What is the currency in Grenada?
The currency here is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD). The conversion rate is approx. $2.70 USD to the EC dollar. The great majority vendors in Carriacou will accept USD.
How much money do I need to bring with me?
You will need sufficient funds to pay for lunches ($15 XCD) and evening refreshments etc. Local beer is approx $5 XCD, soft drinks $4 XCD.
Is there an ATM or bank on the island?
There are 2 banks with ATM machines in Hillsborough, the town in which volunteers will be based. The ATM charges $5 USD per withdrawal.
What is the weather like in Carriacou?
Carriacou Island falls within the sub-tropics, and the weather is always warm. Between the months of June-August the average temperature is 28°C (82°F), and the average rainfall is between 220-228 mm (8.7-9 in). The weather is almost always sunny and clear, and if there is any rain it usually falls in short bursts and clears very quickly!
Do I need insurance?
We recommend that all volunteers take out travel and dive insurance, this is relatively inexpensive but very worth while.
What can I expect to be eating while I’m on the Island?
Breakfast will be provided at John's Unique. Evening meals are also served there, and consist of a tailored-menu for our volunteer program. Meals will be simple and large, focusing on getting volunteers the nutrients and energy they need to perform in our daily diving & conservation activities. Spaghetti Bolognese, Chili Con Carne, and other simple but tasty meals can be expected on a regular basis. A vegetarian option is available upon request. Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements, so that the cook can source appropriate ingredients & plan a nice menu!
Is there internet access included in the living accommodation?
Wireless internet access is available in the volunteer living quarters, and is included in the accommodation fees.
Volunteer Program Questions
How do I sign up for the Caribbean Reef Buddy Volunteer Program?
Simply click on the SIGN UP button. This will take you through to the Working Abroad UK website, where you can review program information, sign up and make a deposit for your chosen volunteer program.
Can I volunteer with Reef Buddy if I have no diving qualifications?
Of course! We have packages designed specifically for people without any dive qualifications, in which the PADI Open Water and PADI Advanced Open Water courses are included in the fees listed. Reef Buddy staff will ensure that you’ve reached the level of skill and comfort needed before you participate in the surveys and specialities that we offer here!
I have a medical condition. Can I still dive?
Please check with your doctor to make sure there is nothing preventing you from coming diving with us. We advise you to print and fill in the PADI Medical Statement and ask your doctor to complete the reverse of the form. A medical statement can be signed off by a doctor on the island, however, it's better to get it done in advance to avoid disappointment. The doctor's fee is XCD $60.00.
I am qualified through BSAC, NAUI, or another organization, can I still join?
All of our volunteers must be certified to PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent in order to participate in science dives. Please contact us and speak with a team member to check your qualification level if you have been certified with a different agency.
It has been a few years since I have been diving, I may be a little rusty, is this ok?
We understand that not everyone is lucky enough to dive every day, and our experienced and friendly staff would love nothing more than to hear any concerns you may have, and work with you to make sure you’re comfortable before heading back into the water!
Can I make a significant contribution even though I’m not science-oriented?
Our trips are flexible and comprehensive, and they cover scientists and non-scientists, and experienced and novice divers alike. You don’t need to be a scientist to perform the fun and easy reef surveys. As long as you have a passion for diving and have an interest in conservation and reef ecology, you can have a wonderful experience with any of the programs we offer!
Transfers to Carriacou
Excursions that are not part of our monitoring activities or training programs
(some volunteers wish to island hop to explore more of the island chain).
General Kit List
Laptop (WiFi is available)
Sunscreen (minimum SPF30)
Beach towel or sarong
Hat, bandana or baseball cap
Bathing suits, bikinis, swim shorts etc
Light, short-sleeved shirts or tank tops
Light, long sleeved top
Shorts & T-shirts
Sandals or flip flops
Watch with alarm (waterproof up to 100 m) or dive computer
Proof of dive qualifications and Dive logbook (if available)
Camera (if you want to use your own camera for digital underwater photography we would recommend getting a Toughcam waterproof to at least 20m or an underwater housing for your camera)
Rain jacket with hood
Hiking boots or walking shoes if you wish to hike in High North Park
Turtle Monitoring Kit List
Headlamp or torch, red light option is suggested (red lights only allowed on the beach during patrols)
Spare batteries (rechargeable batteries and charger are preferable)
Raincoat or plastic poncho with hood (needs to be light and breathable)
Comfortable and easy-to-clean walking shoes for walking in mangroves, sand, and on trails (preferably quick-dry, as they will likely be getting wet)
Backpack or daypack (for carrying your things to the beach and during patrols)
Light shirt with long sleeves
Flights to Grenada are generally easy to find. Our nearest international airport is Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) in St. George’s, Grenada. If you are travelling from the UK or Europe, direct flights are available with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Alternatively, flights via Barbados, Trinidad and the US are available with BWIA, Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines. If you are travelling from the US or Canada, flights are available with American Airlines and Air Canada. Flight prices do vary so please book early to get the best prices! Once in Grenada, you can either catch the Osprey Ferry or an SVG Air flight to Carriacou.
The ferry leaves daily at 9 am (8 am on Sundays) from Grenada and takes approximately 2 hours to get here. The ticket price is $30 USD There are also daily flights leaving from the Maurice Bishop Airport in St. George’s to Lauriston Airport (CRU) in Carriacou; it takes about 30 minutes and costs $87 USD, however there is a 20 kg (44 lbs) luggage restriction for the flight and no luggage restrictions for the ferry.
Depending on the time your flight arrives, there may be a requirement for an overnight stay in Grenada. Please factor this into your travel plans to ensure you arrive in time to start your programme. A member of the Reef Buddy team will be waiting to meet you as you step off the ferry in Carriacou. In the event of an overnight stay in Grenada, we offer a discounted rate of USD $35 per person per night (room only) at the Sea Breeze Hotel located right on the famous Grande Anse beach.