Statia is how the island of St Eustatius is affectionately called. This is a laid back sleepy island with very friendly and polite inhabitants.
It is part of the Dutch Antilles together with the neighboring islands of St Maarten and Saba.
Curacao and Bonaire Island are on the southern side of the Caribbean. Its official status now is Special Municipality of the Netherlands.
Aerial view of the Island of St Eustatius
All travel is mainly from/to St Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM).
To this airport arrive airlines from Europe, North America, Puerto Rico and the rest of the Caribbean Islands on a regular basis.
Winair Windward Islands Airways offer more than 5 flights a day from St Maarten to Franklin Delano Roosevelt airport in Statia (EUX)
Scuba Diving Caribbean
The island is surrounded by many dive sites that attract divers from all over the world. The Marine Park makes sure that the coral reefs and the whole marine life is protected for future generations.
More than 100 sunken trading ships off the shores of the island make this a Diving and Snorkeling Mecca.
Oranjestad is the picturesque Capital of St Eustatius
St Eustatius Beaches
Most of its beaches are small, narrow strips of sand, either volcanic black or a dull, mudlike gray. Regrettably, the best beaches are not on the tranquil Caribbean side, but on the turbulent Atlantic side, where the waters are often too rough for swimming.
Beachcombers delight, however, in their search for the fabled blue-glass beads, which were manufactured in the 1600s by a Dutch West Indies Company.
They were used as money for the trading of such products as tobacco, cotton, rum -- and even slaves. These beads, which are real collector's items, are often unearthed after a heavy rainfall or tropical storm.
Also called Smoke Alley Beach, lies on the Caribbean side of the island directly off Lower Town. This is one of the small volcanic beaches on the southwest shore, with beige or black sands and waters suitable for a leisurely swim.
Zeelandia Beach and the volcano in Statia
Also on the Atlantic side, is 3km long and filled with very dark-beige and volcanic-black sand. Only one small designated section is safe for swimming. The beach is suitable, however, for wading, hiking, and sunbathing.
On the southeast Atlantic side of the island, has a strip of dark golden sand. It's about half an hour down Mountain Road and is worth the trip to get here, although the waters are often too churned up for comfortable swimming.
Lynch Beach on the Atlantic side of de Island of S Eustatius
Here the light brown sand is more sheltered from the wild swells of the Atlantic. Nonetheless, the surf here is almost always rough, plus there's a dangerous undertow; this beach is better for sunbathing than swimming.
South of Oranjestad is on the leeward, or Caribbean, side is . The waters, filled with giant yellow sea fans, sea whips, and pillar coral, attract snorkelers, while beachcombers are drawn to the many blue beads that have been unearthed here.
Map of the Dutch Antilles among them St Eustatius
St Eustatius is still a Caribbean well kept secret.
The island has an interesting past worth commenting about. The capital of Oranjestad was once an important trading hub of slaves coming from Africa as well as all kind of commodities like sugar and cotton arriving from Europe and the Far East.
At that point Oranjestad was the richest port on the region with about 18,000 inhabitants. The decline started in 1776 when the tiny nation recognized the independence of the United States of America, bringing the wrath of England upon them.
Today the island hosts about 3,000 inhabitants. They come from 20 different origins and nationalities bringing each one of them their contribution to the island’s culture.
Statia Carnival on the month of July
Carnival and Culture
During the year nightlife is almost nonexistent in Statia. The evenings are spent dining and listening to music, but when July comes the sleepy island wakes up to 10 days of Carnival full with competitions, music, parades and dancing.
Fort Orange is one of the attractions of St Eustatius
Places to visit
In Oranjestad you may visit Fort Oranje, which was built by the French in 1629; the Dutch Reformed Church a tall tower offering a view of the city.
Also important to visit is the St Eustatius Historical Museum filled with relics from Pre-Colombian period as well as the colonial times. Remember that they changed hands from English to French to Dutch many time in History.
Due to the “melange” of cultures from so many countries you can find here all kind of Caribbean Cuisine with influence from as far as India, the Fart East, French and European in general. The restaurants are informal and low key.
To those seeking such enrichment, the University of Sint Eustatius bids you welcome.
A visit to Statia is an experience you will always treasure.
For more information visit Statia Tourism Website
fort oranje by walter hellebrand
beach by walter hellebrand
All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons