Getting Around Carriacou

Main town of Carriacou

Carriacou may be small but it is not as easy to explore as you may think. It’s hilly and signposting is either non-existent or spotty at best.

Tourists passing through may spend most, if not all, of their time in only a select part or two of the island. Longer-term visitors may be tempted to explore more of Carriacou.

Here are your best bets for getting around Carriacou.

Taxis

In Carriacou, you don’t have to be worried about being ripped off by taxi drivers. Not only because they are decent and honest folks, but also because the Tourist Authority has established standard rates which it posts right on the front of their building at their Hillsborough office for you to see in black and white.

Many taxi drivers will offer you their services for island tours etc. Please note that these prices are not regulated and will be up to you to negotiate.

There is no one telephone number for you to call if you want a taxi.

In popular locations such as Hillsborough or the ferry terminal at Tyrell Bay, taxis will be obvious to spot and you can just approach them.

Many of the island’s restaurants and bars will be happy to call you a taxi when it’s time to leave.

Taxi rates are regulated by the tourism authority (they are posted outside the Hillsborough tourist office) and drivers are honest when it comes to fares. Here's a selection of sample of one-way fares from Hillsborough:

  • Harvey Vale / Tyrell Bay: ecd$35
  • Lauriston Airport: ecd$20
  • Windward: ecd$35
  • Petite Carenage: ecd$40

Most taxis are also happy to provide you with a "full island tour". Expect to pay about ecd$200 for a 2- to 3-hour tour.

Tourism office

Carriacou by Mini-bus

Just like on the Grenada mainland, the ubiquitous mini-buses on Carriacou are a great way to get around and interact with the friendly locals.

How it Works

When you get onboard, feel free to confirm your destination. Routes can “vary”, so it’s anyway a good idea to tell the driver where you are going to make sure the mini-bus is actually going where you think. 

Many mini-buses will be more than happy to pick you up even when they are going in the opposite direction because they will get to your stop eventually on their circular routes. If you are in a hurry, politely decline the invitation and wait for the next mini-bus going in the actual direction you want to go!

To make sure you don’t miss your stop, knock on the roof of the mini-bus when your stop is getting close (100 yards/meters) or just politely speak up.

Operating Times

Mini-buses run Monday to Saturday, usually about dawn to dusk. But don’t count on this, especially in the low season.

Note that normally there is no mini-bus service on Sundays. They run only briefly on Sunday morning to get people to church and then they take the rest of the day off. 

Buses have capacity for about 15 people but are usually carrying much fewer people than this - unless it’s 8 am on a weekday and/or it’s raining!

Very often music is blaring and there may be lively conversations going on too. It’s all part of the ride.

Cost & Routes

The fare for a typical single trip journey costs EC$3.50 (USD$1.30) per adult per trip.

If you are lugging a big suitcase, groceries or a package, mini-bus drivers will try to accommodate you, but may charge you an extra fare for the “seat” your stuff takes up. 

It’s not mandatory but do try to have exact change and don’t expect the drivers to be able to change or break larger bills.

Mini-bus routes originate at the “Hillsborough Bus Terminal”. This is the small car park beside the market on the far side of town. If you want to get dropped off in town before the terminal, just let the driver know.

  • The #10 bus runs regularly back and forth between Hillsborough and Harvey Vale / Tyrell Bay via Lauriston (Paradise Beach) and L’Esterre.
  • The #11 bus runs back and forth between Hillsborough and Dover via Windward and Craigston.
  • The #12 bus runs back and forth between Hillsborough and Grand Bay via Mt Pleasant, Mt Royal and Belair.

There are also extra “legs” for some journeys you can ask for.

For example, you can take the #10 bus from Hillsborough to Tyrell Bay but ask it to go a little further past its usual end stop to Hermitage. Or, ask it to take a brief tangent to “The Pond” a little further into L’Esterre than it would normally go. Either option will add EC$1.50 (USD$0.56) to your fare. 

Conversely, shorter hops have reduced fees. For example, the fare for taking the #10 bus from Tyrell Bay to Paradise Beach would only set you back EC$2.50 (USD$0.95).

Some drivers will even take passengers, particularly the elderly, virtually to their doorstep.

Car Rental

Car rental on Carriacou is available but not in the way you are probably used to. Sorry, you won’t find Hertz or SIXT on Carriacou!

We recommend Wayne’s Auto Rentals (select this link to see their profile). They have a decent selection and a good location on Hillsborough’s Main Street and take credit cards. 

Otherwise, here are some other car rental options:

  • Ade’s Dream Auto Rentals in Hillsborough – call (473) 443-8435
  • Franklin Car Rental in L'Esterre (he's an excellent tailor too!) 
  • Sunkey's Auto Rental in Hillsborough – call (473) 443-8382 

Cycling

Bike rental on Carriacou is available from Breezy Wheelers. Informal bike rental is possible simply by asking around.

Cycling the entirety of the island is possible but not easy. The island is surprisingly hilly and you will probably need to walk your bike up (and even down) some of the steeper hills.

An interesting road to cycle is the dirt road between Windward and Craigston. This is the road from which you can access Anse La Roche beach.

Water Taxis

Many a local, including fisherman, will be happy to pick you up and drop you off by motorboat at various places around the island and even off-island too.

Popular locations for water taxi trips include Sandy Island and Anse la Roche.

Water taxi trips to White Island and to Saline Island and further afield are also available.

Best deals on Carriacou accommodation