Grenada East Caribbean Dollar - XCD
There are several versions of the dollar in use around the world today. Here we are going to focus on the version used in Grenada, which is the East Caribbean dollar.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
As you might expect from your knowledge of the other dollar currencies around the world, the East Caribbean dollar is split into 100 cents. The values of these coins are much the same as those you will find in other parts of the world that use the dollar. The cent-valued coins are as follows – 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 cent coins; there is nothing bigger than this. Also available are the one and two dollar coins.
In addition to the coins in circulation you can also use five banknotes. These range from the five dollar bill to the 100 dollar bill, with the 10, 20 and 50 dollar bills in between.
From past to present – the history of the Grenada East Caribbean dollar
Dollars are not new to this part of the world. Indeed, way back in the 19th century there were countries in this region that were used to using these currencies. Grenada was only connected by currency to other Caribbean countries in the eastern part of the region back in the mid-Forties. The East Caribbean dollar eventually took over a good few years later in 1965.
How to get hold of the Grenada East Caribbean dollar
You may well not be able to get the currency until you actually get to Grenada itself. However once you arrive you do have lots of options you can rely on. Before you leave home though, you may wish to get some traveller’s cheques denominated in US dollars. These are by far the easiest to exchange when you do need extra cash in Grenada.
You can get money from cash machines too, although the best place for doing this is in St George’s, so do be aware that it is necessary to get cash in advance if you are travelling outside of this region.
You can also pay by credit card in many instances, although as you would expect the larger shops and outlets are most likely to accept them. Paying for accommodation in a hotel shouldn’t be a problem by card, although you may wish to check first before relying on this.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Grenada East Caribbean dollar
The value of the East Caribbean dollar is tied to that of the US dollar, although this is not on a 1:1 basis. As such you should consider whether using a currency converter is the best way to get a better idea of the value of this currency.
Any good converter should have the East Caribbean dollar included, and looking for it by entering the ISO code XCD should find it quickly for you, regardless of which other currency you need to find.
There is a High Commission for Grenada in London, although you have no need to actually go there to find out additional information. Instead you can visit their official site for the High Commission, which is located at http://www.grenadahclon.co.uk/.
Travelling safely with the Grenada East Caribbean dollar
As always it is important to know how safe it is to visit Grenada, just as it is important to look into the safety of any country or region you are considering visiting. There are no particularly unsafe regions of this country you should be aware of, although of course you should check in advance of visiting Grenada yourself, in case anything has changed.
Keeping your cash safe is easier if you minimise the amount you have on your person at any one time. When booking into a hotel, make sure you book a room that offers you a secure personal safe to use. You can then use this to store any excess cash, cards and your passport when you don’t need them.
Violent crime has been known to occur in Grenada but the instances of it are not that common. However you can minimise the chances you will be targeted by not flashing any valuables around more than you have to. Keep expensive jewellery and other similar valuables to a minimum, and ensure you are discreet with your cash. If anyone does approach you with the intention of robbing you, be aware that resisting is never a good idea. Violent crime can and does occur and it is not unusual for criminals to be armed.
Where to spend your dollars in Grenada – and what to spend them on
You already know Grenada is in the Eastern Caribbean region of the world, but how much do we know beyond that? The main island is of course Grenada but there are also several other much smaller islands that are deemed to be part of Grenada itself. These islands stretch out to the north-east of the main island so they are easy enough to find on a map. Grenada is situated to the north of Trinidad and Tobago and, below that, Venezuela. St Vincent and the Grenadines lies to the north of it.
The capital of Grenada is, as you may guess (since we have mentioned it already), St George’s. This is a popular area for tourists to visit and it is quite charming too, thanks to its natural setting. There is a harbour there in the shape of a horseshoe and signs of an old volcano remain on the site as well. You won’t be too surprised to find there are cruise ships that come here en route to and from other islands in the region.
If you do decide to visit St George’s (and you really should) there are many sights here you will enjoy visiting. For starters you can get a great view out over the capital and the surrounding area by hiking up Mount Qua Qua. This is more than 2,000 feet in height so you can imagine the kinds of views you should expect, even from a short distance up the trail. If you are reasonably fit you should be able to tackle the trail to the top in under two hours. Do take care though and take supplies with you – the higher sections can be more demanding both physically and underfoot.
Grenada National Museum is also well worth visiting. This is the best way to learn more about Grenada and its long history. The building itself has had many uses throughout its life, not least as a prison! There are many diverse sections within the museum and you will definitely learn much about the area and the history of the island.
While you are in St George’s it would be a good suggestion to head for St George’s Market Square. There is a market here every Saturday which sells all kinds of delights, and it provides the perfect way to mingle with the locals and enjoy the surroundings. Watch out for the Sendall Tunnel in town too – it’s narrow and used by cars and pedestrians, but it connects parts of St George’s to each other.
If you head to the south of the capital you will happen upon Grand Anse Beach. This really is stunning, and anyone wanting a beach holiday on the island is bound to be delighted with what they find here. The colours are amazing, from the gentle tan tones of the sand underfoot to the many shades of blue in the sea. The shallow waters are appealing and the colours of the water will reveal when it starts to get deeper.
Another popular attraction is Fort Frederick, which again can be found in the capital. While only parts of the fort remain, it is easy to wander among the sections and discover more about the area and its history. Perhaps the best reason for visiting the fort is the views. They really are sensational and since there are several high points to climb to, you can get an excellent view in many different directions.
Grenada remains a popular holiday spot for many people wanting to have a taste of the best of the Caribbean. One of the most appealing things about Grenada is its ability to provide you with a whole variety of things to see and do. For example you can certainly head there and have the best beach holiday, but you also have lots of attractions and places to go to explore as well. This makes it more than just the average beach holiday, although of course the beaches are pretty spectacular!
The great thing about Grenada is its sense of history, and how easy it is to find out more about it. It is also popular with hikers who want to tackle some peaks while they are on the island as well as enjoying some days on the sand and in the sea. As such it is bound to remain a popular holiday spot for many for some considerable time to come.