The beautiful Caribbean island of Montserrat is best known for its active volcano, but Is also an attractive destination for a quiet and peaceful escape. The island encompasses just about 39 square miles and is home to several beaches, dive sites, hiking trails and nature areas. Even though this island is part of the Caribbean Islands, it is one of the lesser known of the group and has a much less touristy feel than other destinations. Most visitors head here to hike the trails and explore the natural sites around the Soufriere Hills volcano, but you’ll also find a number of interesting attractions to explore and activities to enjoy throughout your visit.
The southern part of Montserrat is off limits because of the active volcano, but you can see the small eruptions on occasion from several other parts of the island. A few local dive shops and tour operators offer guided tours and hikes very close to the volcano, giving you a chance to see some of the molten lava rocks and plant life surrounding the famous site.
Montserrat has been nicknamed the “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean” because of its abundance of plant life, turquoise waters, green mountains and tranquil setting. It is home to approximately 4,700 residents and is a popular destination for deep-water reef diving. Whether you end up spending your days relaxing on the black sandy beaches, hiking the trails around the mountains, or just spending time poolside in your villa, you’ll find plenty of fun and interesting things to do and enjoy during your time on this Caribbean island.
Since Montserrat is a real island paradise in the Caribbean, it has grown to become a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons. Many couples head here to tie the knot on the beach, enjoy a garden wedding at one of the area resorts, or just escape to one of the mansions and villas for their honeymoon. It’s fairly easy to get a marriage license on Montserrat – you can apply for a special Governor’s marriage license after staying on the island for at least three days.
Montserrat Weather and Best Time to Visit
Monsterrat shares some of the same climate and peak and off-peak season as other islands in the Caribbean, and the weather stays warm and tropical for most of the year. Temperatures tend to stay in the upper 70s to upper 80s year round, and the cool trade winds keep things comfortable during the heat of summer. Monsterrat is located on the leeward side of the Lesser Antilles so it doesn’t get exposed to some of the stronger winds coming in from the east on a regular basis.
Rainy season runs from July through November each year, but you can expect an average of 20 sunny days per month on the island on any given month. Residents and visitors enjoy the occasional “snow shower” – the gray ash that falls from the volcano does cover the island on more than one occasion during the year – but you won’t find any icy cold temperatures around these parts. Peak travel season to Montserrat is during the winter months when travelers from around the globe head to the Caribbean to enjoy a winter getaway. If you’re looking for the best deals on travel and low prices on hotel and resort packages, plan to visit during the peak of summer right before “Creole Lent” season.
Because of the active volcano on the island, most of the beaches on Montserrat are black and grey in color. This doesn’t make them any less beautiful, but it is definitely a different experience to be relaxing on black or grey sands during your beach vacation. Some of the more secluded beaches such as Lime Kiln Beach are perfect for snorkeling and wading. Woodlands Beach has some of the darkest sands around the island, and is a good destination for relaxing on the bay and enjoying a few hours of people-watching. If you want to enjoy some great food and tropical drinks between swimming sessions, head to Little Bay Beach.
Rendezvous Beach on Montserrat is the only all-white sandy beach on the island, so be sure to make a trip out here for a few hours if you want a more traditional Caribbean beach vacation experience. Biking, cricket and football are the most popular sports on the island. You’ll find a large football field in Blakes near the Lookout on Montserrat, and the field offers amazing views of the ocean and mountains, catering to international teams throughout the year. Rent a bike for an afternoon to explore the small villages around Montserrat and take in the scenery. Montserrat is home to two cricket playing fields that host regional and domestic games throughout the year. The Montserrat Cricket Association oversees many of these games, and they are held at Salem Park in the southern part of the island and the Little Bay Playing field near the newly-built capital city.
You won’t find a single fast food restaurant on Monsterrat, so you can look forward to more traditional fare and authentic cuisine at many of the restaurants and casual eateries scattered throughout the island. The island is also home to a number of locally owned shops and is a haven for craft lovers with its collection of hand woven items, handcrafted leather goods and gifts.
Whether you’re planning a volcano adventure, eco-tour and nature hikes, water adventure, or want to enjoy one of the many festivals and events on the island, Montserrat has everything to offer all types of travelers.
Untouched by mass tourism, Montserrat is an attractive Caribbean Island destination for enjoying a quiet, serene and relaxing beach vacation. You'll find many hotels and resort overlook the Caribbean Sea and offer a range of onsite activities, including paddleboarding lessons, boat trips and fishing excursions. Spend a day exploring the hills and valleys around the active volcano, shop at local boutique shops or just relax on the sands during your trip.