Montserrat's former capital has been off-limits to general tourists because of volcanic activity since the May 2006 dome collapse. Before that, the adventuresome could stroll its streets, albeit at their own risk; check with the police department to see if the situation has changed again. Once one of the Caribbean's loveliest towns, facing the vividly hued sea, it now resembles a dust-covered lunarscape, with elegant Georgian buildings buried beneath several feet of ash,
mud, and rubble (though rain is slowly washing layers away). Entry is officially possible only with a police escort (lest you fall through a rickety roof), and can be arranged with the police headquarters in Salem if you are able to obtain clearance from the Volcano Observatory (generally, permission is restricted to scientists and historians). A hazard allowance of EC$150 is charged per individual or group.
664-491–2230-for Montserrat Tourist Board