Montserrat Basics

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The Basics


Time: GMT -4

Electricity: Electrical current is 230 volts, 60Hz. They use two-flat-pin plugs and three pronged plugs with two flat pins and one round pin (Plug types A and B).

Money: Electrical current is 230 volts, 60Hz. They use two-flat-pin plugs and three pronged plugs with two flat pins and one round pin (Plug types A and B).

Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: English is the official language.

Entry requirements for Americans: US citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Montserrat. No visa is required for stays of up to six months.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: British citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Montserrat. No visa is required for British citizens and British Overseas Territories citizens for stays of up to six months. British passport holders with other endorsements should confirm entry requirements before travel.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Montserrat. No visa is required for stays of up to six months.

Entry requirements for Australians: Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Montserrat. No visa is required for stays of up to six months.

Entry requirements for South Africans: South African citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Montserrat. No visa is required for stays of up to six months.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Montserrat. No visa is required for stays of up to six months.

Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Montserrat. No visa is required for stays of up to six months.

Passport/Visa Note: All foreign passengers to Montserrat must hold return/onward tickets, the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, and proof of sufficient funds to cover their expenses while in the country. Note that visa exemptions are for a maximum period of six months, although extensions are possible, by applying to the Immigration Department. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Travel Health: The most common ailment for visitors is traveller's diarrhoea which is easily avoided by following basic food procedures. Drink only bottled water, or boiled, disinfected and filtered tap water, eat only hot foods, and don't eat street food or uncooked/unwashed fruits. It is recommended to get an update on an MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, a diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, and to get vaccines for hepatitis A and B, typhoid, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and a yearly flu shot. Those travelling from a yellow fever zone will be required to produce a certificate of proof of receiving a yellow fever vaccine. People who are likely to come into contact with animals should consider a rabies vaccine. Taking along a set of basic medication and insect repellent is necessary because visitors are at risk of dengue fever. All medication should have a doctor's letter in explanation of medical problems and medications required for treatment. There are adequate medical facilities, but expect to pay in cash regardless of whether or not you have medical travel insurance.

Tipping: A five percent bonus over and above normal service charges illustrates appreciation for excellent service at restaurants. Porters are given $1 per bag and cleaning services are often tipped at $2-3 per night. Taxi drivers will expect a ten percent tip and it is a good idea to arrange a flat rate from the start. All tour guides appreciate gratuity, which should be between 10-20 percent, at your discretion.

Safety Information: Crime against tourists is rare, but basic travel precautions are still necessary. For example, if there is no safe in the hotel, it is better to carry your valuables with you than to leave them in the room. The biggest safety concern in Montserrat is not from the locals, but from the environment. While the Soufriere Hills Volcano is active and dangerous, the last major activity was in 2010. As a result of the volcanic activity, a third of the island is considered safe and inhabitable. It is advisable to stay out of the other two-thirds. Only explore it with the explicit permission and guidance from local authorities. Travel insurance with provision for emergency evacuation is highly recommended (both for natural disaster or medical emergencies).

Local Customs: By all accounts, Montserrat might be one of the easiest places for western travellers to visit, with many tourists reporting that they felt like they couldn't have offended the locals they encountered, even if they'd wanted to! While, of course, this theory shouldn't be tested by visitors to the 'emerald isle of the Caribbean', travellers can look forward to a pleasant mix of typically European manners and customs, and a laid-back, relaxed and accepting social atmosphere. Visitors should be aware of the dangers posed by the Soufriere Hills Volcano, and make sure they stay out of restricted areas. Ask permission before taking photographs of locals, although more often than not, they will indulge your request with a suitable pose.

Duty Free: Travellers to Montserrat 18 and older may bring up to 200 cigarettes,50 cigars, or 200g of tobacco, 40 ounces (1.14 litres) of liquor, six ounces (168g) of perfume, and gifts valued to EC$500 ($180).