Discover Montserrat in the Caribbean

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Ask anyone who visited Montserrat in the Caribbean, and they will tell you it is the experience of a lifetime. A tiny island with an Irish heritage is home to pristine volcanic black sandy beaches, lush rainforests and unspoiled landscape. Yes, that is right, the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean is everything is cruise-ship neighbour Antigua is not. It is smaller, it is a lower-key, and its top attraction is an active volcano. The island offers more than just sipping cocktails in all-inclusive bars by the water. It has something you won’t find anywhere else, though.

 Montserrat Island in the Caribbean: Montserrat island in the Caribbean is an excellent day trip from Antigua and Barbuda

Montserrat is home to the Soufriere Hills Volcano.


If you thought Montserrat in the Caribbean was, volcanically speaking, you got that right. Due to the volcano’s eruptions, the island is today half fertile and half unhabitable. It is also home to many rare animals and plants.




As you probably know, life on this idyllic island changed forever when the Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted. Two-thirds of Montserrat island (including the former capital Plymouth) became devastated by the volcano’s eruptions. As a result, the vast majority of the 12,000 population relocated. Either to the undeveloped north, or overseas to the United Kingdom. The economy, tourism and people’s daily lives were affected by the loss of the port in Plymouth and Bramble airport.

volcano tourism in the Caribbean: Volcano tourism is the key to the Montserrat Island’s future. Everyone will tell you that the Soufriere Hills Volcano has become a top attraction in Montserrat in the Caribbean. Today, Montserrat Island is attracting travellers who want to see two-thirds of the island covered by ashes. The visitors can even fly over an active volcano in a helicopter.

It might not be safe to visit the south of Montserrat island, but there are various safe points from which you can see the devastation.
volcano eruptions in the Caribbean, Montserrat island. Montserrat island is also known as the Pompeii in the Caribbean
A series of eruptions in the 1990s had an enormous impact on the island. After explosions, two-thirds of the island has become uninhabitable. Also, the south-coast capital of Plymouth. 


More than two decades later, Montserrat in the Caribbean is slowly recovering. The island is leveraging an abundance of naturally occurring geothermal resources and volcanic sand mining. Apart from that, volcano tourism is also the key to the island’s future. Everyone will tell you that the Soufriere Hills Volcano has become a top attraction in Montserrat. Today, Montserrat Island is attracting travellers who want to see two-thirds of the island covered by ashes. The visitors can even fly over an active volcano in a helicopter.

Montserrat island day trip from Antigua: find out why to visit Montserrat in the Caribbean



There are many reasons why you should explore Montserrat in the Caribbean. For most visitors, the island is no more than a day trip from Antigua. Those rare travellers who have visited the island know that Montserrat island is quite an unspoilt paradise.

Montserrat Island is an ideal getaway for Eco trekkers, nature lovers, or anyone, who want to see how the island has transformed after a major volcanic eruption. 

With a vast network of hiking trails, Montserrat island’s diverse landscape is perfect for experienced hikers and beginners alike. This Ecotourist haven offers unique adventure holidays in the Caribbean, more than just sun, sand and beaches. It’s a destination for travellers who want to immerse and connect, whether with nature or each other. Also, this little-visited Caribbean island is the prime destination for dark tourism.


Bear in mind that there is strictly controlled access to the restricted zone on the island. Therefore, the best way to discover Montserrat in the Caribbean is on a guided tour. Not only you can access ”the exclusion zone V” with a tour guide, but also you will learn more about the island.

You can find exclusion zone V on the south end of the island. It includes the buried city of Plymouth, St George’s Hill and also the Soufriere Hills in Montserrat island. 

Exploring the exclusion zone is, in fact, an unmissable experience in Montserrat in the Caribbean. It is because you can get a closer look at the active volcano and Montserrat’s lost capital city.

Montserrat island fun fact

As a result, the island gets very busy for St. Patrick’s Day in March.



The pear-shaped island, located in the Caribbean Sea, is a part of the Leeward Islands. Its nearest neighbours are Antigua (55km), Guadaloupe (86km) and Nevis (62 km).




how to get to Montserrat island in the Caribbean

If you plan a trip to Montserrat island ahead, your arrival will be smooth and easy. Here is some information to help you with planning.



With a new airport, Montserrat island is more accessible than ever. However, due to the island’s small size, you will need to fly first to Antigua because there are no direct international services to Montserrat. You will need to take a 20-minute connecting flight from the island’s closest neighbour Antigua.


  • you can arrange Helicopter tours of the volcano from Antigua.
  • don’t forget to take your passport with you as a short flight from Antigua is international.



ferry to Montserrat island in the Caribbean

Ferry to the Island

Flying to Montserrat is not your only option, though. You can travel to Montserrat island also by ferry. It runs from the island of Antigua (Bryson’s Pier at Heritage Quay in St. John’s) to Little bay in Montserrat and back. A 90-minute ride operates five days a week. Bear in mind that, there might be schedule changes depending on weather and sea conditions. The fares for the ferry are EC$300 return (EC$150 one way) for adults. Additionally, those travelling by a private vessel may dock their boat at the Port of Little Bay.


Leaving Antigua by ferry is a little bit of a hassle, though. Make sure you arrive early at the port of your departure to allow enough time. To get through immigration, customs and security requirements, come at least one hour in advance of your scheduled departure time. Plus, don’t forget to bring your passport!


When you depart to Montserrat Island from Antigua, you will need to pay the Antigua departure tax at the time of check-in. Similarly, when leaving Montserrat, you will need to pay the Montserrat departure tax (EC$45 per person) and also the Antigua arrival tax.




Although the level of volcanic activity is very low at present, the Soufriere Hills Volcano is still active. Therefore, it’s continually monitored for signs of increasing activity. As a result, access to the restricted zone is strictly controlled. Tours are only available via approved guides. You won’t be able to access the volcano.

Montserrat warning sign

Roadside signs advise when you are entering a particular exclusion zone.  A map of the island outside the airport terminal shows the Exclusion Zone.

Life in Montserrat island: Plymouth - a modern “Pompeii of the Caribbean” can be visited only with police permission and accompanied by a certified guide.

Nowadays, you can view the volcano from a safe distance of a few miles. The Hazard Level System in Montserrat island controls the volcano’s activity. The system informs people of the level of risk in various areas. Also, it tells how long you can stay in the area. Those who would like to visit Plymouth – a modern “Pompeii of the Caribbean” should know that it is possible. But, you can visit it only with police permission and with a certified guide.

Plymouth, the Pompeii of the Caribbean - the best things to do in Montserrat island

Scattering of roofs and the top floors of the tallest buildings are everything you can see from Plymouth.

Montserrat island Plymouth
Plymouth is today famous as the Pompeii of the Caribbean.
practical information about isla

East Caribbean Dollar is pegged to the US dollar at the US $1 =EC$2.7. 

Besides Montserrat, the EC$ is also the currency of:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Grenada
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • Dominica
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines

It is important to remember that in Montserrat, you must drive on the left side of the road.



Thanks to the black sand beaches, Montserrat in the Caribbean has never been a popular travel destination for travellers. But, it is their loss. The island’s unique characters, fascinating culture and gorgeous coast are well worth at least a few days’ exploring. With the volcano, no longer a symbol of fear, Montserrat island is an ideal destination for everyone who wants to experience the Caribbean the way it used to be – unspoiled by mass tourism. Beautiful landscape and unpolluted night skies make Montserrat in the Caribbean an unforgettable holiday destination. No matter where your travels take you, you will be sure to go home with more experiences than souvenirs.


Pin Montserrat Island in the Caribbean for later!

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Have you ever been to Montserrat in the Caribbean? Or ever considered a visit? Hope we have inspired you to visit this lovely island. Please leave us a comment below!


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15 thoughts on “Discover Montserrat in the Caribbean”

  1. Oooh this is a lovely post about Montserrat. I’ve definitely considered a visit as one of my classmates is from there and she proudly reps her island every chance she gets, which has got me interested. Such a shame what happened to them in the 90s with that volcano.

    1. It’s also the second home of the “5th Beatle Sir George Martin and Air Studios 2” and the One time Soca king of the World, “Arrow” with his Hit Songs Hot, hot, hot and tiny winey….

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