Here is a list of the top ten things you can do in St. Mark’s, which is enjoyed by locals and visitors:
1. Hike to Mt. St. Catherine
Mt. St. Catherine is the tallest mountain in Grenada, and its highest peak lies in St. Mark’s. Once a year during the Sunset City Festival, the community of St. Mark’s hike through the lush tropical forest of St. Mark’s to the peaks of Mt. St. Catherine. This year the hike would take place on the Saturday 20th April, 2019. It is a well anticipated event. On a clear day the view from the peak is amazing. It is an experience that one would remember for a lifetime. If you are interested in hiking to Mt. St. Catherine outside of the Sunset City Festival, please book a tour guide and be prepared to start your hike early in the morning.
2. Visit Duquense Bay
Duquense Bay is a historical place. On the end of its long dark tanned sand beach, you would find large stones containing petroglyphs, evidence that reminds us of the original inhabitants of the island, the Caribs or Kalinago people. It is believed Duquense Bay was the scene of a major Kalinago – French battle, and it was there, the French drove the Caribs to the north of the island which led to their demise at Carib’s Leap – a site where history tells us, the Kalinagos leap to their death rather than surrendering to the French.
There is a unique point in Duquesne where one can view large ships hundreds of miles away.
Book a tour to Duquesne Bay, and bring with you a pack a lunch, or stop on the way to pick up a takeaway lunch to enjoy on the quiet beach, washed by the deep blue caribbean sea, the waves that are calm most of the times.
It is a fishing village, so if you are lucky you might witness fishermen landing their catch or even villagers pulling seine, a local tradition.
3. Visit the Diamond chocolate factory
Diamond chocolate factory is the home of Jouvay Chocolate. The factory is housed in an old rum distillery built by French monks in 1774. One can still see remains of the old rum distillery on the site, making the factory a palatable and scenic delight.
Tours of the machinery which makes the chocolate is welcomed and one can even see cocoa (cacao) on the trees in the garden nearby. The tours are free. The cocoa ‘boucan’ nearby is an excellent example of the process cocoa beans go through between the time picked and when it is made into a product that we love.
The farmer-owned chocolate factory allows a fine sampling of chocolates, which is also free, and if this is not enough, you can purchase some to take with you at the souvenir shop. The prices are very reasonable. The souvenir shop has a wide variety of gifts, you will be able to find something for everyone.
The staff is friendly and will make you feel welcomed.
The factory is well-visited by locals and visitors alike. Whether you are travelling in groups, alone or with a special someone, it is trip worth its weight in gold. If you are unable to visit during regular opening hours, give them a call, and they just be able to accommodate you and your guests.
4. Visit Crayfish Bay chocolate factory
The Crayfish Bay chocolate factory is located on the Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa Estate, an estate with history of at least 200 years. The factory is run by an amazing couple, Lylette and Kim, and provides one with an on-site tree-to-bar chocolate making experience.
The factory is a great model of an ethically operated business, with locals having full control of the cocoa estate.
Let Lylette and Kim know you are coming to visit them, and they would prepare you a local cuisine for lunch made with organic supplies from the farm.
There is also accommodation available at the Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa estate.
One of the oldest bridge on the island is located at Crayfish Bay.
Whether it is for a backpacking adventure, or to see how chocolate is made, your trip to Crayfish Bay chocolate factory would be one to remember. One can purchase chocolate bars, as well as organic cocoa beans from the factory if you are keen to try to make chocolate on your own, after seeing how it is made.
5. Experience Sunset City Food Festival
Sunset City Food Festival is a monthly event taking place in St. Mark’s, Grenada. It is a lively event, starting around 5:00pm and goes up until 11:00pm, sometimes even later. One can expect to find a variety of local Grenadian dishes and local juices. Dishes are reasonably priced, which allows one a good sampling.
There is usually a live band providing music, however, in the case a band is not available one would find a local disc jockey spinning old time hits.
It is a family friendly event, so bring the family along! Limited seating is available.
Check out our events page to find out when the next Sunset City Food Festival is taking place.
6. Experience Sunset City Festival
The Sunset City Festival also known as St. Mark’s celebrations is a very festive time for the people of St. Mark’s, with many activities taking place. The activities which includes sporting activities, such as knockout cricket and football competition, health walks, health fairs, food festival, hiking, talent shows, reservoir jam… span well over a month, leading up to a final week of activities, known as the St. Mark’s Week of Activities.
Residents proclaim Sunset City Festival the best time of the year, less Christmas, as people from all over the island of Grenada, and even visitors to the island would make their way to St. Mark’s for the celebrations.
The next Sunset City Festival is schedule to take place between March 31st and April 28th 2019.
Check our events page to find out what activity is taking place, and be a part of the celebrations!
7. See Vieux Corps
Vieux Corps also called Vecou is a mas of disguise. The Vieux Corps mas dates as far back as the pre-emancipation era and is indigenous to Grenada. Vieux Corps are French words which literally mean “dead body”. Vieux Corps originated in Victoria, St. Mark’s, hence St. Mark’s is known as the ‘home of the vecou’.
The masquerade is dark and ghostly and his identity is concealed by a mask made from wire mesh. Along with the mask, the Vieux Corps costume comprises a tall conical, hooded hat or an enamel potty trans-fitted with an animal horn, and a long flowing gown with matching collar. Traditionally, the gown was made of crocus bag material with menacing images painted at the front and back. Heavy clogs made from the wood of the mango tree, sometimes with a horse shoe at the bottom, are worn on the feet. The masquerade carries with him an ‘ole po’ which is objects such as: pieces of metal, plastic bottles, posies and basins attached to a chain which is dragged along.
Because the identity is entirely concealed, the mas are silent except for the music made by stumping of the clogs in a rhythmic fashion with accompaniment by the objects dragged along the ground with the chain.
The Vieux Corps Mas can be seen on carnival Monday and Tuesday at the break of dawn. It is the first mas on the streets, therefore, to see Vieux Corps in its full glory – from the Vieux Corps assembly at Heroes Square to the parade down the street, you have to be in Victoria, St. Mark’s at 4:00am, carnival Monday and Tuesday during Spicemas. The next Spicemas is scheduled to take place August 12th and August 13th 2019.
The Vieux Corps Mas bands rehearse for weeks leading up to the Carnival. Merging the sounds of the stumping clogs and the noisy objects with intricate formations, patterns and oftentimes silent dramatisations, the Vieux Corps presents an impressive spectacle.
8. See the sunset from St. Mark’s
Sunset City is the passionate name given to St. Mark’s by the locals, due to the beautiful sunset that can be viewed on evenings in the parish, a sunset viewing boasting its uniqueness nationally.
Whether you are having a stroll through our luscious green hills, along the sea coast or sitting down after a long day, the majestic sunsets in St. Mark’s will have you feeling rejuvenated.
It is a believed sunsets and sunrise are the best time for saying prayers, as the day ends in one part of the world and begins in another. Experience the peace of sunsets in St. Mark’s, it is where the sunset feels the closest! Remember no two sunsets are the same!
9. Visit St. Mark’s waterfalls
In St. Mark’s there are many waterfalls that can be found along the river and stream courses. This waterfalls are mainly away from the public or in the mountain regions. Individuals often times hike to these waterfalls, however, it is journey for the fit and the brave, as there is no readily accessible roads.
The tallest waterfall in Grenada is in Tufton Hall. Along the way to this waterfall, you will find many other waterfalls on the way, each unique in its own way. It is a two and a half hour hike to and from this waterfall, but it is well worth it. You will experience the soothing, peaceful, and relaxing effect to replenish you soul. For more information on waterfalls, read our article on waterfalls.
If you love chasing waterfalls, then book a tour guide and make the adventure to chase waterfalls in St. Mark’s.
10. Hike to Mt. Stanhope
Mt Stanhope in St. Mark’s is a historical place, and its history tells a story of our fertile volcanic soil. Mt Stanhope is known for producing the largest fruits and vegetables in Grenada without having to use manures to achieve this result. In the past it was the area where the fewest nutmeg would weigh a kilogram/pound, due to its size.
In modern times, not much farming is done in Mt Stanhope, with the exception of a spice farm.
It is a great hike as the stone roads are reasonably maintained though not accessible by vehicles. Hence the air is fresh and the place is peaceful. The remains of a plantation house is along the footpath, along with a spring with the tastiest natural water.
The views are amazing!
It is believed that Mt Stanhope was a key part in the movement of the inhabitants of the island before main roads, as it provides great links to other hiking locations on the island.
Book a tour guide, park your vehicle, and within minutes you can be in the peace of the tropical rain forest in Mt. Stanhope! It is a favourite hiking location for visitors to the island.