St. Eustatius also known affectionately to the locals as Statia, is an island in the Caribbean. It is a special municipality (officially “public body”) of the Netherlands. The island lies in the northern Leeward Islands portion of the West Indies, southeast of the Virgin Islands. St. Eustatius is immediately to the northwest of Saint Kitts, and to the southeast of Saba. The regional capital is Oranjestad.
The island has an area of 8.1 sq mi. As of 2015, the population was officially estimated at 3,877. The official language is Dutch, but English is the “language of everyday life” on the island and education is solely in English. A local English-based creole is also spoken informally. Travelers to the island by air arrive through F.D. Roosevelt Airport.
Surrounding the island are narrow beaches of volcanic sand. Offshore, the St. Eustatius National Marine Park features some of the most protected and preserved dive sites in the eastern Caribbean.
When: December 26, 2019 to January 2, 2020 Where: St. Eustacia Dive Package Includes: –Seven Nights of Garden View Accommodations – Round Trip Airport Transfers – Daily Breakfast – Five (5) Days of Two (2) Tank Boat Dives – One Afternoon Dive – Free Nitrox32 – Welcome Cocktail, WiFi, Kayaks – All Taxes – Not Included: Meals Not Mentioned, Gratuities & Incidentals Cost: $1,400
St. Eustatius landscape is dominated by the 600m / 2000 ft. extinct volcano, called “The Quill”. According to volcanologists, The Quill is one of the most perfectly shaped volcanoes in the world. The Quill together with Boven at the north side of the island are both designated National Parks in 1998, managed by Stenapa. When you hike up the Quill, you encounter different vegetation zones, with as a highlight the dense forest in the crater.
St. Eustatius is home to some endangered animals like the Lesser Antillean Iguana, native to only a few Caribbean islands. Look up in the trees to spot these beautiful reptiles. Closer to the ground, you have a good chance to see huge land crabs, hermit crabs and the Red Bellied dancer, a small non-poisonous snake only found on St. Eustatius and Saba. Numerous tropical birds escort you up and down the trail, and maybe you’ll even find the endemic plant of Statia, the Morning Glory.
Three species of turtles (Hawksbill, Green and Leatherbacks) often use St. Eustatius beaches as nesting grounds. St. Eustatius National Parks (including the marine park) covers 33 km2 – almost twice the size of the island itself and is visited by nature lovers from all over the world.
Things to do
• Hike up The Quill and descent into its lush crater • Visit the Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Garden, a viewpoint for migrating Humpback Whales