Montserrat

Montserrat
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Caribbean Island of Montserrat

EXPERIENCE

A fascinating history and rich environment define some of the qualities of the Caribbean island of Montserrat, commonly referred to as the “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean”.  The island is tiny at just twelve miles in length and a little over six miles wide but the people who visit this island in the Caribbean come to experience its Irish history and the natural environment.

Before the twentieth century Montserrat was known as Alliouagana (Land of the Prickly Bush) by the Carib and Arawak tribes.  Once Christopher Columbus came upon the island, he gave it its current name after likening it to the mountain landscapes near the Spanish Monastery of Montserrat.

During the 1600s several Irish settlers arrived on Montserrat in an effort to escape the hardships occurring in the nearby island of St Kitts.  As the years went by more and more people from Ireland moved to Montserrat which eventually lead to the development of sugarcane fields in the 1700s.  This would eventually transition Montserrat into a plantation based country, just like most of the islands in the West Indies.  Sugar continued to thrive throughout the seventeenth century until its decline in the 1800s.

Montserrat has two volcanoes known as Chance’s Peak and Soufriere Hills.  The latter has erupted as early as 2004 which has forced Montserrat to remain vigilant.  Most experts are able to accurately predict what kind of effect a volcanic eruption will have which has made Montserrat tourism much safer.  The island is also split into three zones (Safe Zone, Daytime Entry Zone and Exclusion Zone) to further ensure safety.  Despite the perceivable danger, Soufriere Hills and its dramatic landscapes shaped by eruptions remains one of the visual highlights of the island. Visitors can visit the Montserrat Volcano Observatory to get an in depth look into the island’s history as well as view footage of its biggest eruptions.

A significant effort has been made to erase Montserrat’s unpredictably dangerous image.  The island continues to develop its commercial businesses and its natural landscapes are often regarded as brilliantly green and “extraordinarily scenic”, two qualities that have earned Montserrat its nickname.  The island also continues to expand its new capital which will be erected to ensure it remains completely out of volcanic reach.

The people of Montserrat speak English tinged with a slight Irish accent.  Cricket and soccer are the most popular sports while traditional Caribbean musical genres like calypso are the most widely appreciated styles.  Montserratians also practice something called “jumbie dance”, an intriguing tradition where humans offer food and wine to unseen entities (a jumbie) and dance until they’re possessed by a jumbie.  Also, if you’re looking to get a glimpse of Montserrat history, the locals can tell you some truly fascinating stories.

Montserrat is a small Caribbean island, but looks can be deceiving. With 25 miles of coastline Montserrat has vast real estate appeal when it comes to Caribbean beachfront property.  Montserrat is popular for its quaint coastal vacation villas and has a vast inventory of properties for rent and for sale. Even though the island is relatively small compared to surrounding islands it still has a lot of vacant land for sale. Coastal or inland lots up to ten acres can be purchased to build property perched on a hilltop or right on the beach.

Montserrat homes have distinct Caribbean designs. Two bedroom vacation villas are available with pools, balconies, patios and beautiful views. Most property for sale comes with a lease option and renting a Montserrat vacation villa is a good way to test out property before making a Caribbean real estate investment.

Though Montserrat is not known for its resort-hotel property, it's growing in popularity and opportunities abound in the Montserrat resort-hotel real estate market. The Vue Pointe Hotel and Tropical Mansions Suites offer resort style amenities and features that enhance the comfort and convenience of Caribbean lifestyle. Beyond contemporary resort models Montserrat offers traditional bed and breakfast rentals and coastal homes for rent.

Available land is surprisingly abundant on Montserrat; large portions of its coastal territory are vacant and ideal for real estate development. It's difficult to find vacant land on this island nation that does not provide spectacular views of the ocean and mountain ranges, creating lots of opportunity for real estate investment in Montserrat.

Tropical Mansion Suites

Amenities

  • Eighteen boutique hotel rooms
  • Near the airport, beaches and Montserrat shopping
  • Tropical landscaping
  • Spacious rooms
  • Restaurant

Gingerbread Hill

Amenities

  • Environmentally friendly cottages (“Eco cottages”
  • Two bedroom villas
  • Laundry facilities
  • Hiking
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Car rental
  • Mountain bikes
  • Gift shop

Erindell Villa Guest House

Amenities

  • Large swimming pool
  • Laundry service
  • Restaurant
  • Cooking facilities
  • Tropical gardens
  • Continental breakfast
  • Maid service
  • Internet service with Wi-Fi

Providence Estate House

Amenities

  • Private entrance
  • Cable television
  • Daily breakfast
  • Tropical gardens
  • Pool
  • Nearby hiking, tennis, and diving activities

Turtle Bay Apartments

Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Coffee shop
  • Tropical gardens
  • Wi-Fi
  • Cable television
  • Laundry
  • Activities concierge

  • JJ's Cuisine - Caribbean cuisine
  • Oriel Café - Caribbean cuisine
  • Restaurant at Vue Pointe Hotel - Caribbean cuisine
  • Tina's Restaurant - Caribbean cuisine

Currency:
The official currency of Montserrat is the East Caribbean Dollar (ECD).

Telecommunications:
Calling Code: 1 (664
Top Level Domain: (.ms)

Government:
Montserrat is a British overseas territory that is headed by a Governor and Chief Minister.


Passport requirements:
Passports: Required
Valid Travel Documents: Required upon Exit and Entry
Government Issued Photo ID: Required

Climate: Montserrat's climate is tropical year-round with average temperatures ranging from 21°C (70°F) to 28°C (83°F)

Religion: Christianity

Language: English


Tips when you get there:

Montserrat does not have an international airport.  The only methods of reaching the island are to take a small plane or ferry from Antigua. Upon arrival, public transportation is adequate and is primarily provided by buses and taxis. Two-thirds of the already small island is restricted due to volcanic activity so getting around to all the vital areas can be accomplished on foot.

What to do

Montserrat is in the process of developing to become a Caribbean tourist hub. Each passing month offers more and more for tourists as resorts and communities grow. For now visitors enjoy Montserrat's isolation and privacy along with its pristine scenic vistas. The island's volcanism attracts volcano enthusiasts from all around the world to view the multiple volcanoes, hot springs and geysers.

Montserrat has other active pursuits such as scuba diving with thirty different dive sites and a rich diversity of marine life to be explored. An observatory on the island offers an inside look at volcano monitoring and provides a tour of the history and devastation caused by Montserrat’s volcanoes.

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