Selected by National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the
"Top Twenty-five New Trips of 2010"
Spend a week exploring the hidden gem of the Caribbean – Montserrat. Known as the Emerald Isle, this small island was knocked down by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, then again by a series of eruptions at the Soufriere Hills volcano beginning in 1995. Knocked down but not out, Montserrat is mounting a comeback and offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness devastation and recovery, side by side.
During this six day/five night package you will visit the Volcano Observatory to view a history of the eruptions and the devastation they have wrought. Although the capital city of Plymouth, destroyed by an eruption in 1997, is off limits to visitors by land, you can view this modern day Pompeii from a variety of vantage points on the island as well as up close and personal with a guided boat tour that takes you just meters from shore.
While the southern portion of the island remains buried in ash, the north blooms with color. Opportunities abound for hiking through lush rainforests and swimming in crystal clear waters teeming with life. Local guides will lead you on adventures through fields of heliconia to find the Montserrat Oriole and the Mountain Chicken, a nearly extinct species of frog found only in Montserrat & Dominica. Kayak tours along the Leeward Coast of Montserrat provide ample opportunities for snorkeling on secluded beaches and exploration of our world famous bat cave, home of the endangered fruit bat. A trip to another nearby extinct volcanic island for hiking or diving completes your experience.
After a full day of exploration, relax in the privacy of your own vacation villa, perched atop the hills overlooking the volcano and the Caribbean Sea. Tradewinds Real Estate will ensure that you have everything you need to make your villa experience a pleasure!
The villas are fully furnished and equipped, so just bring your suitcase. Each villa has a full kitchen for the gourmet in you - or not!!! There is Cable TV with 50 stations including CNN & BBC, high speed internet for your laptop, CD and DVD players (so bring your favorite music & movies if you wish). Delight in the private fresh water swimming pool, and catch some rays while drinking a refreshing ice tea or rum punch. Sunsets are amazing, and yes, you might even see the elusive Green Flash (not to be mistaken for a Green Monkey!). As night approaches, watch the fire flies dancing in the air preparing you for a star-studded sky.
Villas are located near restaurants and the grocery store is only a 5 minute drive. Walk down to the beach and talk to the fishermen as they pull in their morning catch. Pick mangoes and limes off the trees in your garden. Your package will include accommodations (based on double occupancy) at one of the following beautiful villas:
Villa Pimenta: Gorgeous pimento colored home & 30 ft pool with spectacular view of volcano and beach, sunsets, beautifully furnished in local red cedar, terra cotta tile, and plump mint green cushions, perfect for 2 or 4 persons, and actually will sleep 6 adults and 2 children (in small bunk bed room).
Connemara: Crisp white tiles and furnishings compliment the surroundings, this villa also overlooks the beach and volcano, and has a large outdoor living area on the same level as the 30 ft pool. Perfect for 2 or 4 persons, but will also sleep 6 adults and 2 children (in small room off one of the guest bedrooms).
Vest View: Cozy 2 bedroom villa overlooking the beach and with volcano view, with 24 ft pool that is 6 feet deep in deepest end. An indoor/outdoor living area w/gazebo and shutters really bring the view inside.
Several other villas are available in the same price range. Extra nights are also available at seasonal rates. For more information about accommodations or to reserve your villa, contact Tradewinds Real Estate at email@example.com or visit their website at www.tradewindsmontserrat.com.
This package is available throughout 2010 at a price of US $885 (for the Vest Vue Villa Packages) or $955 for the Pimenta or Connemara Villa Package) per person (based on double occupancy). You can make this even more affordable with a group package. Rates for a group of 4 are $785 and $830 respectively (per person).
Voyage to the Volcano: Montserrat Nature Adventures - Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Montserrat AM. You will be met at the airport and accompanied to your villa where your rental car will await you. After a bit of time to unpack and enjoy the spectacular view from your pool deck of the volcano and Caribbean Sea, proceed to the Green Monkey Dive Shop in the soon-to-be new Capital city of Little Bay for an afternoon of fun in the water. A guided kayak tour of the Leeward Coast awaits you, with stops along the way for snorkeling at our secluded black sand beaches.
Day 2 Explore the Emerald Isle with your private guided taxi tour. You will visit the world renowned Montserrat Volcano Observatory; drink from the water at Runaway Ghaut (legend has it that those who drink from her waters are destined to return); explore the little Bay area where the new capital city is taking shape; and take in the views from the Jack Boy Hill volcano viewing facility which overlooks the destroyed “old airport” on the eastern side of the island. Somewhere in between you will stop for a lunch of delicious roti and local vegetables and end your tour at a one of our “rumshops” for a game of dominoes. (Drinks are not included)
Day 3 Rise early this morning, grab a bottle of Montserrat-bottled water, and meet your local guide for a hike through one of Montserrat’s mountain trails. You will find yourself surrounded by heliconia, bananas, mango trees, and a variety of other fruit trees and foliage unique to Montserrat. Along the way, your guide will call the Montserrat Oriole, our rare National Bird. You will also have the opportunity to observe a species that few in the world have ever seen – the Mountain Chicken. This nearly extinct genus of frog is found only in two countries: Montserrat & Dominica.
After a morning of exploring by foot, you will spend the afternoon exploring via sea. Nothing can get you closer to a view of the devastation wrought by the Soufriere Hills volcano that a guided boat tour with the Green Monkey Dive Shop. Departing from Little Bay, the trip proceeds south past the luxurious Cliffside villas so distinctive to Montserrat, past the Belham River Valley where the rich and famous used to show off their golf strokes, then on to the former capital city of Plymouth. Years of eruptions and pyroclastic flows have nearly buried parts of the town, but much of it still stands, rising out of the mud and ash and standing against the background of the steaming giant.
Day 4 It’s another early morning as you rise for the hour-long boat ride to the nearby uninhabited island of Redonda. The island “Kingdom” of Redonda lies fifteen miles northwest of Montserrat and was once “ruled” by Montserrat under King Felipe I. For those who are divers, Redonda’s underwater world offers pristine virgin diving with magnificent visibility. You will marvel at six-foot barrel sponges, completely untouched by human hands. Swim with giant Southern Stingrays, Moray Eels, and the occasional Spotted Eagle Ray, while keeping watch for Nurse Sharks and ancient Barracudas reaching more than five feet long. Divers can also search for remnants of the sunken barge along with ships’ anchors encrusted in a myriad of multi-colored coral. For non-divers, there’s plenty to do as well. You can choose to snorkel with the families of Sea Turtles, or, for the truly adventurous, a hike to the summit of Redonda to see the remnants of the 19th century mining camp is an accomplishment few have experienced.
After returning to Montserrat and relaxing for a few hours by the pool, enjoy dinner at Olveston House, the private home of Beatle’s producer Sir George Martin. This beautifully landscaped villa has been transformed into a guest house featuring a popular restaurant, pool, tennis court, and views of the Soufriere Hills volcano. The menu offers a selection of British favorites, infused with an island flare. (Drinks are not included)
Day 5 Sleep in this morning, enjoy breakfast and a cup of coffee on your veranda, then head to the Green Monkey for another day of kayaking. This time, you will head north to Montserrat’s only white sand beach, Rendezvous Bay, where a spectacular reef awaits you. You are likely to have this secluded beach all to yourself. And on the way, tie the kayak to the nearby mooring and snorkel into the “bat cave,” if you dare!
After a day in the sun, stop at the Monkey Bar for a few drinks at their beach bar, and then do a bit of souvenir shopping on your way home. Be sure to stop at “Last Coconut in Paradise” where Montserrat’s most famous photographer, Kevin West, exhibits and sells his spectacular photographs and paintings of the Soufriere Hills Volcano.
Day 6 Your last and final day in Montserrat is yours to do with as you wish. Perhaps you’d like to explore another of Montserrat’s many trails – the Cot, the Dry Waterfall, or the Silver Hills. Or visit one of Montserrat’s other secluded beaches for a snorkel and picnic. Or simply enjoy the pool at your villa. The choice is yours today. Just be sure you drank from the water at Runaway Ghaut!
This 6 day/5 night package includes:
Car rental for 5 days (including driver’s license)
Guided Kayak & Snorkeling Tour
Island Tour with lunch (alcoholic drinks not included)
Mountain Hike with Local Guide
Plymouth Boat Tour
Dive/Hike/Snorkel Trip to Redonda
Dinner at Olveston House (alcoholic drinks not included)
Kayak Rental & Snorkel Gear for Rendezvous Trip
BOOK YOUR TRIP TODAY BY CONTACTING US AT firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at
664-496-2960 or 664-496-3483