- Continental region – North America
- Currency symbol of Montserrat-Eastern Caribbean dollar
- Capital City –Plymouth, Brades
- Official languages – English
- Population – 5,900 (2008)
- Country dialling code – (+1 )
- Official website – Montserrat
- Top 3 biggest industries –Construction, government services, banking and insurance
- Google Maps link –Montserrat
- Where is it? –Montserrat is an island in the Caribbean Sea, in the Leeward Islands. Its nearest neighbors in the island chain include Guadeloupe to the southeast, Antigua to the north-east and Nevis to the northwest.
Montserrat In Pictures
- How did the country get its first name? – The native Caribs called the island Alliouagana, which means “land of prickly bush” (named for the vegetation along the coast).
- How did the country get its current name? – Christopher Columbus sighted Montserrat 11 November 1493 and gave the island its present name because it reminded him of a mountain monastery in Spain.
- When and by whom the country was first discovered? – The Saladoid culture has been identified as present on the island until 550 AD. Other evidence suggests an Archaic presence in 500 BC or earlier. The first European to arrive was Christopher Columbus in 1493.
- Who were the first Inhabitants? – The Saladoid culture are the earliest known settlers, dating back to 550 AD.
- When it was first recognized as a country? – The island is a British Overseas Territory.
- Who was the first leader of the country? – The first Premier of Montserrat was Reuben Meade, who was also the last Chief Minister of Montserrat.
Five Significant Events
- 1493 – Navigator Christopher Columbus sights the island which he names after a Spanish abbey. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-20257216)
- 1871 – Montserrat becomes part of the Leeward Islands colony. The federation is dissolved in 1956. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-20257216)
- 1958-62 – Montserrat is part of the short-lived Federation of the West Indies. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-20257216)
- 1995 18 July – Chances Peak volcano erupts for the first time in 350 years. Thousands are forced to evacuate. Many take up temporary residence in “safe areas” in the north; others flee to neighbouring Caribbean islands, New York and Britain. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-20257216)
- 2019 November – A divided People’s Democratic Party loses the election to the Movement for Change and Prosperity under the leadership of Easton Taylor Farrell. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-20257216)
Five Places to Visit in Montserrat
- 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 an exclusion zone, but subject to seismic activity, you can organize a guided and police-escorted tour to parts of this zone through Sun’s Montserrat Island Tours. If you are traveling around the island on your own, you can also 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. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/montserrat-mst.htm)
- Rendezvous Bay: Tucked beneath towering cliffs, the peaceful beach at Rendezvous Bay is Montserrat’s only stretch of blond sand. The bay itself is favored for swimming, diving, and snorkeling. Most visitors access the area by boat or kayak since the hike to this serene stretch of coast is strenuous. Bring plenty of water and sun protection. Carved into the bluff here are two caves that are home to large colonies of Antillean fruit-eating bats, and you might catch a glimpse of them as you paddle past on a kayak.(https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/montserrat-mst.htm)
- Montserrat Volcano Observatory: A visit to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory is a great way to learn about the series of eruptions that devastated the island and enjoy excellent views of the Soufrière Hills Volcano. Scientists at the observatory monitor seismic activity on the island and share live recordings with visitors. The observatory also offers lectures and field trips. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/montserrat-mst.htm)
- Little Bay Beach: On Montserrat’s west coast, Little Bay Beach is one of the most popular crescents of sand on the island. The calm waters are great for swimming, and you can relax along the gray-sand shore and watch boats bob in port at the bay’s northern end. Beachside restaurants sell local seafood and refreshments, and you’ll find dive shops and places to rent water sports equipment here as well. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/montserrat-mst.htm)
- Scuba Diving: Divers looking to escape the crowds and explore thriving coral reefs will love Montserrat. After the volcanic eruptions, the southern reefs were reborn, and the budding marine life drifted to the reefs in the north, boosting their populations. Divers can see everything from huge sponges and heads of brain coral to kaleidoscopic tropical fish, spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, and sharks. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/montserrat-mst.htm)