What makes Montserrat a unique Caribbean travel experience is what it does have -- the only active volcano in the region -- and what it does not have: hordes of tourists and the infrastructure to support them. The chance to get up close -- but not too close -- to the steaming and sulphur-spewing Soufrière Hills volcano and the destruction it wreaked on the capital of Plymouth and surrounding area -- now abandoned and half-buried -- is both exhilarating and eerie. --Bill Bleyer, special to Newsday
The living room of an abandoned luxury home in the Plymouth suburb of Richmond Hill, which was recently reopened to daytime visits, shows accumulated ash and vegetation growing in the ash. Montserrat was deserted in the '90s when the volcano erupted. Villagers never went back after the volcano erupted, and now visitors can tour some of the ash covered buildings.
Richmond Hill, a northern suburb of Plymouth (the capital of Montserrat); the community was recently opened for daytime visits, after being closed for five years due to the threat posed by the Soufrière Hills volcano.
Plymouth, the capital of Montserrat.
A building in Plymouth, the capital of Montserrat.
A look at an undated photo of Plymouth, capital of Montserrat, with the Soufrière Hills volcano above.