Tourist Attractions In Montserrat

27 Jul

Montserrat

Known as the “Emerald Isle” of the Caribbean, magnificent Montserrat survives as a somber spectacle of nature’s awe-inspiring power. The north side of the island puckers with lush peaks, while to the south lies an eerie lunarscape of deserted settlements and blackened valleys scarred by a series of devastating volcanic eruptions that began in 1995.

Soufrière Hills Volcano Soufrière Hills Volcano

The Soufrière Hills Volcano erupted in 1995, devastating a large section of Montserrat, including the once-charming capital of Plymouth. Today the volcano is part of the exclusion zone and is closed to the public, however visitors can experience a sobering view of the volcano and its path of destruction from several vantage points. Some of these include Jack Boy Hill, the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, and Garibaldi Hill. A trip to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory gives an excellent overview of the volcanic eruptions and their impact on this beautiful island.

PLYMOUTH

The deserted town of Plymouth is Montserrat’s star attraction – the only volcanic-buried town in the Americas. Its ghost town feel is attributed to its eerie quiet, the absence of animals and birds, the subtle usurping of the town by the volcanic ash, even in its resting phase. Most poignant are the belongings left behind: in businesses typewriters, invoices and stationery; in homes aging toys, cradles, books, clothing.

Remains of Catholic Church Plymouth Montserrat

MONTSERRAT VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

The Soufrière Hills Volcano is constantly monitored by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) in Flemmings. The MVO Interpretation Centre is open to visitors from Monday to Thursday from 10:15am to 3:00pm. There are poster displays explaining the techniques used in monitoring seismic (earthquake) activity, gas emissions, ground deformation and environmental impacts; and dramatic video shows including a synopsis of the activity and examples of the recent events on the volcano, along with touch screen kiosks and volcanic artefacts on display. Further information on the MVO here.

JACK BOY HILL

In the north east of the island is a viewing facility at Jack Boy Hill, which also provides an excellent vantage point for volcano viewing. This facility overlooks the destroyed WH Bramble Airport, the old estate house, the site of destroyed eastern villages, now covered by volcanic pyroclastic flows and of course the volcano. The facility includes a viewing platform, picnic areas, a viewing telescope, a mini trail, landscaped grounds, and washroom facilities.

BOTANICAL AND HERBAL GARDEN

The Montserrat National Trust’s botanical garden is dedicated to conserving indigenous plants and trees. These include Heliconia, the national flower; Epidendrum Montserratense, an endangered orchid; and Pribby, a flowering shrub. The latter two are native only to Montserrat.

For more spectacular places to visit while in Montserrat, visit explore Montserrat

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