To nature and sport fans Statia offers plenty of great possibilities.
What is there to do on Sint Eustatius?
The Marine Park presents a, to many unknown, diving area of 27,5 squared kilometers. Along the entire coast, up to a maximum of three kilometers from the coastline, two reserves protect the underwater world. The presence of ten ship wrecks alone, make the divers heart tick.
The philosophy of both of the local dive shops is to offer high quality diving and individual guidance of their guests. Divers that come to Statia are often ‘repeaters’ since they enjoyed the overall experience. They want to avoid mass dive tourism. The exclusive location en the untouched exquisite aquatic live play important roles in the want to return.
It is typical to find just one diving boat per dive site, and that everyone can finish his dive. All 36 official dive sites are accessible within 30 minutes and will satisfy each and every guest; both beginners and advanced divers. All divers get excited when visiting one of the ten wrecks in the near setting.
Golden Rock Dive Center entered the market with a new invention: the ‘Diveglide’, a so called DPV or underwater scooter, which operates on positive and negative buoyancy without electrical or engine run parts.
Some smaller tour operators offer roundtrips allowing divers to visit different islands for a couple of days. This exclusive alternative of island-hopping becomes increasingly popular.
Even if you don’t dive, the beauty of the aquatic world will reveal its secrets to you. They old 17th century city walls lay right in front of the beach, just beneath the surface. You can comfortably snorkel along the walls for hundreds of meters.
Besides numerous reef fish you may enjoy the presence of sea turtles and other aquatic life such as different kinds of coral.
The waters at the Atlantic side of the island are rough. On Zeelandia Bay it is even prohibited to swim. But the extensiveness and beauty of the coast are attractive for a nice stroll on the beach.
On the Caribbean side the beach consists out of dark grey slate sand. During the daytime the beach is quiet but in the afternoon local families come down for a refreshing splash and to play. The beaches are public.
The maintained nature parks on the island are the Quill (vulcano), Boven (northern hills) and the botanical garden. These country areas measure a total of 5,4 squared kilometers and are being maintained by STENAPA, a non-governmental organization.
Consequently more than 25% of the island is nature reserve and building in these areas is not allowed. STENAPA laid out more than eighteen marked and maintained trails.
The Quill/Boven National Park was established in 1998. This was the first National Park officially recognized by the Dutch Antilles.
The aim of this park is to protect the unique biodiversity on Statia and is accessible for sustainable use by all interested parties.
The park consists out of two parts: ‘The Quill’ + ‘White Wall’, a limestone rock south of the volcano, and the hill ‘Boven’, one of the five hills north on the island.
On the dormant volcano you can enjoy the tranquility en beauty of its nature, both on top of the rim and down at the bottom of the crater; an memorable experience.
Culture & history
When visiting St. Eustatius, you travel back into the past.
In the 18th century Sint Eustatius was one of the most prosperous islands in the western hemisphere. Thousands of ships entered the harbor of Oranjestad, the most important commercial centre on the flourishing trade routes. Interesting sites like Fort Oranje with its canons are today’s witnesses of this golden era. Go for a nice walk through the narrow alleys, past remains of old warehouses and take a closer look at fortress walls. Here is where history seems to revive. Also worth a visit is the old Dutch Reformed Church in town. In front of it is a memorial stone of former queen Wilhelmina. Next to it is a cemetery. Don’t miss the Historical Museum where Statia’s history is recorded clearly.
Food & drinks
A nice cold beer by the end of a hot day, or perhaps some fresh lobster? Yes, you’re on holiday! Restaurant Bleu Bead, The Old Gin House, Papaya and many small local restaurants offer you a scrumptious Caribbean dish.
Festivals & holidays
January 1, the day you slowly recover from New Years Eve at the beach.
Easter Monday, the entire "Lower Bay" beach is partying with barbecues, music and lots of fun.
April 27, “Kings Day” in honor of Dutch king Willem Alexander’s birthday. Blend in the crowd and don’t forget to wear anything orange!
July 1, Emancipation Day, the inhabitants of Sint Eustatius together with tourists, commemorate the abolition of slavery.
Last week of July, carnival with lots of food and beverages, local and international calypso music and party all night long in Carnival Village.
November 13-19, "Golden Rock regatta" is another one of Statia’s high lights. It is a festive week of sailing rallies from St. Maarten via St. Barth to Statia, with cheerful parties in the old town. www.goldenrockregatta.com
November 16, Statia Day, on this day Statia commemorate it’s important role in America’s history. For most people though this is the day to celebrate Statia’s culture.
December 25 en 26, Statia is covered in festive christmas decoration. Happy smiles and everyone enjoys the Christmas Parade… the dress code is red and white!