English may be Montserrat’s official language, but many locals also speak a Caribbean dialect called Montserrat Creole. The accent of many residents contains a slight Irish brogue due to the island’s strong ties to the Emerald Isle.
The East Caribbean dollar (EC $) is Montserrat’s official currency, but many places also accept US dollars. One US dollar is worth EC $2.65 according to the fixed currency values. Just to be safe, though, visitors should pay in East Caribbean dollars whenever possible. Credit cards are not common outside of major hotels, and many Montserrat businesses which do take plastic charge an extra five percent convenience fee. Travelers’ checks, especially those in US dollars, are more widely accepted. Brades contains both of Montserrat’s major banks which both have ATMs.
Montserrat is in the Atlantic Standard Time zone, four hours behind GMT and one hour ahead of the eastern United States. Daylight saving time is not observed.
Montserrat’s electricity settings are 230 Volts at 60 Hertz, but some buildings are also wired for the typical North American settings of 110-120 Volts. Transformers are easily available, but visitors should bring their own voltage convertors and plug adapters just in case. Most Montserrat outlets accept only flat blade plugs.
Montserrat’s dialing code is +1 and the area code is 664. Cable and Wireless is Montserrat’s main provider of cell phone service and internet access, both of which are available everywhere on the island. Cable and Wireless also rents telephones at reasonable monthly rates. Free wireless is available at a growing number of public places.
Montserrat visitors can import up to 1.14 liters of alcohol, 170 milliliters of perfume and gifts worth up to EC $500 without incurring customs. Tobacco limits are 225 grams, 50 cigars or 200 cigarettes.
Montserrat Tourist Board, Little Bay: +1-664-491-2230 or +1-664-491-8730 or http://www.visitmontserrat.com/.
Consulates in Montserrat
American and Canadian visitors should contact their closest consulates in Barbados in times of emergency. As a British Overseas Territory, Montserrat has no formal representation. British visitors needing assistance during their stay should contact the Governor’s Office in Brades or Antigua’s British High Commission.
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