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“Oh Montserrat!”
Review of Montserrat

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Miami, FL
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
62 helpful votes
“Oh Montserrat!”
Reviewed 1 March 2007

This is truly paradise! Deserted beaches, pure air, no crime, friendly people, perfect views of the caribbean everywhere you look. Great place to disconnect or reconnect.

Helpful?
4 Thank son_travel2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario
1 review
4 helpful votes
“Montserrat' Friendly People”
Reviewed 5 February 2007

We spent three weeks on this beautiful island this past Dec./Jan. What really made this vacation great were the people. Melody and Troy of the Green Monkey Dive Shop went out of their way to ensure that we had an amazing time. We had emailed prior to our arrival to inquire re diving, a prompt response to our initial questions was received with an invitation to 'drop by' once we arrived which we did. Troy set us up with a relaxing dive schedule and Melody made arrangements for us to do an Island tour, dinner reservations and recommendations. Whatever we had questions about Troy and Melody would assist us in figuring it out. They introduced us to Roy and Lottie the propertiers of the B&B Travellers Palm. Although we did not stay there (private rental)they were very friendly and extremely helpful in suggesting activities and even provided us with a detailed map of the area! The diving is fairly undeveloped here. Troy and the other dive master have recently joined forces to map and mark the abundant number of sites. Unspoiled reefs with a lot of the usual ocean life. If you are going to dive, make sure you go to Rodunda! It is a bit of a boat ride (but with Troy's new boat not so bad despite the rough water) but it is well worth the ride!
This is an amazing place, made all the more special when you begin to realize what devastation took place here in regards to the volcano and perserverence of the Islanders.The volcano continues to play a central role in the Iives of the Islanders and provides a unique tourist opportunity for education and observation at the Observatory. If you are looking for deserted beaches,clean water,(from the tap even!), friendly people, a safe and relaxed way of life this Island is all of this and much more.

Helpful?
4 Thank wiseone342
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis
1 review
4 helpful votes
“Montserrat Trip Report”
Reviewed 18 September 2006

If you’re looking for a remote island adventure check out Montserrat. I just spent a week there and had a great time. Montserrat is a small island in the West Indies, near Antigua and Nevis / St. Kits. Troy and Melody, a couple I met through my LDS, moved there at the end of 2005 to start their own business, The Green Monkey Dive Shop and Inn. They offer diving (recreational and certifications), snorkeling, and plenty of topside activities.

There was a lot to see underwater, including some firsts for me – the beautiful Flying Gunard, two schools of Squid, a Spotted Snake Eel, and a male Rock Beauty with a blackened face for “courting”. I also witnessed Troy “dueling”, using a bright yellow snorkel, with the biggest lobster I will probably ever see! When the lobster tired of playing, he gave one great scoop with his tail, and he was 20 feet away, disappearing again into the reef. There was also a huge turtle (shell was at least 5 feet long) snuggled under a ledge being cleaned, and an abundance of the usual reef fish and creatures. Some sights offered beautiful soft coral “forests”, while others were dramatic landscapes of barrel sponges. The weather and volcanic activity combined to make the viz less than optimal for the Caribbean – 40 to 60 feet at the deeper / more remote sights, and 20 to 25 feet at the shallower / more accessible sights. But the water was 82 to 86 degrees and the dive sights still had a lot to offer. Troy is great at spotting underwater critters, and he was happy to take pictures for me and download them to CD for me to take home. Diving from the boat requires a short walk across the beach and wading through the surf, with perhaps a short swim to the boat, but several quality dive sights are only a 5 to 10 minute ride away. Seas permitting, there is also an awesome sight called “Hell’s Gate” at the northern tip of the island that is well worth the longer 15 minute ride. While I was there we did one night dive from a small public beach, but I understand the boat is now equipped with lights for night diving.

Other than diving, there is also hiking, snorkeling, and sight seeing. One morning Melody took me hiking on a trail called “The Cot” where we investigated the ruins of an 1890’s estate destroyed during a hurricane, and had a spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea and the island’s active volcano. It’s awesome when you hear loud, rolling “thunder” on a clear blue day and realize it’s the rumbling of the volcano. I also got to snorkel into the “Bat Cave”, where hundreds, if not 1,000+ medium sized Fruit Bats reside. What a racket they make! And what a sight to see the walls covered in bats. Beware of falling guano! I was also fortunate enough to arrive on the island during the sea turtles’ nesting season, so one evening we went to the beach and were lucky enough to see two of them digging out large depressions in the sand. I didn’t get to see them laying eggs, but it was still an incredible experience. On my last afternoon we went on a boat ride to the southern part of the island to see the deserted city of Plymouth, which was destroyed by the 1997 volcanic eruption. Due to the high level of volcanic activity while I was there, we weren’t allowed to visit the city on foot, and had to stay 200 meters off shore with the boat. But even at a distance it was a haunting sight. Due to weather, I wasn’t able to see the glow of the volcano’s dome at night. Maybe on my next trip!

All activities require that you have access to a vehicle, as nothing is within walking distance. You can get most anywhere in 15 to 20 minutes, but be prepared to drive on the left side while navigating the lush, mountainous terrain. And if you’re prone to motion sickness, either on land or on water, be sure to bring your favorite remedy.

My room at The Green Monkey Inn was decorated with fun, tropical touches and was very comfortable and charming. It included fans (no AC), TV, private bathroom, and there is also a nice in-ground pool with a spectacular view of the sea. Your cell phone won’t work on the island, but there is internet access. Troy and Melody do their best to make you feel welcome and to offer activities to suit your interests and make the most of your time in Montserrat.

So it was a great trip, and I thought I’d share my experience.

PS Be sure to try the Lettuce Soup! Troy and Melody can show you where to get it!

Helpful?
4 Thank Scuba_Sally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gosport, England
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
20 helpful votes
“Nostalgia Trip”
Reviewed 25 May 2005

On 15 May 2005 whilst on holiday in Antigua, my friend and I went back to Montserrat after a gap of ten years.

An ex boss of mine had worked in Montserrat and so we had taken advantage of the opportunity to visit a total of three times. We fell in love with the island then and wept tears for the Monserrations following the volcanic eruption.

As it was to be a nostalgia trip we left the men to soak up the sun on the beach in Antigua and clutching passport we set of at 0700 on the Sunday morning for the airport and the helicopter trip on the Montserrat shuttle.

On arrival after thoroughly enjoying my first helicopter flight, we met up with a taxi driver(Samuel) who took us round the whole island, or as much of it as you can enter. We also told him we wanted to go to Jumping Jack's for lunch, as it was friends from our times on Montserrat (Danny and Margaret ) who run the restaurant/bar at Iles Bay.

The trip round, seeing the devastation caused and villages that had been alive with people but were now deserted, was to say the least disturbing. Nothing prepared us for the sight of Belham Valley and what had been the beautiful Golf Club there, just a mass of ash and boulders. Iles Bay itself where the land now juts that much further into the sea just left us speechless. We had been lucky enough to spend our time in the beautiful Iles Bay Plantation which was a very upmarket complex, and now just lies empty. Samuel also took us up to the Atherton's house at the top of St Georges hill to look down on what used to be Plymouth. The silence up there spoke a thousand words.

Having said all that the island is still the most beautiful island I have been to, and having drunk the waters from the spring yes 'we surely will return'.
The people are just lovely, and I hope more return to live as time goes on.

Our friends at Jumping Jack's filled us in on the whereabouts of other friends we had made during our previous stays, and if anyone is holidaying on Montserrat do go and visit Danny and Margaret, the bar is great and the food delicious. Sara their daughter who was only a four or five year old on our last visit has grown in to a beautiful young women in looks and ways.

A day to remember, and we really hope it wont be another ten years before we return to that most wonderful of places.

We now have the Montserrat Shamrock stamped in our passports again, it feels like we have been home.

Helpful?
7 Thank 23RF20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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