $600 from this same piggy bank last year. I didn’t miss the money.
Here is a budget breakdown
- Flight: $560 – 3000usd (because of demand, flights will likely get expensive by February 2024 so book early)
- Hotel: $550 – $900usd (double occupancy)
- Costumes: $360 – $1200usd (depending on backline/frontline and band)
- Transportation: $100 – $500usd (depending on if you hire a driver or get a car rental within a group)
- Fetes: Events are as low as $20USD up to $200USD for VIP.
TOURISTY THINGS TO CHECK OUT
While you’re there for Spicemas, make some time to see Grenada. There is something for everyone. If you’re into outdoor adventures, you can visit the underwater sculpture park, try a hash (trail running in the mountains) with the Grenada Hash House Harriers, water tube with your friends or visit one of the many waterfalls. For the culture lover, there are some historical sites, great food, fun bars and some of the best beaches in the Caribbean at your disposal.
- House of Chocolate
- Nick’s Barrel House for Rum Tasting
- Annadale Waterfall
- Underwater Sculpture Park
- Grand Anse Beach
If this is your first carnival experience, make sure to checkout this newbie guide.
Have more questions? Ask me in the comments below!