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Travel & Holiday Tips in Montserrat
 
 
 

General

Montserrat is a quiet, laid-back island where you can hike, birdwatch, snorkel, or enjoy a couple of drinks over a game of dominoes.

The tiny Caribbean island was dealt a devastating blow when the Soufrière Hills volcano erupted massively in 1995 and again in 1997. Almost half the island was rendered uninhabitable, including the capital, Plymouth, which today stands half-submerged in volcanic ash and mud. The effects were not limited to physical destruction. Montserrat's economy was severely damaged, and around two-thirds of the 12,000 population left the island.

Many of the previously famous sights on Montserrat have been either destroyed by the Soufrière Hills volcano or are currently off-limits. However, there are still opportunities for quiet beach holidays, water sports, eco-tourism and volcano viewing. Do check with the Montserrat Tourist Board for information.

The volcano remains active and much of the island is still out of bounds, but this in itself is a draw for tourists looking for something beyond the usual Caribbean experience of beaches and luxury resorts.

The Coast

Owing to volcanic outbreaks, most of the capital, Plymouth, has been destroyed, leaving many tourist attractions off-limits, including the 18th-century Old Fort on St George’s Hill, which is 300 m (1000 ft) above the town. However, the island offers diverse and beautiful beaches in a quiet and friendly atmosphere. Rendezvous Bay contains the only white (coral) sand beach in Montserrat; sand in the other bays is of volcanic origin and may be grey or black. Several bays offer excellent opportunities for snorkeling and a variety of water sports; others are totally undeveloped, though plans for some of them exist, and those who like their scenery untouched should make the most of current opportunities.

In the Carr's Bay area in the north of the island, you will find remnants of a fort, with several canons pointing out at sea in the direction of Redonda. Here you will also see a model version of the War Memorial and Clock Tower that were destroyed in Plymouth. If you are lucky you will also see the large iguana that lives in the rocks.

Pelican Point on the east coast is home to the island’s only breeding colony of the spectacular Frigate birds. Dutchers Studio in Olveston is closed, but is due to reopen soon.

Inland

Most of the southern part of the island is off-limits, owing to the continuing eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano. This spectacular and unusual sight can be seen on helicopter trips. The lush interior of the northern part of the island contains several places of interest, which can be seen on guided scenic walks. Montserrat’s national bird, the icterus oberi (a species of oriole), can be seen at Centre and Silver Hill in the north of the island.

Montserrat's ghauts are deep ravines that carry rainwater down from the mountains to the sea. Runaway Ghaut is one of Montserrat’s more famous ones and is a popular tourist stop. Legend has it that people drinking the cool spring water flowing to the drinking fountain at Runaway Ghaut will be drawn to return to Montserrat again and again.

 

 
 

 



 


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