Abandoned in 1997, Montserrats capital Plymouth has been compared to a modern day Pompeii. Buried deep in ash and volcanic debris including boulders up to the size of the houses that once stood there, the once thriving business and commercial centre of the island now resembles a dust-covered lunar landscape through which deep canyons have been gouged. Plymouth lies within the volcanic exclusion zone and access is not currently possible.
For a different perspective on the volcano and the devastation it has wrought to the southern end of Montserrat, schedule a round the island boat tour. These tours begin from the port in Little Bay and head south, first to Plymouth, then round the southern tip of Montserrat to the Tar River Delta and north to the remnants of WH Bramble Airport. From the sea, you can clearly see the path taken by the pyroclastic flows and mudflows with the Soufrire Hills Volcano in the background. Tours generally last two hours and are subject to weather and volcanic conditions.