Canouan is an island of two parts. The Canouan Resort Development Company (CRD) owns and has developed the northern half of the island, which is managed by a major hotel company. This larger half is gated, with guards at the entry points, and locals and visitors alike need permission to enter. This big resort caters to visitors and exclusive house lots are for sale. The original airport has now about doubled in size and the extended runway can take private jets.
The injection of new money by CRD has rapidly transformed Canouan in just a few years. The southern (local) part has moved from a sleepy backwater of small wooden houses and fields of chick peas to a prosperous settlement of big cement houses. As a result, this part of the island is still finding itself, culturally and architecturally.
Canouan has spectacular beaches, great views, and lovely walks almost anywhere. It is well worth looking at the fabulous windward reef-protected lagoon.
The Moorings has a base here for about 20 boats, right next to the Tamarind Beach Hotel. This brings charterers into the heart of the Grenadines, allowing them to cruise with short, easy sails.
Rameau Bay is a pleasant spot far from the village. You may have to try a
couple of times to get the anchor well dug in, and the wind shifts around,
so two anchors are advisable. Corbay is a small anchorage but one of the
most protected on the island. It is sometimes used for bringing materials
in, so it is occasionally noisy. At other times it is great. If you anchor
off the landing dock, you may have to move if cargo arrives.
Charlestown Bay is the main anchorage and the entrance is marked by a red
and green beacon on either side. Pass between them. You can anchor anywhere
in the bay except for the area close to the Tamarind Hotel Beach, which is
full of Marcusís Moorings. The anchorage is pleasant, but northeasterly
winds with northerly swells can make it uncomfortable and, in extreme
conditions, even untenable. The holding in sand is fairly good. The
wind tends to get held up in the hills and then shoots down from the north
in intense gusts. Boats swing every which way.
is a large ferry dock off the beach, the big new Moorings dock, the dinghy
dock off the Tamarind Beach Hotel, and a small wooden dock in the southern
part of the bay.
Canouan Food Limited is on the main street and opens 0800-2000, except Sunday, 0900-1200 and 1600-2000. They have a good selection for a small market, including quite a few local and imported vegetables. If you are buying cases of beer and more than you can carry, they will deliver to the dock.
Some other small markets are quite good, and market stalls on the street leading to the ferry dock have local provisions. Petit Bazaar, the only boutique, is in the Tamarind Beach hotel. The bank has an ATM.
Take a taxi tour of the island; it only takes about an hour. Contact Marcus (VHF:16), or Phyllis (593-4190), or ask in the Tamarind Beach Hotel. The hotel can also arrange for you to hike to the island's highest peak with Randy. A walk over to the east side of the island will show you the wonderful, reef-protected lagoon.
Opposite Canouan Foods is a pan yard where you can sometimes listen to steel bands practicing.
The Tamarind Beach Hotel is part of the Canouan Resort Development, and yachts are welcome. This elegant hotel has two waterfront restaurants under picturesque thatched roofs that have been built in the traditional South American style and a beach bar.
Phyllis has a cute little restaurant on the main street opposite the road that comes from the town dock and a few steps to the left. It opens for lunch and dinner. (To be sure about dinner, call 593-4190 or talk to Marcus.) If you happen to be here on a Thursday, Phyllis does a big and very popular barbecue cook out, starting at 1630 and going on into the evening.
Frontline is a nice little restaurant upstairs opposite the road that leads to the town dock. It is owned by two delightful women, Cinty and Aneka. You can get a traditional saltfish breakfast here, very inexpensive sandwiches
and local meals for lunch, and for dinner they have fish or chicken and chips. They will also cook you a full local meal for dinner given a little notice. They are good and bake all their own bread.
click chart to enlarge
since august 05