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Apache/2.2.15 (CentOS) Server at www.bcraw.com Port 80
Montserrat
October 25, 2014
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Map of Montserrat
National Flag
National Flag
Facts about Montserrat
Airport
Geralds Airport (MNI)
Annual Rainfall
Coast 50 inches/mountains 80 inches
Area
39 sq miles
Area Code
664
Banks
Monday-Friday, 8am to 2pm
Capital City
Plymouth/Little Bay
Co-ordinates
1645'N, 6212'W
Currency
Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$), credit cards not widely accepted
Departure Tax
International - US$21/ regional - US$13, payable in cash
Dimensions
16km x 10 km
Dress Code
Swim wear on the beach, casual cotton during the day, more elegant at night
Driving
Driving on the left, driving license required, EC$50
Drugs
Illegal
Electricity
220 volts (most hotels rent transformers)
Exchange Rate
EC$2.70 - US$1.00
Highest Point
Chances Peak (914 m)
Language
English
Medical
Dial 999 for police, fire 911
Nudity
Illegal
Population
5900
Public Transport
Minibuses, mainly a daytime service, no set bus stops, green license plates
Shopping
Monday - Saturday 8 am to 5pm/noon on Wednesdays & Saturdays
Smoking
No prohibitive legislation
Taxis
Taxi drivers and tour operators
Telecommunications
Internet access, cellular
Temperature
81F (28C)
Time Zone
Atlantic Standard Time
Tipping
10%, usually included
Water
Tap water safe for drinking, bottled available
ABOUT MONTSERRAT
History
The earliest inhabitants of Montserrat were the Arawak and Carib people. Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain in 1493, and named it Santa Maria de Montserrate, after the Blessed Virgin of the Monastery of Montserrat in Catalonia. The English took control of the island in 1632 with the settlement of a group of Irish. The import of slaves during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to work in the sugar, rum, arrowroot and Sea Island cotton industries followed. Montserrat was captured briefly by the French in 1782, but returned to England on 17 March 1798. Montserrat is one of only four places in the world that celebrates St Patrick's Day as a public holiday (the celebration is shared with the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada). With the fall of the sugar industry after the abolition of slavery, limes and the production of lime juice became the main money earner. In 1979, the island became a leader in the musical recording industry. In September 1989, Montserrat received a direct hit from Hurricane Hugo, which damaged over 90 percent of buildings on the island. This resulted in the closure of the recording studio, and the tourist trade collapsed. Within a few years, the island had recovered only to be devastated by the eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano in July 1995. The eruption buried the island's capital, Plymouth, destroyed the airport and port facilities, and rendered the southern half of the island uninhabitable. More than half of the island's population fled. The volcano's activity has since decreased, and volcano watching is now one of the major tourist attractions on the island. Montserrat, known as "The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean", remains lush and green. A new airport was opened in February 2005, and docking facilities for ships are in place at Little Bay where a new capital is being constructed. The people of Montserrat were granted full residency rights in the United Kingdom in 1998, and citizenship was granted in 2002.

Geography
Montserrat is located east-southeast of Puerto Rico and southwest of Antigua. The area of the island is increasing gradually due to the deposit of volcanic materials. The landscape consists mainly of sheer and dramatic cliffs with sandy (mainly black sand) beaches. Montserrat has two offshore islets - Little Redonda and Virgin.

Economy
Montserrat is a British overseas territory. The United Kingdom has launched a three-year $122.8 million aid program to help reconstruct the island's economy. Half of the island is expected to remain uninhabitable for another decade. Construction is presently booming, and agriculture and tourism generate some foreign exchange. Montserrat has excellent real estate investment potential. Visits to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory are very popular, spectacular views of Soufriere Hills Volcano can be had from a safe distance of the old capital, Plymouth. It is illegal to enter the Exclusion Zone without special permission.

Religion
The predominant religion in Montserrat is Christianity.

Language
The official language is English.

Sport
Montserrat is well known for superb dive sites, colourful flora and fauna, outstanding hiking opportunities and lush rainforest. Cricket is the most popular sport on the island.

Entry Requirements
A valid passport is required for most visitors - those with US, Canadian and British citizenship may present a driver's license or official ID card as proof of citizenship. Residents of some countries require visas. A return ticket and proof of accommodation are required. There are scheduled daily flights from Antigua and Sint Maarten, and there is a charter helicopter service from Antigua.
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