Sint Eustatius: A well-kept Caribbean secret

 

With people being vaccinated and countries cautiously opening up to travel again, getting away from our secure place of the past year is on the minds of many. If you’re looking for a quiet, unhurried vacation spot, the island of Sint Eustatius is a good choice. 

This is a small Dutch-Caribbean island filled with history and eco-treasures, discovered by Christopher Columbus in the late 1400s. Locally known as Statia, it was the first nation to officially recognize the then brand-new United States of America in 1776.   Statia’s history has rendered it an open-air museum which gives you an additional reason to visit. There is so much to discover on this gem and, you can comfortably explore without the discomfort of crowds. 

This small island is home to less than 5,000 people, which makes it pleasantly calm and quiet, but not boring. It is the kind of island to which one can quietly slip away to escape from the vagaries of city life, enjoying every minute you quietly spend here. There is enough to do to keep you occupied, but not overwhelmed. This will be an unhurried respite. Don’t expect chain stores, shopping malls, or international fast-food joints. In St. Eustatius, you will find yourself at one with nature within an environment of comfortable simplicity, where crime is non-existent and strangers are made to feel quite at home. 

Although you may have chosen Statia simply to enjoy a brief solitude, you will find exploring the island’s rich history, visiting the many ruins and chatting with its friendly people can add to the pleasure of your stay. You can also:

(1) Hike the Quill – Statia’s Mini Rainforest

The Quill is Statia’s dormant volcano. A winding trail leads you to the top, where you will discover a stunning view of neighbouring islands. At the foothills, you will find a variety of botanical plants.  There are multiple routes taking you to the top of the Quill: the Couchar trail, Around the Mountain trail, Panorama Point trail, Mazinga trail, Botanical Garden trail, and Crater trail, all offering a different perspective of the island’s floral and fauna.

(2) Descend into the Quill’s Crater

When you get to the top of the Quill, you can be adventurous and descend into the crater.

 

(3) Go Diving

Seemingly undisturbed, the depths of St. Eustatius’ ocean remain true to nature. Divers get to enjoy the extraordinarily diverse marine life, explore shipwrecks, coral reefs, and marvel at the wondrous assortment of colour that lies beneath. Give it a try. You may even find a historic blue bead!

(4) Experience Statia’s Culture

The island of St. Eustatius also celebrates its culture and history with an annual carnival that takes place every summer. Dancing, music, parades, pageants, parties, food and a lot of socializing happens during this time. Easter is also a time when you’ll find the island in a celebratory mood as it observes this special Christian season. Throughout the year, there are also events such as concerts hosted by private organizations; and the tourism organization’s Sustainability Conference held in September. 

If you’re not averse to a busier, more vibrant Statia during your vacation, then by all means, visit their website to keep abreast of what is taking place at a specific time during the year and head on over. The friendly staff at the Tourist Bureau will be happy to furnish you with whatever information you may need to make your stay memorable. 

Zoom-fatigued executives, overworked secretaries, stay-at-home moms who just need a moment to themselves and retirees looking for that special place to escape from the cold will find Statia refreshing. Divers, hikers, history-lovers and groups of friends who love to explore – why not do so in Statia?

Look them up – www.statia-tourism.com, follow them on Facebook and Instagram

Your post-Covid vacation awaits on Statia.