If you find yourself watching two people dancing barefoot in a large copper pot, rhythmically moving to the beat of a drum while stomping on piles of cocoa, you know you’re at the Belmont Estate on the northeastern coast of Grenada. Here at this traditional island estate that dates to the late 1600s, “dancing the cocoa” is just one tradition that still lives on to this day. Designed as a way to remove unsightly residue from the exterior of freshly grown cocoa beans, the dance today is a highlight of touring the 400-acre plantation. Though the estate was founded on sugar and coffee, it’s now spices such as nutmeg and cloves that spring from the Caribbean ground. For travelers with a self-professed chocolate addiction, a tour of the neighboring Granada Chocolate Company showcases the process of cocoa beans being transformed to silky rich chocolate. Or, for a taste of authentic Grenada cuisine in a pastoral island setting, the restaurant on site at Belmont Estate is regarded as one of the island’s best for its fine collection of flavors. Families will love the petting zoo and chance to hang with the goats, and this model of island agri-tourism successfully fuses Grenada’s past with its modern, tourism future.
The Belmont Estate is open 8am-4pm on every day except Saturday. The property is located approximately an hour from Grenada’s capital of St. George’s, and remember to bring some insect repellent to combat the area’s mosquitos.