Grenada made the world headlines in 1983 when a split in the governing left-wing party led to the overthrow and execution of the country's charismatic leader, Maurice Bishop, and provided the pretext for a US invasion of the islands.
Set against the background of Grenada's hitherto peaceful post-independence history, the event highlighted the country's contradictory character.
Grenada Tourist Attractions
From one angle, Grenada has an "exotic" flavour which appeals especially to Westerners. Known as the "Spice Island", it is the world's second-largest producer of nutmeg and is a significant producer of mace, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
Grenada National Stadium was rebuilt after Hurricane Ivan
It also boasts beautiful scenery, with picturesque and fertile valleys, rainforests, fast-flowing streams, hot springs, mountain lakes, a tropical climate and excellent beaches. Eyre Lake
Although Grenada has one of the fastest-growing economies in the Caribbean, poverty is widespread. Growth in investment and tourism, and a construction boom, have helped to reduce unemployment.
The country was dealt a serious blow in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan swept through killing dozens of people, damaging 90% of the island's buildings and devastating the nutmeg crop.
Tourism has generated its own problems, in the form of threats to the rainforest and beach erosion caused by resort projects.
Full name: Grenada
Population: 106,000 (UN, 2007)
Capital: Saint George's
Area: 344 sq km (133 sq miles)
Major languages: English (official), French patois
Major religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 67 years (men), 70 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 East Caribbean dollar = 100 cents
Main exports: Nutmeg, bananas, cocoa, fruit and vegetables, clothing, mace
GNI per capita: US $3,920 (World Bank, 2006)
Internet domain: .gd
International dialling code: +1473