Montserrat is a lush green and mountainous island of approximately 39 square miles that lies in the Eastern Caribbean chain of islands. Known fondly as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, this pear shaped island is a traveler’s paradise for nature lovers, divers, adventurers, family and villa vacationers, and honeymooners. This British overseas territory boasts its “hottest attraction” to be Soufrière Hills Volcano, a modern day Pompeii in the form of its buried former capital city Plymouth, alongside lush, green mountains, world class nature trails, deserted dark sand beaches, untouched reefs and a quiet friendly charm reminiscent of the way the Caribbean used to be.
Adventuring on the Island of Montserrat
Away from imposing resorts, tourist-clogged beaches and chaotic city streets, the island of Montserrat can lay claim to being the “the last unspoiled gems of the Caribbean the destination has lush, undisturbed rainforest; rolling, evergreen hills; and laid-back, old-world charm, the destination also offers an assortment of eco-adventure activities that include hiking, mountain biking and diving. Combine all these components and eco/adventure travelers and adrenaline junkies have their ideal location for an off-the-radar, outdoor-themed getaway.
Go For A Trek
Montserrat has several trails that allow visitors to explore the dramatic, diverse landscape. “The Oriole Walkway” is where hikers are most likely to get a glimpse of the Oriole, the island’s national bird, and legend has it if a visitor drinks from the cool spring water at “Runaway Ghaut,” he or she is guaranteed to return to Montserrat repeatedly in their lifetime.
Thrills and Spills on Wheels
Whether a first-time cycler or a seasoned full-suspension rider, the island of Montserrat has the ideal mountain biking activity for the visitor who is looking to peddle their way to unforgettable adventure. With rolling hills, steep mountains with thrilling drops and scenic views of the Soufriere Hills Volcano, the destination offers varying degrees of high-impact and leisurely rides.
How “Tweet” it is
There are 34 species of birds that can be spotted in and around the hilly forests of Montserrat, including the forest thrush, brown trembler and bridled quail-dove. The lush, forested Centre Hills area is renowned for its biological diversity and is home to species of resident land birds and migrant songbirds, including Montserrat’s rare national bird, the Montserrat Oriole.
“Hottest” Site in Town
Few visitors to Montserrat can resist the curiosity of wanting to view the Soufriere Hills Volcano. Jack Boy Hill is one of the few areas on the island that provides first-rate views of the volcano and houses a viewing platform, concession area, telescope, and barbeque grill. The location allows visitors to view the awesome incandescence of the dome, day or night, at a safe and comfortable distance. For more detailed information, up-to-date news and a chance to learn more about the volcano, visitors can also stop by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) for a 15 minute presentation on past eruptions.
BY NELSON ALCANTARA, ETN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF