Carriacou is known as "the island surrounded by reefs" from an Amerindian word. Originally settled by the French, the island was ceded to the British when they captured Grenada Island. The majority of the inhabitants today are of African descent, but there remains a British influence as it was colonized by the British Empire and remains a dependency of Grenada, a Commonwealth state. There is also still a French influence which is demonstrated in some of the village names: L'Esterre, La Resource, and Beausejour. Also some patois is still spoken.
Carriacou's coastline is mostly wave-cut coral or shoal formations. Manchineel Bay and Carenage Bay near Harvey Vale have some small beach areas, spectacular because they are volcanic black sand beaches. By contrast Anse La Roche and Hillsborough Bay are white coral sand beaches.
In 2005 Hurricane Emily hit Carriacou, damaging hundreds of buildings.
Ferry services are also available between Grenada and Carriacou.
From Carriacou for Grenada (1hr 15mins) M-Sa at 6AM and 3:30PM; Su at 3:30PM.
From Grenada to Carriacou (1hr. 15mins) M-F 9AM and 5:30PM; Sa at 9AM; Su 8AM and 5:30PM.
From Carriacou for Grenada (3hrs) M,Th 10AM.
From Grenada for Carriacou (3hrs) W,Sa 10AM.
- Minibuses run from 7AM-5PM
- Ade's Dream, Hillsborough, tel +1 443 7317, (email: Adesdea@caribsurf.com).
- Martin & Wayne's, Hillsborough, tel +1 443 7204.
- Sunkey's, Hillsborough, tel +1 443 8382.
- Barba's, L' Esterre, tel +1 443 7454.
- Quality Jeep, L' Esterre, tel +1 443 8307.
- Amerindian Well in Harvey Vale. This ancient well is located quite close to the sea, near a guest house, aptly named Constant Springs. Its mineral waters are thought to have healthful properties.
- Anglican Rectory Garden
- Anse La Roche Beach in Prospect. Access is via a rigorous mile-long trail, a bit steep but well marked, or by boat. One of the most scenic and secluded beaches. A striking rock formation juts up just about 30 yards from the beach. The sandy beach is superb and you may likely have it all to yourself at off times. Snorkeling is very good off the point.
- Belair National Park in Belair. The park is the setting for the Maroon Cultural Festival and Parang Festival. Both French and English ruins of plantation buildings and well-preserved windmills. A network of hiking trails, natural scenery, including a teak and mahogany forest and wildlife.
- Botanical Gardens, Hillsborough.
- Hillsborough Bay creates a very nice sandy beach.
- Carriacou Museum Hillborough
- Dumfries Historical Site in Dumfries. Old plantation ruins with some old equipment and machinery used in processing cotton and limes, including a landmark stone chimney.
- High North Peak The highest elevation on Carriacou - 956 feet. Within a National Park, there are trails and guided tours available. Hikers often see iguanas, land tortoises, or soldier crabs along the way as well as some varieties of birds.
- Ningo Well Tibeau. One of the earliest wells built on Carriacou. Plantation ruins are nearby and a cemetery is right on the beach at Jews Bay.
- Paradise Beach L'Esterre. Paradise is one of Carriacou's best beaches. A barrier reef provides calm waters and white sand.
- Petite Carenage Beach & Mangroves Windward. There is a marked trail leading from the road in Windward, through the mangroves and down to this isolated beach. This sand beach is made up of tiny shells and turtles use it to lay their eggs. The surf is often more rigorous here than other beaches. A guide conducts mangrove and nightwatch nesting turtle tours.
- White Island Marine Park Water taxi out to this offshore island for some great snorkeling. The park provides easy access to coral gardens. Pack a lunch.
- Carnival is held in February or early March.
- The Carriacou Regatta. Held on the first weekend in August, is a racing event for locally built boats.
- The Parang on the weekend prior to Christmas celebrates the island's traditional Christmas music and culture.
- Carriacou Maroon Festival held during the second quarter of the year.
- Bogles Round House, Bogles, in the Artistic Round House building. (5 minute taxi ride to the north of Hillsborough), ☏ . open for lunch from 1230 to 1430, Dinner from 1830 to 2030. Closed on Wednesdays and Sunday Evenings.. Featuring Chef Roxanne Russell. They use mostly local ingredients with an international twist. Main Courses from EC$50.
- Slipway Restaurant, Tyrrel Bay, ☏ . Creative cuisine featuring fresh local ingredients, served in a unique nautical setting at the water's edge. Open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch & dinner, Sundays for brunch from 11:30AM-2:30PM. Full bar open daily from 10AM except Sunday night and Monday. moderate.
- Off The Hook Bar & Grill, L'Esterre Bay.
- Hope's Inn, ☏ .
- Kim's Plaza Guesthouse, Church Street, ☏ .
- Peace Haven Guest House, ☏ .
- Millie's Guest House, ☏ .
- Bayaleau Point Cottages, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- Belair Garden Cottage, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Peaceful, private island style cottage with a magnificent view!
- Bogle's Round House, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. (Skype: Nashp76; ). Self-contained cottages a stone's throw from the beach.
- Carriacou Grand View Hotel, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Beausejour.
Carricou has a small hospital.