Montserrat, sometimes known as the "Emerald Isle" of the Caribbean, is a somber reminder of nature's awe-inspiring grandeur. The island's north side is cradled by verdant highlands, while the south is a surreal lunar landscape of abandoned communities and scorched valleys scarred by a series of disastrous volcanic eruptions that began in 1995.
The active Soufrière Hills Volcano and its ash-strewn surroundings are now part of an exclusion zone that covers more than half of the island. Tourists are taken inside the zone on police-escorted sightseeing tours, and various hilltop vantage points offer stunning views of the damaged towns, including the old city of Plymouth.
New villages are thriving on Montserrat's scenic northern side. Hiking the verdant rainforest trails, spotting some of the island's many kinds of birds, diving and snorkeling the healthy coral reefs, and sunbathing on the silver-sand beaches attract ecotourists and nature enthusiasts who travel by ferry from Antigua.
Friendly Montserrat is rich in natural beauty and a humbling reminder of nature's brute force for those seeking a tranquil and peaceful slice of tropical island life.
Read our list of the greatest locations to visit and popular things to do in Montserrat for ideas on where to go and what to do.