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Montserrat – General Overview

If you are looking for a relaxed way of life and a slower paced vacation, check out the island of Montserrat. The beautiful black sand beaches, winding mountain road, and lush rainforests await you on this beautiful tropical island in the West Indies. The Montserratians are some of the most hospitable people in all the world, making your experience on the island one that you will never forget. There are wonderful small hotels and guesthouses on the islands to make your stay comfortable and each offers it’s guest unique experiences and individual service. The island is covered with lush, tropical vegetation with beautiful trees and brilliant flowers that leave a magical scent in the air. You can experience an active volcano and learn all about this scientific wonder that has so shaped the history of the island. Called the ‘Emerald Isle’ of the Caribbean, this beautiful place will leave you longing for a return visit.

Most Popular Beaches

Though there are numerous beaches on the island, there are some that really stand out. The Woodlands Beach is a wildly popular picnic spot due to the cliff top picnic area that overlooks the crystal clear waters. The beaches on the island are mostly black sand, due to the island’s volcanic origins.

Another popular beach location is Rendezvous Bay, which is the island’s only white sand beach. However, this beach is only accessible by boat or an extreme hike. It is worth it for the world class snorkeling, diving and swimming of this beautiful bay.

Little Bay is a popular swimming beach with lots of little bars and snack stands. Carr’s Bay is another hotspot, especially for sunbathers. Also, there is an reef at the south end of the beach which is a great spot for snorkeling.

Old Road Beach is still a popular location with a beautiful sandy beach, but many come here to see the mud flows caused by the island’s active volcano.

Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation

Most visitors travel to Montserrat through Antigua or St. Maarten either by air or chartered helicopter.

Entry Requirements

A valid passport is recommended for all visitors; however, US Canadian and British citizens may present a driver’s license or official ID card as proof of citizenship. Entry visas may be required of visitors from other countries such as Cuba and Eastern Bloc Countries, and can be obtained from British Consulate offices. An onward or return ticket is required. There shall be proof of accommodation and one must possess sufficient funds to sustain ones self for the length of the visit.

Information from: http://www.visitmontserrat.com/index.php?categoryid=8

Languages Spoken / official language – The official language is English.

Currency – The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar.

Tipping - A service charge of 10% will be added to your bill in nearly all locations. Additional tipping is generally reserved for exceptional service.

Taxes – A departure and security tax of $22 is charged to all visitors departing the island. There is also a 7-10% tax for lodgings and varies based on the accommodations.

Electricity – The volts may be higher than us voltage in some locations, but there are transformers readily available that will allow for the usage of American electrical appliances.

Immunizations Health Issues - No immunizations are necessary unless arriving from a country known to have outbreaks of cholera, yellow fever or small pox, in which case, a certificate of immunization is required.

Montserrat Marriage License & Wedding Requirements Information

For visiting non-nationals a minimum stay of 3 working days in Montserrat is required before application can be made to obtain a special or Governor’s Marriage License. Application for the license is made through the Department of Administration. The following documents are required:
* Marriage Application Form (issued by the Department of Administration)
* Passports of both parties
* Original absolute Divorce Decree (if divorced)
* Original Death Certificates of deceased spouse (if widowed)
* Non-Marriage Certificate (if applicable).

Department of Administration:
PO Box 292
Government Headquarters, Brades
Montserrat, B.W.I.
Tel: (664) 491 2365
Mon - Fri 8am - 4pm

Information from: http://www.visitmontserrat.com/index.php?categoryid=8

Tourism Office Information

Montserrat Tourist Board
PO Box 7
Olveston
Montserrat

Tel: 664 491 2230
Fax: 664 491 7430

Email: mrattouristboard@candw.ag
Web: www.visitmontserrat.com

Other Montserrat Related Websites

http://www.world66.com/centralamericathecaribbean/thecaribbean/montserrat

http://gocaribbean.about.com/od/montserrat

www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Caribbean_and_Central_America/Montserrat/TravelGuide-Montserrat.html

www.worldtravelguide.net/country/179/country_guide/Caribbean/Montserrat.html

 
Climate Information (When is the Best Time to Travel)

Winter and summer temperatures average between 76° to 88° with constant breezes from the sea and mountains. The annual rainfall is about 1,250-2,000 mm or 50-80 inches, well distributed throughout the year, with a wetter season from July to November.

High & Low Season for travel - High season is mid-November through mid-April and low season is from mid-April to mid-November.

Map of Montserrat

http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/caribb/ciamaps/ms.htm

Local Attractions & Must Do’s

A trip to Montserrat’s former capital city of Plymouth has to make your list of things to see. It has been abandoned since 1997 when the volcano last erupted, leaving the city a wasteland. 

Jack Boy Hill is an excellent location for viewing the volcano and also some of the areas that have been destroyed by the volcano’s past eruptions, including the former airport and destroyed villages and estate houses. If you are interested in learning more about the volcano, visit the Montserrat Volcano Observatory where you con meet scientists and learn about the techniques used to monitor this volatile volcano.

The dream of former Beatles producer George Martin, the Montserrat Cultural Centre often hosts concerts and events. A huge accomplishment for the people of Montserrat, it is the pride and joy of the island.

You should also check out Carr’s Bay Historical Site where you will find the remains of an old fort, including several canons still pointing out to sea. There is also a model of the War Memorial and Clock Tower which was destroyed in the city of Plymouth by the island’s volcano.
 

Most Popular Hotels
Tropical Mansion Suites

The only major hotel left open on the island is the Tropical Mansion Suites. This is the first sign of regeneration of the tourism district after the volcanic activity in 1997. The hotel is located in Sweenys in north Montserrat and is just minutes from the new airport and Little Bay Beach. Website: www.tropicalmansion.com.

There are other small guest houses and even some private homes and apartments available for rent on the island