Submerged anchors and cannons, and over 100 sunken trading ships tell the story of this tiny Caribbean island which was once a bustling trading hub for slaves, sugar and cotton. Today, the capital city of Oranjestad is sleepy and quaint, with its Dutch colonial buildings and museums filled with ancient artefacts. St. Eustatius (known as Statia by the locals), is home to The Quill, a forgotten volcano covered by tropical rainforest and many other extinct volcanoes. In Statia, mass tourism does not exist.
This is an island of sheltered bays and quiet beaches to snatch an afternoon of snorkelling in the crystal waters, and an island with a ‘leave no trace’ approach to eco-tourism, cherishing the unique natural beauty of the island for years to come. With accommodation at small inns and guesthouses, Statia is your island for hiking, diving and a quieter pace of life. The bi-annual Statia Carnival and Statia Day are both big events in the island’s calendar.
Airports / Gateways / Flying times
Airport: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Airport (EUX).
Gateways/Flying Time: There are no direct flights from the UK, however Air France fly via Paris, and KLM via Amsterdam to St. Maarten, where there are connecting flights with Winair. Winair: 17 minutes from St. Maarten. Paris to St. Maarten: 8 hours 50 minutes. Amsterdam to St. Maarten: 9 hours.
Average temperature in summer 15°-27°. Winter 15°-25°. Annual rainfall is approximately 40 inches.
Goat meat with rice and peas is the national dish in Statia, and you can sample local food from all different cultures at the Statia Taste of Cultures event held on the last Thursday of every month. With a convivial atmosphere, this is your chance to try lots of different dishes whilst getting to know the locals. Every other day though, you can still enjoy a varied menu with restaurants and cafes serving international fare through to local specialities.
In the capital Oranjestad, take to the French built 17th century Fort Oranje and the Dutch Reformed Church with its unrivalled view over the town. Nearby are The Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Gardens, a sanctuary for the island’s flora and fauna. Stroll to the lookout garden for some great views to the island of St. Kitts. For marine life, visit the St. Eustatius National Marine Park that protects the entire Statia coastline, home to the green turtle and hawksbill turtle. If you’re lucky you might even spot the glorious humpback whales as they make their seasonal migration between January and April. Then there’s hiking The Quill to descend into its deep, rainforest crater, wandering the ruins of Jewish synagogue Honen Salim, or taking in the sights at Statia’s two museums. Or, you could always chill on the rugged beaches of Statia where driftwood, golden sand and peaceful bays abound.