Hear about travel to the Island of Montserrat as the Amateur Traveler talks to Dan Dekker about his visits to this island with an active volcano.
Why should you go to Montserrat?
Dan says, “We did two trips in the winter several years ago, and then we always wanted to do a longer trip and we have kids, so we went this summer or last summer for two weeks and stayed two weeks in the summertime, which is definitely their off-season. But why we keep going back, it’s just so quiet, and relaxing. I try to like, think of a good way to sum up Montserrat, and my favorite way is to say, if a cruise ship is your perfect dream vacation, then Montserrat is not for you. If you wanna be around 3,000 other tourists and have a giant corporation prepare your meals every night, that is not Montserrat.”
Montserrat had 12,000 people. And then in the early nineties, the Soufrière Hills Volcano which is right up the slope from capital of Plymouth started erupting and started having earthquakes. They had to evacuate the whole city of Plymouth. And so everyone had to move to the north side of the island. The island now only has 5,000 residents.
One of the reasons Dan recommends Montserrat is that you can now visit the city of Plymouth which is buried in ash and lava like a modern-day Pompey. You have to be with a guide who knows where it is safe to walk, but you can peek in the second-story windows of buildings and see a ruined city frozen in time. He also recommends a visit to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory to learn more about the volcano and get some good views of the mountain.
Hiking is a great thing to do on the island and Dan recommends one strenuous hike to recently discovered petroglyphs and another hike to Jack Boy Hill where you can look down on the old airport which was also lost to the volcano.
With only 5,000 inhabitants you can find a beach of your own somewhere on the island. Dan recommends Woodlands Beach, Rendezvous Beach, and Isles Bay Beach with the Isles Bay Beach Bar.
There are only two hotels on the island and a guest house or two. Dan and his family rented a villa overlooking the water. It came with a pool which is very handy in the hot summer months. In the winter, you might not even need air conditioning.
Beatles producer George Martin once ran a recording studio on the island which is also now abandoned.
If your idea of a great vacation is an out-of-the-way destination, there is an island in the Caribbean with a live volcano that I might recommend.
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