Montserrat

Abacos

Montserrat is a part of the Lesser Antilles island chain of the Caribbean Sea. The island is lush and mountainous, and is owned by Britain. The island has an active volcano, the Soufriere Hills volcano. The active volcanoes on the island cause it to increase in size gradually as they deposit volcanic particles on the southeast coast. The island is located East of Puerto Rico and Southwest of Antigua. The Montserrat island is a haven for tourists who look to find rest and relaxation away from some of the more highly visited islands of the Caribbean. The scenery is extraordinary and the climate is almost always perfect. Dramatic cliffs rise above the crystal sea and surrounding beaches.

Water Sports
The beauty of the island is not limited to the island itself. The dives off the coasts of Montserrat are perfect or both beginners and experienced divers. The Padi-certified Dive Shop offers rental of scuba diving and snorkeling equipment as well as boats. The North West coast offers divers some spectacular coral reefs with lots of animal life. The Little Redonda is a rock that reaches the surface of the ocean from a depth of eighty feet. This is a great dive location. Yellow Hole is a dive that offers divers the chance to explore a schooner wreck that sank in 1886. Other water sports include snorkeling, kayaking, and sport fishing. At the Dive Shop you can rent any equipment that you need to use. Dive and snorkeling instructors are also available.

Island Diversity
Montserrat is currently owned by Great Britain, but it has a long and interesting history. Like the other Caribbean islands, Montserrat was first populated by the Arawak and Carib peoples. Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain, but did not settle there. After the English gained control, the agricultural nature of the economy caused the importation of many slaves from Africa. The native population today is a mix of the descendants of these slaves and the Europeans who originally settled there.

Activities
The small island offers visitors the chance to explore beautiful landscapes. Hiking and exploring the island on foot are popular activities. The middle of the island is a range of mountains and volcanoes that offer the adventurous many opportunities to explore. Rangers on the island will be glad to help visitors plan their hikes. One popular hike is the trail to the ruins of “The Cot,” a summer cottage of a famous banana plantation owner. The Centre Hills trail winds its way through many scenic woodlands and offers hikers the chance to see some of the most spectacular views on the island. This trail goes through the rain forest, and visitors will probably get to see some of the island’s wildlife. The Runaway Ghaut is a mini-trail, and is the perfect location to rest and relax. Visitors can observe island birds and small waterfalls while reconnecting with nature. Finally the Silver Hills trail starts at one of the island’s volcanic centers. It takes hikers through dry forests that were created by farming the rain forest lands. There are breathtaking views along this lovely trail.

A trip to Montserrat is not complete without spending some time at the beach. All but one of the beaches on Montserrat are black sand beaches. They are not frequented by tourists the way some of the other beaches are, and visitors can enjoy peace and serenity while swimming in the beautiful ocean.

Montserrat's Rendezvous Bay

Montserrat’s Rendezvous Bay

Sometimes known as the “Emerald Isle” of the Caribbean, Montserrat is a beautiful tropical island destination. With much of the southern part of the island uninhabited due to the Soufriere Hills volcano, the north is the real destination for most. Part of the charm of this Caribbean gem is that it is reachable only from Antigua via ferry. One stop you must make on any trip through Monteserrat is to Rendezvous Bay on the southwestern coast. This picturesque area just kisses the southern part of the inhabited portion of the island, but is a must-visit for a number of reasons.
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