Approximately 40 miles away from St. Maarten lies another beautiful caribbean jewel, St. Eustatius (a.k.a. Statia). This beautiful, small dutch island is famous for “the Quill”, an inactive volcano that has very scenic trails that can be hike by novice and experience hikers alike. The island is approximately 12 square miles which means you can get a lot of cardio in just walking the island and taking in the scenery. In fact, you can actually take a leisurely stroll around the entire island 2 times, in under 6 hours.
So, what makes this place so special? Well, maybe it is the tranquility of the land. Or could it be the overly friendly locals? Or maybe it is the beautiful black sand on the beach? It could also be the fort where you have some of the most amazing views in the caribbean. Then again, it could just be a combination of all of this. There is a certain peace and serenity to this island. It will not have the hot nightlife of other islands, nor boast the popular, swanky accommodations, but what it lacks in that department, it more than makes up in friendly locals, great food, inexpensive basic necessities, and tranquility.
If you decide to visit the island, be advised that you will more than likely have to take a flight from SXM over to the island on one of the small plane. I am only 5’6″ and that plane was very uncomfortable, but at least it was only a 20 minute ride. Be sure to visit the two cemeteries. Okay, I am not a fan of cemeteries or death, but there was also a certain stillness and peace just meditating in this area for a minute. There is a historical museum (St. Eustatius Historical Foundation Museum) where you can get information about the island’s history and useful tidbits from the locals. Take a stroll down the hill to Lynch Beach and just enjoy the dark sand and the warm water.
You will not have a problem communicating with the locals as the majority of them speak english; however, you will encounter some who speak dutch (it is a dutch colony after all), spanish, and some patois. If you need to buy something small to eat or drink, there are plenty chiney shops on the island where you can purchase water and snacks for very little cost. US currency is widely accepted all around the island, so there is no need to exchange money. Important: Upon departing the island, most visitors will have to pay a $15 departure fee, so be sure to save some coins for your departure.
If you are looking for a change of pace and want to experience a different side of the caribbean, give Statia a try. I am sure that you too will find that there is something “special” about Statia.