Canouan is a lovely island with spectacular beaches, pleasant walks, and great views almost anywhere. Walk up the hill to the east and see the fabulous windward lagoon, where an outer reef protects the island.
It is also an island of three parts. The southern (local) part has moved from a sleepy backwater of small wooden houses and fields of pigeon peas to a prosperous settlement of big solid houses. This local part, with the main anchorage is warm and welcoming; the locals are friendly, love visiting yachts, and provide services for them.
The Canouan Resort Development Company (CRD) owns, has developed, and manages the north of the island. This, the largest part, is gated, with guards at the entry points, and locals and visitors alike need permission to enter. CRD built a hotel of about 180 rooms with a giant beach restaurant and pool. Now they have torn it all down and built a boutique hotel of about 25 rooms farther down the shore.
To the southeast, Dermot Desmond has the big new “Marina of the Grenadines” project well under way. It will take boats up to 110 meters with 5.3 meters draft. I hope access to that end of the island and South Glossy beach will remain open to the public and not be gated against the 1500 local residents who live in the middle, as the north is.
The airport is excellent, with plenty of room for the largest private jet, and maybe the cutest thatched-roof airport building in the world.
Two marine services run by cousins Marcus and John provide most things you need. They offer good, frequently inspected moorings at $50 EC a night. They sell ice and water (currently desal water at $1 EC a gallon delivered alongside making Canouan the best Grenadines top up). They will also take your garbage for a small fee. Either can take you ashore, and help arrange any kind of tour or anything else you need. Call John’s Marine Services or Marcus Marine Services on [VHF: 16]. If you need a runabout golf cart, of it you have any prolems at all, Ask for GAZIMO.
The Tamarind Beach Hotel has an ideal beach location with a good dinghy dock, and yachts are welcome. This elegant hotel has two waterfront restaurants under the picturesque thatched roofs that have been built in the traditional Southern American style.
La Palapa is the most formal restaurant and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You are asked to wear long trousers, shirt and closed shoes for dinner. It is advised to make reservations in advance to be sure of seating.
The informal Pirate’s Cove Restaurant and Bar opens at 1600. You are welcome in shorts/casual wear. Comfortable seating in a garden setting overlooking the bay makes this an ideal hangout. Meals are available and include seafood and meat dishes as well as pasta. They also prepare great pizzas in a wooden pizza oven from 1900.
Andre’s Sea Grape is just south of the main dock. He has done a great job renovating this building, which is on the beach. It is open every day 0900-2200. You can get lunch and dinner, but you need to make reservations for dinner, They offer good local food, specializing in fresh local seafood, but also offering meat dishes.
Mangrove is a good local restaurant owned by Albert, who also owns Canouan Food Limited. It is quite far down the road, just where the airport road turns up the hill. The beach location is perfect, the prices and food are local, with very inexpensive lunches and moderately priced dinners, including fresh fish and lobster. They open for lunch and dinner every day.