20 Jan THE ISLAND GUIDE TO SINT EUSTATIUS
Locals call it ‘Statia’ – and just like Saba its also a special municipality of the Netherlands. It’s a great stopover while you’re island hopping around the Dutch Caribbean and this is why.
Despite the fact that the island is only 21 square kilometres small, it has a gigantic historical CV. In the Golden Age it used to be the biggest port and hub of trading – including the slave trading… While Statia’s economy flourished under the Dutch (by ignoring all the monopolistic trade restrictions of the British, French and Spanish islands that is); Sint Eustatius became then known as The Golden Rock.
Where to Stay
Which brings us to The Place To Sleep on Sint Eustatius. New on the island is a fancy, fully ecological responsible resort, called: The Golden Rock. Which is the perfect base for all your diving, hiking, and nature expeditions. The Dutch owner constructed the whole resort from scratch all by himself – and with some help of the locals. He has only hired people from the island to work in his resort (which he also trains himself). He recycles drinking water from the ocean with his own purifying system and he doesn’t use any plastics or disposables. In short: everything on this property is as sustainable as it can be.
St Eustatius doesn’t have the typical white sand palm tree beaches, instead you can find raw nature, with a rocky coastline and soft black volcanic sand. These volcanic sands are extremely important for nesting sites for endangered sea turtles. There are two beaches where you can swim on the island. In Oranjestad bay there is a nice beach for a cool off dip. Also ideal for snorkeling. This is the most popular beach. Not far from the resort you’ll find Zeelandia beach, but it has a strong current so it’s not the best place for a dip but it looks stunning. The Golden Rock Resort has even found a solution for that. At the resort they currently very occupied with building a 7.000m2 (!) salt water lake on the property, which even will be surrounded by a sandy man-made beach. The award of island-upgrading-in-the-Caribbean goes without any doubt to this Dutch owned Resort!
Hiking and Diving
Most people visit Sint Eustatius for diving (look out for the sharks), but you can also hike here, even in the crater of the volcano! If you want to hike the crater, make sure to put on some of the best hike shoes you have. It can be slippery here (and falling into a volcano wouldn’t be great to say the least). There’s a good chance that you’ll meet some protected species such as land crabs or hermit crabs on any trail you choose. Be careful, you can hike the outer slope your own, but they recommend to hike the inner slopes with a buddy (doesn’t have to be a tour guide).
In case you’re curious about hiking; these are 8 of the best hikes in Europe!
Fun fact about Sint Eustatius: there are no traffic lights on this island – “apart from the animals”, as the locals say. Sorry, what? “Yes, we only stop for crossing goats and sheep.” Aha!
Winair has daily flights from and to Sint Maarten.
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